Despite narrowly missing out on the Big Brother 2012 $250,000 grand prize, Zoe Westgarth still considers herself a winner.
In the final week of Nine's reality show, the NSW country girl lost the chance to nab top spot when she was ousted from the house in a double eviction along with her crush, red-headed genius Michael Beveridge.
However, Westgarth told Access All Areas that the self-respect she gained from her time in the Gold Coast compound was worth more than money.
"As corny as it sounds, I feel like I won anyway," she said. "I went into the house really timid and with massive self-confidence issues and I'm leaving now having been taught incredible things by each and every person who's gone through there. I am a lot stronger now."
Entering the house almost three months ago, Westgarth admitted her biggest challenge was not about forming allegiances with her cohorts or the bizarre weekly tasks - it was stepping out in a swimsuit.
The teaching student said she felt triumphant to finally hang up her body issues and embrace wearing a cossie.
"I know that sounds shallow but it was really difficult for me," she said. "I conquered that so I am very proud of myself."
The 23-year-old said she would now be placing all her cards on house psychologist Benjamin Norris to take out the competition tonight over British belle Layla Subritzky or hippy law student Estelle Landy, who Westgarth briefly feuded with over Beveridge's affections.While Beveridge was not available to interview, he has claimed in several online reports to have been up all night while he reconnected with family and house best friend Josh Moore.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.