'King' Joey brings home the bacon
Published 24/11/2013 | 22:46
A "heroic" Joey Essex was the man of the hour in tonight's I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! after braving a pitch-black cave full of rats for the camp.
Essex, 23, brought back eight meals from the Bush Tucker Trial and even got the girl, sharing a snuggle under a blanket with Miss Universe Amy Willerton.
But the Only Way Is Essex star faced a rival for the ladies in newcomer Vincent Simone, who took a shower in a pair of tight white swimming trunks.
Essex was feeling the pressure as Westlife star Kian Egan and ex-model Anabel Giles talked him up in advance of his fourth trial.
He got an early fright on the way to the Cave of Claws when he mistook a monitor lizard for a dragon, but was soon crawling in the darkness looking for 12 meal tickets.
"Oh my god, this is ridiculous. This is so scary. Er, it's muddy and that," said Essex, unaware that rats and insects were about to crawl all over him.
"Oh, mate, they're all licking me and that. They're taking to me and that. It's well hard, you can't see nothing.
"Oh, mate, it's biting my middle parts! It's going up my trousers! This is not reem. This is definitely not reem. This is definitely, 100% not reem!"
His efforts were rewarded when Giles praised him as "heroic."
Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Will Smith's square cousin Carlton in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, said: "To me, right now, Joey is king of the jungle. He's doing a great job."
Essex even gulled chat show host Matthew Wright into thinking he had failed by putting on a glum face as he came back from the Trial.
Wright said: "He fooled me again. I remain the most gullible man in camp. Even more gullible than Joey! I'm never going to live this shame down."
Essex added: "I've done a few trials whilst I've been here, but that was by far the hardest, scariest and slinkiest out of them all."
Meanwhile Simone, a professional dancer and Strictly Come Dancing stalwart who was voted 'Rear of the Year' in May, impressed the women by "parading" in tight white and leopard skin trunks.
Willerton said: "Vincent wears a tiny pair of tighty whiteys. He's doing the full Italian stallion in all its glory."
Fashion designer David Emanuel sniggered at his "pert butt" and said he had "paraded like a peacock", but Ribeiro was less impressed, calling it "uncomfortable."
Snooker giant Steve Davis said: "It's going to be tough on Joey. He's under pressure with Vincent in the camp. Are Amy's eyes moving from Joey to a bit of Italian meat?"
Elsewhere, the 12 campmates were divided into four teams of three to vie for a 24-hour holiday with flushing toilets, soft toilet roll, a bed, and proper food.
The losers would have to share a disused coach with various critters in an aptly named 'Roach Trip'.
Davis and Egan vowed to win it for Laila Morse, who played 'Big Mo' Harris in EastEnders and remains the oldest campmate. Egan said: "I'm going to kick everyone's arse because I'm going to make sure that Mo wins. End of story."
His team beat Lucy Pargeter, Simone and Ribeiro in race to drain glasses full of foul-smelling gunk and will go up against the winners of the next challenge for the coveted night off.
The loss was too much for Ribeiro, whose bad back and distant wife conspired with a painful washing-up task to push him into a tearful breakdown.
He said: "I reached a point today when I was chosen to clean up the dishes - for whatever reason, I was chosen - and it just felt like, okay, my back feels like I have a knife and somebody feels like I wasn't carrying my weight.
"I've already expressed like 15 times I'm pissed off that I can't carry my weight and now I'm in physical pain and emotional pain."