In an emotional and exciting evening of television last night, Benjamin Norris took the trifecta as he won the hearts of the Australian public, the cash prize from Big Brother and his partner’s promise of marriage in a show we won’t soon forget.
While Americans were voting in the presidential elections, Australians were voting to see whether Benjamin, Layla or Estelle would be the winner of our local version of Big Brother, winning $250,000.
Melbourne’s Benjamin Norris became the first gay contestant to win the show, flying to victory with 40 percent of the over 400,000 votes which were cast to decide the champion.
After the announcement of his victory he was left alone in the house for a few minutes, alternating between tears and laughter as he waited to leave the Dreamworld home that had been his wild ride for the past three months.
Then it was his moment. Upon exiting the Big Brother house, Benjamin was soon reunited with his partner Ben Williams and took the opportunity to get down on one knee and popped the question. His mother cried and the audience screamed and cheered. Benjamin had said he had always planned to publicly express his love for Ben, and that he’d been planning on proposing to Williams even before he entered the house.
“I thought it doesn’t matter if I’m evicted in one week, I just want to be able to say in front of everyone in Australia that I love this person more than anything.”
See the clip of Ben proposing below.
While this has elevated the couple into the forefront of the marriage equality debate that rages through our country, Benjamin had been very clear early in the competition that he wasn’t trying to champion marriage equality:
“I’ve gone on a journey like most Australians discussing homosexuality,” he told the housemates early on in the show, explaining that his perspective as a gay person had gone from not supporting same-sex marriage to now understanding that people want to marry and for it to be recognised. “But,” he added, “I just feel like, is it on the grand scale of things, as important as some other issues?”
A few weeks ago we chatted with Benjamin’s now-fiancé Ben Williams about what it was like being on the other side of the Big Brother house and what the public reaction had been like.
“A mother let me know watching Ben on TV has been a perfect way to teach her children that people love each other in many different ways and anyone can be together,” he told us.
“I think it’s huge that children watch this family-friendly show, and watched Ben’s emotions when he got my message then see that it is just normal.”
From all of us at Same Same, congratulations to the Benjamites on their upcoming nuptials!
See Ben’s reaction to winning Big Brother 2012 below.