Farmer Dave on the Difference Between Big Brother Now and Then, and What’s Next for Him

farmer dave big brother australia 2022
Instagram / @farmerdavek9m8

For years, Farmer Dave Graham “swore” that he would never return to Big Brother Australia, but when the call came in, the stars aligned, and it seemed to be the perfect opportunity.

“I said I’d prefer to eat cut glass than ever go back in the house, but I have absolutely no regrets!” Dave told POPSUGAR Australia over the phone following his Monday night eviction from the house. So what changed?

“I’d worked two solid years, seven days a week, not a day off, right through COVID in my job as a program manager for RuffTRACK, which keeps kids alive [and] out of prison, and gives them skills so they can get their lives on track to break the cycle that got them in that situation in the first place,” Dave said.

Just as he was about to be put “on a forced break”, Dave got the call to re-join Big Brother, and figured “why not have a break in the Big Brother house?”

Of course, long gone are the days of Big Brother where the majority of the show was housemates sitting around the house, hanging out all day, so Dave knew he was in for a very different experience this time around.

“It had echoes of the past but it was a very, very different, much faster paced game,” he said. “The first time around it was all about the slow reveal, the peeling of the onion, relationships developing, and then we’ll just have fun Friday night with the Friday Night Games.”

Another key thing that’s changed? The show was airing as it was being filmed, so after 99 days in the house, Dave never got a chance to really watch the show he was on for three months.

“When I got out it was all over,” he recalled. “I didn’t really get to experience the show, but this time around, it’s a much faster pace, much more cutthroat, and a lot more game, a lot more strategy.”

While day-to-day life in the house is different, there are still a lot of similarities, though.

“We still have Big Brother, we still lost all of our freedom, still had no contact with the outside world, and so there was that mental break and this alternate universe that you entered, like a parallel universe,” Dave explained.

Dave recalled that entering the house back in 2006 felt “like the first day of hight school”, where “you’re trying to get to know everyone, trying to fit in”. This time around, he said, it “was a lot more familiar”, especially with the other OGs around to keep him company.

“This time it was like gathering with a group of friends, we had some young people joining us at the same time,” he explained.

Another key factor for his 2022 Big Brother experience? He didn’t have to come out on national television.

“I’m at a stage in my life where I’m so comfortable in my skin, whereas last time, I was just revealing who I was to the world, to my family to my community,” he said. “This time, I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone, so it was like a very comfortable, old pair of boots.”

As for his time in the house, Dave is perfectly fine with his eviction.

“I’m a middle aged man now, and it was hard to keep up with all the young guys!” he exclaimed, adding: “But at least I won a couple of challenges.”

Thankful to have been “able to tick the boxes” and push himself as far as possible, Dave was ready for his second stint on Big Brother to be over, and to return to his normal life.

“When it came to the game side of it, I was done. I couldn’t have lasted another day in there, to be honest!” he said.

As for what’s next? It’s “straight back into it” for our Farmer Dave, who is less of a farmer and more of “a farmer of minds” now.

“It’s all about growing the best versions of Australians that I can do,” he said. “I’ve got 26 young people that are engaged in our violence and crime reduction program.”

Dave explained that his role is to help the kids who have “fallen so far through the cracks” that they sometimes reach teenage years without learning to read or write.

“At RUFFtrack we’re all about having a flexible safety net to catch these kids and bounce them back up, into a career path so that they’re ready to own their own future and be authors of their own future,” he said.

While he may not be a farmer, technically, anymore, he assures us that he is still Farmer Dave in his new role helping kids.

“RUFFtrack is based on a farm in western Sydney, we’re on a beautiful acreage within suburbia,” he explained. “We have carpentry sheds, we have metal fabrication sheds, horticulture, agriculture, we’ve got sheep, we’ve got 36 dogs — every kid gets a dog and that’s how they learn respect and trust and compassion.”

Big Brother Royalty Vs New Contenders airs Monday – Wednesdays at 7.30pm, only on 7 and 7 Plus.

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