Reality TV

EXCLUSIVE: Survivor’s Shonee Bowtell “Meet my baby boy!”

The fan-favourite is totally smitten with her new campmate!
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After competing on Australian Survivor not once but three times, Shonee Bowtell knows a thing or two about challenges. But nothing could’ve prepared her for the arrival of her precious son, Vally!

“Giving birth was such an empowering experience,” Shonee, 31, tells New Idea. “Having done Survivor, I think it’s safe to say that I love pushing myself. But 20 hours of unmedicated labour was certainly character building!”

WATCH NOW: Survivor’s Shonee spills on her lucky red dress. Article continues below.

Adorable Vally was an early Christmas gift for Shonee and her partner, Matt Jamieson. Delivering him just before the holiday at Gold Coast University Hospital. Shonee was surprised when Vally weighed in at a strapping 3.8kg. “All through my pregnancy I thought my bump was too small,” she says. “We were shocked by his weight and that he was also 55cm long!”

Survivor star Shonee holding her baby
Shonee is loving life with little Valley! (Phillip Castleton: Are Media)

Shonee and Matt chose their son’s unique name together. “We originally liked another name that began with V,” she explains. “Then, one day, Matt was driving and he saw a number plate beginning with ‘Val’. He loved that as a name, so I suggested Valentine, but we decided it was a bit of a mouthful, so we settled on Vally.”

Survivor star shonee and husband lying on bed with their baby
“He must have been a doula in a previous life!” says Shonee of Matt’s amazing help during her pregnancy. (Phillip Castleton: Are Media)

Shonee, who appeared on Survivor in 2018, 2020 and in 2023, says Matt was an incredible support to her during her pregnancy – and when it came time to push! “On the day Matt went above and beyond,” she says. “He must’ve been a doula in a previous life!”

It’s been a whirlwind 18 months since Shonee met Matt, who runs a rendering business.

“He’s my best manifestation yet,” Shonee tells us with a laugh. “I first saw a photo of him on Instagram and said ‘wow!’ About a year, later he sent me a direct message. We started chatting and then one day, he drove from his home on the Gold Coast to meet me at home in Noosa – just for a swim.”

Baby in white jumpsuit lying on bed
Shonee and Matt are “totally in love” with Vally. (Phillip Castleton: Are Media)

Shonee says she knew it was love when Matt, 32, sent her a very special gift. “After Survivor, I was obsessed with eating white rice,” Shonee explains. “He sent me white rice for Valentine’s Day and that sealed the deal.”

Shonee then relocated to the Gold Coast and the couple are now almost finished renovating their dream family home. “I haven’t done much of the work though,” she says. “I just requested a dishwasher and a sage green bathroom.”

Shonee Bowtell competing on Survivor Australia
(Credit: Shonee has appeared on three seasons of Australian Survivor.)

While it’s hard for Shonee to pick what she loves most about motherhood, she admits, “I really love watching Vally grow. He recently learnt to smile and Matt and I were blown away.”

Shonee says that, in between feeds, she’s enjoying the new season of Australian Survivor: Titans V Rebels.

“It’s so exciting,” she says. “But I’m watching it on 10 Play the next day because the sleep deprivation with a newborn is real!”

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