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A spicy romance outside of the jungle! Are Maria Thattil and Joey Essex dating?

We investigate the flirtation of the I'm A Celeb duo.
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Maria Thattil and Joey Essex shared plenty of longing looks and flirtatious laughter on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia. But have they taken their budding romance out of the jungle?

WATCH I’m A Celeb’s Maria Thattil and Joey Essex discuss their plans for kids

Our very own Miss Universe Australia was fearless in the jungle, not only facing the regular, terrifying challenges one might expect from the series, but also coming out as bisexual on national television.

Meanwhile, Joey was the international celebrity we didn’t expect to love so much – given that a lot of the Australian audience didn’t exactly know who he was before he walked into the camp.

However, his candour when sharing his experience of loss, and his funny, charming nature won our hearts – and Maria’s heart – very quickly.

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Joey and Maria in the jungle. (Credit: 10)

The genetically-blessed pair shared many a cute moment on screen – from holding hands during camp chats, to Maria fondly playing with Joey’s hair. They frolicked in the water together, while their biggest stan – David ‘The David’ Subritsky – watched on excitedly.

Maria and Joey discussed how many kids they’d want, and definitely shared a few kisses here and there.

With Joey going back to the UK in between filming the show and its live finale, the pair were reunited just this week and it seems like they still can’t keep their hands off each other.

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Joey and Maria with their fellow cast. (Credit: 10)

Maria, Joey, and David all featured heavily on each other’s Instagram stories last night, with David mostly trying to catch any romance between his two good friends.

Maria was seen kissing Joey’s cheek while he wore a paper face mask, with David causing mischief in the background.

Maria also shared a video of herself sitting in Joey’s lap, captioning the post “with our third wheel” as she panned the camera to show David sitting in the corner, watching on.

She also added a selfie of herself and Joey this morning, with Joey planting a sweet smooch on her cheek.

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Some backstage shenanigans between these two. (Credit: Instagram)

Despite the cute backstage shenanigans, there’s no official word on whether Joey and Maria are pursuing a genuine romance with Maria simply saying they’ve remained in contact and agreed to “see what happens on the outside.”

Until we hear more, we’ll happily take the cute selfies and backstage moments for the holiday romance it seems to be!

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