She was one of the most fashion-forward queens on this year’s season of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, and now Yuri Guaii has revealed just how much money she spent on her impressive runway looks.
Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle following her elimination, the New Zealand performer says her entire wardrobe cost $5000 NZD ($4,465 AUD).
“I'm poor, I have no money, so five grand was a lot for me,” she says. “But then hearing what everyone else spent, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’”
Yuri’s $5000 budget is compared to her co-star Aubrey Haive, who told Yahoo Lifestyle earlier this month that the total amount she spent preparing for the show was $30,000 AUD.
“When we first walked in I was trying to look at everyone else's outfits, and Aubrey’s I was like, ‘Oh gross, go away’,” Yuri jokes. “And she went home and I was like, ‘Okay great, now I’m going to be the best looking’.”
Besides the t-shirt that she wore in the acting challenge and her green dress for the brunch, Yuri says she made everything that she wore on the show.
“It makes it cheaper!” she remarks. “A lot of my friends and flatmates helped me with all the little stuff and preparing my outfits.
“So seeing them on TV I was like, all this hard work actually paid off because I look great and these outfits have so many stressful but amazing memories of getting ready for Drag Race with the people I love and the people that have supported me throughout this journey.”
‘I stuffed up’
Speaking about watching her experience on TV, Yuri admits it was much better than she remembered and she feels “fantastic” about her overall performance.
“Coming back home I was like, 'Oh gosh, no, I stuffed up, I didn't do that great, not as good as I wanted to',” she says.
“But watching the whole season back I was like, 'Oh no, it's actually pretty good! I’m proud of myself, I think I did great'. Even though I could have done a little bit better, it doesn’t matter. I still did my best and I came off all right.”
Yuri adds that her favourite challenge on the show was when they had to design their own outfits out of locally sourced natural materials in episode one, despite the fact that she didn’t win.
“If I made my dress a little bit shorter, I think I could have won it,” she says.
“For me, that was my favourite because it's what I love doing. So everyone else was like, 'Oh no, we have to sew for our first challenge, I want to show something off that I came with!'. And I was like, 'I've sewed all my outfits, so what’s another outfit?'”
‘Don’t be like me’
The fan favourite contestant went on to share her advice for future queens of the series, with a large emphasis on being authentic.
“Don't be like me, don’t overthink everything,” she laughs.
“It's honestly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - well, sometimes multiple if you go on All Stars or anything. But honestly, just have fun and just be yourself and like, who cares what anyone thinks of you because if you're just being your authentic self, then I guess you can't be mad.”
She also says she would “definitely” return to the show for a future All Stars season if she was given the opportunity.
“I feel like I'd be a lot more confident, but probably still terrible at talking,” she shares with a laugh. “Maybe I should do some dance lessons, some speech lessons, maybe I’ll go to school for a year.”
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