Bright and bubbly costume maker Russell Brown from Victoria was the second Making It contestant to be eliminated from the show after their incomplete 'dream doll house' creation didn't quite hit the mark.
While they're sad to be out of the competition, Russell — who identifies as non-binary — tells Yahoo Lifestyle in an exclusive chat that they've been overwhelmed with support and positivity from viewers at home.
"It's been really nice," they say. "I went on [Making It] because I wanted to be a really positive representation for the queer community and also an advocate for mental health.
"So, I definitely had a lot of people reach out to me and give me such kind words and it's been so touching."
As someone who is by their own admission happier to stay behind the scenes, speaking openly about personal matters such as mental health and gender identity on national TV was a huge deal for Russell.
"It was challenging to be quite open, but I do feel as if that can be used to educate people as well. My story in some sort of way could maybe help someone who was unique and special like me when I was little," they explain.
'Tears in my eyes'
And it appears as if Russell is already achieving their goal of offering hope and inspiration to other unique and special people out there.
"Late last night I had a really nice message from a mother of a non-binary child, [she was] just reaching out and letting me know that seeing me on the television helped their child so much.
"I gotta admit I did have a few tears in my eyes!"
Receiving such heartwarming feedback has made the experience worthwhile for Russell.
"I could have stayed longer and all that jazz, but to even just have that one person [reach out] I feel like I did do what I came to do."
Russell's fans will be thrilled to know that there's another way to get their Russell fix: they've started a YouTube channel to continue representing the queer community and being an advocate for mental health.
Once lockdown is over, they're also keen to catch up with their fellow Making It contestants and possibly plan a collaborative project for the future.
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