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Drag Race UK's Asttina Mandella reveals the eye-watering cost of her Naomi Campbell runway look

Winning doesn't come cheap.

2021-01-30

RuPaul's Drag Race UK episode three left viewers stunned this week as early frontrunner Asttina Mandella was booted from the competition after failing to impress the judges on the runway following this week's sewing challenge.

After losing out in the lip sync to south London rival Tia Kofi, Asttina joined Attitude and Jodie Harsh to spill the tea on her time on the show in Tea Time in association with TAIMI, the LGBTQ Dating, Chat and Social Network App. 

Despite Asttina's fatal dip on the runway in episode three, the 27-year-old performer had been crowned the winner of episode one after stunning the judges as supermodel Naomi Campbell in the 'British Queer Icons' challenge.

However, the queen still faced criticism from fellow contestant A'Whora after sporing a jacket from ASOS for her second look, inspired by her hometown.

Reflecting on A'Whora's comments on Tea Time, Asttina shut down the negativity and revealed that while her hometown look may have been high street, her Naomi Campbell cost her an eye-watering four-figure sum.

Image: BBC Pictures/World of Wonder/Guy Levy

Asked whether A'Whora's ASOS criticism was unfair, Asttina replies: "Do you know what, it's not because like Ginny [Lemon] said, it's just like, well, you must be threatened.

"And compared to like, an ASOS jacket, yeah cheap, [but] the Naomi outfit cost me over a grand..."

Asttina's revelation that she spent more than £1000 on a single runway look serves as a reminder as to the financial burden of appearing on RuPaul's Drag Race, something which has attracted increased commentary in recent years: many have argued the show shouldn't be so heavily geared towards rewarding queens who can afford high-end runway looks, and instead focus more on creativity in the workroom.

Asked what Naomi Campbell means to her, Asttina replies: "She represents power for me... As a Black person, we're already so pushed down from the world, you know 'You're there', and she's like 'Well no I'm not, I'm here, you can't ever not [acknowledge] that I'm here, that I live'.

"That's what she represents for me - no matter how hard done by [you are] or how much hardship is placed upon you, you are so powerful that no one can take that away from you.

Subscribe to Attitude on YouTube now to ensure you don't miss your weekly dose of Tea Time in association with TAIMI.

RuPaul's Drag Race UK continues Thursday nights from 7pm on BBC Three in the UK.