RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 contestant Hershii LiqCour-Jeté, who was the first queen to leave the season last week (19 January), has revealed that she had to sell her car to afford to compete.
Hershii LiqCour-Jeté, drag sister of season 14 star Kornbread, managed to survive the talent show challenge in the first episode, but was sent home after landing in the bottom two during the Ball challenge.
She lip-synced against fellow contestant Geneva Karr to Ava Max’s “Maybe You’re The Problem”, and despite some fans suggesting she won the battle, host RuPaul told her to sashay away.
Despite only appearing in two episodes, the cost of taking part in the drag contest was huge, and reportedly left her without a car.
Hershii LiqCour-Jeté had to sell her car to compete on Drag Race. (YouTube/RuPaul’s Drag Race)
According to GAYBible, Hershii appeared in a TikTok live on Saturday (20 January) to reveal that she sold her car in order to pay for some of the looks that would have been used on the Drag Race runway.
She suggested that the season 16 queens were told to bring a minimum of 14 looks for the competition, with just a few weeks to prepare before flying out to film it.
In recent years, numerous queens across the franchise have stressed how expensive it is take part in the show, with queens frequently spending tens of thousands on outfits, wigs, and accessories.
Following her appearance on All Stars 8 last year, fan favourite Heidi N Closet shared that she’d forked out an eye-watering $40,000 (£31,432) on looks after losing $60,000 (£47,157) in missed gigs to film the show.
Shockingly, that’s not even the highest cost incurred by Drag Race alumni: season 15 star Mistress Isabelle Brooks revealed that she spent a staggering $100,000 (£78,580) on her looks, while Canada’s Drag Race winner Icesis Couture admitted to spending $70,000 Canadian dollars (£40,812) to pay for garments for her appearance on Canada’s Drag Race vs. The World.
Recently, Drag Race UK vs. The World star Gothy Kendoll revealed to PinkNews that she shed £20,000 for looks on the upcoming season.
While some queens famously manage to spend less by making the majority of their looks – Ra’jah O’Hara once revealed that she spent just $600 for her All Stars 6 outfits – Hershii explained in her live video that being a crafty queen isn’t enough.
Often, queens who make their own looks have to fork out hundreds or even thousands on fabrics, mannequins, zippers, sewing kits and more.
The price of taking part in Drag Race continually riles the fandom up, with one fan calling it “so unfair” to have design challenges early on in the competition, when the queens have already spent money buying custom looks.
However, in response to the fan, Hershii urged that she would “do it again”.
“Let me be clear. I don’t need anybody feeling sorry for me. I knew what I risked but this was an opportunity I literally could not afford to pass up when it was offered to me,” she wrote in a post on Twitter/X.
“To change not only my life but my family… no way was I saying no,” she added.
“And I would do it again, this experience has been priceless to me. (Nah it was expensive as hell) but I honestly would not trade it for anything,” she explained, adding that the looks she wore on the show and her placement in the competition do not define her drag talent.
“You don’t know how many years I waited for this chance and I took it. A car ain’t nothing but a material item, I had 5, I’ll get another when I’m ready,” she rounded off.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 continues this Friday on MTV in the US and will be available to stream on WOw Presents Plus in the UK from Saturday.