Heidi N Closet reignites Drag Race cost debate after spending eye-watering sum on All Stars 8

A screengrab of Heidi N Closet entering the RuPaul's Drag Race workroom in episode 1 of All Stars 8

Heidi N Closet has revealed the staggering amount of money she spent on her drag for All Stars 8 – and it’s 10 times as much as she spent on season 12 just a few short years ago.

The fan favourite queen, who viewers saw threaten to quit the competition in episode three of All Stars 8 after she was chosen as ‘safe’ by the judges, shared the respective cost of her two Drag Race appearances on Twitter on Tuesday (30 May).

Heidi confirmed that she spent $4000 (£3227) on drag for her appearance on season 12 in 2020, but forked out a colossal $40,000 (£32,266) on her looks before entering the All Stars 8 workroom.

As an added kicker, Heidi claimed she’d also cancelled “60,000 dollars worth of gigs” in order to film the latest series of the competition.

Asked by a Twitter user why she spent so much on the contest, Heidi, who placed 6th on season 12, replied: “Because In REALITY the only reasons I was in the bottom on season 12 was my runways and I wanted to make sure that wasn’t the case this time around.

“I refuse to be put in the bottom not because of my talent but because of my clothes”.

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Asked by another Twitter user whether “it was worth spending that much money”, Heidi replied defiantly: “I can say I’m proud of everything so yes”.

Heidi N Closet sips a drink in Untucked following the latest episode of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 8.
Heidi N Closet claims to have forked out $40,000 (£32,266) on her All Stars 8 looks. (World of Wonder)

The cost of appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race has long been a source of contention among queens and fans alike, with season 15 star Mistress Isabelle Brooks recently sparking outcry after revealing she spent $100,000 (£80,561) on her drag for the season.

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With a queen sent home each week, many of the contestants looks never even make it to the Drag Race runway – though the introduction of the ‘Fame Games’ competition on All Stars 8 is at least giving axed queens the chance to showcase their work this time around.

Despite the horrified reaction of many fans to Heidi’s spending reveal, the star’s All Stars 8 sister and week one challenge winner Kahanna Montrese revealed she’d spent the same amount on the series.

“I spent the exact same but it was so worth it!” the former season 11 star wrote in reply to Heidi’s original tweet.

Not all queens have felt the need to drop the big bucks on Drag Race runways, however.

Ra’Jah O’Hara, who appeared on season 11 and All Stars 6 before finally claiming a crown on Canada’s Drag Race vs The World last year, replied to Heidi with her own, relatively modest, receipts.

As well as reconfirming that she’d spent a mere $600 (£484) on looks for All Stars 6, renowned seamstress Ra’Jah revealed that her bills for season 11 totalled $1500 (£1211) and $2000 (£1615) respectively.

“Worth every penny”, the queen added.

Former Drag Race stars have previously called on the show to provide contestants with a set budget to spend on drag, to prevent the competition being shaped by who has the most money.

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Some Twitter users echoed those demands after Heidi’s tweet on Tuesday, with one writing: “Omg. World of wonder needs to give you all $20K for costumes if they want u on their shows”.

Heidi’s tweet came on the same day that RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 winner and All Stars 7 contestant Yvie Oddly launched a blistering attack on the franchise, claiming that it took “over a year” for her to be paid her $100,000 (about £75,000 at the time) winner’s prize money.

In a scathing Twitter thread, Oddly wrote: “The producers are often the greediest, most-calculating, capitalist culture thieves.

Yvie Oddly did not hold back as she came for the Drag Race producers. (Logo Television Network)
Yvie Oddly won RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 and later appeared on All Stars 7. (Logo Television Network)

“They f**k with real people’s lives, career opportunities and health. They drive themselves home in their luxury cars when their contestants are sleep-deprived, depressed and drastically underpaid for their contributions to the cultural phenomenon.

“Then they tell themselves they’re good people for showcasing queer content and creating opportunities for us, while ignoring the irreparable damage they cause, and creating a chokehold monopoly on how drag artists can succeed.”

Other Drag Race stars who’ve previously revealed how much they’ve spent on the show include Drag Race UK vs The World winner Blu Hydrangea, who says she spent around £23,000 on the international edition of the franchise, and Gottmik, who claims to have dropped $20,000 on season 13.

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8 continues on Fridays on Paramount+ in the US and on WOW Presents Plus in the UK and internationally.

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