Former Timaru man Aubrey Haive is one of three Kiwis vying for RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, which begins screening July 30.
Bailey Dunnage is already a household name in his hometown, and he’ll soon become a well-known face around the world – in a character inspired by a favorite family movie.
Dunnage, 25, who grew up in Timaru, where he was a regular with his guitar on the town’s high street, has been handpicked to be among the Kiwi contenders for this year’s RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.
In RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, the New Zealand and Australian spin-off of the American show RuPaul’s Drag Race and in its second season, the drag queens compete for the crown and the chance to win $100,000.
Now residing in Melbourne, Australia, after completing his studies at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Dunnage began getting into the art of drag in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Dunnage will play Aubrey Haive, a character her father Cam Dunnage of Timaru said was inspired by the Austin Powers movie.
“It’s from Austin Powers, we used to watch it as a family. It comes from the slogan ‘Oh Behave,’” he said.
Dunnage said he was delighted to see Bailey play, with his son making a name for himself in Timaru by performing on Stafford Street to raise money for his education, going to the New Zealand X Factor training camp and part of the city’s glee club.
He said he was “really proud” to see Dunnage doing something he loves.
“I don’t really know what happened or how he did it. [in the show] for privacy reasons,” he said.
“But it would be great to see him play.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under will air on TVNZ+ on July 30.