He arrived in the jungle gift-wrapped in a crate and left with a sashay across the bridge to civilisation. But in 15 days, Queer Eye original Carson Kressley charmed his campmates and Australia in I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! "I love my Australian peeps and I'm glad they love me back," Kressley, 47, tells WHO, while letting us know where we may find him next.
Q: Two weeks and back to civilization!
A: As soon as I got out, I was dying to take a bath, but then I got back to the hotel and they only had a shower, and I was like, 'Whomp whomp.' So I just laid down in there, in the shallow basin and pretended it was a tub. After 15 days of not showering, you definitely want a good soak to get in all the nooks and crannies.
Q: You lost 4 kilograms in 15 days. Did you expect that?
A: It's the fried scorpion diet! And it really works! But no, I didn't. I tried to pack it on a little bit before I got here because all my friends were like, 'Oh my gosh, you've got to gain weight, you don't want to be skinny in the jungle as you'll just be tired and you'll lose muscle.' I was like, 'Oh, no problem. Double cheeseburger, please!' And now I'm glad I'm working it back off because it's getting a bit much.
Q: Your Australian accent is quite good.
A: When I'm around Australian people (puts on accent), I just start talking that way. I just like to fit in and get acquainted with my new mates. I was sitting around camp and thinking, 'Oh my gosh, this sounds totally normal now. When I go back home, everyone's going to sound so boring.'
Q: What new terms or phrases are you now incorporating into your vocabulary?
A: When I go home and I do RuPaul's Drag Race, I'm going to use, 'You smashed it.' We always say, 'You killed it,' 'You slayed,' but I like 'smashed.' It sounds fun. I'm also going to use 'heckers.' 'Oh, God, that was heckers! I couldn't believe it!' They're like, 'It's really hectic.' And I'm like, hectic means there's a lot of traffic, it's very busy, like Black Friday at the mall is hectic. River bungee jumping in Africa is not just hectic, it's insane.
Q: After jungle life, are you looking to do something more glamorous next?
A: Actually, I am. The next thing I probably do will be shooting season 10 of RuPaul's Drag Race, and I think that's going to be the complete opposite. It will be in an air-conditioned studio in LA with lots of wigs and beads. It's like a jungle detox.
Q: Your fellow The New Celebrity Apprentice competitor Boy George will be a coach on the Voice Australia. Would you be amenable to doing TV here?
A: I would love to. I know George is going to totally smash it on the Voice. He's so passionate about music and he has so much expertise and he doesn't mince words when he is critiquing somebody or a song, and I think people will really love getting to know him on the show. If they need somebody to come host it like Carson Daly does in America, Carson Kressley can come do it in Australia!
Q: You meet so many people doing these shows. Who stands out amongst your campmates?
A: For sure, it's a bonding experience when you're trapped in the jungle for weeks at a time. Natalie Bassingthwaighte, I think we're going to be new besties. We both love design and fashion. And Lisa Curry was just so lovely, and I think Kris Smith and I are probably dating. I haven't spoken to him about it but I think he's on board. So everybody says they are coming to New York, so I'm read to have my Aussie houseguests. I have 11 new friends that I've met in the jungle and great people on the crew.
Q: You co-hosted Eurovision coverage in the US last year. What was that like?
A: I did. I didn't even know what was happening or what I was looking at and I was like, wait, Australia is in Eurovision? When did Australia become a part of Europe? I was like, I didn't get the memo! But it was great.
Q: What was the most interesting thing you learnt about yourself and about your fellow campmates through doing this?
A: I think the most powerful thing is that when you're pushed outside your comfort zone, you can do a lot more than you think you can. And I think that can apply to so many things in your life after this experience, whether it's staying fit or working out or trying stand-up or trying things you didn't think you can do, and realizing you probably can do it and if you are not going to do it, it's not going to kill you.
Q: What do you want to conquer?
A: I really want to try stand-up and a lot of people are suggesting it, and I'm like, no, I'm not a comedian. Maybe I'm funny when I'm doing stuff but it's not my training or talent, and it's veyr daunting, but I think I might give it a whirl this year. When you're in there, you have so much time to think and it was definitely on my to do list.
Q: Did Naz give you a few pointers?
A: A couple. I think it's just observing and seeing the humour in just about anything.