gay, gay, gay
The Queens of Drag Race: All Winners Spill the Tea
This season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars premiers on Paramount+ today, and from the looks of the first episode, it just might be the most chaotic one yet. The cast—Shea Couleé, Jaida Essence Hall, The Vivienne, Raja, Monét X Change, Yvie Oddly, Jinkx Monsoon, and Trinity The Tuck—will compete for double the money (the “Queen of Queens” will be awarded $200,000), and for the first time ever, no one will be sent packing until the finale. Last week, Interview did some on-the-ground reporting at the All Winners premiere in NYC to get the tea from the returning queens, and ask them archival questions from the mouth of Andy Warhol. As Trinity The Tuck, winner of All Stars season 4, confirmed to us in an exclusive interview, this season is—spoiler alert—“Very gay!”
INTERVIEW: How did it feel to have your walk validated in real-time by the Miss Naomi Campbell?
SHEA COULEÉ: What an out of body experience. We all fantasize and dream about someone like Naomi Campbell being like, “Your walk is flawless, perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing.” To have it actually happen was incredible. Bitch, I cannot buy that kind of publicity. I dare any fashion house not to cast me in their runway show when the walk of all walks told me that she wouldn’t change a thing. I literally challenge you.
INTERVIEW: Speaking of fashion, how much did you spend on looks for this season?
COULEÉ: [Laughs] Well, I’m not stupid like the rest of these bitches. I bought a house because I’m fiscally responsible. I would say that my package was probably about a fifth of the price of the other girls, which would maybe be about one Birkin. We’re not talking ostrich or crocodile, we’re talking about a basic, beginner Birkin. I pride myself on balling on a budget. I have been fortunate to make relationships with a lot of designers.
INTERVIEW: Who do you stalk?
COULEÉ: Naomi Campbell. Rihanna. Have ya’ll heard of Pasta Queen? Get into Pasta Queen! I have a tradition that started over the pandemic when we were allowed to get together with our bubbles. We had noodle Wednesday and I would either make ramen or pasta. I got into Pasta Queen on TikTok and she changed my life.
INTERVIEW: Lipstick or lipgloss?
COULEÉ: Lipstick, but I wear lipgloss. Lipstick but it looks juicy.
JAIDA ESSENCE HALL
INTERVIEW: When you found out you’d be on this season did you call any drag sisters or friends to get advice or share the news with them?
JAIDA ESSENCE HALL: I’m going to be honest with you all, bitch, you ain’t supposed to talk to nobody about shit you are doing. But if I did talk to a bitch, I would have called my sister Nicky Doll. One, that bitch I can tell anything in the world. Two, that bitch knows anything and everything about fashion. I knew in my mind when they asked me to come back, that there would only be winners there and I said to myself, “these runways are going to be on fire. You need somebody in your corner who is going to make you look fabulous,” and that’s Nicky.
INTERVIEW: What was on your mood board for this season?
ESSENCE HALL: This time, my mood board was coin, opulence, and then a touch of randomness. The first run I did on Drag Race, a lot of people assumed a very certain position about what my drag is, but I’ve always liked to do so many different things in my drag. I’m trying new things that I’ve never done because if you’re doing Drag Race and you’re not challenging yourself, then what the fuck are you doing?
INTERVIEW: When was the last time you lied?
ESSENCE HALL: The other day at the airport when the mother fucking man that was checking my bags asked me how was I doing and I said fine when I really needed to be at a god damn press event. I was panicking and I was not okay.
INTERVIEW: What was the last thing you got in actual, real trouble for?
ESSENCE HALL: I’m grown, honey. When you’re grown you can’t get in trouble, so live your life and do whatever you want to do. Why not?
INTERVIEW: How do you feel after watching the premiere?
THE VIVIENNE: I’m thrilled with how it’s turned out. This is a celebratory season of drag. It’s so refreshing to see a season where we are literally just going in there with the best drag that we can produce and the queens are all helping each other. Drag Race is becoming a toxic playing field of drag in the community. I think the thing that sets this season apart is we’re all winners and nothing is ever going to take that away from us. Nobody was trying to do a Showgirls moment and throw pearls on the runway. It was a beautiful thing to take part in.
INTERVIEW: Which queens are shadier, the U.K. or the U.S. queens?
THE VIVIENNE: I never thought I’d say this, but I think the U.K. queens. The U.S. queens are shady in a fun way. The U.K. queens, in particular Blu Hydrangea.
INTERVIEW: Do Americans have good taste?
THE VIVIENNE: Americans have impeccable taste.
INTERVIEW: How do you feel about being back in the “Werk Room”? It been—well, we won’t say how long…
RAJA: First, terrified. PTSD. Insecurity. A feeling of irrelevance. Then all of a sudden, all of that goes away. Everything goes blank. Any doubt that I had immediately went away when seeing the girls, all of us as a collective together.
INTERVIEW: What was on your mood board this season?
RAJA: This time around, I really wanted to provide an idea of sustainability. With Drag Race now, the big concerns are how much money you can spend, the designers, and how prepared you are. This time, I wanted to show that what I love about drag is being resourceful, inventive, and quick-witted. I’m not relying on money so much as imagination.
INTERVIEW: What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever sent you?
RAJA: I don’t have crazy fans. I don’t allow it. No one’s ever sent me crazy shit.
INTERVIEW: Kim K at the Met Gala—toot or boot?
RAJA: Absolute toot! A reluctant toot because I’m a Gemini so Marilyn Monroe is iconic for me. If I could I would wear the dress at any level, in any way, I understand that passion and urgency. I don’t even care that the back didn’t close. That’s what drag is. Sometimes, we have to throw a fur over it. Also, there’s a part of me that feels that it was a very sacred thing. Maybe it shouldn’t have been worn, maybe it should have been left as is as a beautiful relic. It’s such an important piece of fashion history and it’s like the Shroud of Turin. Not everyone can wear Jesus’s blood cloth. Period.
MONÉT X CHANGE
INTERVIEW: Did you pack any sponges?
MONÉT X CHANGE: I did not bring any sponges, even though I love the sponge. This time on Drag Race, we left the sponges at home, but the tenacity and the fierceness that the sponges represent will always be with me.
INTERVIEW: Was there a winner that wasn’t on the show that you wish was on the show?
X CHANGE: I wish Bob [the Drag Queen] was here and I think RuPaul missed out on a big opportunity to have, in living color, Sibling Rivalry on Paramount+. I get it, it would have been the Bob and Monet show and all these bitches would have been our sons, to quote Nicki Minaj. I really wish Bob was there, because it would have been so much fun to be stupid with him and to see who the real queen of Sibling Rivalry is. To see who really is the gaslight queen of America. We know it’s Bob.
INTERVIEW: Is there anything you regret not doing?
X CHANGE: I regret not blowing that guy in Amsterdam. He was 6’2—this delicious man. I really regret not blowing him. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that opportunity again. Jean-Michel from Amsterdam, hey, girl! I’m married now, but we once had a time.
INTERVIEW: What would you do with 200K?
X CHANGE: With 200K, I would probably invest more into my drag. Drag queens say drag is so expensive and the more you make, the more you end up spending on your drag because more is expected of you. Also, I have some really great projects I’m working on like the Unsung Collective. It’s a nonprofit organization that I work with here in New York City so I would probably try to invest more money into them and have these young musicians be heard.
INTERVIEW: Who would you say is your biggest competition this season?
YVIE ODDLY: Apparently, Michelle Visage. She hates my wig from episode one.
INTERVIEW: How do you feel about the new rules?
ODDLY: I love it! It means I get to show all of my trash, even if none of it looks good. Even if it all falls apart, I am there all season long and you have to deal with me. It lifted the fear of failure that I think we all carry with us every day and it really showed you that all that fear you carry around is just in your head. You don’t have to worry about failing.
INTERVIEW: How many hotels have you been kicked out of?
ODDLY: Only one, I think. I didn’t belong there. I’m Black in America. I don’t know? It was late. I was drunk. I was loud. I didn’t have a room key.
INTERVIEW: Why can’t it just be magic all the time?
ODDLY: Because magic doesn’t make money.
INTERVIEW: What do you do when no one’s watching?
JINKX MONSOON: I play video games alone. [Laughs]
INTERVIEW: Going into this season, your “Snatch Game” is the blueprint. How did you prepare?
MONSOON: For “Snatch Game,” it’s hard to top yourself. I haven’t fully figured out the mechanics yet, but once I do I’m—that was a stupid joke. I think it’s all about building upon the foundation you’ve already laid out.
INTERVIEW: How many tubes of lipstick do you go through a day?
MONSOON: Barely any. I use that liquid lipstick that goes on and never, ever comes off. I’m basically still wearing yesterday’s lipstick.
TRINITY THE TUCK
INTERVIEW: How would you describe the show to a straight person?
TRINITY THE TUCK: It’s very gay! Do you know what that means?
INTERVIEW: How do you get attention?
TRINITY: I beg for it. I get on all fours. I will pay for it. I will scream for it. I will do anything for attention.
INTERVIEW: What is the best time to show up to the afterparty?
TRINITY: Never! Don’t go to the afterparty. I’m trying to leave the afterparty. I’m here at the afterparty and they’re making me do interviews when I’ve been here since five o’clock in the morning.