Joining me this week to talk Drag Race is Kim Chi! She’s a phenomenal Chicago queen who performs all over. She’s amazing.
Chad: So, I’m kind of sick of all the constant discussion about this season, whether it’s any good, and “When is Trixie coming back?”. At least this week, we finally have an answer.
Kim: In a season filled with group acting challenges, this episode finally gave me everything I needed! We got to see more of the eliminated queens’ personalities and the remaining queens’ creativity and crafting skills!
Chad: I know! FINALLY! Some CRAFTING! Design! And it was really fabulous to see all those girls together again. UNTUCKED was particularly special and filled me with goodness. Now, when I heard that there would be this conjoined twin challenge, I was kind of hoping that the eliminated queen would get to make over her partner! Wouldn’t you have killed to see Trixie paint Pearl?
Kim: That would’ve been great, but that could’ve gone wrong in so many ways! This season’s queens aren’t as big of saboteurs as the previous seasons, but I can just imagine some eliminated queen painting a busted mug on a polished queen out of spite. Who wants to see Miss Fame with a beard, anyway?
Chad: Ha! Yeah, that’s very true. And I think the top 7 did a superb job. How weird is it for a queen to have someone else do their makeup? Is it uncomfortable? Fun?
Kim: I think it depends on the queen. In the pageant system, a lot of the girls get their mug painted by a make up artist or another queen whose mug they admire in order to bring up their level of polish. Some queens will never have another queen paint their mug in order to continuously improve their skills and hone their signature make up style. When I first started, Pearl and Kahmora Hall painted my face just to show me how they do their mug, and it was a great learning experience for me! I think it’s refreshing to see different products and different skills being done to yourself to expose you to a variety of techniques.
Chad: Do you think any of the queens gave their twin a particularly notable transformation? Taught them a few new tricks?
Kim: Trixie’s transformation was definitely notable! We’re so used to seeing her with cartoony, deranged make up, it was a refreshing change of pace to see her with no bottom eyeliner and white waterline. I’m sure they were on a time crunch to get everything done, so I don’t necessarily know if anyone learned new tricks, but I thought everyone looked amazing!
Chad: Agreed! I love Trixie’s usual look, but she and Pearl did such a great job of giving themselves enough of a family resemblance that it really worked!
Kim: Also, their look had a strong concept and a visual narrative that fit both of their drag personas really well.
Chad: Katya and Kasha really stole the show, too! I feel like they were a very, very close second. But Trixie’s elimination always felt very weird to me, and it seemed like a setup to her inevitable return.
Kim: Trixie hardly got a storyline before her elimination, which was very weird to me, as well. I know her very well, and she’s an extremely funny person with a sick, twisted sense of humor, and that hardly got portrayed on the show prior to her elimination. Katya/Kasha’s look had a strong visual narrative as well, but Pearl and Trixie managed to serve both glamour, camp and comedy, which is why I think they ultimately won.
Chad: Yeah, that’s a good point. Although twins, they managed to serve two very different, but related, looks. What do you think Trixie will make of her second chance?
Kim: I think Trixie will definitely make the most out of her second chance! I can’t think of another person who’s more deserving of this opportunity. For the first three years of her doing drag, lots of people in her hometown didn’t understand her look or her sense of humor, and she really had to fight for her existence. Once she started performing in Chicago, everything changed. People were responding extremely well to her numbers, and she built quite a fanbase. Even though it would cost her a lot of money to travel into the city every weekend, she would take all of her drag on a train or a bus, come down here for a booking only to head right back home with no money in her pocket. She has such a strong work ethic, it’s mind blowing to me, because I’ve never seen anyone who worked as hard as she did. One time, her bus broke down on the highway, so she got off and walked down the ramp to catch a cab so she could make it to the gig. Another time, Amtrak lost her luggage, so she whipped up a quick outfit out of things she had laying around and did her make up with cotton swabs. Which is why it broke my heart to see her go on episode four. She hustles so much and is so humble, I really want her to take this crown and showcase her talent to the world. Even though she’s so well known now, she manages to stay the exact same person she was before. Self sufficient, easy going, and always punctual.
Chad: I’m hoping that Trixie really has a chance to shine in next week’s John Waters challenge! Man, I can only imagine what Ginger, Katya, and Trixie will cook up for that! It seems like it will be perfect for their respective styles and sensibilities.
Kim: Trixie will ace the John Waters challenge! Her deranged sense of humor will be perfect for it!
Chad: Yeah, Trixie is amazing. I’m so glad I got to see her perform in Chicago before she got too famous for us! But seriously, for the record: Was that your green dress she was sent home in?
Kim: Everyone assumes that dress is mine, but it’s Trixie’s dress that I borrowed! She told me to hold onto it as long as I want, and after episode four, it all made sense. I’m assuming she doesn’t want to travel in the dress she got eliminated in! Come on, cultural sensitivity!
Chad: Well, you ARE the secret asian queen of Season 7! Has it been weird to see your name keep popping up in Drag Race forums this season? Flattering? Funny?
Kim: I was there, you never saw me because I managed to evade the camera with my secret ninja skills! It is really flattering, and I’m grateful, but it is a bit overwhelming! I can’t fly, teleport or raise anyone from the dead. I’m just an Asian man in a wig doing k-pop numbers and wearing big, crazy outfits.
Chad: Wait, you’re a MAN?
Kim: Shhh it’s a secret. Secret Asian queen full of manly secrets
Chad: So, aside from your frenemy Trixie, is there anyone else you’re rooting for this season?
Kim: With every episode, I am extremely impressed and inspired by Violet’s looks! For someone so young, her taste level and execution are impeccable! I will go as far as to say some of her looks are legendary! Miss Fame is incredibly sweet and quirky. I enjoy every moment she’s talking on the screen. Pearl’s been coming out of her shell (pun intended) and the audience is finally able to see the fun, quirky side of her.
Chad: I agree that Violet is pretty much amazing, and I love that she’s making an effort to open up and show some warmth to the other queens. She’ll clearly always have an attitude, but maybe she deserves it! I agree that Miss Fame is phenomenal. Do you think Ru is giving her a hard time with that goddamn “head” joke?
Kim: She gave me good head with the knife look last week.
Chad: I think if Ru kept asking me “How is your head?” I would just try to keep coming up with more deranged answers. Like, “Toothy.” “A little drooly.” “There may be blood.”
Kim: LOL! let’s get you on this show so you can draw yourself every week
Chad: Ugh, self portraits are so indulgent!
Kim: Aren’t all drag queens a little self-indulgent to a degree, though? Being creatures of vanity and all?
Chad: I think it’s fair to say that, yes, when one spends hours a day on their makeup, they might be a little preoccupied with their looks!
Kim: Some of us, not enough time on our make up.
Kim: Oh, and how could I forget Katya, who is basically a one-liner factory?
Chad: I’m SO glad to see that she seems to have loosened up over the last few episodes. She seems to have more fun with the judges on the runway, and she got major props from the other queens this week in Untucked! Her own neuroses are clearly her worst enemy, since everyone else loves the hell out of her.
Kim: Her humor never seems forced, and it feels authentic to her. I can’t wait to see all the other jokes she’s got in her head!
Chad: Yeah, she seems endlessly authentic. And she almost never turns her humor on the other queens – it’s pretty much always endearingly self-deprecating. She has a very weird, witty, meta sense of humor as a drag queen, almost like Alaska. And here’s hoping she ascends to super stardom like her, too!
Kim: If you can’t make fun of yourself, how in the hell are you gonna make fun of someone else, right?
Kim will be at Hysteria by the Bad Kids collective at the Metro Bar in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 4th! She’ll be hosting GayGlow at Hydrate on June 5th, Milwaukee Pride on June 6th, and then Iowa City Pride (with Trixie, Katya, and Sasha Belle) on June 18th! She’ll be hosting Neverland’s Bougie Ball on June 27th and the Chicago Pride closing party June 28th.
She’s also a regular performer at Trannika’s Most Wanted everything third Monday at Scarlet in Chicago, and at Berlin’s Drag Matinee on Sundays!
As always, you can find my art on my Etsy store! And you can find ME at C2E2 in Chicago this weekend!! I’ll be in Artist Alley, Table A-4! I’ll have my queen art and comics, and I’m dying to meet all of you.
Last week, I launched an exciting new collaborative comic project called The Cardboard Kingdom! I’m seeking your story ideas for some imaginative, fun children’s comics! Click here to find out more and submit your stories!
Hello! Due to scheduling conflicts, I wasn’t able to do an interview discussion for this week’s episode.
The Snatch Game is always a hot mess, but usually there’s at least one shining star who emerges above the fray. In Season 5, it was Jinkx, and in Season 6, BenDeLaCreme stole the show, but Adore and Bianca were both magnificent, too. This season, I thought a lot of the performances were solid, but not stellar. I would have picked Katya for the win, but that’s true pretty much every week.
I was very surprised and sorry to see Max go. Some queens seem to get second and third chances on this show, but Max didn’t. Although I think she has the most intriguing aesthetic this season, she was perhaps too reserved a character to make for good reality television.
As always, you can find all my latest art on Etsy! You’ll also be able to find me at C2E2 in Chicago next week! I’ll be in Artist Alley, Table A4.
I’ll also be announcing a super-exciting new comics project tomorrow. So stay tuned!!
Joining me to talk Drag Race this week is Shea Couleé, one of my absolute favorite queens in Chicago!
Chad: I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints about this season. And while I do think there have been issues with the pacing, with Ru’s decisions, and with the constant group challenges, this episode was a real turning point for me. What are your thoughts on the season so far?
Shea: The jury is still out on this season. I want to like it, really I do. I feel like having known Trixie and Pearl beforehand really made me wanna be invested in the show. But as of right now, I feel like I am having a hard time staying invested on the journey of Season 7.
Chad: Fair enough. Did this episode stand out to you, or not? I got really engaged in Jaidynn’s storyline and performance. The runway slayed me. And for once, Ru made a decision I agreed with.
Shea: I really liked hearing more about Jaidynn. I struggle with the same lack of support from my family due to a strict Christian upbringing, and it allowed me to identify with her more. I really do like Jaidynn. I find her quite lovable, and her humility and passion are very endearing.
Shea: The group challenges thus far, I feel, have made it difficult for the queens to stand out on their own. I feel like they’re not getting the chance to shine and do what they really feel represents themselves because they are confined to group challenges.
Chad: Yeah, agreed. It can make for good drama when the queens butt heads and are forced to work together, but I think it’s been a bit overdone. Even Violet said so!
Shea: Oh yeah! But all of the conflicts the producers are highlighting seem snatched from thin air. They open up a storyline of conflict between queens each episode, and they never see it through. There’s not conclusion, they never really address it the next episode, and then start something new. It’s all just so trivial and transparent.
Chad: Yeah, I guess that’s why this episode felt like a breath of fresh air. Kind of. Jaidynn has her very real struggles. Miss Fame is her own worst enemy. Max had his issues with the other queen’s raunchiness.
Shea: Yeah? Like why was max’s disinterest in talking about sex with the other queens even a storyline?
Chad: Well, I think it’s kind of interesting, because Max’s relationship to the other queens has been an ongoing issue. Whether they get her or not, whether they think she’s uptight.
Shea: What are the producers trying to show us with Max? I don’t get the direction Max’s storyline is going. Frankly, I’m bored.
Chad: Well, here’s my take on Max: He’s an artist. Of a different kind than we usually see on this show. I really live for most of his runway looks. Just really different, lovely stuff. A very refined and unusual aesthetic.
Shea: I have really liked them. I have.
Chad: The issue of Max’s relationship to the other queens and to their raunchy conversations is intriguing to me because that sort of thing has been on my mind: Queens tend to favor raunchy humor, they can get up to sexual hijinks onstage, and even with the audience. By hijinks, I just mean flirtation, touching, etc. Mostly.
Chad: And where do you draw the line as a performer? What if that’s not your bag?
Shea: Like for me, though my character is very sexy, I’m careful about how raunchy my interactions are with people because they can easily take it overboard. I think for Drag, no comedy should really be off limits. It’s all about the approach and having a good understanding of your audience. A good performer knows when to draw the line. I may touch a patron, but it’s nothing more than a face caress, a hand on the shoulder, or a kiss on the cheek. It’s all very innocent – I don’t have to try to be raunchy, because when you see me, you just get it.
Chad: Ha! I do.
Shea: And people also get that I am not the type of girl who will tolerate someone getting fresh with her. I’ll put you in your place really quick if I feel you’re being disrespectful.
Chad: Good to hear! But to sum up: you’re not into Max and whatever story is being told about her this season?
Shea: I’m not. I wish I was. I wish that we were given more insight to the artist Max is. But her edit is just not doing her any favors. I feel like I’m not going to get anything more out of Max, and I’m bored…
Chad: Do you think it’s fair to criticize her for the consistency of her runway looks and gray hair?
Shea: No. Pearl is always blonde? So is RUPAUL. Michele just likes to critique queens who don’t fit her aesthetic for drag
Chad: I guess that the gray hair is more distinctive than a typical blond wig, so it sticks out more.
Chad: So, you mentioned that a lot of the conflicts and storylines so far have lacked teeth. However, it does seem like a recurring issue is Pearl’s attitude and efforts to open up more. What do you make of her time on the show?
Shea: That’s just Pearl. I think the same thing happened to her in Chicago – Girls are rattled by her confidence. And when that happens, people put a target on your back, so that they can highlight any weaknesses there are. Pearl’s attitude is obviously a defense mechanism. She puts up a wall and looks down her nose so as to not appear weak or vulnerable. But we saw that wall break after her lip sync against Trixie.
Chad: Yeah, good point. She’s SUCH a divisive queen. She has a ton of vocal fans, a lot of people who are over her, and a whole lot more people who like to Photoshop her face anywhere and everywhere
Shea:She is definitely the meme queen for season 7.
Chad: I think it’s her irreverence, the fact that she doesn’t seem to take things seriously. Some people love it that she talks back to Mama Ru, whereas others see that as a cardinal sin.
Shea: But being polarizing keeps people talking, and that’s what you want, so that you can continue getting booked after your season is over…
Chad: Yeah, and I don’t think she has anything to worry about in that regard.
Shea: Nah. She’ll be fine.
Chad: Another figure I’ve been fascinated by this season has been Miss Fame.
Shea: OMG YEAH!
Chad: I had assumed we wouldn’t see much personality from her, but man! She’s such a character!
Shea: Not what I expected her to be like. She’s a whackadoodle, and I find it endearing.
Chad: I can totally understand the other queens’ frustration with her, but I find her really endearing, too.
Shea: I don’t know what planet she’s from, but I’m glad she picked Earth to visit.
Chad: Ross’s reply to her emotional explosion was priceless: “I feel like I’m dating you.”
Shea: I KNOW! I died! I love that we get more Ross this season. I love him…
Chad: The other main queens that I drew this week and want to talk about are Violet and Katya. And Kennedy’s RIDICULOUS runway look.
Shea: Kennedy was a hot mess.
Chad: She kept explaining the story behind her runway outfit, and I JUST DIDN’T GET IT. She was a dead rooster? She was a dead rooster. She died of cock.
Shea: She was a mess. She died of bad taste.
Shea: These challenges have been very acting heavy this season. I know one of the challenge producers, and literally ALL of them are writers, actors, and comedians with theatre and film backgrounds. So naturally, they think about writing scripts and creating stories before they think about making looks out of garbage and hand-me-downs.
Chad: You know what we HAVEN’T seen at all this season? A photo challenge.
Chad: Or even a good design challenge.
Shea: I don’t know if we really will.
Chad: Is that why the runway looks usually seem like an afterthought?
Shea: Yeah, but I was into the runway this week, though some girls clearly missed the point. I get that the theme is death. But some of them forgot completely about GLAMOUR!
Chad: I thought the runway looks were REALLY strong!
Shea: Same, same.
Chad: Yeah, Kennedy’s was some crazy roadkill catastrophe. Kandy’s was sleek, but too simple.
Shea: It looked so cheap. My mom used the fabric from Kandy’s dress to make throw pillows in the guest bedroom at our house. NO JOKE.
Chad: Ginger’s was a little weird. Was she eaten by a bear? Because it looks more like she had killed a bear and was wearing its hide.
Shea: Agreed! That coat is from fucking URBAN OUTFITTER.
Chad: But Katya, Max, Violet, Pearl, and Fame. They all got it! Katya wasn’t necessarily GLAMOROUS, but come on.
Shea: Agreed. I LAUGHED out loud when I saw her.
Chad: I really liked Jaidynn’s, though it didn’t deliver on the glamour as much.
Shea: I guess it’s not ALL about the glamour. But you have to SELL IT.
Chad: Right. Pearl’s outfit was apparently thrown together at the last minute (as discussed in Untucked) but her crazy runway walk sold it.
Shea: Totally. You HAVE to, or no one will care.
Shea Couleé hosts #FACE every Wednesday at Hydrate in Chicago! She’s in The Naughty Little Cabaret this Saturday at Mother’s Bar. You can catch her on Tony Soto Show, out every Wednesday. And you can find her on Facebook and Twitter!
My Drag Race art is available on posters, prints, and postcards! Find them at my Etsy Store!
Joining me this week is Terry Blas! He’s a cartoonist and a friend — we talk about this week’s episode, missing Trixie, and drawing drag queens.
Chad: So, Terry, how much did you miss Trixie this episode?
Terry: So much I can’t even describe. She was definitely missed and I think she would have really soared in the challenge this episode. I still don’t understand her elimination.
Chad: Yeah, you and I both saw her perform in Seattle last week, and she read the other queens to filth!
Terry: It was incredible to see her perform. Especially the week after her elimination. Her material was so on point and funny. I’m glad you and I got a glimpse of what else she could have brought to the show.
Chad: So, wasn’t it nice that the mini-challenge featured an homage to a dedicated fan artist of the Drag Race? Did your heart skip a beat when Ru was announcing it?
Terry: Yes! I love that so many people do Drag Race fan art now and it’s always nice to see that showcased on the actual show. The paper outfits really are fun and amazing! I especially love the Klaus Nomi Malone Courtney look, and of course the ones the queens made were really fun. I thought they were all really funny.
Chad: Yeah, I was really impressed when I first saw those paper pieces last season! Obviously, none of the queens displayed the same artistry, but I loved Katya and Kasha’s schtick– it convinced me that they were going to dominate the main challenge! What did you think of Pearl this episode?
Terry: You know, I like the looks Pearl has shown so far (especially that bearded Mugatu look), but in this episode, it became really obvious that she has a lot of growing to do. She is still relying on RuPaul and other queens to bolster her up and give her confidence. It reminds me of Ru’s Season 1 rant during the reunion where she yelled at Tammy Brown: “It’s not my job to make you feel good all the time!” During her confessional she had this Laganja moment of: “Back home everybody loves me! I don’t understand!” But really, that doesn’t mean anything when you’re on this show.
Chad: Huh, I can definitely see that. It seems like both Violet and Pearl are these really young, talented queens with a lot of shit to figure out. We saw Violet express that in Untucked, and Pearl dealt with it in the main episode. Honestly, I was pretty stunned at her showdown with Ru in the workroom. She seems pretty much totally oblivious or uninterested in following the rules of reality television or following the prompts of the producers. You saw it in her “Meet the Queens” videos, passing on questions, essentially not giving one shit.
Terry: Right. In one way she is not playing by the rules of the show, but in another way that’s not helping her progress.
Chad: What do you think made her come back to the workroom after her abrupt departure?
Terry: I think Pearl needed a cry and a cigarette, and then she was fine. She mentioned in Untucked that she didn’t want to look back and feel like she had wasted the opportunity she had been given, and I think that was what did it. And probably the glaring looks from Mrs. Kasha Davis.
Chad: Yeah, Mrs. Davis wasn’t happy with Pearl. Did you know that she’s auditioned seven times? Did she mention that?
Terry: She might have slipped it in there a few times. She’s definitely worked hard to get on the show, so I can see why she’d be frustrated at some of the other queens who feel like giving up or going home.
Chad: Well, speaking of Kasha, what do you make of her time on the show?
Terry: I think she could have lasted a bit longer. Again, I don’t understand this week’s elimination. Looking down the road, I don’t see us getting much out of Kandy Ho. I had a strange feeling that Kasha would be leaving, though, when before the intro music she had beef with another contestant… because Tempest did in episode one, and Sasha did in episode two.
Chad: Yeah, I agree that Kasha could probably offer more to the show than Kandy at this point. But I felt like their lip sync performances were both really good, so it could have gone either way. Now, I really liked the Despy challenge. What about you?
Terry: I’m still not sure. It’s all very vague. What IS a Despy anyway? Essentially, it was a comedy/joke writing challenge disguised as an award show. It was presented in an entertaining way, but I did miss the standard runway and runway music. What did you like about it?
Chad: Well, frankly, when Ru explained the main challenge, I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. However, once it was underway, I thought it was a cleverly constructed challenge that essentially revolved around reading all the other queens. It was fun to see the queens struggle with jokes in the workroom. However, I felt like Kathy Griffin was instructed to just yell nonsense at the queens rather than be remotely helpful.
Terry: One thing I did like was how it showed us what a good attitude Jaidynn had. Essentially, she said, “I don’t know how to write jokes but I’m gonna sit down and do this!” She’s really growing on me ’cause of her positive attitude.
Chad: Frankly, I love Jaidynn. Ever since her “Meet the Queens” video, I’ve been digging her expressivity and enthusiasm. I’m surprised she’s not a bigger presence on the show!
Terry: It’s always hard for some of them to shine, especially early on when there are so many of them there.
Chad: Yeah, she’s not a “funny queen” in that she struggles to write a joke, but she’s just good TV!
Terry: As I was watching this episode, I was struggling to pick out visually interesting looks that I would want to draw, so I was curious to hear what you thought of the runway looks.
Chad: Well, I mean, there weren’t really runway looks. The episode was like Season 5’s roast of Ru. They just wore the same outfits they had for the main challenge. But I’m doing a similar thing as I did back then — rather than focus on style, I’m featuring my favorite jokes alongside the queens.
Chad: You know who else I really enjoyed this week? Miss Fame.
Terry: Miss Fame and the cuts of all her chicken love?
Chad: Of the three “Glamour Girls,” she actually seems the most extroverted and quirky.
Terry: I think Miss Fame is a bit more goofy than she realizes. I like that aspect of her. She could really be dynamite if she embraces that a bit more.
Chad: You know who her personality reminds me of? Joslyn Fox! In the way that she’s unabashedly goofy and enthusiastic, even if she’s not always in on the joke.
Terry: Totally. Very much like Joslyn.
Chad: Terry, you were raised in Idaho, right? Did you ever raise chickens?
Terry: HAHAH! Yes, I was raised in Idaho. No chickens. There are a lot of sheep and horses and llamas in Boise where I grew up, though. Picture Napoleon Dynamite.
Chad: Excellent. I grew up in central Wisconsin, so it was mostly just cows there.
Terry: Were you surprised to see a video from home for one of the contestants in this Untucked?
Chad: I was, yes.
Terry: I wasn’t sure if they were going to do it. We hadn’t seen one, yet, despite Ginger mentioning that Kasha got one last week, which we obviously didn’t see.
Chad: Especially because it was so abrupt! One minute, we’re having this amazing moment with Violet, and all of a sudden, it was Ginger’s time to cry.
Terry: Totally! This was supposed to be Violet’s moment! From what we are being shown, I’m predicting Ginger in the top 3 at least.
Chad: Yeah, I have this gut feeling that she’ll win this season. And Untucked helped solidify that. I think she’s led a hard life, dealt with a lot of challenges, and she’s emerged as a talented performer with a huge heart! She’s just the kind of queen who can excel at challenges and get the audience to really root for her.
Terry: I really love her. Apparently, she does all these Disney songs which I’d love to see, but I’ll have to watch them on YouTube. Clearly, I don’t think anyone at Logo is getting the rights to songs from Frozen. Which is sort of an interesting point about the show I guess. Sometimes, we never really get to see what makes some of these queens so amazing in their own shows. Ginger can’t do Disney on Drag Race. A lot of these queens who do one woman comedy shows that are brilliant aren’t going to be showcased in that way for television. It makes me feel like it’s really important to still go out and support the queens at their clubs when they perform.
Chad: Yeah, absolutely. And I always hope that the queens use their notoriety from the show to go on and perform in whatever crazy plays, films, or quirky YouTube videos that they want!
Chad: You know who I thought was going to win this challenge? Katya.
Terry: I thought she would win the challenge too! But I also thought Jaidynn would win last week. I don’t understand some of the decisions being made.
Chad: Well, I mean… clearly, the winners and losers, week to week, are specifically chosen to highlight certain storylines and don’t actually result from the merits of the performances.
Terry: I would definitely agree with that.
Chad: It’s been true of past seasons, but it seems to come up every week in Season 7. Queens who surpass expectations are chosen over other queens who may have objectively done much better. I thought Katya’s jokes slayed, especially her Bob Ross “acceptance speech” It was a great dose of her absurdist humor that she highlights in her YouTube videos and her Tumblr.
Terry: Yes, I loved that Katya won a Despy and got to throw out a few more jokes. She is emerging as another contestant I think will go far, and likely be top 3.
Chad: Here’s hoping!
Terry: And frankly, I liked her wig and how “flat” it was. It was a different look from all the big drag hair we often see.
Chad: Yeah, she looked good, girl. It was literally the only complaint the judges had for her.
Terry: She might have been my favorite look from last night.
Chad: I thought Pearl looked especially stunning last night, as did Max.Violet was divine. That gown was ridiculous. As an artist, which queen’s likeness most appeals to you?
Terry: Well, Trixie, obviously. I wish we’d gotten more episodes so we could have had more looks, but for me, she had the most fully realized drag character and used it well in the challenges. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d like Max, but I really do, and I’ll be drawing her, too. I’m surprised Michelle didn’t read her for wearing a gray wig again. I actually think Max would looks great as a redhead, at least just once. I also have to admit I like Pearl’s looks. They’re striking.
Chad: Yeah, you know something funny? When Pearl first started performing in Chicago, she only ever wore white outfits. It was really striking, but it was clear that, if you want to have some versatility and perform frequently, you need more variety! I wonder whether Max’s preference for gray wigs will remain when he’s performing every night in the wake of the Drag Race. Because my impression is that he didn’t perform in drag very regularly prior to the show.
Terry: Yeah, after so many performances, you’re probably just tired of doing something similar over and over.
Chad: And eventually the audience (or Michelle Visage) will want to see something else!
Terry: I think Max is probably smart for having this branded gray, black, and white look… but I see her changing it up after a while.
Chad: That being said, aside from the consistent hair color, I think Max has demonstrated a wide range of looks and can pretty much rule the runway. Who do you think would be the hardest to draw of Season 7?
Terry: I want to draw Ginger, but I think she might difficult to draw. She and Kennedy Davenport seem to have striking features I’m not sure I’d capture well.
Chad: Yeah, I find both pretty difficult to draw. Usually, the really distinctive queens are the easiest, but there’s something about both those queens that’s still a challenge! Katya, despite being one of my favorites, is still really hard for me to capture. Because how do you make her look different than the other “Pretty blonde” queens?
Terry: But you still do it well. (Chad’s note: Not this week!)
Chad: Well, I favor her crazy looks, which tend to be easier.
Terry: Yeah, it’s a little easier, I suppose, when she comes out in a Russian military-inspired outfit for people to recognize: That’s Katya. Do you feel less pressure in creating a likeness when there is a crazy outfit, or do you always feel like it’s gotta be perfect?
Chad: That’s a good question! I started drawing the Drag Race in Season 3, where Raja and Manila both wore such distinctive outfits that you didn’t need a good facial likeness to make them recognizable. Which was ideal, since my drawing skills were pretty rudimentary back then!
I do definitely feel more pressure to capture a likeness when the image is all about glamour. Like, with someone like Pearl, who paints her own face so damn well, how do you match that?
Terry: I know. I feel that pressure, but sometimes I just have to tell myself, “done is beautiful too,” and move on.
Chad: Ha! Good words to live by.
Check out Terry’s comics, illustrations, and depictions of Drag Race queens at his website! (Pictured to the right is his illustration of Trixie’s “Jet Set” look!)
As always, you can get posters, prints, and postcards of my Drag Race work at my Etsy store!
Joining me this week is Dixie Lynn Cartwright! She’s a real sweetheart when she’s not being a total a#%hole. But seriously, she’s great. Generally.
Chad: So, Dixie, we OBVIOUSLY have a lot to discuss/critique/bitch about in this episode.
Dixie: Lord, yes.
Chad: But I wanted to speak with you in the first place because of your own work writing and performing song parodies. So, before we gnash teeth and rend our clothes, let’s talk about this week’s challenge.
Dixie: Well, first off, I love that the producers are catching on to this ridiculous, fun, stupid side of drag that I adore. Obviously, DWV brought drag musical parodies to a whole ‘notha level, but it’s really grown. I think it’s incredibly exciting to be able to use comedy and music to creatively tell a story or a dumb joke. It’s my drag dream come true.
Chad: I liked the general concepts of the different parodies. I thought “Tan With You” wasn’t brilliant, but it had funny visuals and slapstick goofiness. The “Sissy That Walk” parody was really smart, since impersonations are an endless source of material. And I LOVED the idea of Ginger’s team riffing on Ru’s various merchandising and licensing hijinks.
Dixie: Which one was your favorite?
Chad: Overall, my favorite was actually “Get Ready to Clock.” Even though those three queens were stuck with each other and seemed an odd match, I found all three impersonations really funny and spot-on. What about you?
Dixie: I agree, totally. I think “Get Ready To Clock” was fully developed and the girls were completely focused on their characters. I didn’t agree with the critiques of Max at all. Courtney is not a large character. Doing an Australian accent with a blonde wig and some lip gloss is the epitome of Courtney (ooo… is that a read?). I thought everyone did well. Violet, although not my favorite, did her best Adore, and I didn’t mind it. I agree with Michelle that she could’ve done more. The parody that I was MOST excited about was “Tan With You.”
Chad: Oh yeah?
Dixie: It’s a concept that is right up my alley. It’s ridiculous, it ridicules trainwreck Z-list celebrities with felony convictions, and it has the potential for great sight gags.
Chad: Did they deliver?
Dixie: Outside of Katya, no… no, they didn’t deliver.
Chad: Katya’s quirky characters are a gift to us all. Bless that bitch.
Dixie: Trixie was adorable and should be given a lot more credit for developing the concept. And if Pearl is on your team, play up her drugged-up persona. Have her fall asleep in the tanning bed and she stays silent the entire video. Have her emerge at the end dazed and confused (as always) and crispy. Miss Fame was okay. I feel like my personal feelings for her cloud my judgment.
Chad: What are your personal feelings about her? Deep-seated jealousy of any queen whose beauty rivals your own? I basically imagine you as alternating between Disney princess and villain.
Dixie: My dream is to be Disney’s first true villain princess.
Chad: I actually have been kind of charmed by Miss Fame over the past few episodes. I feel like she’s actually fairly goofy and doesn’t take things too seriously.
Dixie: Miss Fame is beautiful. Absolutely. She knows her look. I admire her for that. My look changes weekly, depending on the lighting and how much I’ve had to drink that day. However, she seems intensely insecure in her strong opinions and non-stop mouth. I don’t read it as bitchy, I read it as trying too hard. That is tough for me to stomach… possibly because I do the same thing…
Dixie: …that’s your cue, Chad. “Oh no. Dixie. That’s not you at all.”
Chad: Do you struggle with that? I was wondering, because you have a very sharp tongue and a sweet charm, too. I feel like you handle that balance well. I think it’s interesting how certain queens can pull off bitchiness, and others can’t.
Dixie: The balance comes with practice from being in front of people. She doesn’t have a lot of performance experience, so she hasn’t had a chance to hone those skills. When I first started hosting, I was just mean. I thought it was funny in the moment, then I’d go home and feel terrible about what I said. Not because it wasn’t funny, but because I didn’t know how to say something bitchy and then recover. Trannika Valtrex does a great job at ribbing people, but then immediately thanking them or brushing it off so that they are now in on the joke. It takes practice. When I’m in front of an audience that knows me (my family, the night-shift staff at the free clinic, etc.), I’m much more bitchy, because they get that I’m not coming from a dark place. If it’s a new audience, I try to stay positive.
Dixie: What did you think of the green looks? I’m interested to see which ones you drew.
Chad: So! I didn’t really love this runway.
Dixie: Me neither. I don’t like color themes. It’s too vague, yet they judge so specifically.
Chad: I’m a HUGE sucker for powdered wig looks, so I had to draw Max. But I didn’t actually like her pasties, so I awkwardly came up with a pose that hid them.
Dixie: I LOVED the pasties. I didn’t get the negative reaction to them
Chad: I liked the idea of them. But they were so dark and glittery compared to the light, matte effect of the rest of his look!
Dixie: Max is so, so good. She’s going far. She has to.
Chad: I LOVE how Max approaches drag as a visual artist.
Dixie: It’s something I don’t truly understand, honestly. I’m kind of with Kandy in that I just want to be sparkly and pretty, but the more I venture into drag as art, I love it. It’s something I truly admire in her.
Chad: Well, you’re not just trying to be pretty and sparkly. You’re also trying, and at times even succeeding, to be funny and charming and entertaining.
Dixie: Chad Sell. Drawing famous drag queens and reading lesser known, yet more beautiful drag queens since 2012.
Chad: I loved Pearl’s runway look, because I adore anyone who comes down the runway looking like a forgotten GI JOE villainess.
Dixie: Agreed. However… NO PADS.
Chad: Yeah. I was forgiving in that respect.
Dixie: I like the long, lean thing…but NO PADS. I used to think that I didn’t need pads… let’s just say, those images are buried deep somewhere. Had she had just a little bump, I would have loved it.
Chad: Pearl’s a weirdo. It doesn’t always work, but I love her for it. When I first heard that Pearl had been cast on the show, I was definitely excited and happy for her. I’ve always loved her looks and her style, but I was kind of baffled about how she’d come across on the show, since she’s exactly like that in real life.
Dixie: I like Pearl. I really do, but she said it herself: Trixie probably deserves to be there more than her. Who is to say who deserves something more than the other really, but I do think Trixie is so versatile and has much more to give. My main beef with Trixie’s elimination is that Pearl was warned multiple times that she needed to wake up and show more. Trixie wasn’t. She was barely critiqued in this episode. Where is her second chance? Where are her warnings?
Chad: Right, I think she was safe every week, so she really never got any feedback! She performed really consistently and was a fabulous personality on the show.
Dixie: I think WE think she was a fabulous personality on the show because we are more familiar with her than most, but I don’t think we truly saw her personality. She was safe. She stayed in the middle, but she didn’t shine yet. Her time was coming.
Chad: Yes, I’m certainly biased in regards to Trixie.
Dixie: We all are. Sidetrack exploded when she sashayed away. Truly. One giant audible gasp from a combination of many large groups of people. It was like nothing I’ve ever witnessed before.
Chad: I don’t think it made any sense to send her home so early. At all. But she’s gotten a ton of exposure, she’s doing gigs all over the world. She didn’t have long on this show, but she made it count.
Dixie: She had the potential to do so much. There are so many challenges left, and she is one person that you could count on to make you chuckle. Even if she wasn’t going to knock it out of the park, she definitely would make every challenge fun.
Chad: And she’s one of the season 7 queens who’s extremely active online – so if fans need more Mattel, they should follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Grindr, etc. [And buy her T shirt. And buy my own Trixie prints! Do it.]
Dixie: Oh, for sure. She’s all over the place. I love when queens pimp themselves out. It shows gumption. (dixielynncartwright.com)
Chad: Both Trixie and Katya’s online antics are utterly priceless.
Dixie: I LOVE watching Katya’s weekly videos following the new episodes. She’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine.
Chad: She’s my BenDeLaCreme of the season – my personal favorite, even though I don’t expect her to win.
Dixie: Oh god. Does that mean we’ll have to take your belt and shoelaces from you when she’s gone, too? I didn’t think you were going to make it.
Chad: I think losing Bendela so early aged me about 20 years. I’ve lost that shiny veneer of innocence and naivete. Nothing gets through to me now. Nothing at all.
Dixie: Your forehead is still shiny though, so that’s something.
Dixie: Bitchy/Sweet. Balance.
Chad: If I had ever seen your forehead when it wasn’t buried under foundation, maybe I could make cracks about your complexion, too!
Dixie: The paint stick is doing its job.
Okay, just for that, I’m going to plug my stuff before I plug Dixie’s various shows. Buy this week’s art on Etsy! If you’re in Seattle and happen to have tickets to Emerald City Comic Con, find me at Table F-01 in Artist’s Alley this weekend!
If you’re in Chicago, you have plenty of opportunities to go see Dixie Lynn Cartwright! She’ll be starring in her own show at Berlin Nightclub on April 1st at 9pm. It’s called “Dixie Wins A Talent Show,” in which she (obviously) wins a talent show as other contestants vie for second and third place.
Dixie hosts weekly RPDR viewing parties at Sidetrack in Boystown. She’ll also be performing in The Bitchfest Club, which is an 80’s parody musical running every weekend from April 10 to May 17 at Hydrate.