Season 9 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is getting fierce. The difficulty level of the maxi challenges has risen to new heights, requiring the queens to show off an entire array of skills at once — and quickly weeding the one-trick ponies out.
“Draggily Ever After” (April 7) asked the contestants to create their own fictional princess character. In addition to designing and sewing a unique look, each of them dreams up a funny sidekick to tell their story while walking down the runway. RuPaul is making sure that the next person crowned as America’s Next Drag Superstar is not just a stellar seamstress, a great stand-up or a look queen: She needs to be all the above and more.
And rising to the top of this challenge: Valentina, the novice queen who’s continuing to prove that she’s more than worthy of being in this competition.. Although this week’s winning crown went to Miss Trinity Taylor.
Falling to the bottom for the second week in a row, Kimora Blac, who found herself again lip-synching for her life, this time, against Aja. And even though everything about Aja’s princess character was a trainwreck during the runway challenge, she whipped out every hitch-kick and twirl in her arsenal of tricks during the final battle. It became clear that the self-proclaimed “Kim K.” of “Drag Race” would be going home.
Now, there’s always a level of risk when going on a reality TV show. A series falling under the “reality” umbrella, it’s easy for viewers to slide right into believing everything they see is real. There are a zillion hours of footage from months of filming, and not every detail can be included in what gets cut down to 10 one-hour long episodes.
“Drag Race” has always successfully defended itself when former contestants claim edits were purposely made in order to show them in a less than complimentary light. They have the receipts, henny. But Kimora is no Phi Phi O’Hara: The controversial contestant from Las Vegas is not blaming the show, and when Screener sat down to speak with her, she opened up about how she might have been perceived, and what she wishes the cameras would’ve shown.
Screener: Was Kimora Blac inspired by the Kardashians?
Kimora Blac: The girl I created was going to be the Kim K. of drag, and the reason is because I love women that are strong, confident and powerful in their own special way. She’s relevant. She’s the It girl. If you say her name, you will get a reaction. And I wanted that with Kimora Blac… It sucks if you don’t like me without meeting me, because dude! I am such a cool person. And I’m sure she is too. We’re all human.
Has anyone from the Kardashian family seen your show?
Not, that I know of, but I am sure it will be known very soon… That would be fun! I am not obsessed with that family, I am obsessed with people living life, and not caring what people think. And I love that about them.
How many times have you auditioned for ‘Drag Race’?
Were you worried that openly admitting you don’t like to sew would be an issue?
No. I don’t like to sew — it doesn’t mean I don’t know how to. But people hear what they wanna hear. I grew up in the city, and I had designers that I wanted to [bring up], I wanted to be their Barbie doll to dress. My drag aesthetic grew up that way — I had designers that wanted to try things, and shared the same views as me. Versus drag queens from Kansas that didn’t have designers, but they have their best friend’s sewing machine… We all grew up differently.
I wanted people to know that’s okay if you don’t want to sew. And half the people that do sew aren’t even amazing. I think I said it differently [than what I meant], and people read it different than what I expected. I see it as: You want to be a designer, and I want to be a drag queen. So, we’ll grow with each other. That’s how I’ve always been.
I know how to sew 101, I just don’t have the heart to. I have the heart to help someone [that loves doing it]. If some asks what I’m wearing, I’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, there’s this cool ass little guy in Las Vegas who made this whole dress by hand’…[Kimora does gush about Calvi!]… I just don’t see it any differently from someone going to the store and buying a pair of shoes.
How’s it been watching yourself on TV?
I found out that I’m my worst critic. So it was tough — it wasn’t the Kimora I know. But I let the fans decide. I’ve gotten love from fans saying like, I know you’re better than that, so don’t worry. So the support I get is cool.
Is there anything you wish the cameras had shown?
I really wish [viewers] saw more of my sentimental moments, where I was really sad, or nice, because I truly am a humble person. And I know on the show they portrayed me as this bitch, and you don’t want to seem like a bitch — I love people, I love what I do. And I don’t think the show put that in there, they just didn’t want that part of me.
And you know, I don’t blame the show. I went on knowing it’s a show, not a competition, but I went in and checked out.
Who would you be for Snatch Game?
Now that you’re out, who are you cheering to win?
Trinity. Because she is pageant, well-rounded, I love her, and she deserves it. All the past winners — other than Bianca, Raja, Violet — they’re all boring, I don’t even know what they’re doing right now. I wanna see a well-rounded queen that want to drag, versus doing it for the money, because I want to look up to something like that. Hopefully Trinity wins. She’s a hard-worker.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs Friday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on VH1.