How Rosé “ armed ” a musical theater BFA to reach the Drag Race Top 4
RuPaul’s Drag Race crowned a new American superstar from the next streak. And the winner is…
Below, Rosé discusses the finale, her journey as a “Porkchop Girl” to the Top Four, the future of flirting, perfectionism and that now infamous “arming their BFA” tweet.
This interview was conducted just before the Drag race final.
The lawyer: You are therefore the last member of the “Porkchop Girls” still standing. What does it mean for you to go through this and progress to the final?
Pink: Being assigned to this group at the start really shook me and forced me to rethink and restructure what I was there to do and really who I am. I never, ever lost sight of my goal to stand here today, and the fact that I would be in the Top Four. I just had to figure out how to show the judges and other competitors that I was truly worthy.
I am really proud to represent these girls because they are so talented. They are brilliant artists. And I’m glad we have one of us in the bottom four. But again I came to Drag race for me, to tell my story and show what I do. I never lost sight of him. I think being a Porkchop Girl made me work a little harder and differently to get there. But other than that, it was just another episode.
I imagine this really galvanizes you. I feel like if this happened to me, I would hold on twice as hard.
It was crazy.
There’s no question you’ve killed off this season, but I think it’s interesting to see the reviews that you’re too perfect, whatever that means. How would you respond to these people?
It was really interesting. It was interesting when we filmed the show too because it was all a learning experience, and I was given reviews that might be laughable by my audience in New York. I am not someone who really lives with this idea that everything must be perfect. I’m definitely a perfectionist, but I think outside of the biggest drag competition in the world and the stakes of my most incredible dream come true, in the middle of that I focused a little too much strong and I really didn’t. want to fuck up. Unlike in normal life, I can do everything so that I think it should all be in a performance, the way something sounds, the way something looks, then just let it go and just let it happen.
But Drag race was just different, and it was really weird to hear that review. But it reminded me of who I’ve always been. I have been someone who pays attention to detail and really cares about the product they are working on and bringing to market. Listen, Drag Race, she’ll get you, girl. You revisit your saboteur for sure.
On top of that, how has the fan reaction been to you, especially the positive comments, and was it different from what you expected?
You know, it was different. Everything is different when he’s playing, and we don’t have any experience of being pushed so quickly in the public eye like that before the show. I kind of knew, because of my trajectory, what was going to happen basically as far as the fanbase was concerned, and I was right, but it’s different. When we filmed, I left that Top Four episode and felt like I was on top of the world. I had truly triumphed and persevered, I was so proud and I felt so powerful.
When the season started airing, I had to revisit and be the person that people saw on screen, that was the person who had failed at first and stumbled and had to try to get out of his head.
So it’s interesting; the fans are a powerful bunch and it’s interesting how that can affect you. But luckily, over the last few months of the second half of the season, the fans the outpouring of love and support has been really great and intense, and it was totally worth it. It was really cool.
Lawrence Chaney just won Drag Race UK, so if you won it would be Scottish rule. How do you feel for yourself?
Wouldn’t that be amazing? Oh my God. Like just fucking all over the world, Scottish queens reign supreme. And she has a purple kingdom, I have a pink kingdom. I think it would be amazing. I am a huge fan of Lawrence’s work. I’ve never met Lawrence, I’ve spoken to Lawrence a few times, just via messaging and stuff, but Lawrence is an amazing queen, and I think it would be so much fun if we both won. Once it’s a bit safer and more normal to travel abroad, I think it would be really fun to go back to Scotland and do a show with Lawrence.
What do you think is the future of cruising?
The drag is constantly evolving, it is always evolving. I think at this point we are living in the future of pickup. ‘Cause in a year where so much has stopped, hang around and Drag race continued, and continued to flourish and evolve. I have the impression that we are already living there.
A lot of people who are now starting drag trips are like me. It is so widely accepted that it is easier and more accessible to have a truly stable, lucrative and successful career in drag. And so people like me, who’ve been practicing their entire lives, are performing on stage, I think we’re going to see a lot more drag on scripted TV. I think we’re going to see a lot more drag on Broadway, on the bigger stages. Drag is really, really informative and fashionable.
The drag becomes so normal which is fierce for queer people. Speaking of UK, you look at Bimini over there, Bimini is fully photo shoot everyday, tons of magazines are going around. Bimini has fully become like a top model, and this season has just ended.
That’s what’s so cool about drag, it’s this very weird part of our culture that was on the fringes and now it’s become this huge, massive, mainstream thing. It’s so wild to see.
Totally. I think my contribution, what my biggest dream and biggest achievement would be, would be to do the same thing that Ru did, just slide deeper into TV, into music. And, again, I would love to be on Broadway. It’s a real thing now. There are queens of the show who have been on Broadway, performed in the West End, billed as their drag names. So the sky is the limit.
Last question. A tweet went viral a few months ago which accused a few queens this season of “militarizing their BFAs in musical theater as a final claim to glory”. He seemed to be targeting you and Denali. Have you all discussed all of this?
When that tweet came in and started to circulate and go viral on Twitter, I was like, “What is everyone talking about? What is this?” And when I read it, I thought, “Well, I’m not going to say anything.”
But then Denali and I were talking about it. We were both like, “Whatever, fuck them.” But people were really getting angry. I don’t know if you saw it or not, but we were like, “You know what? Damn owner of this. And let’s take advantage of it. And with that, let’s raise money for a charity.”
So that night we created some merchandise and the next morning we started selling personally armed BFAs to anyone who wanted to hang them on the wall. And it was very glorious.
It’s so funny.
If something negative like this happens, you just have to smile and own it, and reverse it.