Interview: RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars – Alaska Thunderfuck
All Stars 2 has officially concluded, and a queen has been crowned! In the final challenge of the season, the top four were tasked with writing their own rap sections to be included in RuPaul’s new single Read U Wrote U, and performed these on stage in their own choreographed numbers. Roxxxy unfortunately found herself falling short at this point in the competition, leaving Alaska, Detox and Katya to lip sync one last time in a battle for the crown.
Ultimately, it was Alaska Thunderfuck that was crowned the second All Star in Drag Race history. Despite falling short right before the finale in the makeover challenge, her ridiculously strong performance throughout the competition and her performances in the finale overcame her strong competitors. While she may have received some fan backlash in recent weeks, she’s more than proven her worth when it comes to being crowned an All Star queen, and whether you’re still sore about her breakdown or never left her side as a supportive fan, there’s no denying that she’s got the clear track record, legacy and general magnetic personality that a winning queen needs to possess.
With the crowning complete and the reunion behind us, it’s time for Alaska’s reign to truly begin. Following the finale, we spoke to the new reigning All Star queen about both her good and bad experiences throughout the season, and her career in general following the crowning.
Michael Smith: You’ve officially been crowned an All Star! How does it feel to finally have your hands on a crown?
Alaska Thunderfuck: It feels stunning. Up to this point, the only title I’ve ever held was Pittsburgh’s Miss Happy Hooker—which is a title I’ve held with dignity, pride and elegance. I plan to do the same with my new title—the Queen of Earth.
MS: It’s been a few years since you first premiered on season 5 of Drag Race. Did you ever expect to be given this second shot at the crown, considering All Stars 2 took so many years to become a reality?
AT: It was always a possibility, floating around in the ether. It started out as a wish, then became a rumour, then became a confirmed rumour. I’m glad it happened, and I’m glad it happened when it did.
MS: With four wins under your belt, you have a stronger track record than we’ve really seen on any season of the show so far. What kind of preparation did it take for you to be so perfectly ready for this competition?
AT: Technically Sharon Needles won four challenges on Season 4, so we’re neck and neck… Unless you count mini challenges and $10,000 lip sync wins. But All Stars is a different *beast* altogether so I guess it’s not really quantifiable. I prepared as much as I could, but really with all the twists and turns there’s only so much preparation you can do. Luckily I had Preparation H which was the most helpful of all.
MS: Were there any moments where you didn’t expect to come out on top of a certain challenge?
AT: I didn’t think I was going to be in the top for the marketing media campaign, because I had been in the top in so many other challenges. I thought there was no way. And then I was. And then I got scared that I was winning too much and that eventually the other shoe would drop. And then… You saw what happened.
MS: In the penultimate, you stumbled on your way to the top and had a surprisingly emotional moment. Did you think that would impede on your chances at taking the crown? How did it feel to experience that moment again a year after the filming?
AT: It’s not pleasant having a bad day when there is a camera crew around. Watching it was embarrassing, and many fans (If I can even call them that) on Twitter deemed me a monster and a snake and a psycho. And I guess I got carried away by the stress and the emotion of the moment. But it comes from a place of caring deeply about this title and about this franchise and about this magical world that RuPaul has created. So if caring about something that means a lot to me makes me a snake, then I shall rule as the Queen of the Snakes.
MS: Was there any queen in particular that you were afraid had a real shot of winning the crown over you, despite your win record?
AT: Katya, of course! My mom called me crying because all of the online polls showed Katya ahead of everyone by a landslide. And I understand why—Katya is creative and artistic and smart and she has great teeth. She embodies the idea that drag fun and frivolous and is not to be taken too seriously. And toward the end it became clear how serious I was taking the entire competition. But luckily I put the most points on the board, and the final decision is RuPaul’s to make.
MS: Quite a few queens have expressed grievances with the way they came across during the season, in varying degrees. How did you feel with your portrayal compared to your own memory of the filming experience?
AT: I said everything I said and I did everything I did. I’m not mad about it because we got to watch one hell of a TV show.
MS: Your second album Poundcake also came out around the time of the crowning. How did your time on All Stars 2 affect the process of creating the album?
AT: Poundcake (or as many have taken to calling it, “Crowned Snake”) was written and put together during the mysterious limbo period after All Stars had been filmed, but before it had been announced or confirmed. I was on the precipice of something huge, but I had no idea how it would actually turn out and how people would react to it. “The T” for instance is like a WikiLeaks data dump of all the secrets I’d been holding onto for so long, regarding the show and my personal life. I’m happy with how the album—and how All Stars—turned out.
MS: Now that the season is over and your album is here, what’s next for Alaska? Do you have any plans for music videos or other surprises fans might not expect?
AT: I like doing drag, and I’m grateful for every day that I get to keep doing it as my job and my artistic outlet. I like doing work that excites me and inspires me so I will keep going toward those things. Stay tuned, and go to Alaskathunderfuck.com to find out when I’m coming to a city near you.