Interview: RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars – Coco Montrese
For the second time in 2016, it has arrived! RuPaul’s All Star Drag Race is back for the first time since Chad Michaels took the All Stars crown in 2012, and the rules are a little different this time around. Teams are out and it’s every queen for themselves as they fight to prove their worth. It’s a totally different game as the queens that performed the best battle it out in a Lip Sync for Your Legacy that wins them $10,000 and the ability to eliminate one of the bottom three queens from that challenge. The stakes are higher than ever, and with fan favourites like Alaska and Katya, old school Drag Race girls like Tatianna and recent competitors like Ginger Minj, it’s going to be a season you won’t soon forget.
And in an honestly refreshing move for the series, the race started on an open note as the girls each got the chance to show off their skills in an act all of their own creation as part of a talent show. With memorable performances across the board, the critiques came harder and faster than ever before as the judges got deep into the performances and looks on the stage tonight. With Roxxxy Andrews and Tatianna taking the top two spots and the bottom three consisting of Phi Phi O’Hara, Adore Delano and Coco Montrese, it was anyone’s guess who would be sent home. With Roxxxy winning the challenge this week, she ultimately decided to send Coco Montrese home first. All may not be lost, however, with the episode ending on a twist that’s already got fans hungry for more!
Following her elimination, we spoke to Coco Montrese about the All Stars experience.
Michael Smith: How did it feel to be called on for All Stars season 2? Did you expect to be given this second chance at the crown?
Coco Montrese: No, it was unexpected. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I was good enough, but out of the 100 queens of Drag Race past, I was one of the queens selected. I am just so grateful to be chosen.
MS: What was it like, walking into the workroom again three years later?
CM: Déjà vu! I was happy and terrified all at the same time. I was happy walking in, but after it sunk in that the expectations are higher, I was terrified!
MS: How did the line-up of girls match your expectations? Is there anyone that you think should have been there that wasn’t?
CM: I would love to have seen Trixie Mattel. She has such a great spirit. I love all the girls RuPaul selected for All Stars Season 2. I loved seeing all of them!
MS: You started the season off on a great note, not being afraid to poke a little fun at your time on Season 5 and showing the world you and Alyssa had moved past your drama. Did you intend to use All Stars as a way to show a more appealing side to those who may have disliked you in your original season?
CM: I just wanted to show the world a more sensitive side. I wanted fans to see that the relationship Alyssa and I have is like that of a brother and sister. We fight and argue, but we still love each other no matter what.
MS: We’re already an episode into All Stars season 2 and it’s already a season of surprise twists. What was your reaction when you first heard no one was going to be eliminated? Did it change your point of view going into the week’s challenge?
CM: I think it was okay to take risks and maybe show a more vulnerable side to myself as an entertainer. I think at first, we all thought no one was going home at all, and we would all just work to get better as performers and showcase our strengths.
MS: How did it then feel to find out that you would be eliminating each other? It’s the kind of twist the show hasn’t really seen before; how did it change the atmosphere during the critiques?
CM: I’ll be honest, it’s not something I wanted to do. I have respect for each girl and I didn’t want to be her judge in jewellery. So, it’s kind of bittersweet to be the first to go. I didn’t think I was qualified to judge them, and they are all stars in their own right.
MS: The challenge for the week was a talent show where you were free to choose your own act. What made you decide to step out of the box for this particular challenge?
CM: I didn’t do what I am known for because I didn’t want to be predictable. Everyone knows I impersonate Janet Jackson. I wanted to show the fans a different side of me.
MS: In true Drag Race fashion, the episode ended on yet another surprise cliff-hanger as you were told your time on the show wasn’t over yet. How did it feel to know that you were going to be given another chance to get some revenge and prove yourself?
CM: I don’t know about revenge, but being able to prove myself is what it’s all about! Revenge? No. Redemption? Yes!
Tune into RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars next Thursday at 8/7c on Logo and VH1 to see what Ru has in store for the queens!