Interview: RuPaul’s Drag Race – Bob the Drag Queen
After ten gruelling weeks of watching our favourite queens jump through hoops to reach the finish line, season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race has finally reached its conclusion. With Bob the Drag Queen, Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls all reaching the final stage of the competition, they fought for their right to the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar with final lip sync performances and interviews with RuPaul in front of a live audience. With what is arguably one of the strongest top three that the show has ever seen, their skills and talent made for what was overall an unforgettable finale.
Depending on who you ask, it was either inevitable or completely unexpected that Bob the Drag Queen would take the crown. With two other talented queens going against her, it was ultimately her sharp irreverent humour, winning personality and outstanding performance across the season that brought her to the top of the pack. Whether you were a fan of her fashion or not, she met every challenge with skill, practically blowing the rest of the competition away regardless of the challenge she was given. Following her crowning, we had the chance to ask her about her whirlwind experience on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Michael Smith: It’s official; you’re the 8th queen to win the crown of America’s Next Drag Superstar! How does it feel to know that you’ve made it after all this time? Is it anything like you expected?
Bob the Drag Queen: Technically I’m the 9th queen – let’s not forget Chad Michaels also won the crown in a very important moment (All-Stars).
I was in an elite sorority before. And now, I am in a super elite sorority!
MS: Who did you expect to make it to the top 3 with you? Were you surprised by either of the other two?
BTDQ: In the beginning I thought maybe Thorgy, or one of my New York sisters, but I wasn’t surprised at all by the other two. As the show played out they showed they were great competitors and queens.
MS: You’ve had a pretty large following even before your time on the show. How has it evolved since season 8 started? Is the reaction from new and old fans anything like you expected?
BTDQ: It has changed – before my fans were gay boys and a couple of girls. Now I have moms, daughters and dads, so my fans have changed a lot. I’m happy to have them and to have a wider reach.
MS: You’ve proven yourself to be a politically-driven queen as well, especially when recounting your history of protesting and arrests. Are you looking to do anything more like this with your new platform?
BTDQ: I always say that it’s important to find where I’m most useful. So if a point in time comes when I feel I would be most useful in the front line and getting arrested, then yes, I will be there again. But in the meantime, I feel that right now I’m most useful advocating.
MS: You also released your new single Purse First with good timing, coming a day before you were crowned. Was this a taste of more to come? Can we expect more music from BTDQ, or was this a one-off venture?
BTDQ: It was more like a one off venture. It’s a silly song, and if I were to do more music down the line it would definitely be more silly music like Purse First.
MS: Speaking of Purse First, you’ve essentially started a brand new phenomenon as early as episode one of your season with your Gone with the Window purse. Did you expect this kind of reaction from such a simple catchphrase?
BTDQ: You know, I didn’t really say Purse First planning to make it a big thing. I said it to be silly and it kept catching on. So I guess short answer, no.
MS: Is there anything else you did during the season that you expected a bigger reaction from but didn’t get? What noteworthy Bob moments didn’t we see?
BTDQ: To be honest I didn’t even remember all of the things I did, I watched the show and forgot I had said things!
MS: Your finale lip sync track I Don’t Like To Show Off fits your powerful personality perfectly. Did you have any input into this track, or was it built by outside forces based on your experience throughout the show instead?
BTDQ: You know, they asked me what I wanted to put in there, but power to the talented Lucian Piane who wrote and produced.
MS: What was your favourite part about your experience with Drag Race?
BTDQ: Meeting these queens was the best party. Especially getting to know Acid Betty, who I knew of in New York but didn’t really know. Meeting Acid Betty was one of the best parts of this journey.
I want to say I wouldn’t do anything differently – clearly I did something right!