RuPaul's Drag Race season 7 winner talks about being the 'shadiest queen'
We all knew this was happening—or at least if you read my recap of the top four episode, you knew this was happening. Violet Chachki, the most cinched queen of the season, has snatched the crown from season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio as the winner of season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Violet is way more than a tight corset, as we learned in this past season and in this interview, where she talks about her reputation as “shadiest queen” on drag race, as well as her thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner. (This interview took place before Jenner’s big announcement). Say hello to your new reigning queen, Violet Chachki!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: There was a lot of talk this season about performance queens vs. fashion queens. Where do you think you fall on that spectrum, or do you think the whole argument is a waste of time?
VIOLET CHACHKI: Well, for my character, I think that’s kind of pointless because I think a big part of my performance is the visual. I think if you come to my shows, that’s exactly what you’re going to get. I think the visual is the sickest part of my show. I think if you come, you’ll realize that. I consider it a performance. I love performing on stage. It was kind of weird to me to have people say, “Oh, she’s not a performer, she’s just a ‘look queen.’” Drag is all-encompassing for me.
Well, even if you’re not a “look queen,” one of your most gag-worthy moments was your insane cinch during the death runway. Does cinching your waist like that hurt?
It does at first. I think your body makes adjustments so you have to settle into it. You wear it all week, and slowly, as time goes on, you tighten it little by little.
Does it feel amazing to loosen that corset after the runway?
Yeah, especially after the leather and lace runway, I was wearing a corset and a latex bodysuit over it, so it doesn’t really breathe well, and it was especially uncomfortable, so there was a lot of sweat and lube. You use lube to put latex on. So sweat, lube, and heat were all trapped in the latex. [Logo has] a shot of me taking it off on that episode and it looks really rough. But yes, it feels amazing. It’s probably the best feeling ever, taking off your corset after a long night. I definitely think that I, as a drag queen, can endure pain a lot better than most people. It really takes a true artist to suffer like that. [Laughs]
Why do you think your competitors named you Shadiest Queen at the DESPY Awards?
I think I have a really, really strong personality, especially when it comes to my drag character. It’s part of the character I worked really hard to create. I’m really creative. I maybe had blinders on. It takes a really long time to get me. I don’t necessarily like being a TV personality, I just want to be an artist. There were a lot of people on the show who were shadier than I was. Being shady was part of my character. We were all fighting for our careers.
You really escaped your reputation as being the shadiest queen, though. In the top four, the older queens were going after you but you stayed calm and collected and flew above it all.
Towards the end, I got comfortable. Once I got out of my shell, I got friendlier with the girls. I almost want to say the other contestants were projecting when they said I was being shady, or feeling insecure. But I don’t really know. You have to let that go because we’ve all grown so much. At that point, I was like, “I’m top 4. Whatever these people say about me is not my business.” A lot of what they were saying was probably valid at some point in time. I could say stuff about them too, but we’ve all grown so much as drag queens and as people.
What was the most valuable advice Ru gave you during the season?
She told me to be more aware. To own your star power and be aware of how things come across.
In the top four episode, Ru basically named you the winner and said you were more naturally talented than people twice your age. How did that feel?
When I was a child, Ru was at the first peak in her career in the 90s, so it was surreal seeing her in front of you so majestic, and her telling you these things that you may or may not have realized before. I can’t even describe it.
Who are your favorite queens from previous seasons?
Ooh, I don’t even know anymore. I’m meeting so many of them as they really are. But I’ve really grown to love Detox. I love Adore so much. Those are the two girls who made the biggest impact on me.
What would you like to do as the reigning winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race?
I really would like to be an advocate for LGBT youth or transgender youth, or transgender people in general. I really feel a connection more so to the trans community than the gay community as a really young person. Miley Cyrus just started her organization called Happy Hippy, which has been really amazing. She was actually at the finale taping. She seems really cool. I love questions like that. I get asked really dumb questions. I would love to talk more with people about issues. I feel like now with the whole Bruce Jenner thing, trans issues are becoming more and more relevant and public. There’s this controversy about Drag Race with trans issues and queer culture. It’s an amazing time to be a queer person, and I’d love to talk more about these issues and less about makeup tips.
I still want makeup tips, though.
We can just do it all, can’t we?
RuPaul — as host, mentor, and creative inspiration — decides who's in and who's out.