Shangela, Raja make big Drag Race reveals in first joint interview in 10 years
Season 3 queens reveal Tulle Gate tea and more secrets in their Tyra Banks/Naomi Campbell reunion on EW's BINGE podcast.
Are you ready for the Tyra Banks/Naomi Campbell sit-down of the drag world? EW exclusively reunited sisters-in-drag Shangela and Raja for an in-depth breakdown of all of their RuPaul's Drag Race season 3 secrets, marking the first time both queens have reunited for a joint interview in nearly 10 years.
Joining hosts Joey Nolfi and Jillian Sederholm on the latest episode of EW's BINGE podcast, Shangela and Raja candidly recall their time filming the third season of the Emmy-winning reality competition series, which Shangela — after previously being eliminated on the first episode of season 2 — returned to by infamously popping out of a giant box to surprise the other contestants.
"They said to listen for Ru's keyword, which is 'ridonculous.' When RuPaul says ridonculous, [I had to] jump up out the box.... girl, Miss Ru took about 14 takes before she did ridonculous after I had been rolled in!" Shangela jokes. "I was so hot and sweaty in the box, and I could hear the girls talking. I could recognize some voices.... Raja has a very iconic voice, so I was like, that's Raja! I knew her, I knew Manila, I was just hanging out in there waiting!"
While Shangela was excited to pop out of the box, Raja's immediate reaction wasn't so warm, as the pair had a recent falling out over a borrowed wig Shangela returned to her friend in knots.
"That tension built up made for amazing television," Raja remembers. "People still today, 10 years later, tend to think of us as being these rivals when oftentimes I really just want to make out with her."
The pair also discuss a three-week break in filming the season, which ended as they were welcomed back to the set with gifts from RuPaul: Small, ceramic containers emblazoned with the word "dolls," and both queens still cherish the trinket.
"I took my dolls container to my Tic-Tac lunch with Ru, and I asked her to sign it at the end of the segment. I still have my 10-year-old Tic-Tac inside of the dolls container.... I've opened it recently and what was once an orange Tic-Tac is now a black Tic-Tac," Raja reveals, later adding that, in addition to stealing the Tic-Tac, she and Carmen Carrera also used to smuggle vodka from the Untucked lounge into their purses.
The biggest reveal comes toward the end of the podcast interview, when Shangela goops herself by getting Raja to admit to an age-old mystery among the Drag Race community: Was there tulle on Raja's infamous hair-centric dress that was, as outlined by the runway challenge, to be constructed using only wig hair?
"There was tulle!" Raja remembers as Shangela rejoices. "There was a layer of it that held the hair in place. What I did with the hair was I pelted it, kind of like dreadlocking, where you tease hair so it becomes like felt, so I put a layer of sheer tulle underneath to keep the shape. But, yes, there was tulle!"
Listen to EW's BINGE podcast on RuPaul's Drag Race season 3 — also featuring a special guest appearance by Phoenix, who performs a Snatch Game skit as the celebrity she didn't get to play on the original broadcast — above, and tune in next Thursday as Latrice Royale and Chad Michaels join the show to spill the tea on season 4. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.
- Get a first look at Camila Cabello as Cinderella in Kay Cannon's fairy-tale adaptation
- HSMTMTS star Joshua Bassett talks his mental health journey and teases new music
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation producer says sequel ideas are still in development
- First look: David Levithan and Jennifer Niven's first collab is a story of siblings and secrets