After losing Drag Race All-Stars, Blair St. Clair is winning on her own terms
Blair St. Clair tells EW about her new film, album, and focusing on mental health after a wild ride on All-Stars 5.
Though the season 10 queen's second bid for the most coveted crown in America came to an abrupt end after Friday night's stand-up comedy challenge, the 25-year-old performer — who succumbed to the pressures of marrying her couture sensibilities with comedic chops — is ready for the next phase in her artistic evolution, but not in the way you might expect.
"I’m focusing on me, myself, and I, my mental health, the world I live in, and making it a beautiful place, one step and day at a time," St. Clair tells EW, adding that she's essentially adding personal therapeutic measures to her professional dance card (which also includes an upcoming role in a feature film, renewed focus on modeling for high-fashion publications, and a new album, Identity, out Tuesday) after grappling with intense fan negativity throughout one of the most contentious seasons in Drag Race herstory. "I’ve decided to focus on what it is I want out of life versus what I want in a career.
Ahead of the All-Stars 5 finale next Friday at 8:00 p.m. on VH1, read ahead for St. Clair's full exit interview, in which she previews her upcoming work, reflects on the difficulties of turning the pages of a notebook while wearing long nails, and reveals a behind-the-scenes conversation with Miz Cracker that fueled their on-camera clash.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you still basking in the glow of dropping that epic song with Jujubee?
BLAIR ST. CLAIR: That was so much fun to do together! We recorded it months ago, it was so exciting to see it come out.
I’ve loved everything you’ve done recently, especially our digital cover. Even though this isn’t the result a lot of us wanted, you had an enjoyable run on All-Stars. You finished in a vastly different place than on season 10, where you left toward the beginning. How are the feelings different, being eliminated early versus near the end?
The first time felt like my time to go. There was a lot of emotion involved, there was some crying, it was a very heavy time in my life. The second time around…. almost felt like it was my first season to compete because I did it as my 100 percent authentic, confident self. [Being eliminated now] hurt more, because it felt like it was the real me on the line.
Last week was the first time the other queens considered voting you out, but Alexis left instead. The fans were surprised that she left over you, but it was telling that you all voted for her. Did you guys not trust her because of the India drama?
I don’t think it had anything to do with us trusting her or not trusting her. I said this to her on the show and off the show, that I believe in American justice in that anyone is innocent until proven guilty. I had no facts, nothing, besides someone else’s point of view. Maybe they were both at fault, and maybe the story got twisted, but, I had no facts…. When it came to her and I, I still believe in everything I put down the runway for that challenge. I executed a fun, cohesive look that represented high fashion and my drag aesthetic. I don’t believe I should’ve been considered to be eliminated. Out of all of us in the bottom — besides Cracker — she and I hadn’t won a challenge, but we weighed our decision on the fact that I won the reading challenge and she hadn’t. On report cards, I’d been stronger in the competition.
On that episode, Cracker told you she might vote for you, and you guys kept referencing that you had prior drama together. Was that issue ever outlined fully?
After the Werq the World challenge, she believed Ongina should’ve been in the bottom. She brought that up in front of all of us, and we all thought it was out of left field. She pulled me aside privately and said, “I feel like I really hurt Ongina’s feelings, do you think I should apologize?” I said, “No, I think you should apologize if you genuinely feel that way in your heart. Because if you just apologize for strategy, I don’t think that’s appropriate, and it’s telling [that you're] playing a game and it kind of makes you look a little fake. Apologize because you feel like that, but don’t apologize if you don’t really feel that way.” Later on, the girls were picking on Cracker and saying she shouldn’t have said that about Ongina, and kind of bullied her out of the competition. She said, “Blair told me not to apologize to her. It’s her fault,” and I said, “Oh no, hold on. I’ve supported you from day one, since season 10…. I was offering you genuine feedback as a friend, not a competitor.” That wasn’t fully explained in detail, but I was upset in that moment. I don’t contribute to bullying, I was giving her honest and genuine feedback…. We had a lot of rifts on and off camera of not getting along until we were forced to be put in a challenge together and we had to deal with that conflict.
Could you sense that, after Alexis left, you were the group’s next target, and did that fear put extra pressure on you to perform during this week's challenge?
Without a doubt. We were all talented in different ways, and all deserved to win All-Stars, but there was a lot of pressure on me because how else could we vote for each other to leave other than by looking at our accomplishments in the competition? I hadn’t won a main challenge. I felt a lot of pressure, especially it being a comedy challenge, because I’m not known for being a super funny, campy queen. I’m funny in my own right. I’m goofy, silly, and funny without trying to make it funny, but I knew a stand-up comedy challenge would be difficult because it’s pre-written material you have to deliver to an audience versus just being funny off the cuff.
You are funny in your own way, and guest judge Jane Krakowski and Ross seemed to like your material in prep, but the translation from what you prepared and what happened on stage was different. Did you change the material?
I really didn’t change my material at all. I was excited and energized to perform, but when it came to the actual challenge, I bombed. I knew I bombed because I was so nervous but I wanted to do so well. I was so much in my head and not in the moment…. I own up to the fact that I didn’t perform well, and that was all in my delivery.
The cutest thing was seeing you turn your little notebook pages. It was awkward, but was the audience really that dead silent while you were doing that, though?
Honestly, there were quite a few laughs, but there was also a bit of dead air. [We didn't do] a full dress rehearsal. So I didn’t take into account that, if I were to use notecards — I relied on them too much, first of all — I didn’t think about having nails on and how that might affect turning the pages and my flow. That was an added failure.
We all know you're talented, and one flub isn’t going to change that. I especially enjoyed your runways. Did you approach fashion differently this time?
I came from a world of performing in a drag in a community where I was told how to do drag, and since being on season 10, I’ve found my own aesthetic. Drag is whatever you want it to be. I fine-tuned what my drag is, and I wanted my runway looks to step a little outside the box, so, for the camo couture look, I wanted a couture look that was camouflage, both the verb and the noun. I wore different types of camo — hunting camo, army camo, and camo netting — but I also wanted it to be the art of camouflaging in nature, and being Mother Nature.
After that, knowing how talented you all are, it must’ve been difficult to choose a lipstick. Can you elaborate on why you chose Jujubee?
The only reason I voted for Jujubee was because I knew I performed the weakest, I knew I was going to go home, and I was content with that, but Jujubee is one of my closest and dearest friends. I knew she'd forgive me for choosing her lipstick. I wasn't going to choose my own, give up, or throw in the towel.
What’s next for you?
I have an album out for pre-order right now. Every week there’s been a new single released, but the album in its entirety will be on all streaming platforms, including YouTube… I’m also focusing on me, myself, and me, my mental health, the world I live in and making it a beautiful place, one step, and day at a time. A lot of the fans are super loving and kind, but there’s been more negativity this season than I’ve seen any other season. We’re living in a climate that’s very crazy…. I think a lot of that negativity has been pointed on us as contestants because it’s easy for people to get that off their chests. My art is subjective and it’s up for interpretation, but that doesn’t mean you have to criticize it…. I’m going to take a step back and focus on me. I’m working diligently in the world of fashion to be in a lot more print ads in magazines, I’m also filming a lead role in a feature film that’s been pushed a few months. But, I’ve decided to focus on what it is I want out of life versus what I want in a career.