Drag Race Holland winner Envy Peru will use her crown for good: 'I can make a difference'
Loyal subjects under RuPaul's global reign came together in celebration of a new supreme leader Thursday night, as the Emmy-winning franchise's second European spin-off, Drag Race Holland, crowned its first winner in South American beauty Envy Peru, who overcame body image issues, homophobia, filming during a global pandemic, and lively clashes with her drag family during her ascent to the crown. But, as the 31-year-old tells EW in her first coronation interview, the struggle was worth the payoff.
"I'm proud to be a face, example, and role model for the Latin community. They're lacking acceptance," she says, referencing her title's place amid a monumental year for the Drag Race franchise, which crowned three Black queens in the U.S., an Indo-Caribbean queen in Canada, and now a Peruvian goddess in Holland — all first-time feats for the queer series. "There's a lot of machismo there, so I just want to show the kids who are queer that you can achieve your dreams, even though you're Latin and queer. You're not nothing. I want to be an example for them and, hopefully, with this crown, I can make a difference so that mothers who have queer kids can be more accepting and see queerness as a blessing instead of a flaw."
Read on for EW's full victory interview with Envy Peru, in which she gives an update on her once rocky relationship with Abby OMG, Kylie Minogue's impact on her drag, the struggle of getting jaw-dropping fashions together in a global pandemic, and overcoming her body image issues to become the latest reigning royal of the worldwide drag circuit.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Miss Envy Peru, congratulations!
ENVY PERU: I'm so happy. Even words can't describe how happy I feel to snatch the first title of the Dutch Drag Race Superstar, to represent Holland and my South American continent!
Americans are still anxious about the election, but everyone can come together in agreement over the excellence of your victory.
Aww, I'm living with you through the election. I hope everything goes well.
In this moment, you're basically the president. We need to get you in office.
[Laughs]. I would look sickening as president!
We need a drag queen president.
Right? RuPaul can be my assistant [laughs]. First Lady, I'm kidding!
Let's get the most important thing out of the way: Since filming, have you taught Ma'Ma Queen how to properly do a split during a lip-sync?
You're so shady! I'm not the queen to show any of the queens how to do a split. I'm not that kind of girl! I'm more into giving you a feeling and an experience in a lip-sync!
In all seriousness, you entered the competition as the first Peruvian queen to compete on any season. And your victory fits into this historic year we've had. For the first time, we had two solo Black queens win the U.S. version, Canada's Drag Race winner Priyanka became the first Indo-Caribbean winner, and now you're the first Peruvian winner. What does that mean to you to be part of that change?
I'm proud to be a face, example, and role model for the Latin community. They're lacking acceptance. There's a lot of machismo there, so I just want to show the kids who are queer that you can achieve your dreams, even though you're Latin and queer. You're not nothing. I want to be an example for them and, hopefully, with this crown, I can make a difference so that mothers who have queer kids can be more accepting and see queerness as a blessing instead of a flaw.
I know things in the States are focused on diversity and amplifying diverse voices in the drag community, but what's the climate like for that in Holland?
There are still a lot of people who are unknown. For example, with non-binary people, like those we explored on the show with Ma'Ma Queen. Because of the lack of [gender] representation, it was good for the show to tell Ma'Ma Queen's story so that people in Holland know more about non-binary people, because there's more than just gays, lesbians, and transgender people. Drag Race is a great platform to showcase that. A lot of people think that Holland is very tolerant and accepting, and it is, but we've still got a long way to go because there's a lot of discrimination and hate toward our community.
Prior to the competition, you and Abby OMG were sisters in the Mermaids Mansion house. But you seemed to ruffle each other's feathers this season, especially when you told the judges you thought she should be eliminated. Do you still stand by that statement?
It was painful to watch because I love her and she's dear to me, but I'm honest. I don't like to sugar-coat things. I'm a real sister. Maybe it's that Dutch directness. I'm not going to tell you that you're amazing, because you're going to look back on television and see that it wasn't amazing, and you'll think I was fake in your face! I'd rather be honest, because I want you to grow and be a better artist. I would've been a bad sister if I lied to her face. That wouldn't have helped her, and she wouldn't have grown from that.
You talked together during the finale, but is your relationship okay today?
The show is a high-pressure cooker, so we had some awkwardness. We're still working on our relationship, but it's getting better. She knows where I was coming from and it wasn't from a place of hate or jealousy. We're good, we talk, and we're still sisters. Everything that happens on the show happens on the show, but in real life, we're good with each other, love each other, and stand up for each other!
Your runway looks were incredible this season, namely your black finale look. It must've been difficult to prepare looks in the middle of a pandemic, because you guys filmed this during COVID.
How difficult was it to get costumes from designers and work with them in a pandemic to get your looks?
It was so stressful. I ordered some wigs from Paris and the United States, and the shipping was delayed, so things didn't come on time! It was stressful to realize a concept while the whole world is on lockdown. I talked to some designers on Zoom and went to a fitting with some of them with social distancing, so it's totally different versus how you'd do it normally, but you have to be creative because there's a title there and you have to bring your best, and every girl did that.
Was there something that didn't come together the way you wanted it to because of those obstacles?
Yes! My first look, the Maxima look, I got that sketched out and sent it to a designer, and everything got delayed, but when it arrived, it wasn't how I drew my design! I didn't have a backup, so I made the best of it. I think I put 5,000 stones on that suit just to amp it up a bit!
I love that look! A lot of people do. Queen Maxima, I had no clue who she was prior to watching this. You guys talk about her like she's some mysterious priestess presiding over Holland. I can't tell, is she popular or do people hate her, because you guys seemed like you were making fun of her as much as you celebrated her?
The gays love Maxima! With our royal family, we have a lot of shows that make fun of them, but it's okay because it all comes with a wink. They can take a joke! It's just drag!
You can, too, like in Snatch Game! You won four challenges, but I was nervous in the finale because your choreography, girl, it was rough! But on the final stage during "Sissy That Walk," you were great. Was your outfit inspired by Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" video?
Oh, hell yes! Kylie is my ultimate. The first time I saw that video, I knew for sure, okay, I'm a homosexual! I knew it. I was so in awe with her beauty and that song. I still perform it! For this runway, they asked us to bring our "first" drag, and this costume was the first costume that I custom-made. I put 10,000 stones on it because it was a little bit older, but we had the choreography and of course it wasn't the best costume for that choreography, so I was struggling with the moves.
But, you pulled it off in the end. There was a hilarious moment before you won where Fred said you could probably point out things that were wrong with his style, and it was rhetorical, but you said "Yes!" Do you care to share what those things are now that you've safely won?
Fred is a friend to all of us and we feel very safe to speak our minds with him. We know that he can take a joke, because he was also joking about us!
What's next for you?
As soon as the borders are open, we're going to go on tour with all of the girls to the U.S., U.K., wherever. For now, I'm focusing online. I'm working on a campaign that's going to be very cool, and I'll be making YouTube videos, so people can follow me to see what I do! I don't want to spoil too much!
Do you have any collaborations planned with Raven? Because everyone says you look exactly like her. I think the fans demand it.
Can you imagine? ! I don't think I have the balls to do makeup next to Raven!
You know what, you're a crowned queen now. Not everyone has that!
That's true! Ok, that makes sense. Let's do it! [Laughs]
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