RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6 queen Silky Nutmeg Ganache deserves peace at last
The latest eliminated queen talks to EW about personal and professional struggles after season 11 and rising anew on AS6.
"I say this prayer every morning: To be the head, not the tail; the beginning, not the end; the peacemaker, not the drama, and all things shall be added unto you."
For a queen who's original post-show trajectory was marred by vicious fan attacks, Ganache's return to television marked a loaded opportunity to double down on everything trolls loved to hate back on season 11: her bold personality, her in-your-face candor, her, well, "readiness" to lip-sync. But, she felt the toll of the backlash resonate far beyond the confines of a TV screen. As Ganache tells EW in her exit interview below, she felt blowback deep into her professional career, and approached AS6 with a different attitude: "I almost quit drag," she says. "I had to learn how to rebuild myself."
The result, on AS6, landed her somewhere in the middle, with Ganache carefully treading between showing off the electric personality we knew on season 11 (come on, she pulled a glass of milk out of her breasts on episode 1!) and a deliberately reserved approach to the challenges. While her scaled back demeanor led to her elimination (the judges placed her in the bottom for failing to stand out in this week's acting challenge), she deserves all the credit in the world for soldiering through anyway.
Before the next new episode of All Stars 6 airs Thursday on Paramount+, read on for our full exit interview with Big Silk herself.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Silky! I'm so gutted we're talking about your elimination. You're an incredible force, you deserve all the credit in the world.
SILKY NUTMEG GANACHE: It's ok! It might not be the end!
It's never the end with Silky. And coming back to the show after trolls had such a negative response during season 11, you said in your confessional that you were concerned with how fans would react this time, and that you had promoters that wanted to cancel bookings and colleagues that treated you differently?
I won't name the people in particular, but, I was on a flight to Orlando, landed, and saw a flier [for my show] and I wasn't on it…. the club owner said that I wasn't welcome at his club. For what reason? I have no clue.
You'd already been booked, and you were removed while you were on the flight?
Yes! I was so upset. Vanjie was so upset. She was in El Paso, and she said, "Come to El Paso, I've got a gig there." I went there, we drank and cried all night because this was the treatment that I was getting. Not only through them, but I was getting it through my agent as well. I recently had to fire my agent and I'm doing my bookings on my own because it became, very bluntly, "nobody wants to book you," and I just had a horrible experience. I got a message from a club promoter the other day, and it was like, "You're nothing like what people said you were going to be." It breaks my heart because, as a Black girl in the Drag Race community, I don't have a rider. I don't ask for anything, I don't expect anything, I've even gone to clubs and had to buy my own drinks. That should be a courtesy that the girl drinks for free! I've not complained one bit, because I'm a Black girl and I don't have that luxury, and it's easy for them to say I'm difficult or arrogant [but] I feel, as an entertainer, when I make money, the club makes money, and the girls make money. This is one thing that hasn't been told: During my run on season 11, I didn't keep any of my tips. I donated all my tips to each girl of every show I'd been in. We're talking thousands of dollars.
You didn't deserve any of that. You're wonderful.
I'm heartbroken, because I've done a lot for my gay community. I was a college recruiter and I was getting people off the streets trying to get them a better way of life, I've let trans women stay in my home because I didn't want them on the street…. Benefit shows, raising money, and for me to get on Drag Race and everything that I've ever done for the gay community gets replaced with people saying I'm transphobic, xenophobic, I'm a horrible human being, not talented enough to be on Drag Race, that hurt me for a long time, and I had to learn how to rebuild myself.
I'm glad to hear that Ra'Jah — who went through something similar after season 11 — and A'Keria were so supportive. In what ways did you all provide support each other?
I almost quit drag. I have degrees in everything; if my community doesn't want me, if I'm this horrible, I could just go back to corporate America and live my best life. A'Keria and Ra'Jah picked me up and lifted me. What changed all of that was, before coronavirus, in January, we had a tour…. we were on the road, To Wong Foo-style, AJ and the Queen-style, and we bonded a lot. Those girls helped put me together so it would be undeniable, that nobody could come for [my makeup or garments]. They became coaches or mentors. I always tell Ra'Jah, "What God has for you is for you," and it got to the point where she had to tell that to me. This is our journey, and if it's going to be rough, we've handled roughness as Black men in America. Those girls were by my side and helped me move on with drag and to not second-guess myself.
I'm glad we're seeing those emotional moments with you this season in the Werk Room so people can see the kindness. But because you said that you were so anxious about how you'd come off, that meant you were in your head about it, so does it feel awkward watching yourself this season, knowing you might've been trying to downplay certain personality traits?
Yes. It was very strange, and it was kind of demeaning. I had to sit there and think about everything I said and did instead of living unapologetically because some gay folks on the internet bullied me into even thinking about it. I always say that the way ya'll treated me during season 11 is the same way that straight people, church people, teachers, and bullies treat kids that are in school trying to live their life unapologetically…. what got me to go back was the support within the sisterhood. Alyssa [Edwards] called, Shangela called, Vanjie, those girls helped me prepare for All Stars. Alyssa said, "You know what, Silky? You have to go on. But, if you ever feel like you're in a [difficult position], bow out gracefully."
On that note, we saw that you and A'Keria voted for each other. In Untucked, we see that she gave you permission to vote for her. Had your mind been made up on who you were going to vote for before that, or did A'Keria's speech make that decision for you, and why did you ultimately vote for her over Jan?
It's not just on friendship. I felt like Jan did the worst in the challenge. If you go to the week before, Jan brought that blue corset from home and just decorated it. I felt like she didn't put effort into the challenge. Jan is a singer and didn't sing live at the talent show. I sang live! I based it on efforts…. I was going to vote for her, but A'Keria told me, "If you stay and vote for Jan, the other girls are going to get you out." The voting was weird…. The feeling in the voting is like, if you don't vote for who the group thinks should go home, you're going to be the next bitch. I didn't feel like we should've voted for Serena [ChaCha]. Serena didn't have the worst talent show. But, the group made their mind up that Trinity [K. Bonet] has more to offer than Serena, so the group said we're voting for Serena to go home, and if I didn't pull Serena's lipstick, I was going to be next. That's how I felt.
You were apprehensive to even voice this as a concern, and that you couldn't say anything in fear of ruffling feathers?
Yes, that's the thing: You have to vote for who the group wants, or you're going to be out…. I think I got eliminated because I didn't stand up for Jiggly or Serena like I should've, so I was the next one to get eliminated, and I'm at peace with it. But, hashtag #SilkyIsComing, it might not be over for me!
You said on Twitter that you were helping other queens with their looks in the Werk Room last week, and Ra'Jah and A'Keria said this episode that you were so supportive of all the queens. Can you explain a little more on what you helped with?
Kylie [Sonique Love], I helped her sew and get the machines together, Trinity had an entire bottom of a gown because I gave her those materials, Yara [Sofia] had the strings and tulle because I gave it to her, and these girls pulled my lipstick. That hurt me to my core. I was watching the girls vote and they'd come back out and not make direct eye contact with me. I knew what was going on.
And it doesn't help that, on the stage during the lip-sync, it looks like Laganja Estranja accidentally hit you in the face with her jacket? What happened there?
Her jacket and her corset, twice! I'm getting eliminated and I'm up here getting hit! [Laughs] She apologized. I love Laganja. She was having her own moment, so I can't be mad! She didn't do it on purpose!
What's next for Silky, besides your book, Cocktails for a Queen?
At this point, I no longer have an agent. I want to do more TV and film, more writing; I want to become a New York Times best-selling author. I just want to conquer the world. I want to entertain. I'm 31 years old, from the south, I thought I'd be married by now, and I'm not. I'm going to do everything that I want in this world independently. I'm going to work hard, hopefully buy a house at the beginning of the year, six bedrooms with a pool because I want a big old, country ass house. I want to live my best, authentic life. That's all I can give right now. I'm working on becoming a motivational speaker, because I'm a Black kid from Mississippi, and I represent a lot. I didn't know how much me telling my story would touch people…. as a plus-sized person, as a Black person, as Christian person, as a person with an education, because we need education reform in the gay community, that's where I'm needed right now.
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