In anticipation of the premiere of Ru Paul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, we chat with BenDelaCreme, Chi Chi and Shangela about the return to Drag Race and find out what we have to look forward to. All you ready? Tonight RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars returns to our TV Screens today!!
The drag queens competing and returning to the work room are: Morgan McMichaels (Season 2) Shangela (Seasons 2 and 3) Milk (Season 6) BenDelaCreme (Season 6) Kennedy Davenport (Season 7) Trixie Mattel (Season 7) Chi Chi Devayne (Season 8) Thorgy Thor (Season 8) Aja (Season 9) However, RuPaul has only revealed nine of the 10 queens participating in the new season and the identity of the 10th will remain a mystery.
I caught up with BenDelaCreme, Shangela and Chi Chi Devayne ahead of tonight’s premiere to spill the beans.
How did they invite you back to Drag Race?
Shangela: I always have my phone on standby for RuPaul’s calls honey. You know he’s called me back twice? I’m always ready for a RuPaul call. When I got the call for All Stars 3 I was just over the moon. I loved watching All Stars 2, but this, 3 for me is a special number. This is my third time being back as a contestant. This is All Stars 3 and I feel like I’m an adult going back to the competition.
When I started I had only been doing drag for five months and when I went back to season 3, I had only been doing it for one year. Now, I’ve come into myself and I’m ready to turn the party girl!
BenDelaCreme: It was a crazy time of year when I got the call. I was in workshopping process for a new show that I was working on here in Seattle. I was getting ready to go to Provincetown and then I got the call and thought I’d have to cancel so many things. I was wondering how I’d have a better experience than the first time and being eliminated and having everyone freak out about it being the wrong thing is better than winning because you’re permanently the underdog.
The bottom line for me is that Drag Race is an incredible cultural phenomenon and for me as a kid to have that on TV. I feel it’s important for people to see and I’m excited to be a part of it.
What have you been up to since the last time we saw you?
BenDelaCreme: I’ve been keeping really busy. I’ve written and toured solo shows. I’ve been touring all over the world doing all the various nightclub and cabaret gigs. I’m still based in Seattle where I write, produce and direct multicast shows and make a point to be here a few times a year.
Chi Chi: I’ve been constantly working and making appearances. I’ve been fortunate to be one of the girls that constantly works after their season. I’ve been working the whole time.
How have you grown since we last saw you?
Shangela: Anyone who saw season two and three knows pretty much everything has evolved except my spirt for Drag and my love for performing. The other items, hair and makeup have caught up to me.
What have you learned since being on Drag Race?
Shangela: You really have to be confident and comfortable with you and your drag in going into the competition because so many things will be thrown at you. You need to have a stable foundation of who you are. That’s what the judges want. They want you to be the best versions of who you are.
You have to make every moment count. Every time you have the opportunity to and that’s what I want to do on the runway. I’ve been the first girl to go home before and I’ve also not been the first girl. I know every runway and every time you are in front of those judges is an opportunity to make a moment.
BenDeLaCreme: I think that’s the big one, that we are all working constantly. There’s nothing that hones your craft like experience and there’s no way to get the experience like performing in front of an audience every day. You have to solve problems really fast. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve landed in a city and found out that the format of a show is different to what I thought it was. Life becomes a Drag Race challenge. I feel a more honed Drag Queen.
Chi Chi: I’ve learned you have to live in the moment and give it your all and everything is going to be alright if you go for it.
Is there anybody you’ve been excited to work with and what was it like being back again?
Shangela: I’ve had the privilege of working with all of the girls because I’ve been around before most of them. All of them to be honest. I was the last one to come in. I love Kennedy Davenport because she was one of the first I ever saw and tipped. She was working in the clubs and to become friends, sisters and to be in the competition with her.
BenDeLaCreme: Interestingly enough, I didn’t know it would feel to walk in there, but as soon as I walked in there, I was much more relaxed than I was the first time. You know what you’re getting into and you understand the business a little bit more. The first time, you’re freaked out.
Seeing all the other queens was amazing. I think they’re all brilliant and there really is a sisterhood there and you’re excited to see everyone there.
Chi Chi: Trixie. Since her season, I’m constantly on her social media. The ability to play the guitar in that box. I’ve been keeping my eye on her because she’s so talented and I want to be like her when I grow up.
Shangela, you’re going to be in A Star Is Born starring alongside last season’s guest judge Lady Gaga. What was that like and what can you tell us about your part in the film because HELLOO MISS LADY GAGA!
Let’s call her the diva Lady Gaga! I’m a little monster and a proud little monster. It was a dream come true. When I got the call that I’d gotten the role that I auditioned for, it was “I’m going to be in a movie with Lady Gaga.” Then to find out that my scenes were with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. He comes to me and says, “I know this is your world, you just go as far as you want and I’ll pull you back if I have to.” I do my thing and he yells, “Cut.” I came over and told me that I was amazing and to keep doing what I was doing. It was fun. We had moments where I sat down with Lady Gaga. In my head, we’re homegirls and she’s coming to my barbecue at the weekend..in my head. She was everything that you would want someone who you look up to and admire. how you want them to be when you meet them, that’s exactly how she was. She was loving and generous with her time. She was awesome.
Chi Chi, I saw on your Instagram someone gave you trash bags, is that an ongoing thing for you?
I get a lot of mention of it, but this was the only time that someone actually brought trash bags to a meet and greet and I used it for my entrance in All Stars
What do we have to look forward to from you and how has your style changed?
Shangela: Seeing Shangela be Shangela. I don’t think my personality has changed. I’m comfortable with who I am. So, if you loved me back then, or you love to watch. Honey, it’s going to be amped into x6 over here. Get ready because I’m ready to turn the party and show everyone what I’ve been able to evolve into and I hope it makes everyone who supported me proud!
BenDeLaCreme: I’ve been doing drag for ten years before I went on the show so I have a distinct style. Nothing improves your style more than having the post Drag Race money. I’ve had the chance to work with incredible costumes. It’s more developed.
Chi Chi: I call it Chi Chi 2.0. I’ve upgraded. I’ve got a few coins in the bank now and I can afford to polish myself up. You’re getting the same Chi Chi, but with a more polished look and more appealing to the eye.
BenDeLaCreme, you’re on tour?
I’m all over the USA and making a point to book my solo show Inferno A-Go-Go which ran off-Broadway. I’ll be bringing that to more cities.
I’m also going to be on the road with Peaches Christ and Jinx Monsoon. We’re doing a stage adaptation of Death Becomes Her.
Chi Chi, how has drag changed in your perspective?
Social media has changed drastically. When I first started doing drag, you had to wear pads and boobs and you had to have a structure. There was a standard where I was from. In the last few years, Drag is whatever you want it to be. You can look like a creature and it’s acceptable by millions of people. Everyone has a category that they fit into and it’s only happened recently.
Team Awards Daily TV answered a few questions about what they’re most excited for:
Which guest judge are you most excited for?
Jalal – My TV Queen Vanessa Williams and Tituss Burgess
Joey – I’m actually excited for Vanessa Hudgens!
Jazz – NANCY PELOSI! NANCY!!!! I’m excited about my Broadway queens Vanessa Williams, Tituss Burgess and Kristen Chenoweth.
Who are you most excited for and who are you most looking forward to seeing?
Jalal – Kennedy or Shangela (or the rumored tenth queen) Who I am Excited For? Chi Chi!
Joey- I’m most looking forward to BenDeLaCreme! And Chi Chi!
I’m actually excited for Vanessa Hudgens!
Jazz – Most looking forward to Shaegeaand Chi Chi and Vanessa Williams
Who I want to win – The fiercest of them all