Joining me this week is Sara Andrews, who has quickly become one of my favorite queens in the short time she's been in Chicago.
Chad: Sara! I'm really excited to talk Drag Race with you! I've totally fallen in love with you, your style, and your performances since you moved to Chicago – about a year ago, was it?
Sara: Yup! I fell asleep in sunny 75 degree Florida and woke up in a 10 below zero blizzard last January.
Chad: Ugh, I apologize on behalf of the entire city of Chicago. Now, you've been really outspoken about the show's general politics of representation on social media, but first, I'd like to hear what you thought about the week's "political" challenge.
Sara: I loved it! Drag is meant to be a lot of fun, of course. But it's also good to be vocal about important things like politics, too, if you're in the public eye. It made me love Bob even more. It showed that he was more than just funny. He had some depth, too.
Chad: That's true! I felt like the most political discussion in the show wasn't in the challenge, but rather with Bob in the workroom. I LOVE me a socially conscious queen!
Sara: Oh, for sure! If you have a voice, and you don't use it for good, you're wasting it.
Chad: Did you know she's also auctioning off a lot of the clothes she wore on the show for charity?
Sara: I saw that! That's incredible! I absolutely adore her!
Chad: I felt like the actual challenge this week wasn't really about any kind of heightening of political consciousness, but rather about making fun of each other. But that was still pretty entertaining! I thought it was a cleverly designed exercise. The queens knew that they couldn't be TOO mean about their partners, but they also had to be entertaining. It allowed for some character work, some jokes, and a lot of Pit Crew action!
Sara: It was a good ratio of serious to entertaining.
Chad: So aside from Bob, whose performance did you like most?
Sara: I actually really liked Derrick's. Although I have a feeling Bob probably helped him out a lot with that.
Chad: Yeah, it was an interesting challenge in that regard -- the partner often helped carry the other queen's commercial with their goofy acting! I didn't feel like Derrick's jokes were that strong, but she was committed, and like you said, Bob helped out a lot. And admittedly, Derrick's "baby eating" contributions to Bob's commercial were also... delicious?
Sara: Hahaa! For sure. I enjoyed Chi Chi's as well! Being a southern girl, I thought a lot of her jokes were funny. I was surprised that she did so much better than Thorgy in the challenge.
Chad: Chi Chi definitely had some great jokes! Do you relate at all to her turmoil about playing up her "deep South" roots?
Sara: Oh, for sure. I grew up without a pot to piss in as well. Hahaa! Even though I hate that she uses her poverty as an excuse so much, I understand where she's coming from. But sometimes, you just gotta laugh about it.
Chad: Despite her excuses, do you think she's at the same level as the other remaining queens?
Sara: Not at ALL! I honestly thought she'd be one of the first to go. I'm all for an underdog storyline... but not a whiny underdog.
Chad: Oh really?? See, I think she's proven to be one of the very best lip sync performers this season. Would you agree with that?
Sara: I think I could definitely agree with that. She's from the South, after all. Drag down there is a little more old school. It's all about what you can do on the stage. So it make sense that she would excel in that area. From what I've seen, southern drag is to Broadway as northern drag is to Hollywood.
Chad: That's a fascinating analogy! (haha, anal)
Chad: Kim had a really rough week, but I have to say that I adored her commercial! I think she embraced her oddball sense of humor and pulled it off. How do you feel about her performance and longevity on the show?
Sara: Omigosh! You know I'm the biggest Kim Chi fan ever! I really liked her commercial a lot! I think there was only one joke that went over my head. The rest were hilarious to me. Kim is so quick witted. And, being that I'm a hill person from the backwoods of Tennessee, I can be a bit slow, sometimes. So it often takes me a little extra time to get Kim's jokes backstage.
Chad: I thought her "don't trust a skinny cook" angle was super smart. And self-deprecating jokes are always a safe bet, but I just hope she isn't really that hard on herself! How did you feel about the black and white runway? I'm glad that they at least acknowledged that they totally got the idea from Detox!
Sara: Ya, I am too! I loved it. Kim was my favorite, of course. She's just such a visual spectacle and a makeup genius. I liked that hers was outside the box from all the others.
Chad: Hers was the only one that made me flip my shit. Kim is a flippin' genius! What did you think of the lip sync? Was it even close?
Sara: Not at ALL. I think we only saw 2 half-second clips of Thorgy the whole time... probably for good reason. Those 2 clips were terrible. But, also, I've believed for quite some time that they choose the songs specifically for the queen that they want to stay.
Chad: Yes, I do think that's a valid theory -- I've worried for a few weeks that Thorgy wasn't being depicted well.
Sara: I really liked Thorgy in the beginning. But as the show went on she became more an more unlikable.
Chad: When Chi Chi's beads broke, what was Thorgy doing? Did you see how she kind of stopped performing and was grabbing for Chi Chi?
Sara: I did see that! I was wondering what that was all about. But it seemed like Thorgy seemed to not know a lot of the word. And, how any drag queen could not know the words to that song is beyond me.
Chad: I thought that Thorgy might have been worried Chi Chi was going to trip on the beads? Or something? It was a strange moment.
Sara: Maybe. Thorgy does seem like someone that would be caring like that.
Chad: I think Thorgy is a VERY strong personality. The competition played up her quirks and competitiveness, which is too bad. I still dig her, though!
Sara: Ya, I like her, too. I've learned not to judge the girls on the show too harshly. I've met too many that I loved on the show and ended up not caring for in person. And vice versa. Often times my least favorites on the show are my favorites when I work with them.
Chad: You don't have to answer this question, but here it is: You are given this week's challenge, and your partner is RuPaul. Where do you even start?
Sara: Hahaa! You know how I feel about RuPaul. I want to like her soooo bad! She was my idol growing up. I even drew her and sent her a fan letter when I was 14. Bought her autobigraphy, albums, watched her talk show on VH1. If it had to do with RuPaul, I had it. But I feel like she's quickly becoming the Caitlyn Jenner of drag. It's great that she's shining a spotlight on her community. But the ignorance she has for the current state of said community is mind boggling. Not that I'm one to talk, really. Kids these days have so many terms for gender and sexuality, it's confusing. But at least I'm making an effort to understand it all. She's very set in her ways.
Chad: In her controversial Vulture interview, she said that trans people take gender too seriously. Do you think that's true?
Sara: I think it can be. But I also know a lot of drag queens who take their gender too seriously. And I know a lot of trans people who don't take theirs seriously at all, too. It seems to me that Ru sees the trans vs drag issue in black and white (as does much of the media) when, in fact, it's actually a very colorful spectrum. I chuckled to myself when I saw that the runway challenge was black and white, by the way. How fitting...
Chad: Ha! Well said! What perspective do you think a trans performer could bring to the show?
Sara: I feel like drag today is all about saying, "Fuck you," to gender norms and the gender binary. But I feel like Drag Race still caters to those norms a bit at times in order to appeal to a wider audience. I really think a trans perspective could push the boundaries that Drag Race is trying to push even further. And why not?! The trans issue is HUGE right now. Heck. If we have a right wing Republican trans person in the media, why not the opposite end of the spectrum - a trans drag queen?!