So, this week I had a three-way. I wanted to chat with both Pissi Myles and photographer David Ayllon, but I couldn't pick between them! So I took 'em both. They're a dynamic drag duo in New Jersey -- Pissi Myles performs in Philly, New Jersey, and NYC, while David Ayllon has worked with TONS of amazing queens with his photography and design! (Photo by David Ayllon, obvs)
Chad: Okay, so this week we had a lot of tears, a lot of drama. My first question is: who has the coolest mom?
Pissi: Oh, definitely either Katya or Alaska. But Detox looks so much like her sister, you'd think that was the intention of all the surgery. Am I wrong!? They're like clones!
David: I loved Roxxxy's mom, but mostly because she reminds me of my grandma. She just seemed so sweet and totally into it, even if it was a totally different world for her (much like my grandma at Pissi's shows).
Chad: Yeah, it was fascinating to see these queens interacting with their loved ones -- clearly, Alaska and Katya inherited a TON of their mothers' humor!
David: Oh yeah. Katya's mom was a close second on the favorite mom scale. They almost spoke their own language, it was awesome.
Chad: It's called a Boston accent, David.
Pissi: Hahaha! WE'RE GOIN TO GINA'SSS (I hope you've seen The Heat)
David: Are you, or are you not a knock???
Pissi: A fuckin' knock!
David: Sorry, we've watched that movie a LOT.
Chad: Okay, okay, so back to our important discussion of reality television:
Pissi: So important.
Chad: Were you surprised by any of the family drama? Moved?
David: I was really shocked by Alyssa and her sister. I wasn't expecting it to get so deep. I almost didn't care how she did in the challenge, because I could feel how much she was going through it during the episode.
Pissi: I was really moved by Alyssa and her grieving process with her mom. My mom passed away a little less than a year ago, and every time she came on screen, I was like, "I need to go get a soda..." Lol
David: Yeah, Pissi and I didn't get to watch it together, but whenever Alyssa came on screen, I was thinking of Pissi.
Pissi: Awwwww not because of my mom, but because I'm batshit crazy.
David: lol definitely that.
Chad: Pissi, I'm sorry to hear about your mother! Would you ever want to hash out such intense family stuff on the set of a reality show?
Pissi: Absolutely not! I am a lonely griever, I don't like to cry in front of people lol
David: Unless it's at a Patti LuPone concert.
Chad: I always find these makeover weeks challenging to draw, just because the focus is more on the pair, rather than any one eye-catching look.
David: Oh I can only imagine. Do you find that when you're illustrating a queen you're toggling back and forth between drawing their actual facial features and drawing the face they paint on TOP of their face?
Chad: I really struggled with that face/"face" issue a lot in my early Drag Race work!
David: I still struggle with it. I just went through it with Pissi's t-shirt, haha [Now available here! YES GOURD!--Chad]
Chad: Now it's not so much of an issue. I've come to terms with the insanity of drawing people who have painted a second face on themselves.
Chad: Were either of you impressed with the makeovers on the runway this week?
David: I loooooooved Detox and her sister's looks. Those were Marco Marco, right?
Pissi: I thought Detox's sister really did look amazing.
Chad: So, honestly, something about those specific looks bothered me – I'm all about neon sci-fi realness, don't get me wrong. I just didn't love the print or something. I prefer a more graphic approach, as you might imagine.
David: You don't say! Lol I also thought Roxxxy and her mom looked amazing.
Pissi: Yeah! Roxxxy looked great, it was just not as great as everyone else's, unfortunately =\
David: I actually think my least favorite makeover was Alyssa's sister. She didn't seem as transformed as the others, but at that point I didn't care. I was just glad she was doing better and not crying anymore haha
Chad: When I was re-watching the runway this morning in beautiful HD on the Logo website, I actually thought Alyssa's sister looked GREAT -- at least, that amazing, enormous wig and her makeup!
Chad: I LOVED Katya's ridiculous, campy runway. Do you think Katya's crazy thrift-store chic is at all cheap, Pissi? Gimmicky? Or is it just... Katya?
Pissi: Well, as someone who is often criticized for being cheap, I can relate hahahaha I do think it was... simple.
Chad: That crazy macrame neck thing was so so so bizarre. It was even weirder to draw it. With the CLAM SHELL???? I mean....????
Pissi: She could do the same thing and push it a little farther. I definitely have felt that they've been unusually kind to her sometimes.
David: I love how wrong her outfits tend to be.
Pissi: Sometimes! Sometimes it works. But sometimes it just looks a little less than polished. It's kind of the only reason I wouldn't see her as a winner. That's how I felt during Season 7.
Chad: Was Alaska's performance as bad as everyone made it seem?
David: I don't think it was terrible, but then again, I didn't see the voguing part as "competition". I saw it more as an opportunity for a fun moment on stage with your family member. Some of the moms were older, so I didn't expect any of them to do a death drop.
Pissi: I didn't think it was terrible, but I was generally underwhelmed by the lip syncs last night. I was like... Do something! No one ever brings the camp to the lip sync anymore.
Chad: Ha! Well, so, that brings us to the big huge, sequined elephant in the room: what was up with Alaska's temper tantrum, and what does it mean for her on this show?
David: So many feelings.
Chad: I feel like Alaska is a tremendously talented person who DOES NOT deal well with disappointment. Does that seem fair?
David: Ultimately, her tantrum wasn't enough to make me hate her, or like her any less. I've been her in that moment. I think to some extent, we all have. There's a lot of pressure just being on that show, and I think there's especially a lot of pressure on her (I think everyone kind of ASSUMED she'd at least be top 3).
Pissi: I love Alaska, and I know what it's like to have bad anxiety, especially in a high pressure situation like a competition. I felt bad for her, although her words were pretty harsh. When you're in that space, though, it's a very indulgent place, and I'm sure she was scared for herself. It's really hard. I was simultaneously a little turned off and felt terribly for her. It's such a unique situation. I think she puts a lot of pressure on herself to succeed, and normally that's what she does! But when she doesn't, it is, to her, catastrophic.
Chad: Yeah, I mean, she just seemed upset, mostly at herself. She DIDN'T seem to direct it at anyone else, and she didn't start any fights. But she just seemed so defeated.
Pissi: Exactly, she was defeated and desperate. I've felt that way on occasion. Especially when you're going through these crazy drag competitions where the spectators are vicious!
Chad: What did you both make of her taking off all her drag at that point? Is that... unprofessional? Or do queens do that all the time?
David: Pissi usually can't wait to get out of drag, hahaha I'm about to get real nerdy: it reminded me of the episode of Grey's Anatomy where Christina Yang gets left at the altar and she's clawing at her neck to get her jewelry off and get her dress off. Spoiler alert.
Pissi: Ummmm I think it was probably a panic moment. If she has true anxiety, I could see her needing to rip it off. It's a lot. It's a lot to be dressed like that and going through chaos lol
David: It just felt like she just wanted to escape the situation as fast as possible, and the closest thing to leaving the room was getting out of her drag for a moment.
Pissi: Yes! It was a lot like that! You're literally covered in something that failed you, that disappointed you. And on top of it, she probably had to pee lol
Chad: Do you think it hurts her chances to win?
Pissi: Unfortunately, I could see this tilting the scales toward Katya. People really see her as this dark horse, it's crazy.
David: To an extent. I think everyone has an off day, even the queens on the show. I think it was a bigger deal because Alaska had been doing SO well up until this point.
Chad: Right, it was just SO SHOCKING to see this defeated, vulnerable side of Alaska. But honestly, I think it's had a huge effect on the fandom, at least in just the day following the episode.
David: It really has! But I think a lot of it was bubbling because she kicked off Tatianna twice. (I love Tati!)
Chad: When you look at World of Wonder's Twitter feed to see which #team tweet is getting the most retweets and support, Katya has an OUTRAGEOUS lead on everyone else!
Pissi: Really?!?! I haven't checked the WoW twitter, I have no idea what's happening.
Chad: I think Katya has always shown us her "worst" sides from the start-- her anxiety, insecurity, etc. Whereas Alaska has been so indomitable, and so it really shook a lot of fans to see it last night!
Pissi: Yeah, and when Katya flounders, it's much more quiet and self deprecating, where Alaska's came off as off-putting.
David: It actually reminded me of how far she's come since season 5. In the very first episode, I remember being so disappointed that she kind of gave up in the dunk tank photoshoot challenge.
Pissi: Yeah, same.
David: She's a completely different person now, and it made me think back to how far she's come.
Chad: Oh, that's a fascinating observation!What did you think of Katya and Alaska's chat in the midst of the tantrum?
David: It felt like they were asked to have a conversation and all Alaska wanted to do was hyperventilate in the corner (which is probably all I would want to do in that moment).
Chad: Katya has known ALL SEASON that Alaska is her biggest competition, clearly, right?
David: There's also the added pressure of possibly getting kicked off the show the night YOUR MOM COMES TO VISIT.
Chad: What do you think was going through Katya's head in deciding who to send home? And why did she screw with Alaska so much with that amazing, legendary, one word response:
Pissi: Oh, “Party” was the best response!
David: I'm sure Katya would've broken up Rolaskatox. Whether she would've kicked off Alaska or Roxxxy, I'm not sure.
Pissi: I don't think it was intentional 'cause she's not malicious, but I think it shook Alaska. I think Katya would've picked Roxxxy.
David: Yeah, I'm leaning toward that also.
Pissi: She's too smart, as good a strategy as it would be, to kick off Alaska. The fans would explode lol
Chad: Do you think the Rolaskatox bond has ruined this season?
Pissi: Honestly, no. I think there have been annoying moments, but it's not nearly as prevalent as people have been saying it is. This last week was the most obvious it's been, except with Alaska's elimination of Tati.
Chad: Or not “ruined”, but dramatically altered the outcome of nearly every lip sync?
Pissie: Oh sure, it's probably had an effect on the outcome.
David: That's sort of the point of this season, right? With Ru and the judges not choosing, anyone could go at any time. I never took the first episode conversation of sending home the worst of the night to heart.
Pissi: It's such a shame, though, 'cause you have to remember, there really aren't any queens on an All Stars season that no one likes.
David: Exactly. Which is probably why Ru didn't want to do it this time, hahaha For example, I don't know that I'd be able to send home my really close friends if I were Alaska last week, or Detox this week.
Chad: I think it's totally fair for a queen like Detox to say, "I'm not sending my best friend home." But... it's led to some undeserving queens getting the chop. What do you think of the All Stars experiment -- did this system work well for the season?
David: Yes and no. I think it made a lot of people angrier at the show, at seeing their personal favorites go home. But I think it's successful in keeping this season unpredictable, which the show needs. Otherwise it's the same girls, in similar challenges to what we've seen them in, with the same judges.
Pissi: I think it works better for All Stars than a regular season. These girls already have a fanbase. Imagine this happening Season 8? Do you think there would have been one queen that didn't send Bob home first out of fear? It would ruin the show for me, I think.
David: Agreed. I think it fits better with All Stars, where the girls have a level of respect for each other (sometimes). On a normal season, it would be anarchy.
Chad: Right, I think I liked this structure more at the beginning, when it really felt unpredictable.
Pissi: Yeah, it's a bit predictable at this point.
Chad: But after seeing Roxxxy in the bottom SO MANY TIMES and seeing each and every queen refuse to send her home, it.... got a little big predictable, yes.
Pissi: Chad, who's your pick for the winner???
Chad: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh...... ermmmmm I think Alaska has DOMINATED this season. Absolutely. She will probably win, definitely.
David: I still have my money on Alaska, especially since if it's already been filmed, the producer's might not have foreseen the social media backlash on Alaska. (OR DID THEY)
Pissi: Hahahaha they might have! I think it's a Chad Michaels situation – they did this for Alaska. I think she'll win.
Chad: Agreed. I think they included her meltdown to help make it a little more uncertain, to make it SEEM like it will be a closer competition than it really is.
Pissi: True! You know this system like the back of your hand hahaha
David: Ooooo, I didn't think of that, but you're right!
Chad: They often struggle at the end of a season to introduce SOME uncertainty, to obscure the frontrunner just a little bit. But it might have been TOO effective in this case!
Find my latest RPDR prints on Etsy! I've also posted a ton of brand new posters, which are stunnnning! I'll be selling my stuff at Chicago's SIDETRACK this week during the All Stars screening! So be there! Book your flights now!