CHAD: Hi Eva! You’ve joined the Chicago drag scene a few years ago, is that right? What brought you to the Windy City?
EVA: I actually moved here February of last year, but I’ve been visiting on and off for years. I slowly fell in love with Chicago with each visit I made and there are a TON of reasons I wanted to move, including just getting the entire hell out of what I’ll refer to as the Hellmouth, lol. It’s weird cuz although I still feel very new here, I at the same time feel right at home, thanks to everyone here being so welcoming and kind. I honestly can’t wait to see what Chicago will transform me into cuz this scene is so out of this world and full of the most amazing aliens I’ve ever met in my life.
CHAD: Who are your celebrity fashion icons, and is Natalie Portman among them?
EVA: Oh God No lol! When he said Natalie Portman, I said it back out loud with confusion at the same time Shea did, and everyone around me busted out laughing. Clearly, he said that cuz he is straight and he thinks she’s hot. My personal icons in fashion are more of the people in the fashion industry itself cuz I’m a huge fan of that world, thus my last name, but if I had to pick from “celebrities”, I would probably say Bjork, Grace Jones, Róisín Murphy, Daphne Guinness, Erkyah Badu, Paloma Faith, Solange, Tilda Swinton & Janelle Monae. I gravitate more towards people who have a more uniquely organic sense of fashion, and although I enjoy the likes of Rihanna or Gaga, I feel that they are more at the hands of a stylist who manufactures their looks... sorry ladies. No T No Shade.
CHAD: This episode started with the other girls “moving on” from any obligations they felt about supporting Nina through the competition -- Were you rooting for Nina? Or were you surprised that she made it this far into the season?
EVA: Well, speaking of Bjork, ever listen to the lyrics of her song “Army of Me”? That song perfectly describes that entire situation. Nina’s self defeating personality can be a heavy weight to those who want to uplift her because it seems like a never ending battle. It’s almost like talking to a wall at a certain point, and honestly, you just have to let go and stop walking her by the hand. I honestly sympathize with her cuz I used to very much be like her for most of my life, and at times that darkness can come creeping back to ruin an otherwise perfectly good moment or day. I was and still am very much rooting for Nina cuz she is amazingly talented and unique. She is bringing something entirely new to drag and despite her being eaten by her cloud of darkness, she is loveable and charming, so I wasn’t surprised at all that she made it this far. I hope she can one day get over that emotional hill cuz once she does she’ll be damn near unstoppable.
CHAD: I thought that it was interesting that Shea and Sasha were put in the position of pairing off the queens with their crew members -- were there any shady choices?
EVA: I call no shade, lol. I thought overall they were very fair. They mentioned that they paired people based on their personalities matching, but it almost seemed like they were also pairing people up based on likeness of frame and features, which is very important. I very much doubt any of the queens had a spare outfit for someone who was way out of their own build. Picture if Rizzo was paired with Alexis? Now that would have been shady.
CHAD: Do you think it was smart of Shea to pick the crew member with the closest “family resemblance”?
EVA: Yes, and plus, she lucked out a little bit, as well. There are ALL SHADES of Brown and Black people, and sadly, the makeup industry still caters very little to us in that aspect, so as a Black/Brown person it’s already a huge struggle to find even something as simple as a good foundation that comes close to matching to what your shade is, let alone contours and highlights (Not every black girl needs to do banana as a highlight *insert eyeroll*). Josh was very close to the same shade as Shea, and Shea has thankfully figured out her own colors, so it was a smart choice cuz she only had to focus on shapes and dimensions.
CHAD: Nina struggled a lot this episode because of her sewing skills. My favorite part was when she was tracing her partner’s body onto the fabric -- is that how sewing works??
EVA: Well... I’m not gonna out right say no. Let’s just say it’s not a “traditional” technique lol. When I saw him on the floor being sketched out like a damn crime scene, I about screamed out loud of laughter. Drag Race is not the best time to try out something you’ve never done before. Jeez, I really wish she would have implemented her paper/makeup technique into costumes. Now that would have been amazing! I was really hoping for that all season really, but it would have especially worked well during this episode.
CHAD: I think the makeover episodes are often a lot of fun to WATCH, but they’re generally not very fun for me to DRAW -- so much of the queens’ effort is put into making two fairly basic looks that work well together rather than a single memorable one. Which runways looks stood out to you?
EVA: Ugh, I personally hate these episodes. It’s so forced and out of place cuz you have all of these one-of-a-kind monsters who now have to water themselves down in order to match with someone else. I can definitely understand your feelings about drawing them cuz as you said, nothing memorable look-wise ever comes from these episodes. Also there is a bit of a sabotage element cuz they can really mess up your presentation in a split second, and you’re the only one that’ll get blamed. It’s so unfair... but so dramatic to watch, so I guess it makes good TV because ANYONE can get thrown in the dumpster no matter how well they do. Sasha was the only one to me that stood out cuz it was still very her without much sacrifice to her overall persona.
CHAD: I have to say that my favorite runway presentation was Sasha and Dunatella’s -- it was sleek and arty, but also very playful. But I’m getting worried that Sasha won’t win a single challenge on her own this season, which is weird for a queen who’s made it so far. What do you make of Sasha and her standing in the competition?
EVA: Ummm I don’t know cuz she is not doing anything wrong. I think based on first impressions I was worried that she’d be an artsy type that would get stuck in her head over-analyzing things, but she hasn’t done that. She has def stuck out and tried different things and also is listening to the judges. I just think she has that Season 2 Pandora Boxx curse of doing well, but there is always one person who does slightly better and ends up winning over her. Wait, maybe that was a bad comparison cuz Pandora fell cuz of her terrible runways, and Sasha doesn’t have that problem, lol ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
CHAD: Did Trinity deserve the win this week? I’ve lost track of how many challenges she’s won, and she’s definitely proving to be one of the most memorable characters of the season -- do you think she’s a contender for the crown?
EVA: Oh, most def. I was really pulling for Sasha, but Trinity came through with both the runway AND the team lip sync, which she didn’t treat as an afterthought, which was very smart on her part. I’m a big Trinity fan and supporter. I’m lucky enough to have known of Trinity damn near when she first was getting her feet off the ground and have been following her for years. People automatically wrote her off cuz of the “pageant” label which I get cuz maaaaannn pageant queens can be stuck in their 1980 drag ways, but Trinity has always been different, which is why I’ve always been a fan. I’ve worked with her a couple of times, and she’s just as lovely in person as she appears on TV, which is great cuz most aren’t.
CHAD: Did Shea deserve to be in the bottom two? And how much of that was entirely due to Bae’s epic wig malfunction?
EVA: Deserve? That’s questionable. Sorry, but I call complete bullshit on what happened. No one is gonna sit here and tell me Shea didn’t have that gurl’s hair together, I don’t believe it for a second. The production crew as the paired sisters?!?! I.SMELL.A.STUNT.!! Shea is all about details and making sure everything is right and polished, so she would have never made such an amateur mistake as that. Call me a reddit conspiracy theorist, but I have a feeling she was set up. From that bowlegged polio ass walk to him probably shifting and f*cking up that wig RIGHT before they hit the runway so Shea wouldn’t have time to fix it. Stunts, Shows & Shenanigans. I was born tomorrow night, not last night. Boo, I’m not the fool.
CHAD: What did you think of this week’s lip sync? I was excited to see Shea lip sync, despite the inherent drama of it, but it just wasn’t a particularly exciting song, right?
EVA: I wasn’t mad at the song per se, but yea, a lot of people at the viewing party I was performing at weren’t feeling the song at all and loudly expressed that when it started to play. Did Kesha truly lose the rights to her music? Could they have still not paid the fee to have any of them be played? Shea has always been a solid performer, so I wasn’t surprised at the turnout, and I’m glad all of the world got to see her perform, although they technically already did during her epic Blac Chyna portrayal, but as you can tell, I’m not happy about how it all went down. I really feel that it was completely out of her hands, and she was sabotaged.
CHAD: And my final question: Is it too early to call it? Winter Green wins Season 10?
EVA: Well, I already like her better than Eureka, so she’s got my vote.
Photo credits, in order: Dillon Gitano, Colectivo Multipolar, Erik M. Kommer, Joshua Foo, TJ Deaver (2 photos), and Adam Ouahmane
CHAD: Thanks for joining me, Eva! Where can people find you?
EVA: Well, through social media you can find me either on Facebook or Instagram. I’ve been blessed to be at many places in Chicago, but some upcoming shows and hosting gigs I’ll be a part of soon are Honeys on Halsted on June 7th at Hydrate, Sidetrack Drag Race viewing parties on Fridays during and after each episode, and June 22nd will be the 4th Chicago addition to “Black Girl Magic” at Berlin Nightclub, which is great cuz we are basically opening up Pride weekend!!