Joining me this week to talk Drag Race is Kim Chi! She's a phenomenal Chicago queen who performs all over. She's amazing.
Chad: So, I'm kind of sick of all the constant discussion about this season, whether it's any good, and "When is Trixie coming back?". At least this week, we finally have an answer.
Kim: In a season filled with group acting challenges, this episode finally gave me everything I needed! We got to see more of the eliminated queens' personalities and the remaining queens' creativity and crafting skills!
Chad: I know! FINALLY! Some CRAFTING! Design! And it was really fabulous to see all those girls together again. UNTUCKED was particularly special and filled me with goodness. Now, when I heard that there would be this conjoined twin challenge, I was kind of hoping that the eliminated queen would get to make over her partner! Wouldn't you have killed to see Trixie paint Pearl?
Kim: That would've been great, but that could've gone wrong in so many ways! This season's queens aren't as big of saboteurs as the previous seasons, but I can just imagine some eliminated queen painting a busted mug on a polished queen out of spite. Who wants to see Miss Fame with a beard, anyway?
Chad: Ha! Yeah, that's very true. And I think the top 7 did a superb job. How weird is it for a queen to have someone else do their makeup? Is it uncomfortable? Fun?
Kim: I think it depends on the queen. In the pageant system, a lot of the girls get their mug painted by a make up artist or another queen whose mug they admire in order to bring up their level of polish. Some queens will never have another queen paint their mug in order to continuously improve their skills and hone their signature make up style. When I first started, Pearl and Kahmora Hall painted my face just to show me how they do their mug, and it was a great learning experience for me! I think it's refreshing to see different products and different skills being done to yourself to expose you to a variety of techniques.
Chad: Do you think any of the queens gave their twin a particularly notable transformation? Taught them a few new tricks?
Kim: Trixie's transformation was definitely notable! We're so used to seeing her with cartoony, deranged make up, it was a refreshing change of pace to see her with no bottom eyeliner and white waterline. I'm sure they were on a time crunch to get everything done, so I don't necessarily know if anyone learned new tricks, but I thought everyone looked amazing!
Chad: Agreed! I love Trixie's usual look, but she and Pearl did such a great job of giving themselves enough of a family resemblance that it really worked!
Kim: Also, their look had a strong concept and a visual narrative that fit both of their drag personas really well.
Chad: Katya and Kasha really stole the show, too! I feel like they were a very, very close second. But Trixie's elimination always felt very weird to me, and it seemed like a setup to her inevitable return.
Kim: Trixie hardly got a storyline before her elimination, which was very weird to me, as well. I know her very well, and she's an extremely funny person with a sick, twisted sense of humor, and that hardly got portrayed on the show prior to her elimination. Katya/Kasha's look had a strong visual narrative as well, but Pearl and Trixie managed to serve both glamour, camp and comedy, which is why I think they ultimately won.
Chad: Yeah, that's a good point. Although twins, they managed to serve two very different, but related, looks. What do you think Trixie will make of her second chance?
Kim: I think Trixie will definitely make the most out of her second chance! I can't think of another person who's more deserving of this opportunity. For the first three years of her doing drag, lots of people in her hometown didn't understand her look or her sense of humor, and she really had to fight for her existence. Once she started performing in Chicago, everything changed. People were responding extremely well to her numbers, and she built quite a fanbase. Even though it would cost her a lot of money to travel into the city every weekend, she would take all of her drag on a train or a bus, come down here for a booking only to head right back home with no money in her pocket. She has such a strong work ethic, it's mind blowing to me, because I've never seen anyone who worked as hard as she did. One time, her bus broke down on the highway, so she got off and walked down the ramp to catch a cab so she could make it to the gig. Another time, Amtrak lost her luggage, so she whipped up a quick outfit out of things she had laying around and did her make up with cotton swabs. Which is why it broke my heart to see her go on episode four. She hustles so much and is so humble, I really want her to take this crown and showcase her talent to the world. Even though she's so well known now, she manages to stay the exact same person she was before. Self sufficient, easy going, and always punctual.
Chad: I'm hoping that Trixie really has a chance to shine in next week's John Waters challenge! Man, I can only imagine what Ginger, Katya, and Trixie will cook up for that! It seems like it will be perfect for their respective styles and sensibilities.
Kim: Trixie will ace the John Waters challenge! Her deranged sense of humor will be perfect for it!
Chad: Yeah, Trixie is amazing. I'm so glad I got to see her perform in Chicago before she got too famous for us! But seriously, for the record: Was that your green dress she was sent home in?
Kim: Everyone assumes that dress is mine, but it's Trixie's dress that I borrowed! She told me to hold onto it as long as I want, and after episode four, it all made sense. I'm assuming she doesn't want to travel in the dress she got eliminated in! Come on, cultural sensitivity!
Chad: Well, you ARE the secret asian queen of Season 7! Has it been weird to see your name keep popping up in Drag Race forums this season? Flattering? Funny?
Kim: I was there, you never saw me because I managed to evade the camera with my secret ninja skills! It is really flattering, and I'm grateful, but it is a bit overwhelming! I can't fly, teleport or raise anyone from the dead. I'm just an Asian man in a wig doing k-pop numbers and wearing big, crazy outfits.
Chad: Wait, you're a MAN?
Kim: Shhh it's a secret. Secret Asian queen full of manly secrets
Chad: So, aside from your frenemy Trixie, is there anyone else you're rooting for this season?
Kim: With every episode, I am extremely impressed and inspired by Violet's looks! For someone so young, her taste level and execution are impeccable! I will go as far as to say some of her looks are legendary! Miss Fame is incredibly sweet and quirky. I enjoy every moment she's talking on the screen. Pearl's been coming out of her shell (pun intended) and the audience is finally able to see the fun, quirky side of her.
Chad: I agree that Violet is pretty much amazing, and I love that she's making an effort to open up and show some warmth to the other queens. She'll clearly always have an attitude, but maybe she deserves it! I agree that Miss Fame is phenomenal. Do you think Ru is giving her a hard time with that goddamn "head" joke?
Kim: She gave me good head with the knife look last week.
Chad: I think if Ru kept asking me "How is your head?" I would just try to keep coming up with more deranged answers. Like, "Toothy." "A little drooly." "There may be blood."
Kim: LOL! let's get you on this show so you can draw yourself every week
Chad: Ugh, self portraits are so indulgent!
Kim: Aren't all drag queens a little self-indulgent to a degree, though? Being creatures of vanity and all?
Chad: I think it's fair to say that, yes, when one spends hours a day on their makeup, they might be a little preoccupied with their looks!
Kim: Some of us, not enough time on our make up.
Kim: Oh, and how could I forget Katya, who is basically a one-liner factory?
Chad: I'm SO glad to see that she seems to have loosened up over the last few episodes. She seems to have more fun with the judges on the runway, and she got major props from the other queens this week in Untucked! Her own neuroses are clearly her worst enemy, since everyone else loves the hell out of her.
Kim: Her humor never seems forced, and it feels authentic to her. I can't wait to see all the other jokes she's got in her head!
Chad: Yeah, she seems endlessly authentic. And she almost never turns her humor on the other queens – it's pretty much always endearingly self-deprecating. She has a very weird, witty, meta sense of humor as a drag queen, almost like Alaska. And here's hoping she ascends to super stardom like her, too!
Kim: If you can't make fun of yourself, how in the hell are you gonna make fun of someone else, right?
Kim will be at Hysteria by the Bad Kids collective at the Metro Bar in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 4th! She'll be hosting GayGlow at Hydrate on June 5th, Milwaukee Pride on June 6th, and then Iowa City Pride (with Trixie, Katya, and Sasha Belle) on June 18th! She'll be hosting Neverland's Bougie Ball on June 27th and the Chicago Pride closing party June 28th.
She's also a regular performer at Trannika's Most Wanted everything third Monday at Scarlet in Chicago, and at Berlin's Drag Matinee on Sundays!
As always, you can find my art on my Etsy store! And you can find ME at C2E2 in Chicago this weekend!! I'll be in Artist Alley, Table A-4! I'll have my queen art and comics, and I'm dying to meet all of you.
Last week, I launched an exciting new collaborative comic project called The Cardboard Kingdom! I'm seeking your story ideas for some imaginative, fun children's comics! Click here to find out more and submit your stories!