Instinct Interviews The Eliminated Queen From RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6: Week 4 [Spoilers!]
"Keep calm and Carrion."
That was RuPaul's meme-ready send-off to six-ening RuPaul's Drag Race competitor, April Carrion, after this week's elimination, and it's advice the Puerto Rican beauty has taken to heart since sashaying away from the runway. Instinct's Jonathan Higbee caught up with April shortly after she watched her elimination episode to chat about the unlucky acting challenges, her work appearing at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival and how she's not a pageant queen, dammit.
Jonathan Higbee: Hi April! I was so sad to see you leave this week!
April Carrion: I know, right? I was supposed to be Top Three at least, but it is what it is.
Why do you think it was you to go this week?
Someone has to go, that’s the point of it, but it sucks it was me. I did want a chance to experiment and get a spotlight on this character. I didn’t want to be safe. I just wanted to renew my name from last week, when I was in the bottom two.
Do you think that if the past two weeks had not been acting challenges you may have stayed longer?
I guess, yes. But I wouldn’t change anything I did. At the end of the day, things happen for a reason, and it just wasn’t meant to be. I would’ve loved to have been on the show longer, but I’m going to be happy with it. Hopefully I’ll be in RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars Season Two ... I’m going to win that, so it’s going to be hot.
How was it working with Lucian Piane this week?
He’s awesome. We didn’t have a lot of time together, but he’s really nice, cute. He’s just really cool and doesn’t take himself too seriously. He likes to do spoofs about everything, as you know.
You took his direction really well, which was evident from rehearsal to the performance of the Rusical. I'm kind of surprised you were eliminated after the obvious hard work you put in this week.
Definitely. He gave me all those pointers and I literally didn’t sleep at night before going to the Rusical. I stayed up all night rehearsing that song, and listened to everyone. I just saw [the episode]—yes, I was kind of offbeat but I didn’t think it was horrible.
You just saw the episode?
Yes. I’m in Puerto Rico. We don’t have Logo here so I had to wait until this morning when they posted it online.
It must have hard to wait until this morning to see it.
I know! Everyone kept messaging me and Tweeting me and I’m like, “I’m lost, I haven’t seen it.” [Laughs]
Did any of the testimonials from the other queens during the episode or Untucked surprise you?
No, none of them said anything negative. I’m really happy with that. It sucks that I didn’t get to show as much as I would’ve liked.
After we finished taping, lots of girls came back to me saying "Oh my gosh, you’re really talented.” They saw everything I had done and just really saw potential. I’m just really glad they recognized my talent.
Did you connect with any other queen on a close friendship level?
Yeah, with Gia [Gunn], surprisingly. She’s Japanese but surprisingly she speaks Spanish really fluently. We were always chi- chatting in Spanish, calling each other “punto,” talking shit about the other girls. It was really fun with her.
I really bonded with Ben [DeLaCreme] as well. He’s so cool, so understanding and just a sweetheart.
Who do you think or want to go all the way?
If I was on the couch watching the season, I would definitely be rooting for Milk. His interpretation of drag is everything, so out there, so new. I live for it. He can see the art, the fashion, the spookiness, a bit of everything. I just really like his aesthetic, his drag. I know many people don’t get it, but I like it.
You have a clever idea for social media every week through the rest of the season. Can you tell me a bit about that?
I have a bunch of artist friends because I went to art school here in Puerto Rico. I’m collaborating with a lot of them to make a huge statement and make Puerto Rico proud. Each week I’m working with various photographers—one of them being Josh Anton who does most of my pictures—and with a few directors on short films of each of the looks I was going to present in each episode. I feel like each of my looks were going to be killer. I want everyone to see them because I’ve prepared them and I didn’t get to show them, so I’m creating a great outlet for everyone to enjoy them.
I’ll post them to YouTube, then I’ll post them everywhere.
What's something that Drag Race viewers who only got a taste of you should know about April Carrion?
Everybody should know I’m not a pageant queen. I really don’t like pageant. I’ve seen it in a bunch of media, ugh, “The Puerto Rican Pageant Queen.” I did pageants in Puerto Rico because that’s the only way you can get noticed. If you don’t do a pageant you are nobody here. It created a great platform for everyone to get to know April in Puerto Rico.
Another thing is that I’m an art student. I’m interested in being a gender fuck, not just being a pretty, fishy queen. I don’t rely on my fishy-ness. I like to push boundaries with my look and make a statement every time I go out.
What have you been up to since filming the show?
I’ve been doing lots of photo shoots, lots of videos with my friends over here. I really want to make the most out of this opportunity that I can. I actually taped a documentary that’s premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival this coming April. It’s called Mala Mala.
So, what else is next for April Carrion?
Hopefully I’ll be traveling. I love traveling and seeing my fans.
I hope to span the boundaries of drag. Not only stay in nightclubs and doing shows, but just really getting drag out there into mediums and outlets that aren’t used to seeing drag queens and aren’t comfortable with them. I’d like to make people understand the mentality of just being who you want to be. There is possibility for everything! And hopefully I’ll be a fashion icon soon. [Laughs]
And All Stars Season 2, right? [Laughs]
Yes, that is a must! I have to be the first Puerto Rican to win RuPaul’s Drag Race!
For more of April Carrion, check out her YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and use the hashtag #April4AllStars2 in social media posts directed @RuPaulsDragRace to vote to include April in the second season of All Stars!