Instinct Interviews The Eliminated Queen From RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6: Week 3
The best chance for the torch that RuPaul lit decades ago to be carried on might not come from the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race season 6—it might just be marched back out into the world in with the able hands of Vi Vacious. After making the most memorable (and social network-shareable) entrance this season, the veteran New York Club Kid sashayed away perhaps before her due following week three's "Scream Queen" challenge. Instinct's Jonathan Higbee caught up with the iconic queen a few days after the elimination was made known to the world to chat about the show, the challenge, the past and Vi Vacious' future.
Jonathan Higbee: Happy belated birthday!
Vi Vacious: Thank you darling. Now I’m 41, officially 14 again. I guess I can’t go to clubs again. [Laughs]
How’d you celebrate?
I spent it traveling around California working club to club with Morgan McMichaels. We had a blast. We took all of California by surprise. We went from Wednesday morning to Tuesday night performing back to back. It was a lot of fun, and so was the weather!
Why were you the one to be eliminated this week?
To be honest, I don’t know what what what WHAT happened! I was in L.A. when I was eliminated, so it happened in three different time zones for me. Every one from New York was highly upset. "What? She just destroyed Vi Vacious on the runway!"
Somebody said my aesthetic is dated. It might seem dated in terms of, yes, those spikes are from 18 years ago, but so what? I’ve seen so many queens in New York try to walk up to clubs in dresses to try to get a job and I walk in and they go, “Vi Vacious, you’re hired.” So, I guess dated means I get paid to do my job and being fishy means you work for free. I’ll be the dated working bitch, honey. There’s a billion of them that can put on a dress but it takes a lot of strength and confidence to wear what I wear. I work in straight clubs. My presence commands not just respect but also royalty.
Also, I could’ve sworn that there were other girls whose acting sections were worse than mine, who had to keep on doing it multiple times. At the end somehow it veered in my direction.
Would you have done anything differently?
Yes, only with the acting part of the challenge, meaning if there was more practice time to make sure there was a steady rhythm going on to handle lines and breath. In terms of "Would I change my aesthetic and look?" No. The world would not be the same if we came out of the house and wore the same outfit. If every day was a sunny day we would not know what a muggy day looks like. There needs to be a contrast, and I am that difference that makes people appreciate it.
Who will go all the way?
She’s a B.I.T.C.H. as in a beautiful, intelligent thing chasing homeboys, but she’s a good bitch, not a bad bitch; I’m voting for Bianca Del Rio! She came from Katrina land as in she moved to New York after everything of hers was destroyed in New Orleans. I’m a big fan of hers and would like to see her go all the way. I live and love for the bitch.
Also, Laganja Estranja. From a performance point of view—besides the death drops, let’s eliminate them out of the way—she’s the fiercest performer out of them all when it comes to can you conquer a stage. Laganja is what Vi Vacious was at that age. I broke my leg 10 years ago so I can’t do any of that madness anymore.
Laganja is the bitch that brings it, but when it comes to true talent and a mouth that can stop a million people in their tracks, the one and only Bianca Del Rio. So those are the two girls I’m rooting for.
Did you know or have a relationship with Bianca before the show both being New York queens?
No. We work in two different circles. While she was doing damage in the gay scene, I was doing power runs and spreading justice in the straight scene, ensuring straight people realize that gay people exist. I’ve been doing that for 21 years. It’s my job to walk into straight establishments, use my presence as a drag queen, as a performance artist and teach tolerance through acceptance. There’s no need to speak to the masses of gay people. They already know who they are; they already know what they like. The only way to unhinge a straight person’s mind is to be in front of them 24/7. It might not happen the first six weeks, but eventually they’ll accept you as an artist first. Then a year later, they’ll be the first to defend you when someone tries to use the f-word against you.
Who do you think should be the next to leave the show?
That’s low! [Laughs] First of all, you’re asking the wrong queen because that’s not me. I will never look at a queen and wish any of them harm. I’m not from that school. People like faggotry and they like all that kind of cutting up, but I’m not an old school bitch, honey. I did not get this far in life by being a jaded child. I’m a good bitch!
You told cameras that you hope to keep Club Kid Culture alive. Do you worry about its future?
Yes, to a certain extent. The gay community is embracing straight culture, straight music. We’re not supposed to. We’re supposed to be our own unique people. The word gay means Generations Ahead of Yesterday. Why are we taking three steps forward and falling backwards to do everything the regular people are doing? My doing what I’m doing is pushing Club Kid Culture into the future because it’s something that I’ve done for 21 years. I’ve seen the power of what it can do.
Club Kidism is power. Club Kidism is art. It’s the unknown. It’s next next next.
The media is trying to push the Beyonces and the pretty. With me being on that show, it’s meant to draw the consciousness into “Oh my god, what the hell is that?” If that’s what happens, then I’m already doing my job.
Ornacia already has her own Twitter account, so you’re doing something right…
Ornacia is the head of the damn competition, honey! As much as I speak about Laganja Estranja and Bianca Del Rio, Ornacia has already beaten those bitches by a mile, and they better take notes, honey!
What did it mean for you as a New York Club Kid to work with RuPaul and Michelle Visage?
My life has revolved around Mother Ru since day one. People don’t understand what RuPaul has done. She’s broken through barriers and worked her way into straight people’s consciousness to force them to mentally accept us as gays. There was a time we had to be bitch bitch bitch on the train; now, these little girls can go on the train and act like they’re Beyonce and fierce without getting their asses cut up and slashed. Twenty years ago, you try that on the train, honey, and you’d be dead before the next subway stop. RuPaul broke through those barriers.
Look at that Thanksgiving special with Lady Gaga! She brought RuPaul in. While families are sitting down eating Thanksgiving dinner, RuPaul just walked into their house! Okay? People just don’t understand that. She’s mentally changed the planet.
I’ve modeled my life after RuPaul. The only difference between RuPaul and I is she’s legendary beautiful fish. I am fierce gorgeous Club Kid. The template for who I am is based on her.
As far as Michelle Visage, darling, I listened to every single thing on her first album. Also, one of her fiercest house tracks that she did was the Palladium Mix of “It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day.” I know all 12 minutes and 13 seconds like the back of my hand.
To meet someone from Seduction, fierce; to meet my mentor RuPaul, heavenly. To me I’ve won. I don’t care who thinks they walk off with $100,000 because I’ve met my mentor. Those girls got money. I got something more than that.
What’s next for Vi Vacious?
What is next for MAMA?! Many girls leave the show and come out with a single and disappear into the abyss. However, unlike them, I have a 4-track E.P. coming out on iTunes. It’s called Pride. There's a track called “Fierce And Gorgeous, Gorgeous Over-Time.” The acronym spells F.A.G.G.O.T. The next time somebody calls you the F-word, you say, “Yes, darling, I am fierce and gorgeous.” It goes:
Fierce and gorgeous, gorgeous over time
Fierce and gorgeous, giving face divine.
These are the words that they call us
Pay it no mind and bear it no trust
These are the words they use to shake me
It’s just a use that will not break me
Fierce and gorgeous, gorgeous over time
Fierce and gorgeous, giving face divine
That’s what that track is about, us empowering ourselves.
Also, in conjunction. I have many Club Kid costumes and they are going to come out into a production based on the tracks I’ve written. Even though I’m releasing four tracks, there’s going to be a track coming out every six weeks with a video from this point forward. It’s going to be stuff that deals with the straight side of the scene and the gay side of the scene. I have a full production where you’re going to be able to see all my crazy Lee Bowery-ish outfits with all my madness. Honey, Miss Priscilla Queen of the Desert, she’s about to take a nap when I get to the stage! She might show one side of what a production is, I’m going to show them what a Vi Vacious production looks like. The world is about to gag.