We're officially down to the RuPaul's Drag Race season 6 finale! We'll be popping bottles on May 19 when America's next Favorite Drag Superstar is crowned on TV (with the live coronation happening in Vegas this year, more info here), but for now we're catching up with two talented girls who nearly made the cut: Joslyn Fox and BenDeLaCreme.
First up, Joslyn Fox!
Jonathan Higbee: What have you been up to since taping?
Joslyn: Performing, shopping, wedding planning, and spending a lot of time with family and friends before my travel schedule gets hectic.
You always keep a smile on your face, but were you ever freaking out on the inside during the makeover challenge?
I was in full on panic mode. I had everything working against me and to top it off I was surrounded by brides and their drag mothers who seemed to have everything going so smoothly. I'm like a swan, graceful on the outside, but paddling like hell under the surface.
Have you heard from Brandon since the episode taped or aired?
I haven't and I would love to hear of his experiences after being on the show. He really did a 180 as far as his outlook went, and I'm sure he became somewhat of an advocate for gay rights on and off the court.
You didn't keep your admiration for Courtney Act a secret on the show. Would you say that, after getting to know her and working with her on a few challenges, your admiration for her changed in any way?
It really did. I was disappointed when she said some hurtful things to me, but going through that was where a relationship was born. I had the opportunity to get to know Courtney as a real person and I'm lucky to call her a friend.
Your question for Georgia Holt that "caught her off guard" was a major plot point of a recent episode. Do you have anything to add to the conversation after seeing that actual episode and hearing from fans?
I still stand by why I asked the question. I became a huge fan of Georgia after seeing her documentary and in it she spoke very candidly about her trip to the abortion clinic. I now know that it wasn't the topic to talk about, but I obviously meant no harm and it came from a genuine yet naive place.
The judges seemed to enjoy reading you for your love of accessorizing. Has your style in that aspect evolved since filming the show or have you remained true to the look?
I've definitely learned from the critiques, but I'm still staying true to myself. I think the over accessorizing has become a bit of a signature look, but I have gotten better at narrowing it down a bit. I tend to talk with my hands a lot. As a kid they'd make me sit on my hands, so now I just load up on bangles and rings to keep my hands weighed down at my sides.
If absolutely forced to pick, what would be your favorite runway look of yours from the show?
I still love my Quinceanera dress. I used as many of the materials in my box as I could and I just had a lot of fun with it. I know it was loud, but I think it spoke to my energy and personality.
What would your ultimate lip-sync-for-your-life song be?
Beyonce's "Crazy In Love." I just love performing this song, it would just be second nature for me and I would nail it.
Which of the remaining queens do you think deserves the crown this season?
All of them, but Bianca especially. She's the ultimate queen and an incredible human being. She is the epitome of a superstar.
Many of the recent queens I've interviewed have exalted you and said that they considered you one of their dear friends while taping. Whom from the cast would you say you were closest with and why did you two click?
That is so nice to hear! I went into the competition with one big fear, and that was that the other queens would all hate me. I'm so blessed to have made lifelong friendships with these girls. Milk in particular was somebody who I related to and clicked with right away. We're actually both from Massachusetts. We were always making each other laugh and had plenty in common. I think that's why I got so protective when Gia was insulting her.
What's next for Joslyn Fox?
Anything and everything. I want it all. I'd love to do some music, TV, movies, fashion, makeup, maybe even write a book. I just love expressing myself creatively and I can't wait to make my mark in this world, making sure everyone keeps it foxy. Wonk! Wonk!
(Head to the bottom of the story for Joslyn's social media links!)
Jonathan Higbee: What have you been up to since taping?
BenDeLaCreme: A ton of traveling! And I’ve been working on my one woman show “Terminally Delightful” which opens later this month in NYC.
It's no secret that it was a tough decision for you to go on RPDR. Can you tell our readers a little bit about why that is?
Well, I’m not really someone who likes a lot of public attention outside of drag. I mean, I love people, I just tend to be a little introverted and sometimes get anxious in social situations. But more than that I LOVE the tradition of drag where a queen embodies a character, and you get to know and love that character, without muddying the experience by having too much information about the individual behind it.
It’s a fantasy.
I grew up loving characters like PeeWee Herman and Elvira—who were exciting because they were human cartoons. Reality TV has generated a new desire to see everybody’s messy insides, and that’s just not what gets me going. I don’t need to see a painter pulling their hair out staring at a blank canvas, show me the painting.
Why do you think you and Michelle just couldn't seem to get on the same page?
Interestingly, the way things looked on TV isn’t how it FELT to me on set. Yes, Michelle had all those critiques, but she also said a lot of complimentary things and laughed at all my jokes. I felt a genuine sense of affection from her. I think she was trying to push me away from being a “character queen” so I would do better on the show, and I was trying to push the show to see that “character queen” is a legitimate genre of drag.
Tell me everything about the jaw-dropping fly costume!
I am a part of a Burlesque Troupe based out of Seattle called the Atomic Bombshells, and this costume is from our campy 60s Sci-Fi show, “Lost In Space!”
I have always loved the half-vamp half-insect imagery of that era, so “the hideous bug-girl” was born. The costume itself was a collaboration between me and my designer friend Jamie Von Stratton. I made the headpiece with my trusty hot glue gun, and she created the garments.
There was a period mid-season when Darienne Lake had it out for you, then it seemed to smooth over the past few challenges. What changed?
I’m not really sure. That was really Darienne’s journey. I felt the tension between us but I wasn’t sure what the reason for it was and I never really fed it, so I think eventually it just sort of fizzled out. Darienne and I get along great now. She’s a very sweet and talented queen.
Why do you think you were the one to go this week?
I guess I just wasn’t what the judges were looking for anymore. You know, at some point, when you’re down to just a handful of talented contestants, it’s not about who’s good or bad, it’s just about personal preference. The drag I do is not for everyone, I know that. And I don’t need it to be. Bob Mackie said I reminded him of Betty Grable and Michelle said a Carousel Horse— that is like my ultimate aspiration! So for me that’s success. But it wasn’t what they wanted to see. Although I still can’t quite wrap my mind around how looking like Betty Grable could be considered a negative.
Out of all the queens from the season, who would you say you bonded with tightest and why?
During taping, I would say Adore. She’s very genuine and very kind. She’s gotten a lot of flack for seeming ditzy, but she’s actually very intelligent and insightful. There are many queens that people like because they have “no filter” and I’d say Adore’s a little like that, but she never uses it as an excuse to be catty or cruel.
Who do you hope to see crowned as winner of season six on May 19?
Honestly, $100,000 dollars is great, but ALL of these girls have won the chance to make a good living doing what they love. And I don’t see anyone as clearly the “best.” They are all really good at what they do, it just comes back to that personal preference thing. Whoever out of this group wins I know will be deserving and make the most of it.
What's your ultimate lip-sync song?
A children’s book on tape read by Juliette Lewis.
What's next for BenDeLaCreme?
And of course lots of touring in between, both solo and with