'RPDR' Star Kameron Michaels on Shania, Her Career, and That Epic Reunion Shade

Kameron Michaels became the RuPaul's Drag Race equivalent of "the little engine that could" on season 10. The Tennessee native proved a major point in that you don't have to be loud and in your face to go far on this show, and her quiet demeanor but powerful stage presence catapulted her into the top four alongside Eureka, Asia O'Hara and Aquaria.

Many other queens in the beginning of the season were favored to take it all, which can sometimes play out the right way (Aquaria) and other times not so much (Mayhem Miller). Kameron was seen as a bit of an underdog throughout by some of her other queens (The Vixen saying "we're really going to miss you next week" during the reading challenge) but she persevered in every single challenge while slaying the f**k out of each lip sync she had to do.

Sadly, Kameron did not win Season 10, but was able to get herself into the top three as she bested Asia in part one of the lip sync for your crown portion of the finale. That doesn't mean anything in the long run, as she's developed a major following because of her presence on RPDR and has a bright future that go beyond the sets of an edited television show.

I got to speak with Kameron one on one at the actual crowning event for season 10 at Samsung 837 in the Meatpacking District of New York City on Thursday night. She told me about how she felt when everyone came for her at the reunion, how Shania was and always will be her idol, and the one lip sync she wished she would've partaken in this season. Take a look. 

Were you upset at the reunion with the feedback from everyone else, notably Monique Heart and Dusty Ray Bottoms?

Umm... yeah! I think you can see it on my face. I was surprised, and then I was angry. Because we have a different relationship off the show, so we got to know each other for 4-6 months after filming and off camera, and I think what happened was the girls got back in that moment of filming right before we left, or before they left the show, and I think a lot feelings and emotions came up. So yeah, it surprised me, but I’ve since talked to both of them, hung out with both of them and we are so great now. I just saw Monique last night and we had a blast.

Are you freaking that you might be the winner in about two hours?

No. Everyone keeps asking me that! Why would I be nervous? I was like, ‘I was there, I know what happens.’ We don’t know the results, but we are all going to be surprised and I’m not nervous about that. It’s been a great run for all of us and no matter what happens I am more than happy with my experience on the show. I could not ask to be in a better position.

Facts are facts: you are a lip sync assassin. I was mind blown at how you were able to pull all of that off.

That’s the great conversation about me is that I’m so quiet, and then the spotlight comes on me and I light up. And that is who I am as a person. I don’t talk a whole lot, but when I’m on stage, I’m present and I am there.

Did you have a favorite lip sync of the season? It could be yours or someone else’s.

You know what lip sync I really wanted to do the most? A lot of the songs I do are very uppity and happy, and I get to smile a lot. All of the lip syncs I did, they weren’t very like... girly. I do a lot of Ariana Grande, and one lip sync that I didn’t get to do was “Cut to the Feeling” by Carly Rae Jepsen. That was the Snatch Game episode. I thought I was going home that episode, I thought I was lip syncing. Looking back on it, though, my thought process changed. However, I knew that song like the back of my hand, and I wanted to perform Carly Rae Jepsen so bad.

I may already know the answer, but was your favorite guest judge Shania Twain?

Of course! For me to be a child and to listen to her music on repeat as a baby drag queen in my house when I was six or seven years old... the fact that I got to sit in front of her and tell her she is my idol was iconic.

I don’t think the younger generation, maybe Aquaria (no shade) realizes just how big Shania really was and still is.

Before I found Celine (Dion), before I found Cher, Shania was my idol. Because my aunts took me to Opryland, they took me to any kind of country events: Billy Ray Cyrus, Diamond Rio, I mean I can’t even remember all the old country artists, but I always grew up on country music and that’s why she was my idol.

What are you looking forward to in the future regarding your booming drag career?

What’s funny is that the little bit of tension and the sadness that you saw in me at the reunion was because I was back in that environment. It was a blessing, but it didn’t feel like it at the time. Prior to that I was touring, and getting to do my own thing, and being on the road, and meeting fans, and getting to do my own music, and that’s what I love to do is performing so I am looking forward to doing that again.

For more on Kameron Michaels, you can follow her on Instagram here and Twitter here. For more on RuPaul’s Drag Race, click here.

We Need To Talk About Kameron Michaels!

We Need To Talk About Kameron Michaels!

Is The Muscle Queen Too Fit For Drag Race?

As most of the LGBTQ community, I’ve been keeping up with the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Mainly because I don’t want to be left in the dark with the endless amount of Vanessa Vanjie Mateo memes. Speaking of the obvious Fan Favorite, please allow me to scream her name once more - #MISSVANJIE!

Moving forward: We’ve been on a wild ride all season where this is no obvious winner, unlike Bob The Drag Queen, Sharon Needles, and Jinkx Monsoon. One of my fellow Instinct Contributors has been teeter tottering with power rankings all season, most of which I can get on board with. However, the stand out Queen this season to me has simply been under edited and it’s driving me bonkers.

I’m talking about current contestant and Muscle Queen, Kameron Michaels. I may be a little biased, on my personal social media, I’ve encountered Michaels on and off for the last few years as I’m familiar with his friendship with Aurora Sexton – you know, the girl who started an uproar last summer after calling out diva antics of Drag Race Queens. I was absolutely pumped to see someone tackle Drag Race after peeping them on and off.

On paper, Michaels is a fit for a winner and an annoying fanbase: He’s attractive, feminine, and young. Unfortunately for Michaels, his personality has been lacking on screen due to poor edit. I believe, in his real life, Michaels doesn’t try to do the most. I don’t believe he walks around town twerking or screaming in public for attention. What I can see from my screen is someone who is talented but doesn’t want to be that loud, obnoxious voice demanding to stand out in a crowd. We’ve seen a handful of Queens on this show who are willing to make asses of themselves on camera and it never pays off (The Vixen, Derrick Barry, Phi Phi O’Hara), so why are we – and the edit – being so hard on Michaels for being the literal term of congenial?

Often someone will reference Michaels’ quiet demeanor and there will be a chime added in which is basically a snore. Should we not fall for Michaels because he’s not an outrageous, over-the-top-Henney type of Queen the series wants us to believe is every Drag Queen?

We’ve recently covered Eureka O’Hara being shoved down our throats. I frankly am rooting for Eureka to take the entire show, so I’m fine with her being essentially the Narrator of the season. But, we’ve gotten blips of Miz Cracker’s upbringing, Asia O’Hara’s struggle, Aquaria’s god-awful attitude, and yet nothing from Michaels. Sure, one may argue Michaels’ soft spoken, kind nature doesn’t translate well to entertain a reality television show audience: But, while watching the show, I can’t help but realize everyone gets a better edit compared to Michaels. It was hard to even recognize Michaels as a contestant until episode five. Unfortunately, I cannot see Michaels' edit leading him to a victory – but his creativity and talent may push him into the finale.

Are we led to believe you must be a particular type to win this series? It appears the louder you are, the quicker you cry – the farther you’ll get. Again, I’m hypocritical as I would love to see Eureka – or anyone besides Aquaria – win, but it’s just a bit eye opening to say the least. I’d hate for incredibly talented Queens who are soft spoken to refrain from auditioning because they don’t want to be pegged as boring. Ouch.

Do you believe Michaels’ quiet edit eliminates him as a contender the crown?

This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Power Rankings, Episode 5: 'What’s Your Safe Word?’

Episode 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race aired last night on VH1, and IMHO… was its best yet this season.  The reason for this is due to the challenge at hand, which tested the queens comedy skills and also their quick-witted ability to keep up with all the elements incorporated within, and whereas some flourished, others definitely faltered.

After the queens do some military-inspired drag in this week’s mini-challenge, they were propelled into the maxi-challenge which was to split up into teams of two and given a premise by Ru for a segment they will film on a trashy daytime talk show called The Bossy Rossy Show with Ross Matthews as the host.  The teams were Miz Cracker & Mayhem Miller (one had a fear of pickles), Aquaria and Eureka (both claimed to be the sexiest adult baby in the world), Monique Heart and Blair St. Clair (who are the girlfriend and wife, respectively, of a cactus), The Vixen & Asia O’Hara (one thinks the other is copying off their total look) and Kameron Michaels & Monet X Change (queens dealing with unusual addictions). 

The good thing about this episode is that even the queens in the bottom two didn’t exactly do terribly as it was overall a strong showing of everyone that was left.  That challenge was followed by the one on the runway, where the queens had to serve their best denim look to judges RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and guests Shania Twain (!!!!!) and Carrie Preston.  In the end (SPOILER ALERT) Mayhem Miller was sent home (against Monet X Change).  I never really saw her winning, however I never expected her to go home this early.  Last week I had her in the middle of the pack at number 5 out of 10, and now… she’s eliminated.

Now, we have nine queens remaining, without any indication so far that any of them are coming back (I’m fine with that not happening this season, thank you very much).  Each week, we are doing a power ranking of who is on the top, the middle and the bottom.  In week four, Asia O’Hara retained the top spot for the second week in a row, while Monique Heart was at the bottom.  How does this week’s group fare?  Take a look at who I think ranks 1st all the way to last currently.

1. Miz Cracker (last week: #2).  Cracker has really risen in the rankings over the past couple of weeks and has finally become one to look out for on season 10.  Her irreverent type of comedy worked absolutely wonderful in this challenge, as her performance as Dr. Dill showcased just how funny she really is.  She’s also one of two queens remaining (including Blair) to have never fallen in the bottom.  Here’s hoping it stays that way. 

2. Asia O’Hara (last week: #1).  Was Asia funny in the whole spoof of the Aquaria/Cracker rivalry? Yes, compared to her counterpart.  But she’s lost some major steam in the past two weeks, and that’s a bit concerning for me.  Step it up a bit girl, you have this. 

3. Kameron Michaels (last week: #7).  I’m not going to lie, I had Kameron pegged to be one of the first to go home as the quiet ones can either do extraordinarily well (Jinkx Monsoon, Sasha Velour) or go home first.  Kameron has really blossomed over the past two weeks, especially with the fact that she outshined a Monet who is known for her comedy skills in New York City.  She also had a moment with her idol Shania, and that was wonderful to watch.  She’s doing well, I just hope she’s able to keep it up as the competition goes along. 

4. Eureka (last week: #4).  Yes, Eureka won on the 5th episode whereas she went home the same episode in season 9.  Yes, she did hilariously on the maxi challenge in her baby attire as well as her costumes.  And yes, I did appreciate her trying to mend things with Vixen.  There’s still something off about her that doesn’t put her higher for me right now, and I can’t really put a finger out it.  I give her a ton of credit for trying as hard as she’s been doing though, as it finally paid off this week. 

5. Aquaria (last week: #6).  I’ve been a bit harsh to Aquaria most of these rankings, but she did a pretty great job during the maxi challenge this week.  I only have her this low as her “rival” (see the quotation marks there) Cracker is doing way better than her.  If they are going to treat them as real rivals, then Aquaria needs to step it up a bit to even the playing field with her fellow NYC queen. 

6. Blair St. Clair (last week: #3).  Blair drops in the rankings as she didn’t do too well this week against Monique and her quiet demeanor, which I used to enjoy in the first couple of episodes, is starting to get boring.  Step. It. Up. 

7. Monique Heart (last week: #10).  It took five episodes for her to finally get a high ranking, and I’m proud of her for that.  Consistency is key in this competition, and as funny as she was in episode 5, she needs to continue to do as well if not better if she wants to get a higher ranking than the ones above her. 

8. The Vixen (last week: #8).  I am fairly indifferent about Vixen at this point.  I understand her frustrations about a lot, especially about her performance in the maxi challenge with Asia, but I’m really starting to wonder what she’s bringing to the table outside of these “drama” based storylines.  I get why she didn’t really want to mend things with Eureka, it shows that she’s grown, but her performances lately outside of that have just been meh for me.  Stay tuned though. 

9. Monet X Change (last week: #4).  I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO DO THIS.  Seriously, Monet is the s**t.  She’s so funny but is getting so in her head and its frustrating to even watch because I know what a damn good drag queen she is.  I hope to god that she’s able to pull it together next challenge otherwise she’ll be the third NYC queen eliminated in only six episodes.  

This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject. 

Drag Race Season 10's Kameron Michaels is HOT Out Of Drag!

The season 10 Meet The Queens has only just been released, and although we are gagging over all of the queens, there is one queen in particular who we are lusting over, mostly because of his bulging muscles and tattoos. 

Here is Kameron in drag

And here is Kameron out of drag... and clothes

I think we know who our Season 10 favourite is!