RuPaul’s Drag Race has delivered shocks, surprises (and some workroom returns) already during Season 14, and Puerto Rico’s own Alyssa Hunter has become one of the most chatted about queens the season. Dubbed the “Trade” of the season (by this very publication), Hunter caught up with me following her departure from the competition (following a Jennifer Lopez lip sync). We discussed her Drag Race run, the pride she feels for representing Puerto Rico, and why she may see an All Stars run in her future.
Michael Cook: Instinct recently anointed you the official “Trade” of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14. What has that attention been like?
Alyssa Hunter: Oh I feel great (laughs)! I didn’t win the crown, but I won something! I am hoping that at the reunion they give me something for that (laughs)!
MC: What does it feel like to now officially be a Ru-girl, but also the first Ru-girl from Puerto Rico in quite a number of years?
AH: It feels amazing. I feel so blessed and grateful. It feels amazing to be chosen from the millions of girls that they have chosen, to be chosen for this amazing platform, it means a lot to me and I am super grateful.
MC: So much of what you did during your run on Drag Race displayed how willing you are to go outside your comfort zone and try new things. Was willing to step outside the box something you were always comfortable with?
AH: Oh yes, I was always a very versatile queen-literally a versatile queen (laughs). I don’t want to fit in with just one work, to me that is boring. I want to show everyone that I can do more than wear anything and do more than just pageant, maybe even be campy. Drag is everything and I love being campy and it is so interesting when you see a queen do many things at one time. Maybe the judges didn’t get that from me in the first episode, but I wanted to demonstrate that I can do everything-and I look good!
MC: Your drag is very pageant-oriented, but also has a very current vibe along with it. Who are some of your biggest drag influences?
AH: I love Lady Gaga, and I also love very couture pieces also. As I said, I am a pageant and runway coach, so I do a lot of Miss Universe. I think my inspiration is really that Miss Universe queen, pageants, that real fierceness. At the same time, I have learned to watch the Thierry Mugler runways, and that lip art was incidentally inspired by him; so crazy. I love being so versatile as I said, and I love that I bring that versatilities to the runway. I literally did everything that I wanted to do.
MC: What do you think your favorite part of the Drag Race experience was?
AH: I think it was meeting the other girls and getting to know them, and their cultures and personalities. I think the most important and most exciting one is just to be on the show; getting to represent my beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Seven seasons ago was the last time a Puerto Rican queen from Puerto Rico was cast, so to be the one who broke the curse, that was amazing. The fans love me and I am inspiration to be an inspiration to millions of girls in Puerto Rico. I feel so good to be in the position that I am in right now. Even though I am not in the finale, I made it; I am a RuGirl. I have the crown-the crown of the people and the love of the fans.
MC: You were recently in Ohio performing at Axis, what is it like to finally be able to start touring and spreading the Alyssa Hunter magic all over the world?
AH: I am super excited and super happy to have the opportunity to travel and see people all over America! I am super ready to perform for them!
MC: As a pageant coach, what is one tactic or tip that you find absolutely crucial that you try to impart to the people you coach?
AH: Just be focused. Be yourself. All of the things that you are doing, do it with passion.
MC: Where does Alyssa Hunter want to be five years from now?
AH: I want to be something successful. This platform is opening so many doors for me. Maybe I want to do All Stars, I think the fans were not happy last week (laughs). My goal right now is to work harder, merchandise myself, my coral media and keep posting photos; I want to be an All-Star. It was a short time and I want to demonstrate more of my looks and I want to redeem myself one day on the stage that gave me the chance to show people who I was. Maybe have my own show someday also? I am the type of person that lives day by day, but I do everything with passion. I am a hard worker and you are going to see a lot of me right now. I was given these opportunities for a reason and I am going to take advantage of them.
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