As one of the three dolls from across the pond representing the UK on the latest installment of the Drag Race franchise, UK vs The World has brought an entirely new fanbase (and appreciation) to fan favorite Cheryl Hole. While she may have felt many have counted her out, Hole showed herself as a stealth competitor, more than proving why she was on stage with her fellow global superstars. I caught up with Hole to chat about her career evolution since that first season of Drag Race UK, appreciating these opportunities and being the eternal hustler, and which surprising person gave her a great deal of self-confidence when she needed it most.
Michael Cook: Cheryl, your elimination from UK vs The World was unfortunate, but you remain a massive fan favorite. How does it feel to have left this global competition at this point?
Cheryl Hole: Baby, I am good, I am well. Many people are asking if I am okay, and in all honesty, I am fabulous. Those are the cards that were dealt, you play the game and unfortunately, someone has to go home and unfortunately it was me.
MC: One thing is certain, the dress you wore, while not a favorite of RuPaul or the judges, will remain iconic.
CH: Oh no, that is being thrown on a bonfire, ceremoniously (laughs)!
MC: While the dress was not a favorite, you were one of three queens who represented the UK queens and being merged in with other girls from other franchises must have been a bit overwhelming, no?
CH: We knew what we were signing up for, that the divas and dolls were coming internationally into the thunderdome. I felt like I had a good advantage in the sense that we were the home country. I could come into the game and focus. For me, I was looking around the room and fan-girling more than saying that someone was competition. I knew I was the shit and had come back with a vengeance to prove that I had a right to be there. Lots of people like to count be out, but I am a force to be reckoned with; unfortunately, sewing just go the best of me…
MC: Why do you feel that some people do count you out as much as you think that they do?
CH: They only see what they saw on Season 1 of Drag Race UK and that was my take of drag at the time, which was surface level. Going into this competition, they thought I was going to be exactly how I was, but a lot changes in two years, let alone the four months between filming Season 1 and the cast announcement. I was ready for people to see the growth and the evolution and to see my drag.
MC: While you may have felt counted out by competitors, it is clear that your confidence is definitely different; did you feel that as a competitor?
CH: Truly. We have a lot to do in a very short period of time preparing for the show. I spent a lot of time preparing for the runways ready, but what I focused on the most was getting myself in a headspace to not be affected by what the others were doing and saying in the competition. I focused on the fact that Ru asked me back for a second time. I was so honored that she wanted to see the growth and see me back in the Thunderdome.
I’ll level with you, the first time around you don’t know what’s real, what’s not, is it all for show? I remember seeing Michelle Visage outside our hotel when we were doing DragCon NYC when we were doing press and she took me to one side and said “I just want you to know that Ru absolutely loved you”. That reminded me that absolutely everything that I was feeling was so genuine and so real and I was so honored that I had made an impact on RuPaul, the “Supermodel of the World”. To be come back in, it was like “Hello Diva, Let’s Get Down to Business, Let’s Party”…
MC: You have been a part of the Drag Race family in two very different and very iconic ways,helping launch two very different franchises. What do you think has been your favorite part of your Drag Race experience in general though?
CH: In all honesty, I know this sounds cliche, but just having the opportunity. In Season 1, we didn’t know if there would be a two, three or four seasons. To be one of ten, out of all of the queens of the U.K., I was beyond honored. To be asked back this time was just surreal; I didn’t see it coming, nobody did, we didn’t know it was a thing. I am just honored that people believe in me and I have this amazing platform to showcase, my skills, and my talents with the world. I am a hustler and I will take any gig and work if it means someone wants to come see me. So if you want me to to perform at the opening of a supermarket, I am there!
MC: What do you want to do now that UK Vs. The World is over for you? We spoke previously about your amazing Girl Group Gossip podcast, but now the world is truly yours!
CH: You know, I loved the time between Season 1 to now. I really worked so hard to establish myself as a hardworking queen that will always put on the best show possible. Now that I have done that groundwork, I am so blessed to do these projects that I have always wanted to do. I am now able to live my pop diva fantasy!I had a smidge of it with Priyanka’s EP “Taste Test” where I was the rapstress featured on “Snatch” (Track 5). I have my own single now and I cannot summarize it as it is quintessential Cheryl; a pop banger that you want to twirl with a cocktail in hand to in the club!
MC: The past couple years have been truly surreal, and we are moving forward with a different set of eyes totally. When do you think Cheryl Hole is truly, the most at ease?
CH: I think it is when I am with loved ones; my my drag sisters, my husband, those are the ones that have been through everything with me, thick and thin, who have always believed in me. They have boosted me when I am down, because in all honestly, we have had a very long time since this came out. I am a positive person and I love to keep the energy up and the room going. I think it can be quite a shock to people that I did struggle post-this and have a lot of doubt with how it all played out. I didn’t believe in my self again, and it took me a while to get back on my feet. Those people around me snapping me out of it and going “girl you’re on stage in ten minutes and you’re gonna kill it”. without them I would not be sitting here happy with how everything went. I am so blessed to have such a strong support system who make me who I am.
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