With a kittenish style and talent to spare, Jan has emerged as the ingenue of Season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. While her shocking elimination means we have seen the last of one of New York City’s most popular ingenues on the main stage, we definitely have not seen the last of her. I caught up with the Jantastic dynamo of Season 12 and talked about that shocking loss on the main stage, those now-infamous memes, & which New York City girls could slay the main stage on a future season.
Michael Cook: Your RuPaul’s Drag Race experience has ended and you were one of the most talked about contestants this season. What is it like looking at the experience in the rearview mirror now?
Jan: You know, now that I get to see everything happening, since obviously it was filmed so long ago, I am getting to watch it all play back and I am so proud of myself. I am so proud of the package that I brought and the job that I did. I think that it just was not my time, but it does not mean that I am not proud of it. I am so proud of how everything went down, except for the last episode (laughs)! I am just so happy for the overall experience.
MC: You did not win the “The Unauthorized Rusical” Madonna challenge challenge and your reaction on stage literally became a viral sensation. Have you seen all of the memes and gifs that were spawned from that one shocking moment?
J: I have. To be honest, it was overwhelming. Obviously I knew what was going to happen and I knew that some people would be upset by this, not a whole lot of people, but a good amount of people, Just to see the outcry of people all over the internet, making these memes and sharing them, it was like “WHOA”! It was something that I did not expect to go down with that kind of magnitude.
MC: You had so many New York City sisters on the show with you, including your best friend Brita. Do you think it helped or hurt to have that much familiarity in the work room with you?
J: I definitely think that it helped because there are times that you question and doubt yourself and you have your sisters there to talk to you about it and to pull you through, or to give you praise. I think it is such an advantage knowing people going into the competition, especially those that you are friends with. I knew Brita so well and I know that we are just two completely different queens. Whenever the judges go and whatever way they go, I know that it is not going to be anything more than they may like Brita more because she is different, or they may like me more. That is what I thought going into the competition, and we actually ended up in the same boat as far as our placement. With Jackie and Nicky, it was great to have them there also, because I knew them as well and it was great to get closer to them.
MC: New York is filled with so much talent and so many of the girls have been absolute rock stars on the show. Who do you think would completely knock it out of the park if they were to get on RuPaul’s Drag Race?
J: You know, I think my sisters of Stephanie’s Child Lagoona Bloo and Rose’ would destroy it. They are just so talented and I think that they are so, so good. I think Kizha Carr would be incredible on the show. I think she is the overall grande dame of New York City and she can literally do everything. I know I sang about that, but she can actually do it. I think Izzy Uncut is one of the unsung heroes of New York City. She is the funniest girls and can do all of the tricks and the stunts at the show to keep you entertained. I would hope to see, if they want to, the four of them sometime soon on the show.
MC: There are already people talking about you being a fantastic addition to a future “All Stars” season. Would you do it if asked?
J: Absolutely. I think that I have a lot to prove and I think that I definitely have learned about seeing myself in the completion. The weaknesses that I think that I had, I can definitely refine and fine tune and go back and keep slayin’!
MC: Many girls go into the competition with an individual talent of their own, and your vocal abilities are a talent that you demonstrated from the moment you hit the workroom. Did you get the impression that your skill as a performer made some of the girls intimidated?
MC: Yeah, I think that the girls knew from the beginning that if there was a singing challenge, that I was going to be a threat. Obviously the judges did not think so (laughs). When you are at this competition and you get to see all of these people that you don’t know, you realize that everybody has strengths. I believe that all of the girls this season, every single one of us, I believe that we have something unique about us that was so extraordinary that could have taken us to the top. To see that and experience it live, I mean I may be really good at one thing and I think that I am well rounded, but then this girl is good at something else. You are never safe.
MC: Out of the girls that are still left in the competition, who do you think has it in them to snag the title?
J: You know, Gigi Goode, I think its hers to loose right now. At this point she has won three of the seven challenges, including all fo the staple challenges; Snatch Game, The Rusical, and The Ball. I think it’s hers to loose.
MC: Speaking of Stephanie’s Child, more music is coming yes?
J: Correct, that is true! I am so happy that the videos of us on America’s Got Talent are circulating around now also. I think my sisters of Stephanie’s Child are just so talented and I want America to fall in love with them like I have fallen in love with them. It’s so exciting; I always so that I don’t think its a matter of “if” they are going to be on the show, I think it’s just a matter of “when”. I hope that it comes to fruition for them very soon.
MC: Now that we are in this form of suspended animation, how are you staying creative and inspired as a performer during this quarantine we are all in?
J: Just knowing that the platform that I have is so rich and strong, I would be remiss to not realize that there are so many people who are looking at me right now, even if we are not being able to tour. They are looking up to me as someone who gives positive energy and positivity to people. I have just been really listening to my fans. I have been listening to what they need and what they want. That in turn, inspires me to be a better person. I have been doing a bunch of the digital drag shows, and I have been trying to show all of my different mixes and different songs. When I am not doing the digital drag shows, I am getting ready in drag to do Cameo messages for different people. When I am doing those messages before I do them and when I am getting into makeup, I go live and talk to fans. I think that it something that they deserve and that will put a smile on their face to get them through the day. They are very inspiring to me. I am so grateful that this opportunity of Drag Race has brought me a fan base. It is still kind of ridiculous for me to even say; its so crazy and such a whirlwind. I want to make them proud and I want to make them happy. I just try to do my best in helping people just keep moving on.
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