This past week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. was a game changer in more ways than one. The ladies returned after a seven month hiatus due to the pandemic, and when they returned, Veronica Green (who was diagnosed with Covid days before cameras rolled) was not part of the group. The previously eliminated queens put to a vote as to see who would return (sans Ginny Lemon) and the returning queen that the cast asked to return was Joe Black. While Black’s return run was short (after a now-epic H&M dress which RuPaul had a very strong reaction to), Green has an open invite to return to the competition for Season 3.
I sat down with both Green and Black to talk about their unique runs on Drag Race, what it was like returning and leaving the competition when both of them did not plan to do so. Joe Black also gave his views on what went down with RuPaul on the runway, and Veronica answered the question as to whether we might be seeing her for Season 3 of Drag Race U.K..
Michael Cook: Veronica, you unfortunately didn’t get to return to the RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. due to a positive COVID diagnosis right as cameras were about to go back up. How are you feeling?
Veronica Green: I’m feeling good. I am fully recovered from my diagnosis. I actually found out that I had the coronavirus two days before we went back to filming and I recovered within ten days after that. Thankfully, I only had a very mild case and it didn’t affect me too much. I had some coughing and my body did feel different, but it wasn’t until I got the results back that I realized that’s why I was feeling so different.
MC: Thankfully you found out before you went back to film and were offered a shot on Drag Race U.K. Season 3 though!
VG: Absolutely. That’s why it is so important that precautions and testing were happening. It’s so contagious, we all have to take personal responsibility. As soon as I found out, I was upset and I cried, but it was the right decision to remove me from the competition; I don’t want to put anyone else’s life at risk; I had a mild case, but what If I had passed it on and you dont know what each individual person’s body is going to do when dealing with it.
MC: Along with Eureka O’Hara of Season 9 of the US version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you are now the second contestant to ever be eliminated due to a medical issue and be asked to return the following season.
VG: I havent formally accepted yet, I do have a couple days left to think about it. If I did go back though, wouldn’t I be the first returning queen to go back with a win?
MC: Joe, after the epic reaction that RuPaul had to your H&M dress on the main stage, I have to ask-has H&M contacted you with an endorsement deal yet?
JB: H&M has in fact contacted me, not necessarily for a deal, but I think I might be getting a very large gift package arriving!
MC: You are such an expressive and unique queen. What was it like coming out of quarantine, returning to the competition, and getting that kind of reaction from RuPaul on the runway to one of your looks?
JB: It was really dramatic. I didn’t realize that a simple dress could invoke such deep emotions in somebody. Lockdown has treated us all very differently hasn’t it? I am glad that I could wear something that could stir something so raw within RuPaul. She won’t forget me anytime soon, as much as she maybe would like to (laughs)! It was lovely to come back though.
MC: Veronica, what was the entire experience like being on RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K.?
VG: I was on cloud nine and on top of the world throughout the first four episodes of filming. I loved every single minute of it. I am such a fan of drag and I am very passionate about the art form. I love watching the queens and keeping up to date on what different queens are doing. To be in the mix with them in this competition, it was just amazing to me. I loved every single second, the highs, the lows, the good, the bad and the ugly. Every little diva moment I had, I just loved it all.
MC: You definitely speak up and don’t let your competitors get away with too much.
VG: No! The thing is, I am very upfront. If there is something that I don’t agree with, I am very quick to say it. I don’t like saying things behind people’s backs, I don’t like that air of bad blood if I had said something that could potentially hurt somebody. I would not intentionally say something to hurt somebody. I would hate to say something shady behind their backs; I would rather bring the issue to their face and we can talk about it. Sometimes I ruffle a lot of feathers and rub people the wrong way, but that is because I’m very honest, I like to have a clear conscience. I think sometimes people misconstrue that as me causing trouble.
MC: Joe, so many were absolutely shocked that you went home first this season, but they were equally thrilled see you return. What was it like returning to the competition and participating in a challenge that was definitely out of your wheelhouse?
JB: I wish I had had the seven months that everyone else had, I had three weeks. I am so grateful for that though, because I would have maybe worked myself into a frenzy to think and overthink everything. There were two things that I was worried about with Drag Race; sewing and pop.
Low and behold, I turn back up, and there it is: the girl group challenge. My shows mostly consist of me standing there in a sequined fishtail dress and a feather boa warbling some miserable German cabaret song. So when I am suddenly told that I need to be in a Eurovision group, it’s like “oh dear, I haven’t done this before”. And after last night, I probably won’t do it again; but I am glad that I gave it a go!
MC: Joe, what do you think are the best and worst aspects of competing against Veronica Green?
JB: I will say, I know that it looked like nobody knew Veronica when she came in, but I had heard of Veronica. What I had heard of Veronica is that she was amazing. My only understanding of Veronica is that anyone who had ever spoken about her, said that she was incredible. Veronica is very competitive and I am absolutely not, which is hilarious for someone that entered into a completion based reality show. I just don’t think I am wired to be that competitive. The worst thing I guess would be to complete against someone that competitive, and the best thing is to actually compete against someone very competitive because it can light a fire in me as well.
MC: Veronica, what is the best and worst thing about competing against Joe Black from your perspective?
VG: I think the best thing about competing against Joe Black was just getting an insight into this person that I have looked up to and admired for a number of years. Joe is a legend on the scene and I have followed his career for a few years and enjoyed Joe’s performances. To compete alongside him as an equal, felt like a real privilege. That was something that I found a real benefit. The worst part was that feeling of “how on earth do I outdo a legend” because I wanted to get further in the competition. there were a few queens I earmarked as top three or four and I didn’t name myself, so I needed to get ahead of them. That was the worst part for me, trying to outdo them.
MC: What is next for you Veronica?
VG: Well if I do decide to go back, I do have some time to work on some things. In the meantime while I am making that decision, I do have some music coming out soon. Like most Drag Race girls I am going to release some music, but the different is, there is going to be a bit of a twist to it. Its not what you would usually expect a Drag Race queen to release. I am going back to my theater roots, so it is going to have a bit of a theatrical sound. There is not a release date yet, but things have been recorded and it’s on its way to being released so keep your eyes and ears peeled.
MC: Now Joe, you must have some smokey and moody cabaret music coming our way soon, right?
JB: Absolutely! I am touring the UK in September hopefully with a show called Decopunk. There may be a coinciding music release with it. I think Jinx Monsoon is the closest thing to it out of the Drag Race franchise. Jinkx is very happy classical cabaret, but I am looking forward to bringing an authentically booze filled, chain smoking, dirty cabaret experience to the Drag Race franchise.
MC: Could you imagine what a Veronica Green/Joe Black duet could possible sound like?
VG/JB: For Veronica and I, we said that if we toured is there a song that we could do together? We decided that we could do The Phanton of the Opera. Because Veronica of course, can hit all of those high notes and I can put a mask on and say the Phantom’s lines. I would be the Phantom and Veronica would be an absolutely stunning Christine!
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