‘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.

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