From the moment RuPaul’s Drag Race UK premiered, two queens that were extremely anticipated by the fans were returning queen Veronica Green and the first cisgender queen in Drag Race herstory, Victoria Scone. While both were eliminated recently (with RuPaul ominously saying that this might not be the last time we see Scone), we were instantly excited to hear about their experiences. I sat down to chat with both of these UK dames & chatted with them extensively about representation, their run on Drag Race UK, &
Michael Cook: It was quite an episode for the fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. We saw Victoria Scone leave off-camera in the beginning of the episode and Veronica Green eliminated from the competition. How do you both feel to leave right now?
Veronica Green: Oh, I’m old hat at this, I had to do my exit interview last season with Joe Black, so I am used to joint interviews (laughs)!
Victoria Scone: I am used to being overshadowed by men, so I’m fine (laughs).
MC: Veronica, returning to the competition for Season 3 after leaving for medical reasons during Season 2 could have been seen as an advantage by your Season 3 competition. Did you see it as an advantage and do you think that they did?
VG: Coming back is always a double edged sword; there are certain advantages that I have. I know that there is lots that you can do and say that gets left on the cutting room floor. I thought that there were things that I could project more, and I knew how the game works, so to speak. Those were some of the advantages that I had going in. The disadvantages were the fact that I really was not ready to compete on a new season; the turnaround between the two seasons was so fast. It had only been six months since Season 2 was on the air. Season 3 was filming while Season 2 was on the air, and I was preparing for Season 3 during the press release for Season 2. I was in the middle of all of those Season 2 commitments, and I had no money; I was on the verge of bankruptcy. Pulling the looks together for a whole different season was virtually impossible and so difficult, but I couldn’t say no to the opportunity.
Drag Race is one of those shows that can and does change your life; I am already seeing the effect of it. I am booking jobs that I never would have seen before Drag Race. That is why I said yes; win lose or draw, being eliminated early as never going to be a failure for me. I was going to give it my all, tell my story, and now I am released out into the wide world and I can blossom. I only have RuPaul, the producers, and everyone behind the scenes to thank for everything that they have given me.
MC: Hearing you be this honest about your return and how you were feeling is very refreshing. So many viewers would think that you would return for Season 3 with sickening looks and so much knowledge about the game. They don’t realize the timeframe and so many other things played into your experience.
VG: Oh absolutely. I’ve been getting comments where people say things like “she’s had a whole year to prepare for this & she comes back looking like that”? It has only been six months since you first saw me! How quick do you think the turnaround was? I think people forget how quickly this season has bled into the last. Not only that, we prepared for it on a full national lockdown during a global pandemic when you couldn’t even buy fabric. The fact that I went through a depression during the summer… let alone thinking about improving my looks, I didn’t even want to get out of bed for three months. All of the factors contributed to my downfall during Season 3, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wanted to be me, I wanted to tell the truth. I wanted to pour my heart out to the world, so many people have gone through this struggle.
The last eighteen months have been hell for some people and I have been at rock bottom. I wanted to share that with people to let them know that they are not alone, if anyone else has gone through that. Because I felt alone. isolated & defeated. The only person by my side was my fiancee and I still felt so alone. I wanted to share that story to let people know the there are people that go through it and we can help each other. Going through mental health issues or financial struggles shouldn’t be a stigma or something to be ashamed of. We should be talking about these things as a society; we need to help each other. That is what society is all about. That is what I wanted to portray going back.
MC: Victoria, congratulations on being the first cisgender woman to walk into the RuPaul’s Drag Race workroom of any franchise. I think it is now safe to say that you have shattered the stained glass ceiling, is that fair to say?
Victoria Scone: Yes, I love that.
MC: How does it feel to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK as a cisgender woman and not just compete against these established queens, but to be revered by them. The moment you walked into the room, they were absolutely honored that you were there to join them.
VS: That is absolutely true, they were very supportive. We are a lovely bunch of people I would say I think that we are a very close season. If you see us being nice to each online and hanging out, we are genuinely friends and I don’t think that that is always the case with seasons. We all have a group chat and we chat when we can and when we are all in the same city, we all meet up. That is quite a beautiful thing; we’ve truly got a season of sisters. I think we also have a season of winners; to be honest, any one of us could have won this season if I am being very honest.
MC: For you, what is it like to be the first cisgender woman to walk into the RuPaul’s Drag Race workroom anywhere in the world. This could have happened in any country on any franchise, but it happened in the UK. Do you feel a bit of responsibility at all?
VS: One might think that there is responsibility or a weight on my shoulders, but I didn’t feel it like that. It felt very right and very correct that I would be there in that time, in that place, and at that very moment. I think it was all meant to be; I think I am a very good representation of cis women doing drag. I don’t think we see enough of it on the “telly box” and I am very proud to be the first.
MC: For both of you, what other kinds of drag would you like to see presented on RuPaul’s Drag Race?
VS: Obviously we would love to see drag kings on there. There is controversy always, so there is only one way to find out, shove a load in and see what happens. What have we got to lose?
VG: Certainly for the UK, we need to see some Muslim queens, some South Asian queens, drag kings, the underrepresented and marginalized groups that are part of our core. Those queens are out there and they need to be represented. I feel like there is a vast majority of different styles, backgrounds, genres, ethnicities and we all need to be celebrated and we all deserve a place in the competition. I would hope that there is representation from areas of drag that have never been on Drag Race before in a season, that is what I am looking for.
VS: We really are only scratching the surface of the kind of drag that we have in the UK. Like Veronica said, we have diverse drag in the UK, we just haven’t got it on mainstream television. We need to be able to show a true representation of British drag on the mainstream. Otherwise, it is not authentic to the British scene. It is rich diverse and glorious; let’s get some of that on the telly and start making people some money!
MC: What is the one thing that you each are taking away from your Drag Race UK experience that you will be able to apply to both your performances and your off-stage life?
VS: I will continue not to lip sync. Fun fact for you, I did not lip sync. I sung my way through that whole song. If they ever use the audio from my mic, you will hear me singing. I have never lip synced in my life. I would also learn that I have rather fragile knees and be careful doing a knee slide. In fact, don’t do a knee slide Victoria (laughs). I have also learned not to let anyone tell me what I can or cannot do. And that I am fabulous and good at drag.
VG: For me, one of the big takeaways is one of my real life problems also, time management. That is something that has been with me since my teenage years and it is what contributed to me being booted off this week. Definitely it is something that I can take on board and work with. Another thing that I think is that I have learned through this show is that I don’t need validation from other people. I know that I am a good, nice person; I don’t need to be nice to everyone; I can be ‘Veronica Mean’ to be people sometimes if I want to be, it doesn’t make me a bad person. You can’t please everybody; someone that is nice one hundred percent of the time is very suspicious.
MC: When do you each feel authentically yourself?
VS: As a cis woman, you will hear some people say that there isn’t really a transformation for me going from out of drag to in drag, but I think that is a bunch of bollocks. I like going between the masculine and the feminine and somewhere in between. I feel like I am always myself even when I am Victoria, I am exploring that feminine side that I don’t tend to explore when I am out of drag. I love being able to go all over the gender spectrums and fuck with it.
VG: I see myself as always being my authentic self. My drag persona is pretty much not even a persona at this point, it’s just me; the two have blended. I feel like when I am being myself, I come across as more truthful, honest, likable, heartwarming, and relatable. I wanted to bring me to my drag; I used to play a character, and it didn’t work. Just being myself in drag, it helps. I am a very feminine mail and my drag is to embrace the femininity. I like to do the stereotypical feminine things just because of all of the bullying and name calling that I got as a kid. I wanted to embrace that in my drag self, because that is who I am at the core of me. I am a very feminine person and for me, playing with that gender helped me discover myself even more.
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