Drag Race Winner Bianca Del Rio: "Maybe I Shouldn't Have Said It, but I'm Not Going to Apologize" | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Drag Race Winner Bianca Del Rio: "Maybe I Shouldn't Have Said It, but I'm Not Going to Apologize"

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Unlike some contestants who come out of nowhere, before Drag Race, you were a pretty established performer in New York. There's a select group of queens with no affiliation with the show who can tour the country. Do you think you would have gotten to that level without the show?

For many years, I was just lucky to work, because that gives you the training. To be able to live in New York City and work in drag and do costume work is pretty amazing, but I'd also had friends who had done the show and seen what it did for their careers. I thought, "Let's give it a shot." I wasn't established on the level where I was a Lady Bunny or Sherry Vine or Jackie Beat and in that age group. But I wasn't 20 and fresh on the scene, so I thought, what did I have to lose? So I didn't tell anybody that I auditioned. If it wouldn't have turned out, then I never would have mentioned it.

I think some of the younger drag queens think the show is the pinnacle, and that's it. Sure, it's an amazing opportunity, but you have to have skills in order to last. What's the point of getting on the show if you get sent home first? Darienne Lake said it best. It's like finally getting to go in Hawaii and immediately falling in the volcano.

Right? It's one of the few reality-show competitions where a lot of the contestants actually go on to do big things in their field, as opposed to just disappearing afterward.

What's amazing about the show is if you can't sing, dance, act, or do comedy on some level, you won't last. The show wants people to represent the show and who are going to work. It opens a lot of doors, but never do I sit back and eat bonbons and think "Oh, I'm living the life." It's harder work now than it ever was.

You're also playing in Miami, which has a big Cuban population. Do you think you get some of your humor from your Cuban side?

Look, funny is funny, and it comes from everywhere. The weird thing is people ask me about playing different audience, "What's the difference between this one and that?" And the answer is literally: three drinks and it's all the same. Three drinks for me. Three drinks for the audience.

The great thing about getting to do this show is to play for people from all different walks of life. A lot of time, the majority of the audience is straight women. Which I'm fascinated by. I had no idea straight women watched Drag Race.

The other neat thing with this theater show is it's people who actually want to see you, and not just people who happen to be at the bar that night. I'm anxious for any audience that's awake, that's alive, and that's ready to have a good time.

No one seems to know when season 7 will start, which I guess just means your reign is extended, but have you gotten a chance to check out and form an opinion on the new crop of queens?

No, I haven't. The odd thing is I'm aware of two because they're New York-based. Miss Fame, I'm aware of her. Not as a performer but as a makeup artist. We have a lot of mutual friends. I didn't even know she was on the show.

And I'm aware of Ms. Kasha Davis, because we worked together once when I was upstate, and I met Katya. She came to my show in Boston. She came backstage and was very sweet after.

I think the big misconception is that everyone thinks we all know each other and have this drag newsletter where we all keep up. I haven't had time to look, and also it spoils it. I'd rather just watch. I had a hard enough time last year withholding information, because all it takes is one night at a bar where I start talking shit like, "Well, she said this is what happened," and I don't want that responsibility.

You're doing this tour and you have your YouTube series, but do you have any other big projects coming up? I know you have the movie, Hurricane Bianca, you're going to shoot this year.

Yeah, we're doing the movie. We're filming in July. I'm excited about that, because it's been a project that's been in the works for a while. When the Drag Race process started, it kept snowballing, and I didn't have any time to set aside to do it. So we finally blocked out a couple of weeks to do it in July. I'm looking forward to it, because it'll be fun to be in one place for a minute, because I've been traveling extensively. It's been a project that's been a part of my life for the past five years, so to finally make it happen is great. It's a testament to the power of television. The opportunities have been endless, and I'm grateful.

Bianca Del Rio's "Rolodex of Hate" show will come to the Amaturo Theater in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday for two shows, at 7 and 10 p.m. Tickets start at $35. She'll also be performing at the Colony Theater in Miami Beach on Saturday. Bianca will also return to Broward in April as part of the Drag Race Battles of the Seasons tour.

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Kyle Munzenrieder

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