After smelling success with last season’s acting challenge, RuPaul’s Drag Race decided to bring back a flatulent favorite soap opera drama for their latest episode — The Daytona Wind.
On last week’s episode (aired Friday, February 10), the remaining contestants were tasked with over-acting in the latest “episode” of the much-beloved, made-up TV show from last season. This time, the show ditched the farting sound effects for a ’80s sitcom-style laugh track, asking the queens to hit every catchphrase and corny line delivery possible.
While Mistress Isabelle Brooks managed to wow the judges with her campy characterization, Jax and Aura Mayari failed to impress with their half-baked performances, finding themselves in the bottom. Lip syncing to Dua Lipa and Megan Thee Stallion’s “Sweetest Pie,” Jax pulled out every stop — including a number of perfectly executed acrobatic stunts — to secure her spot on the show, leaving Mayari on the chopping block.
Billboard caught up with Aura following her elimination to talk about struggling in the lip-sync, her BLACKPINK talent show performance and how she’s dealt with being dubbed the “cringe” queen of the season by Twitter.
We are six weeks into Drag Race — what has it been like getting to watch yourself on national television?
Well, interesting question! It’s been a lot of ups and downs; I’m just one of those people that hates watching myself and hearing myself. It’s weird and I don’t like it. But part of the job is doing viewing parties and watching yourself in front of a literal crowd, which is so gross.
I completely get that — I’m sure it also hasn’t helped that a certain section of the fanbase has decided to bombard you with criticisms of being “cringe.” But props to you for taking that and running with it online!
Yeah, at the very beginning, I really did not expect to have people coming for me. After we taped the show, I was really like, “It’ll be fine, I don’t think anyone’s gonna hate me for what I did — except for maybe the Snatch Game.” But then, yeah, they really did come for me. It took me a minute to kind of figure out how to respond to that situation, because we’re all pretty new when it comes to being in front of thousands and thousands of people online. But at the end of the day, if you feel that way, then you feel that way. I’m not here to make you love me, I’m here to do what I want to do.
To be real, I also watched a video online that was sent to me by Salina [EsTitties], of this speaker saying, “You never take criticism from somebody who isn’t in the same playing field as you.” But, I also want to be clear — if I did horrible, then I will say it, too. I’m not gonna sit here and make this about not accepting any criticism whatsoever. The situation is what it is, and I’m just rolling with it.
I want to actually go back for a moment to the premiere episode, and your performance of “Kill This Love” by BLACKPINK for the talent show — tell me about what went into that number?
So, that wasn’t my original plan! That came together about three days before I had to leave for filming. Originally, when we were told about the talent show, I messaged production and told them that I was going to do a fun “workout routine.” I tore my hamstring while I was onstage in Nashville, and I got the call that I made it onto the show while I was in the hospital. So, the plan was that I would hopefully be able to fully heal before going, and I was stretching every day, but during that time, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do an all-out performance for the talent show, so I came up with the idea for this workout sketch.
I wrote it and performed it to my boyfriend a couple of times, and he was basically like, “It’s funny, but you shouldn’t do this on the show. You should show them what you can do on stage.” But I knew if I moved in the wrong way, I’d hurt myself and then I’d have to go home. So we went back and forth for a while, before finally settling on this dance. I didn’t have time to choreograph it, so my friend actually choreographed it and made a video so I could learn it in three days. So, for all of the fans talking about why I was wearing flats for that performance, now you know why!
Let’s talk about this episode and “Daytona Winds”; things did not really go your way in this challenge. Walk me through what was going on in your head as you were filming this acting challenge.
Yes, there was a lot of struggle! The truth is, I was so excited for an acting challenge — I was so ready to make an absolute fool of myself, because the challenge isn’t really about “good acting.” If you’re being goofy, you’ll be okay! Well, I ended up just thinking about it way too much. I was so focused on the “over-acting,” and had a fully different idea of the character than the script did. It was also my first time working directly with RuPaul, and I got so nervous.
You were also very kind in switching your role with Mistress at the last minute, avoiding another “Metal-gate” moment.
I’m always trying to be a team player — if this is a group effort, then I want it to be a hit, I want everyone to do well with their parts. I fully forgot about myself at that point. Looking back now, I feel like I definitely could have picked a better part, but it was fully nerves.
I’m sure this was a hard lip sync to do, because Megan raps pretty fast in her verse and nailing all those words is tough. Credit where it’s due, though, you definitely brought the moves.
I appreciate that, but I was simply so gone during the lip sync because I didn’t know my words. Truly, I was doing whatever I could to distract the judges from looking at my mouth. Honestly, I don’t really remember what I did because I was so busy trying to get these words down.
I gotta tell you, I was so nervous for you when you started the lip sync with the kimono on — I was truly thinking, “How is she going to perform in this.” But the strip reveal to those pasties was incredible.
I had nothing prepared for a reveal, truly! I made those pasties on set, knowing I was going to lip-sync, and just slapped them on to cover my ta-ta’s [laughs].
The puffer kimono was such a clever way to do the theme without doing the same thing as everyone else. Where did that idea come from?
When we found out there would be a puffer runway, I immediately started thinking about what the other girls would do so I could do something different. I started listing out ideas I didn’t think anyone else would try with this, and I love myself a kimono, so that won. I wanted to represent for the Asian community on the show, so I knew I wanted to do an homage to my sisters out there.
Fun fact, Utica was actually the one who helped me create this! Her sleeping bag runway she did on her season was so iconic, and it was amazing that she was able to make this happen. That thing was humongous and heavy and hot.
Jangwon Lee‘s life in music began in typical Korean fashion. “All the kids in my generation grew up with the piano at some point in their lives,” Lee says over the phone from Seoul. His love of the instrument continued beyond childhood with a piano duo, The Serendipity, but has taken a back seat to serial entrepreneurism. While studying business administration at Seoul National University, Lee co-founded Campusdal, a food […]
Post comments (0)