Canada’s Drag Race: Adriana likes to play the bad guy

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The Queen of Quebec City talks about the Colombian drag scene, syncing the lips for Mitsou and the plate on her head


Canada’s drag race is drawing to a close, which means the therapeutic ugly screaming moments are on the rise.

The eighth episode of the second season was the makeover challenge, always an affirmative and cathartic time for the contestants, who at this point have been locked in the production bubble for weeks. It’s a necessity for the audience too – late in the season we’ve been so focused on the queens that it’s like a welcome respite when fresh faces come into the Werk Room and shake up the momentum.

For a few short moments we are torn from the career focus of Drag Race and reminded of the community.

But this is still a reality TV show competition and someone has to be eliminated. For the makeover challenge, the remaining five queens – Icesis Couture, Adriana, Kendall Gender, Gia Metric, and Pythia – had to create outfits to fulfill the prom fantasies of queer teenagers. The resulting looks had to serve mother-daughter, although matching outfits were not a mandatory requirement.

Previously, the queens also had virtual visits from parents and partners. It was heartwarming, but it also gave us a deeper sense of the personal commitment of each participant. The Queen of Quebec City, Adriana, received a virtual visit from her partner, who is also her creative partner. With a lot of the show-related talk shifting to the money and work required for the audition in recent years, it was a rare moment when the banter in the air reflected some of the chatter behind the scenes.

Unfortunately, the jury was of the opinion that Adriana’s mother-daughter catwalk was not convincing enough and she landed in the lower range with Ottawa’s Icesis Couture, one of the season’s top runners. The couple competed against Mitsous in 1993 by RuPaul-written pop house song Everybody Say Love. The French-Canadian singer was also on the jury, and the performance received a standing ovation.

Adriana won the bid and finished a run in which she won an acting challenge, stunned the jury with an elaborate Marie Antoinette look and landed some biting one-liners (on Gia Metric: “Gia, or should I say, Gigi not as goode “). The morning after she left, we met with the actress from Quebec to talk about emigrating from Colombia, discovering the drag scene in Bogota and the support needed for the drag race.

How did you become a drag queen?

I could never have imagined being a drag queen, but it all makes sense in retrospect. I started out as a backup dancer for other drags in Quebec City. One day I thought I want to do concepts and the queens didn’t want to do my concepts. So why shouldn’t I try? I started watching YouTube videos and tutorials, doing outfits, putting things together, and started performing. I was already a dancer so it was easier for me to get bookings. I grew up in Quebec City, then Montreal, and now I’m here.

Iread that youam from Bogota. WhatIs the drag scene like there?

I was 16 when I left Colombia so I’d never seen a drag show. I didn’t know it existed. The first time I saw drag was in Quebec and my mind was just blown away. When I returned to Colombia I was old enough to see drag shows. It was so different, but similar in other ways to what we’re doing here. We are very special in Colombia. There’s so much talent in there. Can’t wait to go and perform – I’ve never performed there before.

Whatis the scene different there?

I’ve seen two types of shows: the regular show and the productions they put on. It is impressive. I saw that, what was it called? The mother of the dragons? What kind of TV show is it?

Game of Thrones?

Game of Thrones! Thanks very much. It was a Game Of Thrones themed show with that big dragon literally on stage. I was used to small drag shows on a big stage because in Quebec City our stages are huge compared to many other places. Most of the shows are in small stages so when I saw this I thought okay, okay, okay! We’re not playing Colombia here.

Mother Of Dragons would be a good name for a gay version of Game Of Thrones.

Exactly.

Iread that you‘are the first queen of Colombian descent to appear in a drag race show.

I am so proud to represent Colombia now. People from Colombia showed me so much love and told me that they felt represented. I didn’t have this feeling of being a role model to other people in my youth. So it’s just amazing. Cant wait to go there and perform for the first time. I think people will give me so much love when I am there. I’ll do anything you want and more.

Let’s talk about last night’s lip sync. They went home but got a standing ovation and played Mitsou’s Everybody Say Love in front of Mitsou. What was going through your head when you landed at the bottom?

It was very difficult to be among the last two. I felt like I was going home, but at the same time I had this moment where I talked to myself and said, “pull yourself together”. You are here for something, you have to fight to the end. It was an honor to perform in front of Mitsou, but I thought whoever was on that jury, I was going to impress them. I think Icesis and I did such good lip-syncing and I’m sure people will be hearing more Mitsous songs now. Mitsou offered to take me home, but she left before I could pick up my things. [laughs] It took me a little too long to get my luggage ready.

All of the queens had a moment with a loved one during the episode. We saw your partner who is part of your drag career. How did you work together to get on the show?

That might sound weird, but growing up I’ve never had a barbie and now I feel like that doll and I am his doll. Sometimes he pushes me to do things I wouldn’t think about. He brings me an idea and we start sewing things together, developing concepts and transferring them to me. We imagine, we say, an animal and how do we transform this animal into a performance? How are we going to turn this body into a drag outfit? It’s a lot of communication and he’s so supportive. He helped me so much with all that money because it’s expensive. The looks we did for Drag Race, he sewed and literally fell asleep on the outfits. We put so many rhinestones on everything.

Adriana as Marie Antoinette in Canada's Drag Race Season 2
Courtesy of Crave

Adriana serves cakes on the catwalk as Marie Antoinette.

What looks were you most proud of?

Marie Antoinette was something. It took so long to make the plate. I had panic attacks on the first try because I was trapped in this plate with a small door opening in my back. I thought if I had to be lip-syncing with this, I’d break my neck

You won an acting challenge. Do you have acting experience?

I won an acting challenge. It was a character that should be [judge] Brad Goreski, but I thought, why not make him a Rocky Horror Picture Show, Brad Goreski? I tried it. It could have bombed, but it worked so well. I did theater in school. My shows are very conceptual with a lot of characters so I’m used to analyzing a character and becoming that character. I was pretty sure I was going to win one. At the girls group dance challenge, I thought these girls picked me last? That’s because they don’t know that I’m good at group gigs and that I’m a scene animal.

II’ve read quotes from you and it seems like you don’tI don’t mind playing the bad guy if I have to. Have you always felt attracted to villain characters growing up?

The villain characters are always my favorites in all of the films – female characters. There’s this strength and power that they have. I love playing bad guys. I love Ursula – so sexy and confident and love this body. The queen of hearts – she’s just too much. She is that dear woman who gets mad at everyone. Everyone loves villains.

Check out a video version of this interview below:

Read more interviews about Canada’s Drag Race Season 2 here

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

@KevinRitchie

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