After that Drag Race finale, we caught up with the true queen, Shangela Laquifa.
It must have been mayhem for you since the finale aired…How does it feel to be part of one of the most controversial things to happen in drag race herstory?
Well, I would have not preferred [laughs] to be part of the controversy. But I think my fans keep showing their support for how well I did this season, and how disappointed they were not to see me go on to the top 2. And I was disappointed too, I was disappointed. I was shocked. I would have loved the chance to have lip-synced, and I think I did really well this season.
But I want the fans to know I hear them, I’m with them, but I hope that they can move forward. My whole journey was about never giving up, so I hope that whatever happens, they are just as inspired to to never give up on life.
Were you shocked to see how the remaining queens had voted?
Ugh… yeah girl, I got one point! [laughs] I was like, ‘wowww’. But I expected it from them a little bit, and I’ll tell you why, when we were deliberating, none of the girls asked about how we’d done in this season; how many challenges we’ve won. So none of these girls were interested, I was like, ‘ok this is a vengeance thing’. I was so disappointed that that’s what the rules had become; that the power had been given to them to choose who was going to go forward in the competition. I was disappointed.
If you could have given yourself one piece of advice before re-entering the workroom, what would it be?
Well, I had this advice, and I did give it to myself: ‘Plan, prepare, make moments and have fun’. Because I don’t think ever really had fun on Drag Race. It was a competition, I wanted to win, and girls were talking about me, saying I didn’t need to be there, so I was stressed and I wanted to do well.
This time I said, do all that, really do your best, but also have fun, girl! This is Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and you have do many people behind you and supporting you; go in there and have fun, and that’s what I did! I played jokes on the girls, I made a wig called Cornacia, which had corn in it that I had glued myself.
I think you’ll agree that between season 3 and All Stars, you underwent a lot of self-growth. What changed?
Well, when I left season 3 I really wanted to be the drag queen that I saw in my head. And I knew that based on the judge’s feedback, I had to fix a couple things. I wanted to learn how to do makeup better, I wanted to learn how to wardrobe myself better for my shows, I really just wanted to be the best Shangela possible.
So I just started working on it. I started walking, learning, growing, and that’s what I felt I did, I grew up. I came in as a baby, now I was like adult Shangie.
While some queens do the opposite and revert back to babies, like Milk…
Girl! [Laughs] Well, alright!
What advice would you give with regards to staying humble on your drag race journey?
Well, I think that we should always be learning and growing. Always. No matter how much you think you know, you can always be better. You’re never the best, in my eyes, you can always get better, do better, be better. Figure out a way to grow, expand. And that’s how I got it going in my life, once you think you the best, you might as well just stop what you’re doing. Because where do you go? And I always wanna continue to go upwards, and learning more.
Bob The Drag Queen recently came under fire, amid claims that she was rude, or unenthusiastic when meeting fans. Where do you stand on this? Do you think queens should always be nice to their fans, or that they have the right to be disinterested…
I can’t tell you how queens, should behave. Because every drag queen all over the world is a different person. And we have different ways we behave in drag, and we have different ways we behave out of drag. And we have very diverse personalities. So I can’t tell you how one should act, I don’t have to rule on that. But I can say for me, I’ve always been a person who is warm and open, and excited to meet new people, that what works for my character, for Shangela.
So I think you just have to respect people for who they are. At least Bob is being honest. He’s saying ‘this is me, I love entertaining y’all on stage, but I don’t wanna say hey’, that’s Bob.
OK, thank you for letting me know! [laughs] Thank you for being honest.
Who are you shipping for season 10?
Oooh. Well, I’m still a little shook from drag race. I’m gonna have to record it and start it next week. [laughs] I think I be having a little PTSD, honey, but I don’t know.
But I’m excited for the girls, and I’m excited for their opportunities, particularly the ones I know, like Asia. Me and Alysssa have danced backup for Asia years ago in Dallas. So we love Asia. Aquaria from NY, I know her. I worked with her, she’s a doll. And Eureka I’m excited to see what she brings back to the competition.
You’ve got anew single, Pay Me, is it a dig at fans who come to see your shows and don’t tip?
Well, I’ll tell you. Pay Me is an upbeat, high energy dance song, which is a lot of the time whats I like. Shangela loves to dance. And also to remind you, be a working girl, be a professional. So this song is about, when you know you are worth something, demand that you be paid for it. Whether that be in money, or recognition or even just applause from yourself. You get paid, honey!
You’ve just wrapped up a role in a star is born, with Gaga, Chapelle and other big names. Tell us a bit more about that.
It was everything you could imagine it would be, baby. Everything! She is everything,. Kind, generous, sweet, talented, funny, she’s everything.
What else is in store?
Shangela Is Shook (comedy tour) will be the UK for the first two weeks of April, and then in Australia in December. Of course, I’m going to be in Hurricane Bianca 2, which comes out this summer. And a Star Is Born is out October 5th.