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Friday, May 21, 2010

Deeper Dish with the Ladies of 'RuPaul's Drag Race'

RuPaul's Drag Race Tour is coming to Chicago next month, so I thought it would be fun to interview a few of the lovely ladies.  The LOGO reality series recently concluded its second season as twelve fabulous drag queens competed for the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar". Tyra Sanchez captured the crown, and now she and another queen will be appearing at Roscoe's (3356 N. Halsted) on Thursday, June 17, as part of the ABSOLUT-sponsored Drag Race Tour. This fashion-forward event promises to be a memorable night of lip-synching, laughter and, of course, delicious ABSOLUT cocktails. So I am delighted to have Tyra, Raven, Jujubee and Pandora Boxx here on the Dish to discuss their Drag Race dramas and answer some pop culture questions.

If you could go back and relive your season on RuPaul's Drag Race, what one thing would you do differently?

Pandora: I wouldn't have worn that green dress everyone hated. Honestly, it was an amazing experience that I feel so blessed to have had. I think perhaps I would have had a little more confidence in myself and just be the fabulous fake lady that I am!

Jujubee: I wouldn't do anything differently.  I just wish I brought more costumes.

Raven: I would choose my words and the way I deliver them a little softer. I am opinionated and when asked for it - be ready!

Tyra: I would not do anything differently. Everything happened for a reason. A good reason - one that made me win.

What challenge was your favorite?

Raven: My favorite challenge was the Golden Girls (drag mom) challenge. That was such a fun experience.

Tyra: The Country Queens challenge. It was my time to shine.  Showing my acting and sewing skills, I wowed the judges.

Jujubee: My favorite, ironically, was the challenge where I made Don up to be my drag mother. Yes, I was in the bottom, but the bond that was created between us was priceless. It was great hearing about gay history. Without people like Don, we wouldn't be where we are today. Thank you, Contessa Touche!

What was your least favorite challenge?

Tyra: My least favorite was the Drag Mothers challenge. I'm not good with doing someone else's makeup - and it showed.

Raven: My least favorite would have to be selling them cherry pie gift certificates - not so cute.

Pandora: The burlesque challenge - mostly because we had to go outside and sell cherry pie gift certificates. Horrid! Daylight and drag queens are not friends.

If you could hang out for an entire day with one of your "fellow" Drag Race contestants, who would you choose and why?

Raven: Just one? There are a few and all for different reasons.  Pandora because everytime we are together we are cracking up.  We seem to get each other into a bit of trouble at times. Morgan - she knows all the places to shop - and Juju because I LOVE HER!

Jujubee: Do I have to choose just one? I want to hang out with all of them! I know I love hanging out with David (Raven).  We spent a day at Disneyland together and I had the best time ever. I felt like a kid again!

Tyra: Sonique! We've already hung out before and it was amazing. You would
swear we knew each other our entire lives. No bitching, arguing or attitudes. We were like sisters just enjoying the day.

Pandora: That is so hard to choose. I have hung out with some of my fellow contestants for a day.  I've actually spent at least some time with all of them.

If you could hang out for an entire day with any celebrity Drag Race judge, who would you choose and why?

Pandora: Ok, so my immediate reaction was to write Kathy Griffin, of course. I want to hang out with her so I can be on My Life on the D-List. Also, she is just fucking funny! I would love to sit and listen to Cloris Leachman talk for hours or Debbie Reynolds. Can you imagine the stories they would have? Then again Henry Rollins did say I turned him on - now that might be a better day!

Raven: Henry Rollins. YUMMY!

Tyra: It would definitely have to be Niecy Nash. One word: HILARIOUS! And I
could use a good ol' Clean House.

Jujubee: I would love to clean a house with Miss Niecy Nash - preferably, my house! It's a mess!

How did you select your drag name?

Tyra: Tyra means God of Battle. And I think that describes me best.

Jujubee: Jujubee came from my drag mother, Karisma Geneva Jackson Tae. I hated the name soooooo much when I first got it. I love it now!

Raven: I wanted something a little ambiguous and also something that if I were called that in the mall, people would not look at me like I were crazy.

Pandora: I wanted a name that said a lot and I think Pandora does. According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman every created and she opened the forbidden box and unleashed all of the evils unto the world, leaving only man's hope inside. I thought, well, they'll never know what to expect.

Did you consider any other names?

Raven: The only other name I thought of was Phoenix. Both winged creatures.

Jujubee: One other name I considered was Amneris. I just loved the way it sounded and after watching Aida, I was inspired by her strong will.

Pandora: I did consider one other name which was Madeline Michaels. Madeline for Madeline Kahn and also it was similar to Madonna. Thankfully, Pandora also has some similarities to Madonna and I went with that name.

In high school I was:

Pandora: A shy geek! But still funny.

Raven: Everyone's friend.

Tyra: Labeled the Gay James.

Jujubee: 40 lbs. lighter. If I could be in high school again! HAHA!

My favorite comfort food is:

Jujubee: Chicken soup! I make a mean chicken soup with the best Laotian ingredients. A little sticky rice with it makes it that much better.

Tyra: McDonalds! I'm legally married to Ronald McDonald - but I once had an affair with the Hamburglar.

Pandora: Doritos.

Raven: FOOD!

When I was growing up, I never missed a television episode of:

Raven: Saved by the Bell, Touched by an Angel, The Golden Girls and Roseanne.

Tyra: That's So Raven, All That, Sister Sister, Family Matters, and Keanan & Kel.

Pandora: The Carol Burnett Show (in reruns), The Facts of Life, Diff'rent Strokes, Good Times, The Jeffersons, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Small Wonder, Battlestar Galactica - I could go on and on. I was a TV junkie!

Jujubee: As a child growing up in the 90's, I have to give it up to Family Matters, Full House, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Another show I couldn't miss before school was Small Wonder. It was flawless.

Today I never miss a television episode of:

Tyra: The Vampire Diaries, CSI and Criminal Minds.

Raven: Forensic Files, RuPaul's Drag Race and this summer's RuPaul's Drag U.

Jujubee: Rupaul's Drag Race, of course! I am also a huge fan of Glee - and Family Guy is LIFE!

Pandora: This list has grown smaller because my schedule has become so hectic. 30 Rock, Doctor Who, Ugly Betty (boo for it getting canceled), Lost, Desperate Housewives, Parks and Recreation, The Office, CSI, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag U (coming in July), The Pandora Boxx Show - oh wait, that hasn't happened yet!

Three of my favorite movies are:

Pandora: The Color Purple, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Clue - though it's hard to choose just three, I have so many.

Tyra: Avatar, Transformers and Titanic.

Raven: Edward Scissorhands, Steel Magnolias and Untamed Heart.

Jujubee: WALL-E, The Hangover and To Wong Foo - I watched that movie every night for two semesters with my college mates at Umass.

If I was asked to choose a celebrity as the Sexiest Man Alive, it would be:

Tyra: Hands down - Chris Brown!

Jujubee: Seth MacFarlane hands down! You hear that StewiePeterBrian?

Raven: Hugh Jackman!

Pandora: Hugh Jackman!

If I could have anyone in the world - living or dead - be a guest at my dinner party, I would invite the following three people:

Raven: Walt Disney, Betty White and my mommy.

Tyra: Beyoncé, Kelly and Michelle.

Jujubee: I would have 2Pac, Buddha and my Dad. That would be the fiercest dinner ever!

Pandora: Oprah, Abraham Lincoln and Cleopatra (the original Diva).  Oh and I'd have Hugh Jackman - for dessert.

What are your plans for the future?

Tyra: Well, right now I'm working on the Drag Race Tour, but I'm also working on my own fashion line called "WILLIYAAM XA'VIER" and working extra hard to be cast in a movie or TV show.

Raven: I plan on taking my drag anywhere it will allow me to. I want the world to see my take on the art of drag and inspire others to put on a wig and a pair of pumps if they feel it.

Pandora: Right now I'm very excited because my play - yes, I wrote it and star in it - The Lipstick Massacre will be coming to the NextStage at Geva Theatre Center from May 27 - June 12 in Rochester, NY. You can find the link for purchasing tickets on my site, Of course, there is RuPaul's Drag U starting in July on LOGO. There are lots of other things in the works so make sure you become my fan on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

Jujubee: I plan on being around a long time, so watch out - this is just the beginning! I am up for "Most Addicting TV Personality" at the NewNowNext Awards - you can vote at and TWEET #realityJUJUBEE. For my schedule and booking information, visit my website,, and become a Facebook fan. I wish you all the best! Thank you so much for the love and support!

Thank you, ladies, for getting Deeper with us here on the Dish.  To learn more about RuPaul's Drag Race and watch complete episodes of the series, click here. You can also become a Facebook fan of the show, and be sure to say hello to the ladies at the following Drag Race Tour events:

Friday, May 21: Micky's in Los Angeles, California

Thursday, May 27: Station 4 in Dallas, Texas

Friday, June 4: Paradise in Asbury Park, New Jersey

Wednesday, June 9: Club Café in Boston, Massachusetts

Thursday, June 17: Roscoe's in Chicago, Illinois

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