A Final Word With SYTYCD Winner Vicky Boofont

Photo by JJ Mack
Photo by JJ Mack

Chiffon Dior: Hi there Vicky! How are you my dear? Congratulations on your big season 7 win!

Vicky Boofont: Thank you Chiffon! It’s been a whirlwind! I’m still recovering!

After two plus months of “GO! GO! GO!” with So You Think You Can Drag, has it sunk in yet that its over and that you actually won?

I really can’t believe it’s over, I mean I don’t know what I am going to do with my Thursdays! I was really ecstatic to be in the top four and to be able to perform at the Finale, so in a way I already felt like I had won. Then the finale happened and it was all a blur! But I am starting to catch up on watching the performance and seeing all the comments and photos.

This is the third year we’ve covered SYTYCD here on WERRRK but I don’t know if people get the wringer you gurls go through. Can you give us an idea of what typical week is like for the queens during the competition?

Typical week would start with the theme. We would have a performance theme and a runway theme. Sometimes the performance theme would have parameters – like only a solo, no dancers or only three mixes vs. an entire number. And then all the girls would have to fight it out to make sure they got the song they wanted. No two girls were allowed to do the same song during the competition. After all that was figured out, then we’d be given the theme to our Runway Look. So I would frantically be figuring out my number, rehearsing it, sewing costumes for the performance and runway. And then on top of everything else we had to learn a final lip sync that the top two girls would be doing. It was a lot!

So what were you feeling on the final night? Were you confident in your material?

I was very confident with my first number – we each had to do two numbers, in addition to an opening number, runway and final lip sync if chosen. So yes, with my first number I sang live with just myself on stage. I wasn’t sure if the number would be received well, especially since singing live is hard in that big of space but luckily it went well. The second number was more of a challenge for me because I had a lot of choreography to remember and staging with the eight chorus boys that I had. I really wasn’t sure if the audience would like my Carol Channing or if I would even be able to do her justice. I had never done Carol Channing before, so it was a risk.

Photo by Detoxximage
Photo by Detoxximage

There was also the risk of Strawberry Fields running off with your boys. It was touch and go for a while there!

*Laughs* Well luckily I didn’t really know that she was doing a photo shoot with them, or I would have stepped in! But gosh does she look gorgeous in that gold gown with all my boys!!!

Bitch would look pretty in a potato sack. I need to hang out with uglier queens to be honest.

Oh Chiffon please, you are such an elegant, classy lady!

Ever the diplomat Vicky! This year though was our first time providing backstage coverage of SYTYCD. Paige and I had discussed it last season but it was a little too close to the start of the season to pull it together but I’m thrilled that Strawberry and myself were able to be back there with everyone all year. Did you enjoy getting to talk with Strawberry each week or was it just extra stress for you?

I loved talking with Strawberry! She always made me more calm, cool and collected. She just has a natural way of making everyone she is interviewing and talking to feel comfortable. It also helped that I knew her before the competition. She was one of the judges at the very first NYC show that I competed in, New York’s Next Top Drag Queen – which I didn’t win or even place in! *Laughs* But because I knew her, it made it more fun for me to chat with her on camera. I don’t think it was added stress, except on the weeks that I won. That’s because she wanted to go home and couldn’t until she interview me. I was too busy talking and taking pictures to all my adoring fans! HA!!

Actually she was WAY more interested in me taking her to McDonald’s honestly than going home. So tell me a little bit about your background if you don’t mind. How did you get started in drag?

I started doing drag for fun during Halloween when I was in college and then when I graduated, my first job was doing Summer Stock at a Barn in Michigan. The show was Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and I was in the chorus and doubled as a football player. Well they were short 1 female in the opening montage and they asked me to play one of the ladies in drag, so I did. One of the other dancing football chorus boys used to dabble in drag, so he showed me how to do my makeup and the rest is herstory!

Now if I heard correctly, you had been living in LA and were retired from drag. How did you wind up in New York City competing in SYTYCD?

Yes. Well I ended up being part of a cabaret act called “The Boofont Sisters” and we sang live in clubs and piano bars all over Chicago and then Los Angeles. When my other sister got a touring production of ” I Love Lucy Live”, we broke up the act and I retired. I was happily married and tired! We had been doing The Boofont Sisters for ten years! Three years later my husband got a job offer in NYC and we decided to take it. I was in a new city and didn’t really know what I was going to do for work. I tried writing and improv but ultimately when I saw the audition notice for New York’s Next Top Drag Queen, I decided to try and come out of retirement. I didn’t expect to love it so much! When I started meeting other girls, they always talked about SYTYCD – but said that there probably wasn’t going to be another year. I had gone on YouTube and fell in love with all the videos of the competition I had seen from Paige’s numbers to Juicy Liu and especially Alexis Michelle. I just knew that I had to try and audition if they ever did another season and low and behold….

Juicy Liu, Vicky Boofont and Alexis Michelle
Juicy Liu, Vicky Boofont and Alexis Michelle

As Paige was getting set to announce the two finalists, what was going through your mind?

Well, the four of us had just done a prayer circle in the back. We held hands and wished each other luck. I truly am proud to call these girls my drag sisters. They are so talented and creative! I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. Obviously I wanted to be in the top two just so I could lip sync and do my big costume reveal! But honestly I really didn’t know. When Paige announced Gloria first, then it was just between Whendy and I, I really thought it would be Whendy. She had worked so hard and always brings so many people each week. I don’t really know that many people in New York, so I was shocked to hear that I had the top audience vote.

The final lip sync was remixed version of “Let It Go” from Frozen. Can you take us through that final performance and what you were feeling during that?

The week was hard, with the election and with Hillary not winning the electoral college. Wednesday I couldn’t even get out of bed or leave my apartment, let alone talk about SYTYCD. It just seemed so trivial at the time. But I had to go to my voice lesson and work on my song, so I forced myself out of the apartment. As I was walking up 8th Avenue, you could feel how sad everyone was. Nobody was talking, nobody was really making eye contact. So I put my headphones on and the first thing that I played with the final lip sync “Let It Go” The lyrics had such a different meaning to me, and really spoke to me. I knew in that moment that my job as an entertainer was to perform and make people laugh again. So as I was lip syncing the song, I was just feeling so much joy from the audience and a heck of a lot of love. I also felt Gloria’s breath breathing down my neck as she tried to kick me off the runway!!! *Laughs* Kidding! The two of us held hands and sang to each other. It was such an amazing moment for me, one that I’ll never forget.

Photo by Michael Kushner Photography
Photo by Michael Kushner Photography

Part of your prize package is your own show at the Green Room of New World Stages! When can people expect to see your show debut? Do you already have ideas planned for that or are you still trying to get over the entire SYTYCD experience?

NO, it’s planned gurl! They ain’t messing around Off Broadway! It will be called “The Vicky Boofont Show” and will start mid-January. We are still working on the dates. This is an exclusive by the way!

We’re dishing out scoops like we’re Baskin Robbins here people! Eat your heart out TMZ!

I will include some characters that I did from SYTYCD, like my Barb from Stranger Things and also Liza and Carol. It will include special guests and lots of great songs. I can’t wait!

I was there that first night and the audience ate your Barb up and asked for seconds! What made you decide to do her?

The runway challenge was Back To School because this competition started in SEPTEMBER. Let me repeat that….SEPTEMBER! And so I had just finished watching Stranger Things and fell in love with Barb, as did everyone else. I just love the 80’s and I knew girls who still dressed and acted like Barb in the 90’s!

Sounds like people in need of one of those surprise makeover shows!

Totally!

Would you mind do a couple of lightning round questions?

Of course! Let’s go!

Must have makeup item?

My Coty Powder! I am bound and determined to get CLOWN LUNG – google it.

Drag role model?

Jackie Beat and Divine of course!

4am post drag food craving?

Thick Cut French Fries with lots of Ketchup

Best part of drag?

For me it’s the costumes. I love sewing and creating looks.

Worst part of drag?

The money it takes to create and sew all my looks.

Drag Queen you would pay to see?

Lady Bunny! even though I’ve seen her so many times but she’s really old and probably doesn’t get much from her social security checks.

Most surprising thing about you people might not know?

I’ve been a vegetarian for twenty years!

If not for drag, what would you be doing?

I’d be either a writer or teaching kids theatre.

Guilty pleasure?

Buying jewelry with my name on them.

Next show up on your Netflix queue?

Oddly enough I haven’t seen The Soprano’s and I really want to watch it!

Celebrity crush?

Milo Ventimihlia, the hot daddy from “This Is Us”.

Last one, most embarrassing song on your phone?

I don’t think any of them are embarrassing except that if my mom grabbed my phone and hit play, I would’t want her to hear Dick Hang Low by BIg Dipper Jelly!

Hilarity ensues then!

Yes!

We got some plugs in last week in the pre-finale interview but is there anything else you want to shamelessly promote?

I’ll be guesting at Hardware tomorrow night in Paige Turner’s “WTF” Show and then on Thanksgiving, I’ll be with Beverly Leslie Sills at Boots and Saddles. December 2nd I will be at Urban Stages for Winter Rhythms. The Glam Awards are December 11th. December 18th I’ll be guesting at Ritzy Bitz‘s Brunch Show at La Pulperia. And many more shows are in the works for the month of December! Check my Facebook and Instagram for all my show info!

Thank you so much for your time tonight Vicky and congratulations on a well deserved win. It was wonderful to get to know you this season and wish you nothing but success going forward. Do you have any final words of wisdom to leave our readers with?

Thanks Chiffon! I would just like to add that always believe in yourself and follow your dreams! I never would have guessed 3 years ago when I stopped doing Drag that I’d be back at it… and in New York! Anything is possible if you work hard enough and keep trying. Stay focused and always do your best no matter what it is you are doing in life. Show up and make it count!

 

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About Chiffon Dior 466 Articles
Despite being a drag journalist for over five years, Chiffon only recently realized that she missed a golden opportunity back then to change her drag name to Rhoda Story.

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