Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Drag Queens

Ashley Madison Talks Her ‘Drag Race Down Under’ Snatch Game Win & Shining In & Out Of Drag

Ashley Madison’s RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under experience was filled with victories (winning the all-important Snatch Game challenge as Jesus Christ!) and a stunning elimination (being sent home by one of her mentors, Bumpa Love)! While her Drag Race run has ended, Madison has a plethora of plans for the next chapter of her career. I sat down with Madison to chat about her iconic Snatch Game win, her rise in the Down Under drag scene, and not just what her Drag Race run was like, but what the experience meant for her as well.

Michael Cook: Your run on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under was definitely not without its memorable moments; how do you look back on your experience?

Ashley Madison: I loved it. Obviously there were highs and lows and it was a rollercoaster of emotions, from the first episode to the last episode. Overall, I absolutely had a ball and I enjoyed it so much. 

MC: Watching your final episode, it was like you had a bit of an emotional awakening, where you were reconciling who Ashley Madison is in, as well as out of, drag. 

AM: It was interesting, as a drag queen you walk around with all of this confidence and you put on all of this pizazz. I was cast for Drag Race and when you are cast, you say “Okay, great I am going to do my best”. You also take a look into yourself and you set your expectations, kind of like “Where do I think I am going to go in this competition, where am I going to place”? I may have walked in thinking that I was the most confident person in the world, but unfortunately that was not the case.

After being in the bottom Episode 1 and then being safe Episodes 2 & 3, I thought that was the end of my journey and that was the way that everything was going to be. I think winning Snatch Game changed everything for me. It shocked my system into thinking “Wait, you didn’t expect to come here and win anything”; I thought I would just come in here and enjoy my time. I started questioning who I am outside of drag and why I didn’t set up those expectations for myself to succeed. 

MC: What was winning Snatch Game like for you? Your turn as Jesus was truly a wonderful risk that paid off in a beautiful way.

AM: It is amazing. I am so happy to be able to say that I walked out of this experience having won Snatch Game. I am not necessarily known as a comedy queen prior to the show, so walking into Snatch Game I just wanted to have fun. I wanted to have a laugh with the girls and hopefully make Ru laugh. I came in prepared and to win Snatch Game, and even be on the same playing field as the others that have done it, Hannah Conda (Season 2) and Anita Wigl’it (Season 1), it is such an incredible feeling. No matter what happens in my career moving forward, I will always be able to say that I won Snatch Game! 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Ashley Madison Talks Her 'Drag Race Down Under' Snatch Game Win & Shining In & Out Of Drag 7

MC: Each episode that aired, we got to see a little bit of a different layer of Ashley Madison it seemed. First we got to see the bombshell, then we got to see the performer, the comedy queen, and finally a very vulnerable artist. What kind of performer do you see yourself as? 

AM: It’s interesting, I work a lot of private gigs like parties, and a lot of corporate stuff; I am usually not a club gig performer. A lot of my drag is usually spent performing for straight people. I see myself as someone that up until this point in my career, who has done drag the way that it has enabled me to make money. I have done drag, been glamorous, been camp and had a laugh. I think doing drag in that way helped me with Drag Race because I had done a lot of that back and forth and a lot of the hosting experience.I think I see my drag as being glamorous and camp at the same time. 

MC: You bring up a great point, there is a strong appetite there is for drag from the straight market. What do you think of this expansion of our culture? 

AM: I think it’s amazing! They didn’t show a lot of it on the show, but I run a booking agency here in Australia that books queens all over the country for hens parties, corporate gigs, and things like that. The entire basis of my career and my trajectory to getting onto Drag Race has been about straight people taking in our art form. It’s probably quite controversial and a lot of people have different opinions on people consuming our art because in some senses and some places, we are seen as the clown and in a comedic aspect, kind of “haha that a man in a dress” kind of thing.

Obviously as queer people we realize that drag is so much more than that and it’s beyond gender and it is an art form. I think at the end of the day, drag is about having fun and having a laugh and if straight people enjoy that, they are free to consume it. 

MC: What do you think your rose and thorn is from your Drag Race journey was? 

AM: The best thing that I did was to win Snatch Game, that is the absolute highest thing. It’s interesting, I didnt have anything that I really bombed at throughout the show. Obviously my nipples came out during the first episode and that shook me a bit. When you are on Drag Race, you think about your wig being on, your verse being correct, you are learning the words, and I think those god damn nipples being out in the first episode shook me for the rest! 

MC: Where did your own drag journey start? Are you a child of Drag Race or did you get your start in another way? 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Ashley Madison Talks Her 'Drag Race Down Under' Snatch Game Win & Shining In & Out Of Drag 7

AM: It’s interesting, I was watching Drag Race and I was in year twelve in high school here in Australia. My drama teacher came to me and said she wanted to put a show together and asked if I would help her and I said “Absolutely”! I was watching Drag Race and it was Season Seven at this point, and I showed her one of the performance challenges in that season. She said “We need a drag queen in the show” and it was like “Well, I mean, if I must”! It kind of all went from there and that was a great way to tell my parents that I wanted to do drag, they saw it as an extension of the theater kid that they knew.

My actual real drag career kind of started with Bumpa Love. I started out doing a couple of fifty dollar gigs here and there in Melbourne and then one time, I had one at Bumpa’s venue. She saw something in me and she gave me my start, I started there waiting tables and being a VIP hostess Then I started working behind the bar in drag and then I was designing for her venue. When the previous manager left, I became the manager that venue. We worked very closely and I learned a lot from her. From working with her, I then started my own businesses. I really have Bumpa Love to thank for so much and it is really a full circle moment that she sent me home!

MC: What do you want to do now with this global platform that you have from Drag Race Down Under?

AM: I want to keep pushing the community aspect of drag. I just love entertaining people and having a laugh and spreading the love with everyone. There are a couple things in the works, there are a couple tours in the works with some of my sisters from Drag Race Down Under, and a couple of podcasts that we are thinking of putting togeher. I really just want to entertain and spread the love a bit more. 

MC: Looking back on the Drag Race experience, you have hopefully gotten a true perspective on yourself in and out of drag. Who is Ashley Madison? 

AM: It’s interesting, like you said I sort of cracked and started wondering the differences between myself in and out of drag. What I learned is that I don’t need to have this massive separation. I dont have to have different friends in and out of drag. What I realized is that Ashley is just an extension of Shawn, an extension of gender, and an extension of art. I think that is the beautiful thing about drag, I don’t necessarily have to separate the two and they can live together in harmony. 

MC: I think the best parts of you out of drag are what truly make Ashley shine….

AM: Absolutely!

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Ashley Madison Talks Her 'Drag Race Down Under' Snatch Game Win & Shining In & Out Of Drag 7

Follow Ashley Madison on Instagram

Written By

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

But Wait, There's More......

Drag Queens

Honey Davenport has a musical catalog that is known for eclectic collaborations and amazing anthems, and her brand-new video for her track “Mighty Legendary”...

Drag Queens

After crowing La Diamond during an epic Season 2 finale, Drag Race Italia is returning for a third season, with a brand new crop...

Drag Queens

After stunning the world and being crowned the first winner of Queen of the Universe, Grag Queen has pivoted to behind the judges table...

RuPaul's Drag Race

The top three have arrived and it’s a flurry of excitement and chaos. Whilst slightly shocked at Hollywould Star being sent home. Isis Avis...