From the moment Vicki Vivacious hit the RuPaul’s Drag Race UK werkroom, fans were treated to a queen that had professionalism, precision, and talent to spare. This theater born performer with a passion for old Hollywood films might have left the competition, but in the great tradition of performers like “Queen of All Queen” Jinkx Monsoon, is diving back into her first passion post Drag Race-live theater. I caught up with Vivacious post-elimination to dish about her Drag Race experience, that final lip sync & her biggest inspirations.
Michael Cook: How was your RuPaul’s Drag Race UK experience?
Vicki Vivacious: It was a lot. It’s very intense and it’s something that you can’t really comprehend unless you do it. It’s one of those crazy things where you’re in a special club now and you know exactly how it is. It’s amazing and you’re walking around wanting to do your very best and you’re dreading going home every single minute unfortunately. I guess it is just the nature of the beast.
MC: What did it feel like to be the first Cornish contestant to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK?
VV: It was amazing, I felt super proud. There is some fantastic drag in Cornwall; I hope that people can now remember that and we can see some more Cornish queens again in the future. Honestly they are so talented and they are trapped away in that little county and they need to be seen on the Drag Race stage!
MC: What is the style of drag in Cornwall?
VV: It’s very mixed. I’m almost forty, so my drag is very different from the girls that are down there. There is no one doing that with a similar aesthetic to me. My drag was really born in theater and movie reference culture. A lot of queens in Cornwall they base their drag on pop stars and who they’re listening to on Spotify. My drag is very theatrical and theater based and dramatic. It looks perfect on the stage, but maybe not walking on the runway (laughs).
MC: You seem to have emerged as the thirst trap of Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Is that something that has reached you as of yet?
VV: No and that’s not me just me going “Me” (laughs)? I’ve been so busy and I’ve been so worried about looking for content that I maybe don’t want to see, negativity, that I’ve also been trying to block out as many comments as possible. I have had some pictures slide into my DM’s, so thank goodness my partner and I are in an open relationship; otherwise it could get tricky with all of these random naked men on my phone. I have noticed people being a bit flirty, but I hadn’t noticed that was a thirst trap; I love that I am though!
MC: What are your rose and thorn from your entire RuPaul’s Drag Race UK experience?
VV: The rose is definitely creating a new fan base and following that I never had before, I’ve tapped into a Drag Race fandom. My shows, you have to be eighteen or twenty one and over to come in, I perform in pub and club scenes. I am tapping into this younger generation that I would have never had, and that is a fantastic thing. If I take one positive thing from Drag Race UK, I was the first badge winner of Season 5 that would be the rose. The thorn would definitely be learning something about yourself that you don’t like, I think that would be something that has definitely happened.
I have learned that am a massive control freak and I need to learn to trust other people with a bit of responsibility. My partner always tells me “delegate some stuff to me to do” and I just say “no I’ll do it” and I run myself into the ground. I need to learn to have more trust in people I think.
MC: Your Lip Sync for Your Life is probably going to go down in herstory as one of the best lip syncs in recent Drag Race UK memory. Is that how you remember it?
VV: I am going to rewatch it tonight. I’m off this evening, we’re going to get takeout and rewatch it from the comfort of my own home. I think the lip sync from what I can remember is fantastic, DeDe (Licious) definitely deserved to win it, hands down. I’m not a stunt queen, my sciatica is too bad to do the splits (laughs) and I want to make sure that I can still walk when I’m sixty, so I am going to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground! DeDe is much younger and able to fling herself about, so congrats to her, she definitely deserved to stay over me.
MC: Where did your first inspiration for drag come from that inspired you to launch into a career in drag?
VV: It was definitely through musical theater and my references that I love through different movies, it was movie culture. I remember as a kid I would much rather stay in watching a black and white Fred Astaire movie than go outside and play football with my friends. It was definitely movies, theater and that sort of culture for sure.
MC: With the entire Drag Race platform in front of you, you have the world at your feet. What do you think you want to do now?
VV: We have some really exciting things coming up. I’ve got my own UK Solo tour that starts early next year, so we are going on the road. I will be starting in Cornwall and then taking it all the way up through the country. I’ve got some amazing people backing me, it’s been written by someone fantastic and we just dropped the first artwork. I am going back to my roots, back to theater, live performing; I feel the safest and the happiest when I am on a stage with an auditorium, that is where I am happy. I don’t want to release music, I don’t want to be a pop star, I just want to go back to my roots and go into theater.
MC: It’s so refreshing to hear you say that your intention is to go back to your original passion and something you love so much, the theater. So many performers might release something that doesn’t represent them truly simply for the sake of releasing content, you know?
VV: Absolutely. I think if there is one US queen that I look up to the most really it would be Jinkx Monsoon. Like what an amazing career, able to use the Drag Race platform to then go onto Broadway and create their own theater and I just think it’s fantastic.
MC: Have you been to the United States to perform yet?
VV: No never! I really would love to! I’ve got loads of friends in Los Angeles and they keep telling me I need to come to LA, so I really would love to. I hope I get invited to Drag Con LA and then can come over and do some gigs while I’m there.
MC: Any time you or any drag performer takes the stage, you’re standing in your own truth and making a statement. What do you say to the people watching you that are still struggling to find their own truth and stand in it?
VV: That is true, and I sometimes forget that. I sometimes forget that people watch us, I didn’t have any television help when I was younger coming out. We had a tv show called Queer as Folk on Channel 4 and I can remember I was really young and I remember staying up really late when I wasn’t allowed to and watching it secretly. I am so envious of these people nowadays having these amazing moments that they can lean on. Also, I know it’s easier for people to see if on television and it’s accessible, but it also makes it more of a talking point for people to be horrible, so its a double edged sword really. Sometimes if something isn’t being showcased and showed, it makes the hate less because people don’t know it’s there.
I also think to young people struggling, I just say be yourself, be you, and don’t give yourself too much pressure to be okay straight away. Do it in your time. Just because you may see people on Drag Race being incredible and walking a runway in front of all of these celebrities, don’t think that that level of confidence has to be you immediately. That will come in time. As long as you surround yourself with gorgeous people, then you will be fine.
Follow Vicki Vivacious on Instagram
Featured Image by Paul Madeley