From the moment she stomped into the workroom complete in black garbage bag couture, Chi Chi DeVayne was the dark horse on this season of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” A small-town queen with more than enough heart, this gal tore through the competition, a highlight being an earth shattering lip synch against Brooklyn’s own Thorgy Thor, to the scorching classic “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” Chi Chi sat with us to chat about her season on “Drag Race,” who she has stayed closest to, and what it’s like to suddenly have a world open to her that only up until recently was a dream.
Chi Chi, how does it feel to be done with this season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”?
Oh it’s a relief! It’s a big relief! I’m glad to be on the other side of it for sure!
What is the small town drag scene like in your hometown in New Orleans, Shreveport?
It’s very small! We have one bar, it’s in Shreveport. It’s basically six to seven queens performing. It’s a super small scene. Everyone is always fighting for spots. I’m the hometown hero overnight it looks like.
When you hit the workroom in a custom-made garbage bag couture gown, many may have dismissed you as one of the first ladies to go. Were you strategic from the first day or were you always just being Chi Chi?
Well, the garbage bag idea was definitely strategic. I wanted to show that I was very creative if I had to use unconventional materials. But yes, it was very intimidating seeing the other girls. I knew of none of them except Derrick Barry. For the most part, when I entered the workroom I was in a complete daze. I could not believe that I was actually there.
We got to see you enter the workroom as a humble country queen and go all the way forward to make Top Four, despite a few missteps along the way. Where do you think the tide started to turn in your favor?
I think it turned in my favor when I actually won a challenge. I was able to show everyone that even though there were doubts about me and I had come out of nowhere, I was an entertainer. It showed people that I was here! The bitch can dance, she can turn a performance out! I think that is really when people realized that Chi Chi was here for a reason.
Many people saw you being consistent, but your core shaking lip synch with Thorgy Thor really showed you turning a corner.
I agree. I was glad that I was able to show people that it isn't always just about all the tricks and the tumbling with me. I was able to show that emotion with a song like that and that I could definitely turn a trick or two!
Looking back on the whole “Drag Race” experience, who has remained super close to you?
Bob (The Drag Queen) and I have remained super close, along with Kim Chi. The three of us are very close. Kim is really adamant about keeping in contact with me and making sure I was ok, as is Bob. Kim and I always bonded over food! I was never afraid to eat around her LOL!
Of the three remaining girls, who do you think is going to snatch the crown of “America’s Next Drag Superstar?”
I definitely think Bob. He has been a consistent performer, and I would love to see him take it home. He knows what he’s there for and he knows what he is going for.
What does drag mean to you in your heart?
Right now, drag is everything to me. It’s my life. It’s my livelihood. I now constantly have to be on top of my game, coming up with new and interesting ideas to make it in this career. I don’t want to go back to washing cars and checking out groceries, so I definitely have to keep it fresh.
What’s next for Chi Chi DeVayne?
Getting out there and entertaining the crowds and the masses! Exploring the world, seeing what the world has to offer! I really want to go to different countries! I have Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom coming up and I’m so excited to get to those places!