You would be hard-pressed to find a fan of RuPaul's Drag Race that simply did not adore Blair St. Clair. This plucky Midwestern gal hit the Drag Race workroom and with a boatload of talent and heart to match. While she came short of snagging the crown, she managed to grab the heartstrings of every single viewer with her raw talent and an even rawer emotional story from her past. I caught up with Blair to talk about how her fellow Hoosier queens feel about her time on Drag Race, what her honesty about her past has brought to her life today, and how her new single (and video) Now Or Never has more meaning than we may have realized.
How has being back in Indiana been since the whirlwind of being on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Ten?
I actually just moved to the Washington DC area with my boyfriend. I am back home in the Northern Virginia area actually now.
You emerged as a true contender on the show this season. Were you surprised when you were eliminated or do you think you had more to show?
I definitely don’t think it was my time to go. I don’t think anyone's time to go is necessarily when they leave either. I still look at myself as a great contender for the show. I was really proud of what I did and I think what I presented was strong. I was never in the bottom until I left the competition and even when I was in the bottom, I was not that harshly critiqued. The main critique was to speak up more often and be a little more heard. I think that has now become my job today. To speak up more about what we talked about on my final episode and I think what I did on the show is something to be proud of and I think I should be proud of it.
You were the first queen to hail from Indiana, which is definitely an achievement. How does it feel to be the first girl to come out of your state?
Interesting that you ask that. I was so proud leaving Indiana for the show, even though no one could know. I was so proud representing my state, the city of Indianapolis, and so excited to be the first girl to represent Indianapolis. Unfortunately. the reaction from the city of Indianapolis has been very split. One half of the community is very thankful for Blair St. Clair and they are so proud of her, while the other half are very unkind and unloving due to be being on the show. Indianapolis has turned into a very self-sabotaging drag community. If it was not happening for them, they were mad that it was happening for someone else. It has been very frustrating and very hard seeing that because all I have been giving back to Indiana is thanks and gratitude for having a place to start. I thank so many people individually for helping me along on my journey. Unfortunately, I have not received that complete response in return. I would never speak negatively about my city though, I love it and adore it.
You did have a legal issue that came up while you were filming. Do you think that some of the feelings of jealousy or resentment possibly stemmed from that?
I think that they were searching for something negative to find, and I don’t know why that is. I think that they were not happy for me for their own reasons. And that is not my business. I know for me, that if I was not the one that was cast on the show and it was one of my sisters that I started with, that I would have been very supportive of them and be happy for them and support them on their journey. At the end of the day, when someone succeeds you have the opportunity to succeed as well by helping them flourish. You can only grow also as well.
Is there one queen from the Indianapolis scene that would absolutely rock it on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11?
I think my sister Ida Kay would be amazing. She is such a fun and effervescent individual, She has been a rock of mine throughout the competition, always checking in on me. She has helped spread so much positivity, love and kindness as well. I think she would rock the competition, but she has also rocked it as a friend to me.
What happened on the show that we did not get to see about you or your experience that you may have wanted the audience to have seen more of?
I think the show depicted a really good side of me. The only thing that I would have wanted shown more is that while I am very sweet, down to earth, really fun and have lots of energy and am positive: I’m a drag queen. I can still throw a little shade here and there, and have my cute and funny little remarks. I think the show caught some shady moments; I watched the show and thought “oh my gosh, I’m actually kinda funny”! (laughs). You see this little twinky twelve-year-old being all shady. I had a few more moments than they actually showed, and I would have loved for more of those sillier moments to have aired to show that I do have a humorous side as well.
You spoke very candidly and bravely about your sexual assault on the main stage. Was it something you thought about before leaving for the competition or did it happen very organically and spontaneously?
In the moment, I had no idea that I would be going home that day. It was the first time I was actually being critiqued. It was not something I was necessarily looking to get off my chest. Beforehand I had never talked to anyone about I, and was not sure that it was something I wanted to bring up in my life. I have told other press outlets that I think I have come to understand that with something as deep as this, you come to a point when your heart is ready to talk before your mind is ready. I had not been ready for such a long time. I think under the amount of stress, exhaustion, pressure, I think my heart was just in a situation of just really wanting to scream. I just wanted to open up. I felt in such a safe space on RuPaul’s Drag Race, especially with RuPaul and the other judges and with my fellow competitors. I think my heart was ready to open up and talk before my mind even knew it was ready. I think it all just kind of expelled and came out at once. Even there, I was just processing what I had even said and I was very confused.
What has the reaction that you have gotten from your fans and the public in general been like?
I would say overwhelmingly positive. I did not expect a huge backlash of love. I have seen other girls that once they are eliminated, people try to discredit them. We as a society have now placed people’s ranking on a television show to give themselves worth, and I think that is very unfair. At the end of the day, someone has to go no matter how wonderful a drag queen, and artist, or entertainer they are. I was a little afraid that people were going to use my ranking on television to depict my self-worth. The past six months I have really worked on my self-love and been very pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of love that I have received from the community for what I have done on the show, what I presented, and staying true to myself and my integrity.
Many people have said that they can connect with me and the things I have talked about. When I said on the show, I said that I left a winner even without having a crown, and I believe that. I believe that I really did win just by connecting to so many people in the audience. That has been important to me since day one. It has been important to me since day one to be relatable queen. I think that there are many queens from Drag Race that may not relate to audiences but I think it is always important for me to relate to my audience one hundred percent, be honest with myself and true to myself; and I think I did that.
I think one thing you did was put out an amazing music video with your track Now or Never. The video is a complete production and even had previous Drag Race contestants Manila Luzon and Season Five winner Jinx Monsoon!
Thank you! It’s huge, yes. I probably could have bought a car with what I spent on it (laughs). That piece of art was amazing for me to do. It came full circle for me, really. There is going to be more music one hundred percent, we are working on more now actually. I am a singer and have been trained. I was not necessarily planning on doing it, but it seemed like it was just the right time. I think music needs a purpose. That song, Now or Never, specifically had a purpose behind it, there was a passion behind it. That song has a story behind it and I was really ready to tell my story musically. The other music I am working on it is not going to just be out and published fast because I simply can, it’s going to have a purpose behind it.
What’s next for Blair St. Clair? Touring the world perhaps?
I think the next place you can expect to see Blair St. Clair is on your social media and in a city near you. What I want to do is to spread everything that I preach with as many individuals and reach as many people as possible. We are getting some more tour dates in the mix now. I just want to get my voice out there and spread as music love as I can and as much positivity as I can. I want to share all the love that I have gotten as well.
You have inspired people so much with your words and the positivity you exhibit. In turn, what inspires Blair St. Clair?
I have been able to turn so many experiences in my life into positive ones and I have now been given a platform to do that. I have been inspired by so many people myself. First and foremost, my family, my amazing boyfriend and a lot of love; the love that I have received inspires me to share that back with the world. I have been inspired by this amazing outpouring of love and just want to give that back.