While she may have a rabid online following and is a big name in her hometown of Milwaukee WI, it was not even to keep Jaymes Mansfield from being the first eliminated contestant on Season Nine of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” this season. During her short tenure on the show she got a master class from the one and only Lady Gaga and got to hit the runway a total of three times, so her time on the show while short, was packed with amazing experiences. I sat down with Ms. Mansfield to chat about her time on “Drag Race”, what it was like meeting girls from such diverse areas all over the country, and what we can expect next from this Wisconsin powerhouse!
(SFGN) Your online personality is so much fun and you were looked at as one of the queens we would fall in love with this season! Unfortunately, someone has to go home early, but we are not happy seeing you go first!
(JM) Same here darling, same here!
Much was made in the first two episodes as well as the first episode of “Untucked” about you being in your head and letting the competition get the best of you and being not as confident as you should have been. Do you think that was accurate?
I think it was fevers of jealousy happening and they had to get rid of me for being too good, you know just to keep the competition fair (laughs).
Seriously though, I would say that we were all in our head to a certain extent. I was a little bit more withdrawn being primarily a character performer, but then you put the drag on and everything and that is when the talent really starts to show.
Right off the bat, you got to have one of the best first episodes, getting to meet and perform for Lady Gaga.
Oh, I know! Lady Gaga being in the workroom, I did not expect that!
What was the initial reaction from your perspective when she walked into the workroom?
You know, I said one joke when she walked in and everyone was suspecting it was her. I said right out loud “C’mon, it can’t be Lady Gaga, her tuck isn’t big enough” (laughs). I guess now I can see why they edited that out…
During “Untucked” following the first episode, Lady Gaga took time with each of the girls and gave you each some pretty detailed critiques. What was it like getting advice from such a superstar?
You know, it was incredible. I wished they had shown more, since she said that she liked the workmanship that had gone into making my dress. I mean, I stayed up four nights in a row until four am to get that dress completed, and she acknowledged the work I put into it.
You are now part of the “Drag Race” sisterhood, which regardless of when you went home, makes you part of a very illustrious group. What do you think are some of the best parts of the experience that stick out for you?
I would say getting to meet different drag queens from all different walks of life. If I had not gotten cast on “Drag Race”, I never would have had a connection with them. I also got a real connection into how television works, how drag is perceived, and how television production is done as a whole. It is very different from doing videos in my bedroom where you are actually the production. That is a well-oiled machine at World of Wonder!
Conversely, what do you think is your least favorite part of the entire “Drag Race” experience?
For me, probably having to go home first, that is my least favorite part! (laughs)
For those of us who have never been there before, what is Milwaukee drag’s scene really like?
I always make the drag saying Milwaukee drag is kind of war torn and desolate, like "Mad Max Fury Road”! In all honesty, it is an eclectic scene. You have your pageantry, but you also have girls that come down from Chicago, which give us a different influence. Some club kid, some artsy drag, even a lot of camp, which is the school that I come from.
Who are some of the influences that brought you to drag in general?
I always say that Hedda Lettuce and Varla Jean Merman are the top influences that brought me to drag. They are the kind of girls that do everything.
Now that you have spent time with your “Drag Race” sisters, who do you think are some of the girls who could take it all the way this season?
Harkening back to New York and just knowing their history, I would have to say Peppermint. She’s the girl to look out for, she has the goods! She’s well known on the East Coast and online, but a lot of people are not aware of what she’s capable of. You’ll be surprised!
What’s next for Jaymes Mansfield post “RuPaul’s Drag Race”?
I am going to be concentrating heavily on both my YouTube channel and my touring schedule. I am going to be updating my channel constantly with tutorials, movie reviews, and the drag queen history that I do on the channel.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs Friday on Logo at 8pmEST (check local listings)