Ben DeLaCreme was, as she once called herself, "terminally delightful" on this season of "RuPaul's Drag Race.” With a retro vibe and polished looks, she was one of the queens to beat. Sadly, she went home during a challenge against her nemesis Darienne Lake. DeLaCreme sat down with SFGN to chat how it felt to go home so close to the crown, her portrayal as a "character queen" and her big plans for hitting the stage!
How did you conjure up a name as clever as "Ben DeLaCreme"?
Well it's a play on crème de la crème, and my boy name is Ben. I really consider Ben DeLaCreme to be the best of Ben kind of thing!
You were a seasoned and experienced queen, with many fans thinking you may take the crown this season.
I definitely wanted to go further. There were two times that I was up for elimination. The first time I said to myself "no I'm not ready to go yet"! The second time felt like I'd had a really amazing experience. I'd gotten to show people who I was and what I did. Those girls were all so incredibly talented, and I really felt like everyone was doing their version of drag to the best of their ability. I was really OK leaving, but in some ways I wish I could have gone further.
Some of the other girls thought the editing portrayed them differently than they actually were. How do you feel you were portrayed?
I didn't see anything that felt not like me really. I think that in some ways I wasn't always bringing the drama, and as a character queen I do what I do on stage, and when I'm not in drag on stage I'm definitely a little more subdued. I do feel that who I was portrayed as was pretty accurate, though.
Some fans and other contestants have been vocal about your portraying a character instead of being genuine. Do you feel that criticism was fair?
I find it to be a moot [point]. I'm a character queen; when I'm in drag, I'm portraying a character. There is a long tradition of that in drag and for good reason. It's not ill considered and not disingenuous either. I've heard people say that I was trying too hard to be nice, or trying to be upbeat all of the time. My challenge to that is, what about all the queens that were putting on being bitchy and they're not getting scrutinized for that. I don't see anything wrong with trying to be a little more upbeat than you normally would be.
What are you favorite and least favorite parts of the "Drag Race" experience?
My favorite part would be "Snatch Game" that was a blast! So many of the girls in that challenge were so good. We really were bouncing off of each other. Least favorite, that's really easy, after I almost went home during a lip synch with Darienne (Lake), I was in quite a state for a little while. It really shook my confidence, and took me a little while to claw my way back. It was like getting fired from your job and then being told to come right back and go back to work!
Who are you pulling for to take the crown now?
That's a tough one! At the point we were at with the five of us, I was happy because all of us were doing such different styles of drag. There's a lot of different way to manifest this art form, and I think the girls left are really doing an amazing job at what they do. On a personal level, Darienne and I have certainly had our moments, but we all get along really well, and I think at this point everyone wins. Everyone's career will be really good.
You’re doing shows at the Laurie Beechman Theatre from May 21 to May 23. Among them are "Ben DeLaCreme - Terminally Delightful" and "Hocus Pocus" with Peaches Christ and last year's "Drag Race" winner Jinkx Monsoon. What do you think you want to do next post "Drag Race"?
You know, the stage is really what I love. For me, this is a really amazing opportunity to do what I've been doing, but on a bigger level. I've been working in this medium for 11 years, and now it won't be a decision about the electricity being kept on. I've written and directed a lot of shows in Seattle, and I'm excited to keep doing that, but on a much bigger scale and devoting much more energy to it.
Visit BenDeLaCreme.com for more information.