As the winner of "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 5, Jinkx Monsoon was a consistent fan favorite.
Perhaps it was their underdog perspective or signature phrase “water off a duck's back,” but Monsoon was a kindred spirit to the millions of fans that fell in love with them. As Monsoon returned to the Drag Race werk room for "All Stars 7," they were more than prepared to battle it out with fellow winners to be crowned “Queen Of All Queens.” After a star turn during the "Snatch Game" (as Judy Garland) and a side-splitting roast, Monsoon found themself crowned once again as the winner of "RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7." I sat down for an exclusive chat with Jinx where we discussed their "All Stars 7" experience, when they knew during the competition that there was a shift, and what today’s Jinkx would tell the Jinkx that won all those years ago.
Michael Cook: Could you have ever dreamed that walking into that werk room this year on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7, you would emerge this season as the winner and the true “Queen of All Queens”?
Jinkx Monsoon: Well I don’t like to plan too far into advance and I like to take the moments as they come. I definitely wanted it, but I wasn’t counting my chickens until the very end.
MC: Once again, we got to see a true evolution of Jinkx Monsoon throughout the competition, similarly to how we did throughout Season 4. Viewers suddenly saw a shift in the competition where you were most definitely, a proven force to be reckoned with. Did you feel that shift while in the competition?
JM: I was always so focused on what was coming next, I don’t know if I ever really felt a shift really. The cast is so talented, none of us ever really relaxed. The only time I ever really relaxed during the whole filming process was in the second to last episode when we did the math and knew that I was going to the finale. Then it was like watching a really fun talent show now! The most frustrating thing was how much math and statistics I had to do all season (laughs)!
MC: Your talent has always stemmed from a raw set of abilities that you inherently have as a performer. This season, you truly elevated not just your performances, but your runway looks truly were out of this world. Where do you get a great deal of influence for what you presented throughout the season?
JM: I have to give the credit to my designers, I work with amazing designers. Diego Montoya designed the dress you were just talking about, he has designed a few things for me throughout the years. My designer Dallas Coulter aka the Lady Hyde, we have been working together since Season 5 and it was so much fun to showcase our collaborations this season. I get most of my ideas for the looks that I want to present from cartoons, video games, superheroes and fantasy movies. Drag has always been where I live out my fantasies as an actor. I often base looks on my dream roles in movies and Broadway shows. My fashion is a way for me to be living out some sort of fantasy that I have.
MC: What moment did you share with a fellow competitor during All Stars 7 that truly means the most?
JM: So much of drag is getting ready. A very significant point of your day as a drag queen is doing your makeup. Just like during Season 5, I did my makeup next to Alaska and we were really really close at the end of the season, just due to all of our conversations in the makeup mirror. This season, I was getting ready next to Monét (X Change) and by the end of the season we were so close and we had had so many candid conversations and she was a really good friend to have throughout the conversation. I think that is something that I cherish from this experience.
MC: If there is another All Winners season, what advice would you give that fellow winner on how to navigate a unique competition like this alone?
JM: I think just go in with a very strong sense of self. Don’t be afraid to put your best foot forward with whatever the challenge is. Ru says every season, "find a way to make the challenge work for you and the kind of drag you do." I think All Stars is a perfect chance to flex those muscles.
MC: A season of All Winners was rumored for many years and finally came to fruition. Was there ever a time you said to yourself that you would not return for an All Winners season?
JM: I actually often said that I wouldn’t go back and do it again because I was really happy with what I put down for Season 5. I think the reason that I decided to go back and do it again was really because of where I was in life when they called me. By the time they called me, I was two years sober from alcohol and that was a really significant part of my life journey in the last few years. I’ve done so much work with BenDeLaCreme that I am super proud of. I was just feeling really honed in and If I was ever going to compete again, now would be the time.
MC: What would the performer that was just crowned “Queen of all Queens” tell the person that was crowned in Season 5 in front of the world?
JM: I guess older Jinx would tell younger Jinx to chill the fuck out and relax. Don’t let your stress about what is going to happen next stand in the way of what is happening right now.
Follow Jinkx Monsoon on Instagram @thejinkx.
Read about the other contestants on the homepage.