From the moment she hit the workroom on this season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Violet Chachki was a force to be reckoned with. From strutting down the runway with accessories like an oxygen tank (complete with face mask) to having the smallest waist seen on that runway, it’s no surprise to anyone that she snatched this season’s title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar.”
Violet sat down with SFGN the day after the crowning to chat about what it feels like to have come out on top, what the whole “Drag Race” experience has taught her, and her immense love for burlesque queen Dita Von Teese.
Violet, congratulations on your huge win!
Thank you so much! It honestly hasn’t hit me yet, I think it will hit when I see my Mom and Dad and they’re proud of me. It really feels like a dream that I’m going to wake up from any second.
When you heard RuPaul announce your name, what was your initial reaction?
Complete shock. I was sitting between Pearl and Ginger (Minj) and I looked at both of them. There are literally no words. My friends were sobbing and it’s completely surreal. I don’t think I said anything, but I just remember looking around at everyone.
Did you think you would snag the crown at the end?
I definitely wanted to win. I told myself “you got this, you’re doing great” the whole time we were filming. I think this was the closest it has ever been though. All three of us were so deserving and it was really split and could have gone to any one of us. During filming, I really wanted win, and watching it back you really have no idea who’s going to win. The whole tag line this year was “You Have No Idea” and it could not have been more appropriate.
Now that your “Drag Race” journey is finally over, are there any misconceptions that your entire experience cleared up for you?
I went into it saying I was going to go there, be fierce, do my art, pack my outfits and just do it. You get there though, and it’s so much more than that. There are so many pieces that fit into the puzzle of creating a reality TV show. It’s literally the most physically, emotionally and creatively exhausting experience I have ever gone through in my life. You don't realize going into it, you think you are going to start your “glamorous life” but I was miserable for the better portion of it. You’re doing this for fourteen hours a day and the majority of that is filming, and it’s not as glamourous as it looks. It’s the most trying experience I have ever been through.
People could say that you were a bit “bitchy” and can come across as harsh. Do you think your edit was fair this season?
Oh definitely. I actually think I got one of the more fair edits of the girls from my season. There are a couple instances where I think things were a little bit heightened, but what they do is they take an experience that was a little dramatic and they make it more dramatic. If it was bitchy, they make it bitchier. If it was funny, they make it even funnier. They just amp it up to a point where it’s almost offensive, you know?
So you’re famous “I Hate Michelle Visage” line was slightly enhanced?
No, I didn’t even hate her that day and I was over it the next episode [laughs]!
What kind of growth do you think Violet has gone through as a result of this experience?
I definitely am aware of how I communicate. I’m a very particular person with how I work and how things are going. There is so much growth with me internally, how I feel about life, things in general, my perception. I now see how show business works, professionalism, creative inspirations, everything. I have gone through a ton of changes.
You now have a whole year to take this platform as “America’s Next Drag Superstar” and really make something of it. What are your plans?
I really would absolutely love to design a collection. I actually dropped out of fashion school to do drag full time. That’s where my character comes from. I just started collecting beautiful clothing. That’s what I want to bring it back to and really bring it full circle. I also have an EP coming out that’s also going to be amazing. It’s really awarding to be able to create content and have it fully realized, RuPaul has all this content that she has produced, and it’s fully realized. I definitely want that for myself as well.
“Bettie” is the first track off of the EP. The video is a big juxtaposition and has a great darkness to it.
I love that video! That contrast is exactly what I was going for. It was designed to show that contrast of presentation vs. reality, which has a lot to do with drag if you think about it.
The video was along the lines of if Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson had a child during their marriage, it would have been you.
I wish they would have had a child! Dita actually tweeted me today and right after the win. She’s one of my biggest role models, I actually look up to Dita Von Teese so much. She started off doing her own hair and makeup styling and I really respect that. I feel that she is one of the only real celebrities left, she never had a team of people behind her trying to push her to do something. She is a self made woman and a self made celebrity, and I feel that’s what drag queens are. We birthed this child and we nurture it and try to give it success. I really respect her because. It was amazing to have her acknowledge me and she is so inspirational to me. I hope she knows that.
The season has been an amazing and life changing experience for you. If you had to sum it up in one word, what do you think it would be?
I think it would be drive. I’m a fast learner and I’ve only been doing drag professionally for three years and it is the most rewarding experience I’ve ever gone through. I actually started watching the show during Season Three, and then went back and watched the first two seasons. The show has gotten to a point where queens like Sasha Belle grew up on the show. “Drag Race” has been on the air longer than I’ve been doing drag, and here I am winning the competition! It definitely feels like it was meant to be.