Laganja Estranja was one of the most polarizing queens on this season of "RuPaul's Drag Race” (actually in the show’s history). Her trademark "kiki" language and her dynamic runway looks made her stand out among the ladies. Sadly, she sashayed away midway through the season. Here, Laganja chats with SFGN about her time on "Drag Race,” why she would be hesitant about a return, and all of the amazing things she has coming up.
Laganja, you were definitely one of the girls to watch on this season of "Drag Race". Many were surprised to see you leave before some of the other ladies. Thoughts?
Girl, I'm still doing sickening! But hey, you can't win em all right?
Do you think you were portrayed accurately during your time on "Drag Race"?
Girl, it's a television show, so those editors have a very hard job in front of them. We film for 14 hours a day, with seven cameras. Shows can range from anywhere from two to three days. Of course there are times that maybe I wish they would not show, or that I may be embarrassed of, or wish I said something else, but at the end of the day I'm not going to be one of those people that blames "editing" for anything. I completely own who I am and the character that I am, and I completely own who I was on the show. I am very pleased with what was shown and I think they showed not just my high highs, but my low lows as well. It showed who I was as a person all the way around.
There was a lot made of the way you spoke, some thinking it may have been somewhat of a “character" voice. Do you think that the judges as well as the other contestants got a good sense of who you really were?
I don't think that some of the other contestants really wanted to get a sense of who I was. I definitely know that that judges did see it though. It's very easy when you’re removed from the situation to make jokes and tease, but it's hard to say if people really got to know me. At the end of the day though, if they didn't it's on them, I put it all out there.
You were on the show until basically halfway through. What are some of your favorite parts? Your least favorite part?
My favorite part was when we were finished filming and we got our food, and I could be a normal person. Sitting with the girls and being "regular.” Even though we weren't supposed to discuss the show, there was a little discussion, but it was always lighthearted and fun. It really just changed the energy. Toward the end of every day it was just having my last cigarette, enjoying Chipotle and getting ready for the next day. Obviously meeting RuPaul and getting to share my art with him and the other judges was also an amazing part of the experience.
In terms of what I did not enjoy, probably just the fact that it was extremely grueling. I don't think I knew how it would impact me emotionally either. You can't prepare for what it really is.
What you see on television is a lovely edited package, but what really goes on is a lot deeper and there are a lot more stories and moments that happen. It was hard to keep up with the schedule.
Also, "Mama Ru" says not to eat in drag, so I don't, and I also wasn't smoking marijuana at the time either, so it was very hard for me to continue to stay sable. I definitely had some high highs and low lows that you all got to see on television.
There are always twists on "Drag Race” and they differ every year. If you were asked back this season, or to appear on "All Stars" would you do it?
I’ll tell you this, if I were asked back it would be a very hard decision for me. While it would be an incredible opportunity and I would like to show my gratitude, I don't know if I would be able to do it again. My talent has gotten me to where I am today, and I'm not a competitive person by nature; I'm not a ruthless or backstabbing person and I don't enjoy putting others down. Being in that situation with the lights, the tension, the drama, it really was a lot for me.
I think if it were a reality show and was following me as a dancer during the day and did drag at night, I could do something like that. Competition reality based shows. I really just don't think they're for me.
There are some pretty talented girls left in the competition. Who are you pulling for to take the crown?
Well, I'm definitely rooting for my sister Adore (Delano). I think she represents a lot of what I am: a young queen with a ton of energy and a bunch of ferocity. We've grown up in this industry in the past couple years, and she's healthy competition for me. I've always said “if I'm not going to win, I would love her to win.”
Many of the girls from past seasons have gone into music, with Phi Phi O'Hara just dropping a track earlier this week. Is that something you may want to do?
Girl, I already had a song out before the season started. I'm definitely going to do what some of the other girls did. I actually did it before them. I've had a full website up and running, a store with fashion, my own jewelry line with Chris Habana from New York City, and this week, I dropped my own loose mineral cosmetic line with X-Tar Cosmetics.
I'm also working on an underground mix tape with some up and coming rap artists, and I’m not just keeping up with some of the other girls, I want to surpass what some of them have done. I definitely think I hold my own next to them.