Drag queen Bianca del Rio has spent three years touring the world and performing several times a week for thousands of fans. It’s hard for her to find a moment to exhale, but when she does it’s the little things that make her day.
As she was killing time during a recent layover somewhere in the Midwest, del Rio found a bargain– 20 razors for $24. Yes. Even drag queens need to shave.
“I mean, that’s a really great deal!” del Rio says during a telephone interview. “It’s the little things that excite you.”
Del Rio took the crown as the season six winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in 2014.
Away from the cat fights and shade, Del Rio, whose real name is Roy Haylock, grew up in Gretna, Louisiana, and is of Cuban and Honduran descent. Before adopting the del Rio alter-ego, Haylock worked as a costume designer.
Del Rio, a insult comic, who describes her look as a cross between Joan Crawford and Bozo the Clown, is nearing the end of the U.S. leg of her Blame It On Bianca Tour. She will be at The Theater at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday.
In an interview with Q Voice News, del Rio talks about life after “Drag Race,” Judge Judy, and what’s next for “The Drag Queen of Mean.”
Here are some excerpts.
“It does feel like it’s been non-stop but, by the time I finished up with (last year’s) ‘Not Today, Satan’ (tour) it had already been a whole other year,” del Rio says. “Thankfully, the demand is there, and it’s getting bigger. I’ve been to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa. I haven’t done Italy or Spain yet, but I will be in Norway. I mean, who would’ve thought I’d be in Norway?”
The ‘Drag Race’ effect
“I was considering quitting drag at 40, and three years before that I decided to audition for ‘Drag Race’. I thought, What do I have to lose,” del Rio says. “It’s been a great platform what me. After 22 years of working in bars and clubs and spending the night with drunken people who could give a shit about what you have to say, it’s quite the treat that now I get to spend the night with drunken people who do want to hear what you have to say.”
Meeting Joan Rivers
“After ‘Drag Race,’ I was given the opportunity to meet Joan Rivers, and that was — bottom line — the true highlight of it all,” del Rio says. “As a child, I remember watching her late night talk show and then watching her daytime talk show. Being able to meet Joan Rivers is one of those childhood things.
Judge Judy for president
“I have not yet met Judge Judy (Sheindlin),” says del Rio, who impersonated sharp-tongued judge during “Drag Race’s” Snatch Game.
“When the finally aired, Judge Judy recorded something. She said I was a hoot, but RuPaul is always her favorite, but I love Ms. Sheindlin. I try to watch the show no matter where I am. I never disagree with her. We need her as president and Suze Orman, that lesbian that’s fabulous with money, and Oprah just to make things fabulous. That’s who we need in office.”
The growth of drag
“ ‘Drag Race’ has really helped bring more people to drag. Queens are falling out of trees,” del Rio says. “That’s not to say they’re not allowed to do it, but a lot of people think they can get on the show, and that’s it. That’s not how it works. You either have it or you don’t. You still have to have the substance to back it up. You have to have a love for the art of it.
Teenagers, grandmothers at Bianca del Rio shows
“It’s also brought a bigger audience. The show humanizes us and makes us less threatening,” del Rio says. “The fact is, 80 percent of the time, we’re out of drag and being us. It’s pretty interesting that now the majority of the audience is straight. That’s the same with my shows. I have little 13-year-old boys in heels and eyelashes coming to my shows with their grandmothers to see my filthy ass. When I ask if they know the show can get a little dirty, they say, Why the fuck do you think we’re here?’ Well, OK.”
“I grew up working with trans performers that were the fabulous goddesses of the shows. I also grew up in a time when, back in the day, if you called a trans person a drag queen, there was going to be fight,” del Rio says. “The infighting is kind of weird. Honestly, nothing gets solved in a comment section. There is going to be someone who takes exception, but I don’t know what the proper answer for something like that because the lines have blurred.”
“The sequel to ‘Hurricane Bianca,’ ‘Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate’ will release May 18 on video on demand,” del Rio says. “We have a great cast. Miss Shangela is back, and so is Rachel Dratch. We also have some heavy hitters like Cheyenne Jackson, Kristen Johnston, and Wanda Sykes makes a cameo appearance. There are a lot of queens like Katya and Darien Lake. It’s going to be fun.
New book, makeup remover
“I have a book coming out May 22, ‘Blame it on Bianca del Rio: The Expert on Nothing with an Opinion on Everything.’ People have asked me, What makes you think you can give advice? Look, if that bloated Dr. Phil can give advice — and he’s not even a real doctor — then I can give advice,” del Rio says. “It’s going to be the honest advice that you need.
“I also have a makeup remover,” she says. “No one ever looks at me and thinks beauty, they think, How can I get this shit off my face. The Bianca Remover is available on Amazon. It’s all-vegan and never tested on animals. The only animals it was tested on were ‘Drag Race’ contestants.”