By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com April 03 2014 5:30 AM ET
This week on RuPaul's Drag Race, many fans were sour to see the elimination of Milk, whose runway impersonation of male RuPaul last episode is sure to become an iconic moment in the show's herstory. America's favorite dairy queen gave it his udder-most during the "reading" mini-challenge, in which contestants traded barbs on each other's weak points. He also didn't skim-p on the main challenge, where he had to execute a '90s-inspired rap and dance. But ultimately, he was cowed by Trinity K. Bonet on the runway, when the pair lip-synced for their lives to Salt-N-Pepa, which, according to the New York native, doesn't go very well with dairy.
The Advocate interviewed Milk about his pun-inviting drag name, the whole truth about his crush on fellow contestant Courtney Act, and the recent controversy surrounding offensive terms in the recent “Female or Shemale” mini-challenge.
The Advocate: How did you prepare for RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Milk: In the shower with a buzzer and a razor!
Sadly, eliminated contestant Gia Gunn [who had been critical of Milk's look in past episodes] was not present when the library was open during the “reading” mini-challenge. Is there a read of Gia that you’d like to share?
In theaters this summer: Willy WonkEYE and the Tilapia Factory.
You looked like you were having a blast with the main challenge, which involved making a music video in the style of ’90s women rappers. But you did seem a little out of your element. What was your approach to executing your rap, look, and dance?
What! A tall lanky white drag queen from the suburbs of upstate New York? I have never been into hip-hop. I'll listen to it if it's on, but I never search it out. I was happy with all aspects of the rap challenge.
Was there an aspect of the challenge that was particularly difficult for you?
I take a little more time than most to memorize, so with the small amount of time we had, I'd say that was difficult. But how about my dance, though? I was having a ball!
Who is your favorite artist in this genre? (Other than Michelle Visage, of course!)
I've most listened to Missy Elliott. Her videos were always fun!
There was a lot of pressure on you to execute a more feminine look, since your drag often incorporates masculine or camp elements. Do you think your more feminine runway look this episode helped or hindered you?
What's more feminine than pregnancy, I ask you? I don't think it hindered at all! It just happened to be not exactly what they wanted. I loved it! I was actually impressed with my makeup; it was a big change from previous episodes.
Your runway look of male RuPaul last episode is sure to become an iconic moment in the show’s history. Why did you choose to walk the runway as a man, and how would you respond to critics who would say that drag is limited to “dressed to resemble a girl?”
First and foremost, I knew “Workroom Ru” would be a hilariously fun look to execute. I also wanted to break up the visual of 10 female Ru doppelgangers onstage. It's important to mix it up! I don't consider drag as female impersonation. It's not RuPaul's Female Impersonation Race. It just doesn't have as nice a ring to it, you know? [Laughs]
Do you think the judges’ critiques of your ensemble and performance this episode were fair?
I can't hardly remember what exactly was said, but Santino was never my biggest fan. Maybe he feels threatened by fellow tall white men? Who cares!
Looking back on the episode, would you have done anything differently to avoid elimination?
Stripped down naked!
Was it difficult to lip-synch against Trinity K. Bonet?
Well, lip-synching to “Whatta Man” by Salt-N-Pepa against the doppelganger of Pepa had me knowing that no one could have beaten her. That isn't to say I gave up in that moment. I turned it out in the milkiest of ways!
Did Trinity’s coming out as HIV-positive influence your opinion of her?
It was brave and courageous for her to open up about her status! I have the utmost respect for her. It is personal. No one has to share that information. But she knew she was standing on a platform that would bring awareness.
Was there another contestant from this episode that you thought should have gone home first?
I would have loved to kept going on the show. So I would have been happy with anyone going home — other than me!
The show came under fire earlier in the season for its “Female or Shemale” mini-challenge, in which contestants had to guess a person’s gender based upon red carpet close-up photographs. Was there controversy during this segment’s filming among the contestants? And how did you respond to last weekend’s apology from the producers?
Understandably, the show never meant any harm. It was a silly, lighthearted mini-challenge. As a community, we have to take it upon ourselves to update our vernacular with the times. It is a learning experience.
Who are your favorites among the remaining queens this season?
At the beginning of the season, it looked like there was some chemistry between you and Courtney Act. Is this just reality television drama, or could there be romantic possibility?
Reality shows creating storylines? Never heard of such a thing!
What first attracted you to drag, and what inspired your drag name?
The ability to transform into any character was what intrigued me about drag. My name came from a powwow at Cheesecake Factory. Milk for my white creamy skin. I wanted a one-name like Yahweh or Beelzebub. Also, Milk has a lot of puns surrounding it, so I knew it would be perfect for Drag Race!
What should a drag queen always keep in her purse?
Perfume. You never know when you're gonna smell like shit.
Who is your role model?
Roger from American Dad. He is everything I want to be in life ... apart from being a drunk.
What’s next after RuPaul?
Lots of travel! And then maybe early retirement to the South. Whiskey sours and beignets are calling my name.
Thanks, Milk! RuPaul's Drag Race airs Mondays at 9 p.m. Eastern on Logo. And watch Milk's spoof of the "He Went to Jared" commercials below.