Love lip syncs? Then gag on this week's episode of RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race. The drag contestants staged a Lip Sync Extravaganza, in which they performed as the "herstory of the world's baddest bitches." Luminaries as varied as the Bible's Eve, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, Eva Peron, Annie Oakley, and Princess Diana sprung to choreographed life in a lip-synched musical, which told their tales of pushing back against the patriarchy. Afterward, the contestants strutted the main stage in looks that showcased the "future of drag," which invariably meant a lot of metallic-colored garments.
Ultimately, Alyssa Edwards, who shot down the competition as Annie Oakley, won the contest and the power to eliminate. She sent home Ginger Minj -- a slight upset, since the contestants had agreed amongst themselves to send home the competitor with the weakest reviews from the judges, which in this week's case was Katya.
The Advocate spoke with Ginger about the elimination, the shadiness of Phi Phi O'Hara, Hillary Clinton, and the dangers of performing in public after Drag Race fame.
How does it feel to be an All Star?
It feels amazing. I mean, it's the best of the best, and who doesn't want that!
You commented on Phi Phi's tactics of getting under other contestants' skin. Do you think she's been effective?
She has been absolutely effective. You saw it last week with Roxxxy changing her [Snatch Game] character last-minute. I don't think it always comes from a bad place. I think a part of her thinks she is helping. But her garden is shady with all these fruits she plants!
Is this fair game or shady, considering she's stated she wants to redeem her image?
Well when you come back [to All Stars], you're given two choices -- redeem yourself or win. And you have got to choose which is more important. For Phi Phi, Alyssa, Roxxxy, and myself, us pageant girls, you get into competition mode and your instincts kick in and you fight and do what you have to to win. It's not personal!
Phi Phi mentioned she was afraid to perform after her season, and that she feared violence in some instances. Did this change how you thought of her?
The very first time I met Phi Phi, we got booked [together] right after I was announced to be on Drag Race, and I had stabbed a bobby pin in my head. When I took off my wig, blood came flyin' out everywhere, and without missing a beat she came over and started catching it in her hand cause I had a white costume on. That was the first time I met her. She is a great person and she means well, so I never felt anything truly bad about her. I don't think she is the monster people make her out to be.
Have you ever been afraid of violence when you perform, particularly in the wake of the Pulse shooting?
Even before Pulse happened, when I hit a stage I am normally good to go. But I remember last year, right after season 7 aired, we were all doing a gig and I was walking out of the club and someone who did not care for me came up and tried to start a fight. I was sick and tired and kept walking, and he grabbed me by the shoulder, turned me around, and tried to hit me. There was enough security to make sure no one got hurt. But people take things too far. They get too invested in the characters we play on TV. That is not right and not acceptable. At the end of the day, we have provided you with some form of entertainment, so respect us. Feel how you want to feel. But when the show is over, that is our personal time and life.
You were marvelous in the Lip Sync Extravaganza. Did you gain any new perspective on Catherine the Great after performing as her?
I actually did not know a lot about her. I am homeschooled and dumb as a stump with history. All I knew is that she is the one who everyone said died having sex with a horse! But she was an important woman! She was a game changer and people were afraid of a woman with that much power, so [they] created stories about her to keep her down.
Which modern-day woman is your favorite rule breaker?
I love Hillary Clinton, and not just cause I want her to be president. For a long time she has been at the forefront of the government, making a lasting form in the institution. She is the Madonna of politics -- she gets older but reinvents. Even when I don't agree with her, I can see her reasoning and I appreciate that. Whether she wins or not people will look back and teach about how groundbreaking she was.
What is the future of drag?
The future of drag is kind of it's own thing, and always evolving like a river. I feel like Pocahontas. But it's an expression of whatever you want it to be, and you can't fit it in a box.
Alyssa broke the "rules" by eliminating you, even though Katya received more criticism for the judges. What was your reaction to that?
Well, she did break what we agreed on, but she didn't break any rule. She was asked to choose and she chose.
If you could dream up the most delicious revenge for Alyssa, what would it be?
Oh, a singing challenge where she had to sew her own costume. She says herself she cannot do those two things. Sing a ballad in a gown she made herself!
Looking back, would you have done anything differently to avoid elimination?
I don't think I could have done anything differently. I did exactly what I was asked to do to the best of my ability, and I'm proud of it.
What would you have shown the world, if you had more time?
Well I am a little upset I got eliminated before the real acting challenges, 'cause that's what I excel at, acting and singing.
Who are you rooting for among the remaining contestants?
Katya -- she is my best friend in the world.
What's next for you?
I am going to release an album soon, which we've worked really hard on. I also just finished filming a pilot for a TV show.
Thanks, Ginger! Don't miss the next episode of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars next Thursday on Logo. And revisit Ginger's music video for "Ooh Lala Lala" below.