Scroll To Top

Last Words With Drag Race's Jaymes Mansfield

Last Words With Drag Race's Jaymes Mansfield

Jaymes Mansfield

The Advocate spoke with the RuPaul's Drag Race contestant after she sashayed away.


It's been a herstoric start to season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race. Lady Gaga appeared as a judge, followed by Lisa Kudrow, and the surprise return of Cynthia Lee Fontaine as a contestant.

The Advocate spoke with the season's first eliminated contestant, Jaymes Mansfield, about the eventful episodes.

The Advocate: How does it feel to be a contestant on Drag Race as well as the first one eliminated this season?
Jaymes: It feels ... brief. It was so wonderful being part of the supporting cast for RuPaul's Drag Race. As far as being eliminated, I realize it is a competition and they need to let someone go. I was just far too talented to be allowed to stay.

Why did you want to be on Drag Race?
It's the top of top of drag. It's the WrestleMania of drag. It's the place you want to be to showcase your talent, and I think most drag queens aspire to be on the show for that reason.

What was your reaction to seeing Lady Gaga reveal herself in the workroom?
At first, I didn't believe it was her and I'm blind as a bat, so it took me awhile to register who it was. But, as soon as she spoke, I knew this Gaga was the real deal.

Why did you choose the Gaga look you did?
Lady Gaga did that look channeling RuPaul. She even tweeted revealing that inspiration. I felt that gave the look layers, and I wanted to have a look that was layered. Sort of like an onion, both in look and smell.

Gaga gave a heartfelt speech in the workroom about how gay men have helped her become a woman. How did that make you feel, and is the reverse true -- does Gaga help you to be a better gay man?
To be honest, I was on the fence about Gaga, but she made a Monster out of me. She took the time to sit down and talk to all of us. I think there is a kinship between gay men and straight women.

Lady Gaga has also emerged as a political voice -- as a supporter of Hillary and now a critic of Trump. Have you also become more political since the election?
A wise person once said, every time you dress up in drag, it's a political act. By its existence, you are making a political statement.

Has drag (and Drag Race) changed meaning for you since the election of Trump?
It's more important now than ever before. Now it's on a mainstream network where the entire world can see it. And since the show, it's now in the mainstream in a way that it wasn't before. It really brought drag to the forefront. Hope this goes on forever.

The show attracted a record-breaking audience for its season premiere. Why do you think it's become so popular?
It's a show that everyone can relate to, despite the subject matter being so gay. You have people, faced with challenges, who must rise to the occasion. It's an endearing story that people can relate to.

The show's move to VH1 (and Fridays) has generated mixed reactions among gay fans. Are you a fan of the new network and time slot?
I think it's great. RuPaul was on VH1 in the '90s, so it's homecoming for him. It's where he got one of his big breaks in TV.

Were you happy to see the return of Cynthia Lee Fontaine?
I didn't recognize her at first, but as soon as I heard her voice, you can't mistake her. She is such a beautiful soul and positive person. It's addicting. You just love her more and more over time.

What was the greatest challenge to the cheerleading competition?
Doing the basket catches. It required you to be comfortable with having someone's life in your hands.

Who is your greatest cheerleader?
My mother and my boyfriend. They are the ones that make it all happen for me.

Do you have a memory from the White Party you'd like to share?
They don't use coasters. Lots of spots on those tables.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently to avoid elimination?
During the cheerleading challenge, I would have just laid down to take a nap to play up that character of "Snoozy" and just not do any of the routines.

What would you show the world, if you had more time?
More of my puppetry and character-building skills. I had some costumes that were walking puppets. I would have shown my acting skills as well. That would have been great. But people can still find me on my YouTube channel.

Who are you rooting for among the remaining contestants?
Peppermint is a force to be reckoned with. Watch out for her.

Why did you choose Jayne Mansfield as an inspiration for your drag name?
My drag name is a combination of my birth name and actress Jayne Mansfield. She was like a walking drag queen of her time. She peacocked who she was, leading a private life while maintaining a persona just for the public.

What's next?
I'm going to be all over YouTube, continuing my work on movie reviews and retelling drag herstory, where I talk about the girls who laid the foundation by applying one.

Thanks, Jaymes! Check out one of her YouTube clips below.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.