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Credit; Ryan Shea

RuPaul’s Drag Race completed its 8th season last night, crowning champion Bob The Drag Queen at Stage 48 over in Hell’s Kitchen.  Earlier, we showed you our one on one with the “Purse First” queen, now we can ruveal our other interviews with three contenders that almost took the crown away from Bob- the fashion forward Kim Chi, Britney Spears impersonator Derrick Barry and the unstoppable Chi Chi Devayne.

Derrick, Kim and Chi Chi looked absolutely incredible last night, one giving some yellow couture realness, one giving Britney realness, and the other being super leather friendly with a gorgeous blond wig.  Seeing as I rooted for both of them on the show, it was great to see that they are just as amazing and friendly in person as they were all season long.

Manhattan Digest writer Matt Belvedere with Kim Chi.  Credit: Matt Belvedere
Manhattan Digest writer Matt Belvedere with Kim Chi. Credit: Matt Belvedere

I spoke with Kim Chi first, who was chilling at her table in her yellow Jane Doe outfit.  Her quirky personality definitely shined throughout the brief time that we had together.

What is the one word to describe when you walked into the legendary Werk room for the first time?

Surreal is really the only word that I can use.  I kept saying to myself “Am I being Punk’d?  Did some random person tell me I was going to be on the show? ”  There was a lot of doubt in my mind where its like “I’m not really cast in Drag Race, I’m going to be kidnapped and be killed.”  Then I walk into the werk room and saw the runway, and was like “No, I’m not getting killed today”.

What has this overall experience been like for you since you began?

One word- blood.  I don’t know, that’s the only thing that came to my mind!

Now that the show is culminating tonight, what are you looking forward to the most going forward?

So I want to be a mega-mogul, have my own company, and I want to be more involved with the fashion world, designing, being a creative director, there is a lot I want to do. 

When it comes to dating, are you more Scruff, Growlr, or Grindr?

Oh, I’m not picky whatsoever!

Credit: Ryan Shea
Credit: Ryan Shea

Next up, we had Chi Chi DeVayne, who many thought would be an early exit and wound up making it all the way to the final four due to her fight to get to the end, fantastic runway looks, killer lip syncing and an urge to win.

From early on, the first episode, they edited it to make it look like you were going home first.  You made it all the way to the final four, were you shocked?

I was!  I was shocked.  I always knew that i was a fighter, and I knew that coming into the competition the girls had a slight advantage over me, but I knew that i was a fighter and I knew I could perform my ass off so I was there to win, and I was going for blood every second.

Who was your favorite celebrity guest judge there?

Oh Vivica Fox, for sure.  I go all the way back to “Set It Off’ with her and Jada Pinkett, Queen Latifah…l I love it.  So that was my favorite.

Do you have a favorite moment from the season that you look back on and get happy about?

The Book Ball. That was my favorite look and my favorite moment.  Something came over me that was like, “Girl… you got it”.  And that was my favorite moment, turning point, whatever you want to call it in the competition.

I asked the same to Kim- Scruff, Growlr or Grindr?

None… I’m on Jack’d!

What are you looking forward to next?

I’m just looking forward to traveling the world, making lots of money, meeting new people.  All the usual.

Credit: Ryan Shea
Credit: Ryan Shea

Finally, we have Derrick Barry, who became more controversial than I even think she thought she would be.  I had my doubts with her, especially towards the end, however she was incredibly kind and we wound up having a great conversation.

So I am a die hard Britney Spears fan just like you are.  Have you actually met her?

Well the only time that I was in a room with her and having a conversation with her was “The Tonight Show”.  It was the second time I dressed up, I was in the audience in my Halloween “Slave 4 U” outfit, and her mouth dropped during a commercial break and was like “Oh my god”, and just stared at me.  Then they talked about me when they came back from a commercial break.

She said she would date a guy like me!  They were talking about guys she’s dated and Jay’s like “Well what about this guy?” and she said “Well, he’s very into himself!”  I got up, I was dancing, and it was amazing!

Keeping the Britney thing going, what is your favorite Britney song?  Mine is the underrated “Showdown”.

Oh gosh, “Toxic” is always my favorite.  When it came out, I literally thought “This is the best song that has ever been produced, sang, won a Grammy”, the best song in my opinion… still.

You talked openly on the show about your polyamorous relationship.  I’m curious to know what has been the feedback since that episode aired.

Amazing responses.  I’m finding a lot of people are in polyamorous relationships and they were kind of nervous about talking about it, and then they said “You talking about it made us so proud, that we are in a relationship like that, that we are committed”, and I love that. 

It really should be because when you have three people that love each other, number one it is very safe because you are only sleeping with three people and a lot of people are in a relationship that are open or when you step outside of it… that is when it gets really scary.  It is best if you can trust your partner, they are protected, and are making the best decisions for all of you.  That is what i love about it most is that it keeps the excitement about it in the bedroom, but a much more protected way.

Let’s keep it real here- how did you deal with the haters?

The first episode that i did well, the fans actually liked the Christmas outfit, I mean it wasn’t their favorite.  They didn’t tear it down.  Even when i got criticism on that, I was like “Even if I am going to do well, I’m going to be criticized for “she’s not good enough, she should go home”.  So it took a couple of weeks to actually feel like “oh, wow, ok, so even if I’m good people still think I’m bad”.  Not everyone gets it.  I am getting a fraction of what Mariah gets, of what Britney gets, of what Gaga gets.  The real pop stars get, so I am just happy to be in that level where people are so passionate about loving me or hating me, because that’s when you know you made it. 

For all things Drag Race, check out their official site.