October 31 marks the 6th return of Night of the Living Drag: Apocalyptic All Star Edition at NYC’s Stage 48 featuring the entire cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars Season 2, hosted by Shangela (purchase tix here). We recently spent time with one of the most beloved queens of the season, Alyssa Edwards.
By Matt Gross
How would you compare your experience on Season 5 with your experience on All Stars 2?
Alyssa: Well, they always say things get easier the second time around. I don’t know if I believe that, because you kind of have to live up to or exceed all expectations the second time around. This [season’s elimination process] first caught all of us off-guard, that’s for sure! It was so incredibly shocking. I would say, in Season 5 I went into RuPaul’s Drag Race just solely to win [with that] pageant mentality. With All Stars, I went in to leave a legacy. I went in to laugh a lot and worry less. It was a very rewarding experience because it catapulted my art into a whole extra universe. I’m just very thankful to have had the opportunity. Thousands of queens audition – just now, over a hundred queens have walked in and I’m one.
On last week’s episode, you had quite a few touching, tender moments with your sister. In fact, the entire challenge seemed like an emotional one for you. Can you describe how it felt to work together with her on this project following your mom’s passing?
It was a tough one. That was raw and real. It’s so hard to kind of face; it doesn’t hit close to home because it is home. I’ve always been that role model/big brother for my sister and I felt that I had let her down; her and the rest of my siblings. It was so real, that whole episode I remember being there and I was just so emotionally torn up and affected but I felt that we needed that. It was so awesome sharing that stage with her. You know, my sister; she’s not a performer like that. For her to do that and do that for me, it was magical … something I will hold very tight and close to my heart forever.
Do you think everything was handled fairly over the course of the season, particularly the eliminations? Also, who do you think should take home the crown?
Like I said, this twist … I don’t think we all were prepared for it. All the girls; we were all wanting to be fair with it. I said early on that I hope consistency is taken into consideration because every entertainer will have an off night. I guess in this situation, it pays to have your friend there! [laughs]
I think what your sister said at the end of the episode is true. Myself – along with may others – believe you’d be a bigger threat in the finale than Roxxxy.
Maybe that was it – it was a tough decision for Detox to make because it was like “OK, do I stay true and fair to the competition or do I stay true and fair to my friend?” I will say I think Alaska has worked so hard for this and if she were to get crowned, I think it would be earned and deserved and she would reign supreme. I would be shocked if she didn’t get the crown because she won half the damn season by herself! It’s like “Come on, girl!” [laughs]
Who do you think you connected with – or reconnected with – most this season?
I would say Alaska. We’ve done project since Season 5 together and I really, really enjoy him as a person. As an entertainer, I respect him and I celebrate his art.
How excited are you for this upcoming NYC Halloween event? What do you have up your sleeve?
Well, I’m so stoked for this! I love doing events in New York and it’s with the whole cast. It’s just going to be like a good old-fashioned family reunion kiki. I’ve gone back and forth because I have two numbers that I kind of want to do. I wanted to do this kind of Bride of Frankenstein contemporary dance with my dance partner. Then I’ve also wanted to do the Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. So I don’t know what character I want to be yet! I don’t know! It’s two opposite ends of the spectrum. I love Halloween – it’s one of my favorite times of the year. I love the weather changing – now my allergies don’t but I do! [laughs] I love this whole costume dress up fantasy, I always loved it as a kid. It kind of brings back the kid in me.
What kind of costumes were your favorite as a kid?
Oh, you know I was a classic kid! First of all, there were a lot of us. My dad seven kids and my mom had five so there were a lot of us, OK? We were raised as one big Brady Bunch family but we were on a budget. We had to be creative with costumes – pirates, funny clowns, cowboys and Indians! [laughs] A ghost, a witch! It was things like that. We were very creative with that – we’d get those little makeup kits from the Albertsons or Krogers and just go to town. Draculas, vampires! It was always a good time.
What’s going on with your dance studio and what’s the status of your Beyond Belief show? Is that still happening? We desperately need more of you on TV!
Well, I will tell you this. I can’t reveal too much but this is definitely not the last of me. Hold tight, grab your friend, grab your popcorn and buckle up because there’s gonna be some good news coming soon regarding Beyond Belief.
The other day, WOWPresents released an incredible election-themed debate video in which you portray Hillary Clinton. It’s amazing. What are your thoughts about living and working in such a deep red state as Texas?
This subject can be really controversial. Obviously don’t talk politics with your friends, your fans, your family – but I will say this – it’s needed at this time, at this point. It’s kind of scary if you want my honest opinion – that America is even entertaining this! It’s entertaining to watch and I never looked at politics to be entertaining. This is more entertaining now than Bad Girls Club! We should leave it there.
How was it to play Hillary in the skit?
Oh, it was hilarious. Oh my gosh. I was probably trying to think like she was thinking, [something like] “What in the world is this lunatic even rambling about?” so that’s what I kept telling myself.
Last modified: September 29, 2017