all hail the supreme

Jinkx Monsoon on what she did immediately after winning ‘All Stars 7’ and what’s up next

Screenshot: YouTube, Jinkx Monsoon’s “Strange Magic”

After Jinkx Monsoon snatched the crown on Drag Race’s fifth season, capping off a hilarious and herstorical run, we had one question for RuPaul: “Do we have time for one more?

Nearly 10 years later, Mama Ru finally gave us what we wanted: another marvelous season of Jinkx on our television screens!

Yes, in many ways, All Stars 7 has been a fever dream. In reuniting eight of the franchise’s past winning queens—and then switching up the format by not eliminating anyone until the very end—the show has delivered week after week of top-tier drag.

Through it all, the “internationally tolerated drag queen superstar” we know as Jinkx has slayed the competition like water off a duck’s back. She announced her frontrunner status loud and clear with a one-two punch of a Snatch Game, and then kept performing at that impossibly high bar (give or take a design challenge), earning the most challenge wins of the season and whole new legion of fervent fans in the process.

In the end, the Legendary Legend emerged victorious once again, our Queen Of All Queens. As she claimed the crown “in the name of Hecate, mother of witches,” Jinkx solidified herself as a truly singular talent, one whose spirit and heart shines as a testament to the power of drag.

So how did she celebrate? With some video games and hotel-room chicken tikka masala, of course! The morning after her crowning, Queerty had the pleasure of catching up with Jinkx to unpack the season that was, touching on her favorite runway looks, her bond with Monét X Change, and her big plans for the year ahead.

Queerty: Congratulations, Queen Of Queens! You’re on tour in Australia right now, and from the looks of it, you heard the news while you were live on stage with BenDeLaCreme, right? 

Jinkx Monsoon: More or less! DeLa and I were getting ready for our show together last night, and we had to take a pause in doing our makeup. So, it was one of those hilarious Drag Race moments where, like, in the Werk Room when someone’s having a really deep, meaningful conversation, but their beard is painted orange, and they’ve got their eyebrows setting. [Laughs.]

It was kind of like that. I was a completely blank canvas. You know, just a bunch of pale grease paint slathered across my face while I received some of the biggest news of my life.

[Editor’s Note: The day after our interview, Jinkx shared video of this very moment, which you can watch below.]

Have you had time to process it all, or did you just have to set it aside to carry on with the show?

There hasn’t been a lot of time to process it. Now, I’m saying the really hippie answer of, “it doesn’t live in my body yet.” [Laughs.] Because, you know, I was doing my makeup, and we got on stage, and we also did a meet-and-greet. And then I went back to my hotel room, ate some chicken tikka masala, played a few rounds of Overwatch—it was a very typical night after the show. [Laughs.]

Winner winner, chicken tikka masala dinner!

[Laughs.] I guess it was that, wasn’t it? It was right in front of me—thank you for that!

So, after an incredible run this season—crown and cash prize aside—what do you feel you’ve accomplished on All Stars? Are there ways in which it helped you grow as a queen, as a performer, as a person?

Yeah, I think, from the decision to do an All Stars season, I saw it as this opportunity to take everything that I learned during season five—and everything I’ve learned since season five—and all the work I’ve put into the art form of drag, all the work I’ve put into my theater work, and my writing with BenDeLaCreme, and our holiday show and our holiday movie… You know, it’s been almost a decade, and I’ve kept myself as busy as possible. And I felt like this was a chance to just showcase all the work I’ve put in through the years. 

But I’ve also put a lot of work into myself as a human being, and I was excited to be this kind of new, grounded, slightly more confident iteration of myself. [Laughs.]

 

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Drag Race—and drag itself—has grown exponentially since you initially won in 2013, but it feels significant that yourself and Raja, queens from the earlier seasons of the show, took home crowns. To me, it’s almost a reminder of the talent that’s been around since the beginning, of who helped build this empire, so to speak—is that fair to say? 

Yeah, and I think the whole season was just such a celebration of each of us cast members. So yeah, Raja and I are from “older” seasons, and it’s been a lot longer for us since we’ve competed. But that was kind of the beauty of this season—that everyone was from different points in the Drag Race timeline.

And we all had our own dragons to slay, demons to conquer. And we were able to do that and showcase our best selves and overcome our biggest challenges because we were doing it together, and we were celebrating one another, and uplifting one another—even amidst the competition. 

So it feels really special to share this experience with Raja because she’s one of the people I’ve known the longest, and there’s been a long-formed friendship there. So it’s an exciting ride to be on with her.

 

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It’s funny to me that you evoked “slaying dragons,” because my brain immediately went to your sorceress witch warrior look for the final runway, which has capped an incredible run of runways for you. Not to make you pick favorites, but is there one look you’re particularly proud that you pulled off on the show?

I was really excited for the All Glow’d Up look. Diego Montoya designed something really, really special for me to wear. And that really resonated with me—the story behind the dress. So that’s definitely a favorite. 

But I think—and it’s so minor compared to some of the epic runways we had to do, but one of my very, very favorite looks was “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane Fonda?” [from the Realness Of Fortune Ball]. I just felt so happy with that idea. And then the designer, J. Von Stratton—I’ve worked with her for years—she just really delivered what I was looking for for that look. It felt like the perfect culmination of, like, my sense of humor, and then this really amazing talent from a designer.

 

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And we’d be remiss if you didn’t shout out your stunning runner-up, Monét X Change, who really turned it out! In what ways did she surprise you this season, and what did it mean to be there with her to the very end?

Well, I’m definitely so glad she chose to do opera for the variety; it’s such a wonderful display of her talent and expertise. So I was really just ecstatic for her in that moment.

And, I’ve gotta say: the person you get ready next to during Drag Race, that’s definitely a special relationship. [Laughs.] So, Monét and I were sat side-by-side to do our makeup the whole season. And I really, really appreciate and adore my friendship with her. By the end of the season, she felt like my best friend in the competition. So it was special and significant to share those final moments with her.

Photo Credit: Santiago Felipe / FilmMagic for Getty Images

So, even as you two were getting ready for that finale lip-sync, you were sitting there side-by-side?

You know, more or less—but that was such a chaotic day. So, definitely in the beginning of the day, we were side-by-side. And, you know, it just kind of felt like, “we know what’s coming, we don’t have to belabor the point by talking about all day.” [Laughs.] Monét and I were more often concerned with just cracking each other up!

I know you’ve got a show in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival coming up, and then your big holiday tour with DeLa later in the year. So, beyond that, what’s next for you? Now that you’ve conquered Drag Race all over again, where do you want to go next in your career?

I’ve been having some success doing more scripted work, and I’ve been doing a lot of voiceover work for cartoons, which I absolutely love. So I’d love to keep going in that direction. But always still making time to create my own work with my favorite collaborators, like BenDeLaCreme, and my music partner, Major Scales. 

I’m dipping my toes into more stand-up comedy, and I have another album that will be coming out soon—the EP will be released this summer. So, you know, I kind of just say, I want to keep doing what I’ve been doing and just keep seeing how far I can take it! 

As a final note, my mom is a big fan, so I wanted to pass on congratulations from her, too.

Well, tell mom I say hi! I’ve found, over the years, that I’m a big hit with moms. [Laughs.]

Yeah, from cougar to cougar—of course!

Yeah, maybe they see themselves in me. [Laughs.]

 

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