the chop shop

Loosey LaDuca on memes, tools, and why letting loose with emotion on ‘Drag Race’ paid off

Drag Queen Loosey LaDuca wears a pink outfits and big blonde hair while licking a pink, comically oversized wrench
Image Credit: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race

Call her queen of the thunder, call her Heaven Bacon, call her the winning-est queen of the season (mini challenges included)—but whatever you do, don’t call her “not real.”

All season long on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Loosey LaDuca gave us nothing but real: Real emotion, real drama, real star-power, and real good reality television.

And though she sashays away from the competition just shy of the Top 4, Loosey has no doubt left her mark on Drag Race and the internet at large—seriously, have you been on Twitter lately? Her single “Let Loose” is everywhere!

After her fiery exit, Queerty jumped at the chance to chat with the queen for the latest installment of The Chop Shop. In our conversation, Loosey dives into her signature song’s journey from talent show hiccup to viral sensation, spills the tea on the strangest drag gig she’s over done, and shares how her construction work has made her a better queen.

First of all, we’ve been dying to ask you: You’re holding it together baby, what’s the use?

[Laughs.] Oh, you know, the song that has taken the world by storm… two months after I released!

But, seriously, “Let Loose” really has had this delayed runaway success, and it seemingly happened over night. When did you first realize, like, “Whoa, wait a minute, this is becoming a thing”?

There was sort of rumblings—I was stationed on my couch for a week because I had COVID, and my phone just started going nuts. I kept seeing more and more people tweeting about “Let Loose.” And I remember I tweeted out, “Guys, what’s going on?”

And then, from there, it’s just like, every day it has been crazier and crazier. We surpassed 100,000 streams on Spotify a couple of days ago. I mean, I’m not gonna pretend to know how the internet works, though, or why this happened, but I’m very proud of the song. It’s a song that I’ve wanted to do for over a decade. And all credit goes to my friend and music partner, Andrew Barrett Cox, who wrote and produced the track. He’s incredibly talented.

@queerty Have you #LetLoose today? 😍😍😍 THEE BOP of our lifetime is here thanks to @looseyladuca! 🎶🫶 #tiktok #looseuladuca #dragrace ♬ original sound – Queerty*

Of the various memes and performances of the song we’ve seen over the past few weeks, do you have a personal favorite?

Well, I got a really funny one the other day where an OnlyFans model put the album cover of “Let Loose” in a very strategic place in a photo, so that was a funny one. But my favorite would have to be that I’m getting videos from all over the world of drag queens performing it—in Germany and Poland and Australia and Africa. Truly, all over the world! It’s really incredible that my little song has made such an impact.

And, of course, we have to plug that there’s an exciting remix coming soon!

Oh yeah! Uh-huh. It’s going to be three times as loose. [Laughs.]

It’s been quite a journey for you this season on Drag Race, filled with ups and downs. As it comes to an end, what have been the most rewarding and challenging aspects of watching it back on television?

I would say the most rewarding part is definitely the thousands of messages that I’ve gotten from people all over the world who say that they relate to my story.

You know, I watched it back and I thought, “Wow, I really was very, very open, emotionally.” And I hope that that’s something that paid off. And it really, really did it in a way that I didn’t see coming.

I have so many people who’ve messaged me saying that they experienced something similar, or they’re in the midst of an experience that is similar to mine. And that seeing myself on TV talking about it really empowered them and made them feel like they weren’t alone. And that just means the world to me, that I get to sort of be the person that I didn’t have when I was a kid, when I was a teenager. That’s been so rewarding and incredible.

I would say the most difficult part is probably—as much as I love the Drag Race fan base, they can be really, really hard as well. And I would say probably every single cast member, all of my sisters from Season 15, have experienced some level of some really nasty hate online. So that’s been really tough to get used to. And it’s kind of sad that it’s something that we have to get used to!

I think that’s true that there are a lot of people out there who need to see someone like yourself being so vulnerable and emotional. Because—and not just on TV—we all live these very “online” lives where we want to present ourselves in a very certain, composed way.

Yeah, and I think that’s something that I’d really like to hammer home: When we’re being emotionally vulnerable, a lot of people see that as a weakness—and, I’ll be honest, I used to be one of those people not too long ago. It took me a long time to get to a point in my life where I realized that being emotionally vulnerable is actually incredibly strong.

So, one of our favorite things to ask every queen is: What’s a fun fact you can share about one of your season 15 sisters that might surprise the fans?

I would say [on the show,] people don’t really get to see that Sasha Colby is so, so goofy, and so fun—she was really my rock on set, and we really, really get each other. She is just so goofy and so fun—as well as statuesque and iconic and incredible—

And stunning and mother

Well, yeah, of course!

We’ve known since the Meet The Queens videos that you moonlight as a construction worker, so I’ve been wondering: Have any of the skills you’ve learned from that job ever come in handy for your drag career?

One-thousand percent, yes. Oh my god, I have dipped into my toolbox many times, especially—well, before the show, I made everything that I wore. So, when it comes to constructing an outfit, a lot of times, tools come in

I’m picturing you showing up to the gig with a makeup bag in one hand and a red toolbox in the other.

Oh yeah—and a wig on the side. It’s an incredible dichotomy that I bring along with me.

On that note: What’s the worst—or, perhaps, the strangest—gig you’ve ever had?

Oh, you know, one time I was hired by a very enthusiastic woman to do a baby shower. And I think that she was really excited about it—the rest of the guests did not seem too excited about it. And I was specifically hired to do to Cher. So I went and did Cher at a baby shower, made a joke about Sonny Bono dying, and they really didn’t like that. [Laughs.] But, what are you gonna do? The check still cleared!

What’s one article of clothing that Loosey wouldn’t be caught dead in?

Cros! Crocs, Crocs, Crocs—both Loosey and my government name counterpart would never be caught dead in Crocs. So it’s a hard line. But sponsor me if you want, Crocs! [Laughs.]

And, as a final fun question: Who’s a RuGirl from a previous season you think is underrated and why? Who’s a queen that really inspires you?

Well, I guess she wouldn’t count as “underrated,” but I think that a winner who is not talked about enough is The Vivienne, who won season one of Drag Race UK. I think that The Vivienne is absolute drag excellence—she is so incredibly beautiful, and she’s also incredibly funny, she’s crafty, she’s smart. So I think that The Vivienne really deserves even more flowers than she’s gotten. I know in the U.K. she’s she’s quite famous, but I think that she should be just as famous in the US. I just really, really look up to her!