Drag Race UK’s Cherry Valentine. (BBC)
Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine spoke to PinkNews about her untimely elimination from the competition.
Drag Race UK continued this week with episode two, packed with more emotional werk room chats, backstage frissons and anthropomorphised drag rats than you can shake a pair of tucking panties at.
The queens took part in the first ever UK Rusical which pushed a couple of the queens out of their comfort zones – including Cherry Valentine, who was sadly given the boot after an unforgettable lip-sync against Tayce. PinkNews caught up with the Darlington queen to find out more.
Hi Cherry! How are you feeling after last night’s episode?
Tired, but not too bad, thanks. How are you?
Same, really. Was last night a late one?
I stayed up for an hour or two looking at my phone, all the messages from everyone have been really supportive and nice, but it was a pretty early night. I’ve just been up really early this morning getting ready.
What are you wearing?
I’ve got red sequinned tentacles coming out my shoulders, dripping in blood, and a two metre long pony. Just something really casual.
A normal Friday morning then! While we’re talking clothes, let’s talk about your gender reveal runway look – the judges weren’t too keen on it.
I was actually quite surprised about that, to be honest. It was something that I’ve never worn before, I never wear yellow – that was the first time I’ve ever worn yellow in drag – but I thought, I’ll do something different and do something with a message, and I 100 per cent stick by it. I thought the message was was really fabulous.
Tell us a bit more about the message you wanted to send.
It was basically like a gender reveal but there was no gender, because I always feel like when people have gender reveal parties, we’re not actually revealing the gender. We’re revealing the sex. Gender is completely different. So it was a play on that: I’m having a baby, welcome to a gender reveal party, but we don’t actually know what the gender is yet, we’ll wait for them to tell us.
Jumping back slightly, we had Rats the Rusical.
We had Rats the Rusical! Watching it back, I thought it was absolutely fabulous. It was so camp. I think it’s the perfect TV that we all need right now. But I don’t think my performance in that was bad either, I think everyone did an amazing job.
They did – but things got a bit heated after the performance between Sister Sister and Lawrence Chaney. What was going on there?
I think it was just about being in a group together. And because working with Sister and Lawrence there were definitely tensions between us, because I don’t think any of us had really worked in a group like that before, especially on this platform where you’re there to showcase your own skills.
We were given our outfit, everything was provided, so it wasn’t really us. There was a lot of pressure and I don’t think we all got the parts that we wanted. So there were definitely tensions, but it’s all love at the end of the day and the competition is separate from our relationships outside of it.
Do you think, had you got the part you wanted, that things might have turned out differently?
Yeah, I would have won the challenge! I have to say, Veronica did an amazing job, but I think I would have done a fabulous job at that performance. I like being sexy and seductive onstage.
So basically, it’s all Tia’s fault?
All Tia’s fault, Tia is the sole reason that I left. [Laughs] If you write that down – make sure you put I was laughing!
That performance landed you in the lip-sync – and this week’s song was a bit of a choice.
“Memory” is such a strange song to lip-sync to. I never, ever perform slow songs, I normally do Beyoncé, Gaga, really conceptual performances. I’d never done that before. And going up against Tayce was crazy because Tayce is a fabulous performer, but at the same time, I’d never seen her performance last time. It a weird thing to do. Because I wasn’t prepared at all. I know the song, but I don’t think you’re really prepared to do something like that in the moment, until you’re actually in the moment. And it did get really emotional. Everyone was crying, there were tears everywhere!
What would we have seen from you had you stayed?
I was really excited for all the runways – everything I brought was absolutely fabulous. I wanted to show my runways and I wanted to open up a bit more – but there’s always time for that.
Who would you have done for Snatch Game?
It was between Gillian McKeith in the jungle and Nikki Graeme when she was in Big Brother. I had both outfits, I was just going to decide how I felt on the day.
So if they were to ask you back next year, would you do it again?
I’d definitely think about it.
In the werk room, you spoke about your background coming from the traveller community and struggling to reconcile that with you gayness, how are you feeling about that now?
Honestly, I feel a lot more proud now, of who I am and where I come from. Back then I was very in my own head. I was very, very scared of how I’d be perceived to be honest, sitting there and everyone asking me personal questions – I’ve never been one to open up about my personal life.
Normally I talk to other people about their personal life, I do it as a job, but for people to ask me about my life, it was really intense at the time, and I wasn’t really prepared for that. But now, I feel proud of where I’ve come from and I’m a lot more open, because I think it’s something that needs to be spoken about. And seeing the reception that I’ve had, the messages I was sent last night, it’s been really, really humbling that people can get to know me and can really relate to it.
Have you had many conversations with your family about it since?
Not really, to be honest, I don’t really speak to them anymore. But I’ve spoken to my mother, and she’s just proud of me. She’s happy if I’m happy. And that’s good with me.
You can find all of our Drag Race UK coverage here.