Words: Markus Bidaux
Category is... SPOILER ALERT! Please note this interview reveals the result of Canada's Drag Race episode five.
It was the moment we were all waiting for – the Snatch Game where the queens try to tickle the judges funny bones, but someone always bones it up.
Sadly, this week we saw Kiara freeze under the pressure of impersonating Mariah Carey.
Attitude spoke to Kiara via Zoom to discuss her run on the show...
You are looking lovely. How would you describe your look?
Lady tangerine with some nice details and bows and blue hair.
Chatting to Kiara on Zoom
Like a sexy Marge Simpson.
Yeah, I get it.
You made to Snatch Game! That is quite a milestone for any drag queen.
It is! And the Reading Challenge [too]. I was really excited.
What did you think of the reads on you?
Look, I mean, they're reads, they're not to be taken that seriously. The ones that really stick in my mind are Rita’s, “When are you going to start competing” and Lemon’s, “Are you a bird, because your looks are cheep, cheep, cheep.”
What did you make of the judges' critiques this season?
I like that they gave some positive and some negative. I do agree with some of the critiques, some of them I don't. I like my ponytail in my last episode.
There has been a lot of online discussion of judge Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman being overly harsh. Do you think any of the judges are more critical than the others?
I feel like all of them were critical on some points, they all had valid points and valid opinions. Of course, we were criticised about things but I just feel like they also gave us some positive so it was not only like black or white, it was really this grey zone. So, you know, Brooke Lynn is a pageant Queen as well so like she really is strength and understands the competition as well. And Stacey McKenzie, she’s very sweet but at the same time she has her critiques. I went there wanting to get kicked in, so I could get better because I'm still at the beginning of my career so these comments helped me to get better. I'm my worst critic so I don't really mind getting it, to be honest.
If you could do Snatch Game over again, who would you perform as?
Stacey Mackenzie. I would love to do her, I was thinking about doing her, but I don't know why I just didn’t. I just wanted to stick Mariah, I know Mariah, I love Mariah so much. But it just went wrong.
Kiara with judge Stacey McKenzie
When you walked into the workroom for the first time who did you know?
I knew some Toronto queens like Priyanka and, of course, I had seen Tynomi perform. I knew Rita because we had worked together before and I knew Ilona from Instagram.
Rita Baga rolled her eyes quite a bit at the Toronto queens squabbling many times. Are French-Canadian drag queens friendlier?
Yeah, we are. I feel like we as a community we really have this sense of sisterhood. I feel like sometimes I hear a lot of drama from Toronto. You know, I'm into drama so I'll listen to it, but honestly, I'm not blunt, I'm really focused on working and I'm very focused on doing my best and just making everybody feel OK around me. And even though drag is really competitive I focus on myself and don’t focus on others as much.
Well, you also admitted you were a kai kai queen, that is pretty friendly.
Yes, yes. But with none of them!
Why did you choose Kiara as your drag name?
It was my friend’s cat and I really liked the cat.
Did you have any rejected drag names before Kiara emerged?
Yes, of course, I wanted to be myself Ruby because I was born in July. Of course, I wanted to name myself Diamond, which is the most unoriginal name and I wanted to call myself Litchy, but people did not approve.
You are one of the youngest queens in the competition. Do you think it is easier for young people to start doing drag with shows like Drag Race going mainstream?
Of course, it is. You know, with YouTube I could really spend a lot of time looking at [drag] performances not only from here but from all around the world. And I feel like I've always been the type of person to do whatever the hell I wanted to do. People were not really surprised [when I started drag]. I feel like I've always done theatre, dance, makeup and Halloween is my favourite holiday and now Halloween is every day [for me].
You talked about not being body confident before doing drag. How did drag change that?
Drag really gave me confidence, you know drag is like wearing a mask. When I was doing improv in high school and I was on stage I knew this is my place to really expose myself to the world. And doing drag allows me to commit to myself and just live in it and to embrace all the positive things about me. No, I didn't like my body and growing up I felt kind of awkward. Seeing Drag Race, I was like, “Oh my god, there is somebody like me”. And seeing RuPaul, [I realised] people like me could look great. I'm really happy that I discovered drag growing up coming into my adult self.
Showing off her assets
You said when you started, only a few years ago, there were not a lot of queens of colour in French-Canadian drag scene. Why is representation so important in drag?
Representation is so important because when I saw people that looked like me doing what I wanted to do. It kind of showed me that I could do it. So if I can be that person for the people here in Montreal or Quebec or Canada it is just amazing. You know, it's amazing that I can be that person to represent for people that are misrepresented in the media.
A good hair day
You are part of groups Pussycat Drags, the Spice Drags and Little Mix. What do you love most about performing?
Of course, I love to do shows with close-knit groups, but I love my performances to have a mix of comedy. I love Bob the Drag Queen, Monet X Change, Miz Cracker their really huge inspirations for me.
In the episode 5, you confessed that your biological father did not know you did drag. Has he seen the show now?
I don’t know if he has seen the show, but he knows I do drag [now]. He wants to see [my live] shows. I didn't tell him it was drag, I told him it was a mix of theatre and music and not really like dressing up. I was scared that he would not understand it, but now he likes pictures on Facebook. It's great that he wants to support me doing what I love.