Interview | Alaska 5000 on Twitter trolls, sisterhood and slaying All Stars 2
There's no question about it. Alaska Thunderfuck came to slay. The kooky queen from planet Glamtr0n entered All Stars 2 with a fire in her eyes, blazing through the competition one iconic challenge after another. Managing to stay mostly head and shoulders above the drama, statistically speaking, there was no other queen that deserved the crown more. And luckily for her, Mother Ru is a gal with a head for numbers. In her first UK interview since being crowned winner of All Stars 2, Alaska reflects on her time in the competition, gets real about Rolaskatox, and speaks out against online hate.
Your drive and ambition were unmatched throughout this season. With RuPaul being one of the most ambitious people on earth, do you think she sees something in you that reminds him of himself?
Well, that would be a huge honour. I hope so. That would be great, because he's a person I really look up to. When I was in my hotel room, I was reading the Holy Bible, Buddhist literature and RuPaul's book.
You said that you feared your drive would cost you likability during the final episode. Was that something that played on your mind throughout the competition, especially given that Katya, who's ridiculously popular, was also giving standout performances?
Sure! And I think I would have had a much better time if I had just smoked a joint and chilled out a little more. But that wasn't where I was at in my life at the time. I was really focussed, and drag race has given me a career, it's given me a life, and I'm really grateful for that. It means a lot to me. So yeah, I could have chilled out and hung back and enjoyed the process a little more, but I guess I won, so I did something right.
This year it felt like you were allowing yourself to perform with a confidence that wasn't all the way there in season five. What was different this time around?
I mean I've been doing drag longer. Instantly, we all have that under our belt. We go from doing drag every now and then to doing it five nights a week in different cities and places. Everyone stepped up so much this season, so it's really fun to watch.
Where does that off-beat sense of humour of yours come from?
I think it just comes from being a weirdo. I feel very much like the weird kid who prefers to stay home and draw pictures by himself rather than do anything else. So I don't know where it comes from. I guess it comes from the Lord.
Which one? Jesus, Buddha or Rupaul?
Apart from being crowned, what was your standout moment of the competition?
I liked the snatch game a lot. I think it was really fun, and everyone came a little bit more prepared this time. It was really fucking funny to watch, and really funny to do.
How did it feel watching it back and seeing yourself give such a superior performance?
It was fine. I mean, like I said I wish I'd have smoked a joint and chilled out a bit, but aside from that it's very good. It was a good performance.
Sending home Tatianna seemed like a tough call for you, and Alyssa's exit was the shock of the season. Do you think the Rolaskatox bond got in the way of those two going as far as they deserved to?
Well, we were all thrust into this very difficult, new set up and new scenario. And we were all just literally trying to make the best decisions we could. I know that I didn't make any choices from a place of malice, or trying to hurt somebody, or trying to get ahead, I literally took the information I had, and I made the best decision I could. I think we all did, it's a difficult situation to be in and we just did the best we could.
Coming in second time around, you all know each other a bit better. That must make sending each other home and even competing against each other a little harder?
Of course! There are so many things involved. It was really, really challenging and really difficult being there and doing it. But it made really good TV!
There has been a lot of drama this year, particularly with Phi Phi. What do you make of claims that the show is edited to bring out the best - and worst - in certain contestants?
Well I'm definitely a person who's gonna say "I did everything I did and I said everything I said." I mean, if Tatianna was here in my house right now I'd send her home. No, I'm kidding. But do the producers want to put us in situations that are high-stress and high-drama? Yes, of course! They're making a TV show! But if I said it then I said it, and if I didn't then I didn't. And there you have it.
And with the drama, online hate followed. Do you think that's something that's gotten worse over the years?
Yes, I do believe that it's something that's gotten worse, and I find it unfortunate. And I wish that the energy that was used to send snake emojis in my inbox, I wish all that energy could be channeled into things that matter. I wish that could be channeled into the Black Lives Matter movement, I wish that could be channeled into women getting paid an equal wage. I wish that could be channelled into Donald Trump not becoming president. So anyone who was flooding my Twitter with hateful messages, I only wish that they'd direct their energy elsewhere.
You gathered some of your competitors together for your new music video, The Tea (check it out at the bottom of the interview). Did it feel good to be able to show that, despite the drama and the competition, you're friends?
Absolutely! Any differences we might have had, we've moved past that in real life. Because we're sisters, we've been through we've been through. So really who else do we have to talk to about it? So yeah, definitely, whatever differences might have happened on the show, we're cool in real life.
This season has been all about building your legacy. What do you would your Drag Race legacy to be?
Oh my goodness. I feel like I'm too young to have a legacy, I'm still making one. I'm still working and doing my thing, and I'm just grateful to have been given the opportunity to work doing this crazy job that I do. I feel really lucky that I get to do it.
If you had gone home early, who would have have been rooting for?
Oh my gosh. Erm, probably Alyssa. Alyssa is an amazing person and an amazing drag queen. So yeah, I would have been rooting for her.
The competition might be over, but the drama's not done, as Ru and the girls are back for a special reunion episode on October 27. But if you can't wait until then to see more Alaska, check out the fabulous video for her new single, The Tea, below: