Up Close and Personal with Bianca Del Rio

Winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6, Bianca Del Rio, is bringing her fiercely fabulous show to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, with our very own Courtney Act. Here she fills us in on her passions and pet peeves....no holds barred!

She's been compared to the late Joan Rivers for her quick-witted putdowns and has become a global phenomenon since winning the hit reality series on LifeStyle YOU. Direct from a sellout season of her Rolodex of Hate Tour in New York, we chat one-on-one with this outlandish and ridiculously funny Queen, prior to heading down under. 

You're bringing your sellout show to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. What can we expect?

(laughs) A lot of  hate! It's a peak inside my life. There are a lot of jokes and moments in my life that I didn't really find amusing until recently (laughs), and I'm able to put them out there for everyone to hear. In the States it's called the 'Rolodex of Hate Tour', but in Australia they wanted to soften it a little bit, so it's just called 'Comedy Special'. It's very soft compared, but it's basically a look into why I do the things I do. A peak into my life that kind of shaped me into becoming this insane person (laughs).

The theme for this year's Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is all about passion. What you are most passionate about in life?

Well I'm passionate about work, I love work. That's the real answer, no joke there. I love to work and I tell you, 2014 was the most amazing year, and 2015 is looking good already. For many years I did drag and now I've got the golden ticket thanks to a little television show that changed my life. It's been amazing. I do feel lucky but I also enjoy it, which is why I think it's all been successful for me so far.

What do you love about Australia?

Oh everything! It's beautiful there. I had the greatest time last summer. It was a blast, but I didn't know that originally. I thought everyone was going to be an a**hole like Courtney Act, so I was very concerned (laughs). I'm kidding! We're friends. I met her and was like, I'm never going to that country! Courtney gave me a lot of the lowdown before I got there. She said you must go here, you must see this, so she was very handy on my last trip there. This time she's going to be travelling around with me, so I'm excited for that too. 

RuPaul's Drag Race is one of our most popular shows on LifeStyle YOU. Why do you think the show has been such a success?

Well, there's nothing like it! In the States a show like American Idol is acceptable; there's 20 different versions of it, whether it's America's Got Talent or The X Factor. Whereas with this show, they really can't duplicate it. Who else would do this show on this level, other than RuPaul? It's just grown and grown since the six years of being on TV. 


How do you think the show has changed people's perceptions of drag queens?

In the States, the majority of the audience is a straight audience which I find fascinating. I think it's made it 'ok' for you to be a drag queen, without people judging you. For many years, people just assumed that if you were a drag queen, then you wanted to be a girl. When you actually break it down, we're probably more sane than the housewives shows! We might wear the same amount of makeup and wigs, but there's a fascinating story there, and once the audience gets past that, it's actually an enjoyable show to watch.

Let's talk fashion and beauty. Are there any particular trends that make you cringe?

Well I live in New York, so I always see it! There's always something there. It's usually not the people that live in New York, but rather the tourists. I don't like the nude lip with the dark liner. I don't think that's very pretty. And girls do something strange with their eyebrows! They pluck them so much that they no longer look like an eyebrow, they look like a sperm. I hate it. They're plucking in the wrong spot. That makes me crazy! Fashion wise, I feel like people wear leggings as pants. If you're going to wear leggings, that's fine, but don't wear a nude legging out on the street. It looks like you're naked and it really starts to bother me.

How quickly has it taken you to perfect your makeup?

Depends on who you ask. Some people think it's gotten worse (laughs). For me, it's just been a journey. If I look at younger photos of myself, I go wow, what was I thinking?! But also when you see yourself on TV, you look at stuff differently and go, oh God! That doesn't look good! When we're in a bar, we don't have the same HD televisions in our face, so I think it is what it is. I'm not a man trying to be a soft and feminine creature, so I'll wear everything! I don't care.

What are your tips to applying fake lashes?

Well for me I don't wear eye lashes, I wear spiders! You've got to work with your face, that's the trick. I wear extensive amounts of makeup and lots of lashes, because I'm a man and my features are rather big. For example, I'm not soft and feminine like Courtney Act. She's genetically blessed and she's gorgeous, but that's not my look. So for me, the more is better. If you're a real girl and you want to apply eye lashes, find that one gay friend to help you (laughs). It will change your life.

What tips do you have for obtaining a flawless complexion?

Well, I'm going to tell you this. This is something I've learned from forever though. It's not necessarily what you put on your face. I use very heavy foundation, obviously. It's what you do with your face after. At 18, my dermatologist told me to use Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo to wash my face, so I've used that for many years. A friend of mine in the States has this new product called 'The Magic Pads', which are incredibly absorbent but also moisturising for the skin.

If you could give any celebrity a style makeover, who would it be?

Oh God, there are so many! There are people where I'm like, why are they even a celebrity?! (laughs). Who is this fish?! I think now in the music industry, a lot of these new stars are trying really hard to be trend setters and they just end up looking like really bad drag queens. Like Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna....what the f*** are they wearing?! It's not even fashion anymore. You don't even believe it because they're trying so hard to make it in the papers and out in the world. It just looks stupid. They're probably got that one gay friend that goes, yes girl. You look fierce! So they're steering them in the wrong direction.

What was it like having Khloe Kardashian on the show?

She was much smaller than I expected. You look at her and you must think, Kim is only two feet tall! But I liked her more in person. I didn't want to like her, but I ended up really liking her. She came and knew her s***, was very down-to-earth. Before I was like, who is this b****? What is she talking about? But she was very likeable which was interesting, because usually I thought the whole Kardashian family was just useless. 

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras runs from Friday 20 February to Sunday 8 March, 2015. For further information on the festival program and to buy tickets, click here

To keep yourself entertained in the lead-up to the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race, be sure to watch Drag Queens of London, only on LifeStyle YOU. 

Photo Credits: Magnus Hastings

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