'Drag Race' Champion Yvie Oddly Talks Future Plans, Fan Art & That Laugh
Boundary and button-pushing Denver drag queen Yvie Oddly lip synced her way to the crown Thursday (May 30) night on the season 11 finale of RuPaul's Drag Race.
An early favorite for the top 4, Oddly was more than just consistent through the season – she was reliably unpredictable in the best possible way, bringing an eclectic assortment of, well, odd looks to the runway, all while showing off her inhuman flexibility (Regan from The Exorcist, your wig has been snatched) and gracing us with that endearingly deafening laugh.
The day after nabbing the title of America's Next Drag Superstar and becoming $100,000 richer, Oddly hopped on the phone to chat with Billboard about her "crazy" future plans, where she stands with Silky Nutmeg Ganache and what advice she'd give to future Drag Race competitors.
Congratulations! I'm so happy for you. Although you're probably happier for you, I would imagine.
Actually, I'm in a deep depression. (Laughs)
How have you been processing the last 24 hours?
I'm a very mellow person when I process things. I've been sitting back, pinching myself a lot and telling myself this is real. And every now and then I'll get a text or see a post or something, and see the impact that even this one night had, and burst out in a giggle fit. It's too crazy to process in one night.
Did you expect to get this far?
I did, but under a different perspective. As drag queens, we live in this delusion where we have to tell ourselves we are this fantasy. So when trying out for RuPaul, I was like, "yeah, I'm going to try out for RuPaul's Drag Race, I'm going to make it all the way to the end, and I'm going to be a winner, and it's gonna be amazing." Actually going through that process was crazy. I wasn't that resolute the whole time, even though that's what my dreams were.
You have a music video out now, "Dolla Store," which is very fun, and the track is great. What was that influenced by?
Well, like I said [on Twitter], all the queens have to try their hand at music. But I wanted to make music I really relate to. When I'm getting in drag, I listen to a lot of rap because of all of the confidence that's there and that bravado gets me in a good headspace. And I found that it's not like there haven't been queens doing rap, but there weren't queens having fun with rap in the ways I wanted to. I wanted to make a bangin' parody of a rap song, basically.
In the video, you're wearing your outfit from the finale, which I gather was inspired by fan art. So do you keep up on all your socials and fan reactions, for better or worse?
I get to see the bulk of it. It's been a lot harder as the season progressed, but my favorite part of this is specifically the art. I love the fans and the feedback, but my favorite skill that we as humans have is the ability to create something. So when you inspire someone to create something, you feel next level -- it’s like three orgasms on top of each other. (Cackles.) I was really glad I got to play this little round-robin with someone who drew something I had never worn before, and it was really cool, and then get to make it into a full creation. They seemed to like it, too, so I'm happy.
Watching the season, did anything surprise you about yourself?
I mean, I never realized how lazy one half of my face was. (Laughs.) Everything else I was really prepared for. I know who I am, what got me here, what created the person that ended up being on the show. I was ready for it.
Anything we didn't get to see on camera, any friendships that didn't get airtime?
Not really. I did get close with a lot of the girls, but for me, most of it happened outside of the show. Any of the relationships I formed during the show weren't so pivotal they deserved airtime. It was more, "Oh girl I like your wig!" "Do you need help getting zipped up?"
You and Silky butted heads a lot, but now you're good?
Oh yeah. Silky is one of my favorite people, actually. I was just difficult A) competing against someone who has that big of a personality, and B) it was difficult competing against her because she triggered [one of] my least favorite things -- when people don’t own up to their mistakes, their responsibilities. Triumphs and failures, you have to accept it all and move past it. A lot of the issues I had with Silky was the fact that she had these defense mechanisms of like, "Oh it doesn't matter, I'll lip sync, I'm doing so good, my personality is so good." Once we were able to get past that different viewpoint and see we were both acting out of these weird, hurt, defensive places, she's become one of my closest people.
And she turned out that lip sync on the finale against Brooke Lynn.
Yes she did! She WAS motherfucking ready.
What about your lip sync against Brooke Lynn to Demi Lovato's "Sorry Not Sorry" during the season. It was one of the best I've ever seen, but were you surprised at the double save?
Honestly, I was expecting one of us to go home, and I had no idea how they were going to make that choice. In my head, I forgot double saves are even a thing, I forgot RuPaul shows graciousness sometimes when you show her what you’re really there for. So I was like, "Oh my God, I hope I did good enough to send Brooke Lynn home," because she was also doing really killer in the competition. I was just stressed, girl.
What challenges were your favorites?
I come from a theater background, so I loved the Rusical a lot, but I also loved that last challenge of making the song and the music video for it. It showed me there was another skill I didn't know I had that I was enjoying and having fun with.
And they changed the choreography to match your lyrics, I think they said on the show?
I changed it. That's the thing, we all had to do basic choreography at the end, but when it came to our verses we were able to have some conversation on what it was about, what we were trying to get across, and trying to play with the space. And I literally wrote the lyrics to show off some of my more… flexible skills. (Laughs.)
So you have $100,000 – what's next? What are you spending it on?
Well, all at the Dollar Store. (Laughs.) I'm going to get 100,000 packs of cat litter. No, I want to put it toward creating newer, crazier, bigger art. Not even more expensive and polished -- I know everybody wants to see what will happen to my drag when I get more money -- but I just want to have crazier ideas.
Well, you've done the music video. Are you going to pursue that avenue further, or was that a one-off?
I got into drag because I like doing so many different things, so I don't want to think of it as a one-off or something I specifically want to pursue, as much as "here's another skill I didn't know I have." I really like it and hope I get to pursue it more. I'm going to try and work on more because it would be fun. But expect even more crazy art in different mediums.
What advice would you give to future queens who want to do well on the show?
Break down all of your walls. Whatever your defense mechanisms are in life, be willing to break them down and grow and change. Because they're there to keep us safe, and drag is not a safe sport. (Laughs.) It's there to rile things up, so don't be safe.
You have a remarkable laugh. How long have you had that, since childhood?
No! It started developing when I went through puberty. It went from being just a laugh to the loudest, deepest, most terrifying thing. (Cue emphatic yucking.)