On Thursday night, RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 continued with its second episode, and perhaps one of the strangest challenges in the show’s herstory. After turning out some hoedown dance moves in a country-inspired mini challenge, the queens were split up into teams — headed up by The Vixen and Asia O’Hara — and told to create a lip sync performance for the PharmaRusical, a Drag Race-referencing musical act inspired by infamous television pharmaceutical ads.
With Team Vixen’s leader taking home the win, Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams and Eureka O’Hara of Team Asia found themselves in the bottom two for their lackluster lip syncing in the mainstage challenge. Performing to The Emotions’ disco hit “Best of My Love,” Eureka was able to sway the judges, sending Kalorie out of the competition.
Kalorie talked to Billboard the day after her elimination about having to lip sync against her sister, her journey to body positivity and more.
How are you feeling after last night?
You know honestly, I woke up feeling really great and really rejuvenated. You know, it was hard watching it last night, but this morning I’m in a different space. I did it, and now I’m just excited for the future! It’s all about going up from now!
This episode showed that you and Eureka had a budding friendship on the show. What was it like having to lip sync against her?
A lot of the time, Eureka would say things about how she could see herself in me. She would see me whenever I was having a moment of weakness. And every time she talked to me, we’d get closer, and then she would vent to me about her struggles. I guess because she had gone through a similar thing that I went through, it was really easy for me to connect with her.
It was just so hard. It was one of those things where it’s like, already being in the bottom, already having all of these emotions and feeling like a failure, already feeling like I’m gonna have to lip sync against somebody — but then with that person also being your friend, it’s hard! You know, am I gonna take away her dream? Is she gonna take away my dream? Are we still going to be friends after this? It’s all of these different emotions at once, and it’s so hard to focus on one of them at a time.
Last week, you got pretty heated on Facebook about some of the Drag Race fans hating on you for sending Miss Vanjie home. Do you think there’s a solution to this kind of online hate that keeps coming up?
You know, as hard as it is, it’s really hard to say what you could do. Because it starts with the person, not this TV show. To try to change a person’s perspective to be kinder is just so hard. If that was the case, we would have been able to do this years ago. But I guess it’s just really about vocalizing, especially with all of the other queens, support for each other. For instance, if the fan base is following a particular queen and another queen is getting attacked, then that queen should speak up and say, “Hey, not cool. Don’t do that. If you’re truly a fan, then you support them, too.” And I feel like that’s definitely happened with this season for sure. Eureka tweeted that kind of thing out this morning, she was telling her fans to send me some love, and I was like, “That’s f–king beautiful. That’s so beautiful.”
You opened up on this episode about your weight loss journey and the bullying you faced as a kid for your weight. How did those experiences inform the drag you do today?
Kalorie is all about embracing being the big girl, and I wanted to take all of the hurt I had gone through, and to turn it into something positive that can be, essentially, inspirational. It’s about telling people to be ok with showing off your curves! It’s ok to be thick! It’s ok not to eat a salad! You can eat a steak and some potatoes and still be fierce. Kalorie came from my battle with my weight, and she wouldn’t exist without those moments.
I lost a lot of weight early on, too, for my health. Nowadays, I’m not necessarily trying to lose weight, I’m just trying to live a healthy life. I’m trying to keep my body very healthy so that it lasts me a while. The difference is that a lot of times, losing weight tends to be for vanity. Losing weight while having body positivity is just about trying to take care of your body and live your best life. It’s not about how you look, because you’re beautiful!
I found out that you are a very low-key nerdy queen — you’ve done looks inspired by things like the Power Rangers and Pokémon in the past. How do those looks blend with the Kardashian-style looks you turn out?
One of my favorite quotes is from Forrest Gump, because I think that my drag is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. I always want to do different things. So yes, I am that low-key kind of nerdy, I love Power Rangers, Pokémon, I love cartoons like Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z. Sometimes I like to do more out-of-the-box things, and take things in a different creative direction. I love pulling from that that I grew up with and I feel very tied to. It’s super close to home for me.
Speaking of home, who would you say is your favorite local queen from New Mexico?
Yeah, I would have to say that it’s definitely Madison Eriks. It’s her stage presence — whenever she gets onstage, she has this beautiful smile and she takes that audience in. I get so psyched to watch her perform every time I’m there.
So you said it’s all about the future for you — what is next for Kalorie?
I am so ready to try and start taking this world by storm! I want to start putting out a bunch of new merch, I wanna start traveling the country a little bit more. I would love to hopefully maybe get on All Stars 4, because I want that little redemption arc for Kalorie [laughs]. Because let’s be real, my time on the show was short. Now, my next stage is to show the world exactly what the show is missing out on!