Miss Silky Nutmeg Ganache was a divisive figure on RuPaul's Drag Race season 11, both for the contestants of the show, for the judges, and for the audience. Some didn't like her personality, some her padding, but at the end of the day very few could deny that Ganache is an entertainer with a personality made for primetime. And she's got more than a few other skills, that served her well in the competition, ferrying her all the way up to the final four.
Here, we talk to the "reverend doctor" about what she hoped to portray on the show, that "register as a Republican in the primary" strategy, and her relationship with Vanessa Vanjie Mateo.
How do you feel now that you're at the end of this journey?
I'm very proud of what I presented and I did this to create a better life for myself and my family. Winning the crown was going to just be a bonus for me. I'm on my second passport and I've studied abroad since the ninth grade and my grandmother paid for a lot of that. The true win for me was after being on the show, I took my grandmother to London. It was her first time out of the country. We did that last week and she was so excited and so now I'm planning another trip for her.
I read that this was your first time submitting to Drag Race and I know some people submit for years before getting on. What do you think made you stand out?
Yes, this was my first time submitting a complete application. I think my character and my story that stood out. I'm an educated Black queen that is entertaining. I don't think there's been anyone like me on Drag Race.
Did you hope to get something across on the show?
I actually had many messages I wanted to get across during my time on the show. One of them was that drag queens are more than entertainers, we are educators, we are politicians, we are doctors. We are way more than what people think and I think it's now time to showcase that. I think in the last 50 years since Stonewall, I think we've been fighting for acceptance. I think for the next 50 years we have to fight for acceptance within ourselves and our own communities.
You mentioned politics and on the show you mentioned a much discussed idea around registering to vote Republican in the primaries. Can you explain that concept a little more?
It's a political concept from Karen Hunter, who is a professor and journalist that works with The Urban View on SiriusXM. The concept basically eliminates party lines by everyone registering for one party. Because Black people are assumed to be Democrats, you change the idea by registering Republican. That doesn't mean you necessarily vote Republican but you can change the party lines. It helps in states like Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio because districts are often redone through gerrymandering and gentrification.
When you started the season some of your competitors had some very strong opinions about you and some of them brought those to Ru. Did that affect you in anyway in terms of your performance or your interactions?
I don't think it affected my performance in the show because I won a lot on the show. In terms of my interactions with some of the ladies I competed against, it made me hold my guard up a little bit against them. That's why I was so grateful that I had A'Keria and Vanjie there, they talked me down off the ledge a lot.
We are still very close. I moved to Los Angeles now, partially because of Miss Vanjie and I am her neighbor now.
Was there a moment you were really proud of on the show?
There were several moments. I was very vocal about what I wanted: I wanted a career on television. I kept saying I wanted my own spin-off show. I think that my most proud moments were when all of those guest judges came in and said "oh my goodness you need to be on TV." RuPaul said it often: "oh, I need to see that character on TV. You have star quality." For me, those moments were the best moments. And now, I'm talking to a couple of producers and I hope that we can narrow something down and get it going.
During Snatch Game, I was really impressed by your usage of TS Madison. I wanted to know what all went into that decision.
I didn't know who I was going to do going on the show. When you audition, you do several people -- MoNique, Oprah, Queen Latifah, and Mama Klump from The Nutty Professor. I'm proud that I did her because when I got there, I realized the importance of doing somebody within our community. We often do other people and some of those people don't even care about us. I wanted to celebrate someone in our community and TS Madison story alone is worth celebrating. She is someone who went fomo the porn industry to being a media mogul And I think what I love best is that she acknowledges her past. She's always saying you can do whatever you want and change your life around, when you decide to do it. And she truly decided to do it. I have so much respect for her.
A few times on the show you talked about your lip syncing skills and obviously you eventually got a chance to lip sync. I was wondering whether or not you felt that you were able to show the skills you talked about in your performance.
I can admit that when I lip synced on episode 11, that was not my best performance. That particular day I just felt so beat up and beat down. I didn't do my best but if you look at my track record ... look at my lip sync in the Rusical or my dance performance in the Olympics challenge. I've done very well leading up to that point and you can tell that something was really going on with me that day. When you go to the next episode and I lip sync and dance and I was fine. I think that moment really spoke to the emotional stress that we have on the show where I wasn't able to do my very best.
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