With the news of Sherry Pie’s RuPaul’s Drag Race disqualification breaking only hours before the queen made her debut on the show, many were a bit at a loss for what would happen once the queen finally appeared. Before she ever made her Werk Room entrance she was the subject of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, that she apologized for, and was now about to be broadcast into living rooms and gay bars the nation over. What, exactly, were we supposed to do?
Well a few drag queens hosting Drag Race streaming parties decided to give disclaimers for clubgoers. Elsewhere, those watching decided to boo every time Pie appeared on screen. But in San Francisco at Beaux Bar, one fast-thinking, and quick-acting, queen had a performance laid out.
Planned in the matter of hours, Florida Man lip synced to a custom “Bye, Bye, Miss Sherry Pie,” mix. Basing it off off of Don McLean’s “American Pie,” Man inserted clips of Pie saying her own name as well as the now infamous Tyra Banks “I was rooting for you” clip. The result: viral catnip.
This, of course, isn’t the first time that the performer has gone viral. In 2018 she dressed up as Lady V, in a femme version of Harry Potter’s Voldemort and put on a number to Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman,” that we will truly never forget. Here, we talk to Florida Man about RuPaul’s Drag Race, her performance, and her thoughts about the handling of Sherry Pie.
How would you generally describe your drag?
I’m fun, I’m flirty, and I’m definitely NOT a lizard person. I’m a concept queen from San Francisco known for taking bizarre and unexpected themes and turning them into funny, and mildly tragic stories on stage.
What do you think of Drag Race the show in general?
I’m a fan! I watch every season and I’m rooting for our hometown hero Rock M. Sakura this time around. Do I take issue with certain aspects of the show, such as it’s exclusion of trans women? Absolutely. But I still very much enjoy it as entertainment.
Why did you want to do this performance and how much time did you have to prepare? Did you mix it yourself?
The Sherry Pie situation creates a unique dilemma for me as a host, especially when my city has its first local girl competing in nearly a decade. We want to scream and laugh and enjoy watching the show together, but the scandals of this season cast a weird shadow on the show.
I knew I wanted to acknowledge, rather than ignore, what happened, otherwise it would just be an awkward elephant in the room. By making light of the situation without trivializing it, we were able to watch the show without awkward energy as a community and focus on rooting on our girl Rock.
I made the mix at 3PM, and performed it at 8PM.
Are most of your performances to mixes?
I like to take a concept or song or emotion and twist it into a little unsalted pretzel- sometimes I bake it into a mix and sometimes I don’t. I prioritize making people think and feel, and if that requires a mix I do it- but I wouldn’t say I always do mixes.
Had you ever done something this quickly in the past?
You know how when you’re dehydrated, you can chug water faster? I was desperately out of material that day.
What was the vibe/mood like in general that night surrounding Sherry?
People were angry! Her actions and subsequent decision to go on the show given her past were irresponsible, and that is putting it very lightly. She does not deserve death threats of any of the harassment I am sure she is receiving, but she also really pissed many of us off.
What I told my viewing party was that moving forward, we wouldn’t acknowledge Sherry or the situation, but for that one night we could collectively let out our anger and roast her. Starting next week, our focus will be exclusively on celebrating the rest of the talented cast, not on tearing Sherry down. That is not our job to do.
Do you think the show did enough in terms of the 'disqualification?'
That was the least they could do. I don’t think canceling the season would be fair to all the other talented queer people who put work into it, but it does feel a bit better knowing some action has been taken. I don’t envy those who have to make these decisions, but so far it looks like they are handling it as best as they can with what is available to them.
The more they can acknowledge and educate rather than ignore and avoid, the better IMO.