Sashay Away: Chi Chi Devayne on Country Swag, Southern Drag, and Getting Paid

chi chi

We’ve finally made it to the top three of RuPaul’s Drag Race season eight. The final challenge had the four remaining queens perform in the video for RuPaul’s “The Realness,” a shoot that had them freestyling, serving face, and falling through space.

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Related | The Drag Race GIF-cap Xtravaganza: 'Video Ho, No You Didn't'

It was a bittersweet goodbye as Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls, and Bob the Drag Queen made it to the final three, but Chi Chi DeVayne was sent home. We caught up with Chi Chi to see how Drag Race has helped her become a full-time drag queen.

chi chi devayne

Out: How did you catch RuPaul’s attention?

Chi Chi Devayne: Obviously she fell in love with my country swag. Maybe she just saw that spark in me that everybody seems to notice.

What’s it like to be a drag queen in the south?

Where I’m from, being a drag queen is kind of hard. You can’t really do it full time like you can in some of the bigger cities because there’s just not any work. There’s like only one bar here. So it’s very competitive to get a spot working as a drag queen.

Who’s your favorite queen from a past season?

Kennedy. I love me some Kennedy Davenport. She is everything to me, and that’s what I strive to be like on stage. When she’s on stage, you know she’s on stage. Most definitely Kennedy Davenport.

What was it like seeing yourself on TV?

It was weird, very weird. But it was a long time coming. That’s where I was supposed to be. So I wasn’t freaked out. It was just, “Ugh, finally!” That’s where I was supposed to be.

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If you had a second chance, what would you have done differently?

I definitely would have thought a little more out of the box in terms of creativity and what I presented on the runway. That’s the only thing that I regret. 

What have you been up to since you left the show?

I’ve been working, working, working. You know, getting the gigs, taking them, and being a full-time drag queen. I quit my other two 9-5 jobs, and now I’m a full-time drag queen.

Now that you’ve gotten some publicity through the show, is it less of a struggle financially like you were talking about?

Yes, most definitely. I’m getting paid very well to be a drag queen. Now, it’s just easier to have an idea and bring it to life, to have the funds to bring it to life. Whether people like it or not, it costs money to do what we do.

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Who are you rooting for now?

Most definitely, I’m rooting for Bob. Bob is, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the smartest person I know. I think he deserves to take the crown home.

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