Her tenure on the ninth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” wasn’t long, but no doubt you remember many of this Vietnamese-American stunner’s playfully shady soundbites and sleek style. Known today as a beauty expert and for her sexy performances and stage looks, there are many more layers to Kimora Blac than meets the eye… and we get to see a bunch of them this weekend in NYC!
Thotyssey: Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Kimora! Where in the world are you now, and are you still Vegas-based?
Kimora Blac: I’d been in Vegas for six years, and now LA for the past five years.
I’m not sure if you were ever part of the Drag Race Vegas revue, but if you haven’t done it yet would you like to?
I recently just watched a show, and definitely would love to be a part of the cast!
Wasn’t it great to see Vegas drag legend Hot Chocolate honored at the last Drag Race proper finale?
Absolutely! I love Larry — I’ve worked with her so many times when I first moved to Vegas, and she is absolutely an amazing human being!
If we wanted to see Kimora perform in her hometown today, where would could we most likely do that?
Los Angeles is my favorite hometown ever, and you guys can definitely catch me at Mickys — my favorite Showgirls! Such an iconic spot in Southern California! Los Angeles has a very tight family, and I do my best to be in the community as much as I can. I love Los Angeles, and it’s always my home… and the drag shows here are so much fun.
By the way, you’re a great brand ambassador for FashionNova!
Thank you! I have been an ambassador for four years, and one of my goals was to represent clothing in drag. We don’t get a lot of representation when it comes to drag and LGBTQ plus. Since FashionNova is one of the biggest brands in the world, I am honored to model for them and work with them. They are an amazing company that has taken care of me for a long time, and to see people recognize that always puts a smile on my face.
Looking back at your turn as a contestant on Drag Race’s 9th season… you were so much fun, but we didn’t get to see enough of you.
I agree! I think the world has mentioned many times that they haven’t seen much of me, and they would like to!
You did get to take part in two of the show’s craziest, best remembered moments, starting with… The Cheerleading Incident! That was a very advanced athletic challenge that famously (allegedly!) caused a number of on-set injuries among the contestants.
I believe the challenges that the show pick sometimes are a little overboard, and required too much of athleticism!? Lol! But in their defense, I think challenges are put there to really entertain people; it puts us in different arenas to pull out our inner talents.
I bet when you saw queens in later seasons complain about challenge difficulty, you must have felt a sort of way after having endured the cheerleading, lol.
When girls off the show complain about what they had to do, I do and will always roll my eyes. Because if you don’t wanna do anything, then why sign up to do something?
The other wild challenge you experienced was on the runway, and it was sadly your final episode: the Princess and Sidekick looks! You had to create a Disney-esque princess character as well as her sidekick (a weird special effect green screen thing), and yours was Funky Monkey. Does that monkey still haunt your dreams, lol?
Yes, the monkey does haunt my dreams… but I believe I looked amazing that night. I think a lot of my fans will have to agree that it was a little too early for me to leave, especially for the way I looked… and I believe that not everyone is Puppet Ready, lol!
You guys have to understand that when I was on Drag Race, it was definitely early for me to be on. But I don’t regret anything… I had the best time, I made the best relationships, and I think it’s just an amazing memory for me to have. I love Aja, and she’s an amazing performer — we laugh at our eliminations all the time, and it’s a great memory to take home.
Did you have a favorite experience from Drag Race that sticks with you, either from on or off camera?
Just being with the girls. Drag Race gave me a bigger platform, and because of it I am still traveling the world to this day. I wish people were able to see things that they couldn’t see on TV, but people have to get it in their brains: we’re at Season 13 and television is run a certain way/ So when people want to see more, it’s not because the queens don’t wanna show more… it’s because that’s how it works.
I feel like it was around your season when a vocal section of Drag Race fandom started to get really… extra. Did that affect you negatively after filming, and are those nastier / overly enthusiastic fans still a Carry today?
I believe it had affected me for the first year, but I have been always built to do my own thing. I’ve been doing drag longer than any of these fans were born, so my mentality is a little older… and no one in the world is going to tell me how to look, how to act, and how to be. Young people care about what people think, and I think people that have been around are built to not care. And that’s why my fanbase are strong people that believe in this.
I always say if you don’t like the way I am or my drag, well… you have tons of other queens to pick from. There’s no need to be vocal about it. But I think the fandom is definitely toxic, and it won’t change anytime soon.
You got a sort of “villain-lite” edit on your season, but most people I know who have worked with you have said your nothing but sweet and professional! Did having a “bad-ish” rep from the show dog you at all?
Hey, I disagree! I don’t think I was the villain at all… I was only there for three episodes, so how is a villain being created in such a short time, lol!? I believe I got the “high maintenance” role, lol!
All jokes aside, my name in the business. When it comes to working with clubs, venues and events, I don’t have any bad blood anywhere in the world because my work ethic is super professional. It’s almost impossible to say anything bad about me when it comes to booking me — not about my shows or my performances, or just me being me. I take my career very serious, and never let anyone play me or speak bad about me. If you are a “fan,” I definitely don’t care what you think about me… because at the end of the day, my check is still going through, lol!
What’s the coolest thing you’ve gotten to do as Kimora since Season 9?
I’ve been doing drag full-time for over ten years, and just having the Drag Race legacy a part of my name is one of my biggest achievements. Touring with the girls and seeing the girls is always one of my favorite things to do when I get back stage, and just making relationships with people. I think a lot of people admire Drag Race girls, and to be a part of this legendary family has always been one of my greatest achievements. The future holds surprises for me and I love living like that!
Everyone is asking for it to come back! But I think as of this point, it won’t be coming back. It’s not on my end! *wink wink* Me and Derrick had such a great time doing that, and I’m very happy that people were able to let things go and not take anything serious to laugh at dumb questions! A lot of the questions we reenacted and played with because we wanted to have people not take anything serious. But calling someone “dumb” is very toxic, because if someone is literally dumb you don’t really make fun of them. The whole point of the show was to ask questions that, do people really know the answer to these?
You’re known for your very sexy and provocative stage looks and performances!
Thank you! I think a lot of people say my performances are very provocative because I like to make people feel sexy in the chairs as they watch.
We’ve finally gotten some new music lately from the likes of Beyonce, Lizzo, Kylie Minogue, Jessie Ware… what new songs are you most looking forward to applying those sexy moves to on stage?
I’ve been doing a lot of Jessie Ware and Kylie Minogue. One of my signature songs is “Don’t Ya” from the Pussycat Dolls; I think people really enjoy seeing me make them feel sexy, and that’s always been one of my goals: to make you feel that you are in love, or feeling provocative. It’s just always been my drag aesthetic.
Most fans were entertained by the most recent All-Stars 7 season and happy for Jinkx Monsoon’s win, but there was even more discussion than usual of “riggory” and weird edits. Did you have any particular strong thoughts about the season?
The show is for entertainment, and I think people need to stop dissecting a show because you think you know what should go down. I understand if you are a die-hard fan, but also it’s not that serious. I think people try to break down the show as much as they can, as if they would do different on the show. Unless you’re on the show, then yes… but if you are not, then just watch. At the end of the day, if you have an issue with the way the show is run… then why are you still watching?
Drag Race: Philippines is on its way, and hopefully Drag Race: Thailand is returning soon as well. What does the world need to know and see about Asian drag? And if there was a Vietnam season, would you go there to host or judge if asked?
I am in love with the fact that the show is traveling around the world, and representation is a mess… especially right now. I’m definitely open for conversations, but also not too sure if that’s my lane. I’m happy on where I’m at, and being a judge and Rupaul’s Drag Race isn’t a goal of mine… but we will see!
You were recently the subject of a short documentary The Kim K. of Drag where you spoke honestly about some sadness in your childhood, how you discovered drag and how Tila Tequila first helped get your name and face out there, and how the duality of drag life and gender can be really challenging. The Kimora we saw on Drag Race was arguably an edited character to some degree, but this eleven minute short showed us more of the real you. Does it feel good that this is out there and people can see this more complete image of you, or is it weird?
it’s definitely not weird, but I understand if people see me a certain way. It’s not my job to explain myself to people, and I like people who take the time to get to know people versus judging them. I think it’s important that people need to understand that you can’t judge someone unless you absolutely know the person. If you’re someone that’s already judging by looks and personality from a distance — especially a TV screen — then I definitely don’t want to get to know you; with how you perceive life and perceive people, we probably won’t hold a conversation more than two minutes. I love to get to know someone and have conversations with them, have a relationship with them, and then make my final decision.
Although you’re primarily a West Coast girl, you’re practically an honorary New York queen as well! You’ve performed and hosted events here a number of times.
I am obsessed with New York! But I will for always be a West Coast girl, just because of the weather!
You’re gonna be in town this Friday, specifically at one of Hell’s Kitchen’s newest hotspots Hush, for a special edition of the monthly “NSFW” party! Lots of great DJs and hosts will be in the house with you.
I am very excited! I have a lot of family in New York City, I have a lot of colleagues in New York City, a lot of friends. It always feels like home when I come to New York City, because I’m not from there… but the people in the business of queens, they always make me feel very special. So I get absolute FOMO if I don’t visit New York every other month, lol!
And Sunday, you’ll be at The Q in Manhattan for “Putas!”
Looks like it’s gonna be a very cute weekend! What else is coming up for you that the children should watch out for?
Well, we are wrapping up my schedule. This year is already crazy! But hopefully next year, I can jump back into the beauty world. I’ve taken a break for a year because the beauty industry has gone a little too “slow,” but I would love to dive back in and possibly create something.
And finally, as an expert on all things Reality: are you sad for the end of Kim K. and Pete’s relationship, or was this inevitable?
I saw it coming. And I mean… are we really surprised!?
Lol, thanks Kimora!