She may have been a “model before the accident,” but Elektra Shock is a star after RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.
The Kiwi queen barely missed out on making it to the finale, but she certainly was serious competition throughout the first season of Down Under, even if the other contestants didn’t think she was on the same level as them. During her time on the show, Elektra won one maxi challenge and landed in the bottom two three times. She was ultimately sent home by her former House of Drag co-star, Kita Mean.
Elektra spoke with NewNowNext about her time on the show, including what was going through her mind when all of the other queens told Ru she should go home and if she really has a crush on Raven.
What surprised you the most about filming Drag Race?
I think, how hard it was. I definitely expected it to be a challenge. I definitely wanted to grow from it, but I didn’t think it would be so emotionally taxing. I was tired every day, and I was fighting to find myself and find my drag on a huge platform. The world is watching, and it’s definitely emotional. I didn’t quite expect it to be as intense as it was.
Did you think you had a leg up on the competition since you were already on a drag competition show, House of Drag?
No, I don’t think I had a leg up, but I definitely think I had the advantage of being comfortable in front of the camera. So that was something I had over the other girls. But the competition is about our drag, and I knew that I was going to be going up with girls who were — I can’t believe that Maxi Shield, Art Simone, and Karen from Finance, these are people that I’ve looked up to for years and years and years, and to be in the room with them and my little old drag. It was crazy. And so there is just no way you can prepare for it. You can’t prepare for Drag Race, but go there and have fun. Show your best you, and just bring what you got because that’s what I did. I just brought what I got, and it did me pretty all right.
How was it competing against Anita [Wig’lit] and Kita?
It was a lot of fun. I think it wasn’t quite as much pressure as maybe everyone probably thought it was going to be. Kita, Anita, and I have been friends for years, and our relationship down here is one of a lot of mutual respect. So it was intimidating, but it was a lot of fun to have someone in the work that I knew.
You were flirting with the Raven. Have you always had a crush on her? What was going on in that moment? Did you exchange numbers?
Raven is beautiful. And if I was allowed to get close enough to her to get her number, I would’ve. I don’t know how her boyfriend would’ve felt about that, but she’s just beautiful. And again, Raven is someone from the U.S. franchise that I’ve looked up to for so long and is now RuPaul’s makeup artist. There’s so much you can learn from someone like that. And I think I would love the opportunity to get to know Raven more and become a friend of hers and to work with her hopefully one day. We are big flirts down here, Down Under.
The girls seemed stressed prepping for the talent show. What was the vibe like in the workroom?
I mean, it’s the episode before the finale. It’s the last push to get you across the line. I think we all wanted it so, so badly, and we’d all worked so hard for so long and we’re also so, so tired at this point. We’ve been working around the clock and I think it was tense, and everyone was a little bit catty, a little bit stressed, and not sure if they were going to make it. But I actually had a really fun episode. I just hope to see all the girls in the element. The one fantastic thing about that talent show was we got to show ourselves and have control over that. It was something that we prepared before we came — it was, “This is me, this is my talent.” And that’s what was so joyful about it for me.
I really liked your modern dance routine. Can you tell me more about your dance background?
I’ve danced since I was about 5 years old. Before I got into the world of drag, I was a professional dancer on cruise ships and music videos. And I toured the world, dancing for celebrities and very backup stuff. So it’s always been a part of my life. And so when I fell into the world of drag, dance was obviously something that I was able to base it around and something the people really enjoyed watching. I’m certainly not singing live, so I may as well dance my ass off. It’s definitely been a blessing to have that strong background, but I feel like it’s like anything. It’s like Art was a makeup artist, and she’s going to bring that fantastic craft to her drag. I think everyone brings something special to their drag from their past life experience, so I’ve just been very lucky that dance was mine.
I know. Back to the talent show — do you wish you had gone with another talent? Did you have a backup?
I didn’t have a backup. When I was told we were doing a talent show, I was 100% going to dance. And I think if I went back for another, All Stars or to do another series, I certainly would change up the style and change up the story and change how I use the elements of dance. But for me and the growth of the journey I took on the show internally, I had to leave everything on that stage, you know what I mean? I had to let it out finally. It’s been years and years and years of build up for me that I wasn’t planning to come out on Drag Race. I wasn’t planning for it to be my therapy, but it was, and I think it was this beautiful moment for me. I felt full. I felt so full at the end of that. I knew I’d messed up. I knew I’d slipped off. I knew my weight was a mess. I know these things, and it just wasn’t about that anymore.
What were you thinking when the other queens said you should go home?
I wasn’t surprised. I’d known the whole series that I wasn’t everyone’s favorite for whatever reason. It was hard to hear. No one wants to hear their name called out — “You’re going home, you’re going home, you’re going home.” But it’s part of the game. I don’t think they hate me. I don’t think they think I’m shit. I don’t think they think I’m any less than them. I won a challenge. We’ve all done our own little successes throughout the series. But I just took it on the chin like I did every other little insult that I got there. It’s just part of it. And everyone’s fighting to get to the top.
What was going through your mind during the lip-sync, especially since you were going up against Kita?
I just tried to have fun because me and Kita are different performers, and I think it was slightly hard going up against people I just met. For going up against Coco and Jojo, I had not worked with them before and I’d only seen what I’ve seen of them online, so I didn’t necessarily know what they were going to bring. With Kita, I knew what she was going to… not necessarily what she was going to do, but I knew that we were going to bring our own style and flavor to this lip-sync. So there was sort of nothing to worry about. It came down to the judges liking what they wanted. The pressure was off. I mean, she just got to have fun, and we both being Kiwis and both fighting, we both wanted to be there together in the top four. It would be lovely to have two Kiwis in that finale, but it’s sort of like I said before: It was an honor to be sent home by Kita, to be sent home by a friend, by someone you respect, by someone you look up to was wonderful.
Were you surprised when you were asked to sashay away?
No, I wasn’t. Because as much as I thought I deserved to be in the finale for the work that I did there and for the growth that I’d shown, those girls had worked pretty hard as well. No one was any less deserving of their place in the competition, and it doesn’t matter whether you go home first, third, fifth, last, whatever it is, you’re amazing. We all got into RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Season 1. I mean, it’s literally a one-in-a-million chance. And I think to stay as long as I did, was a blessing.
The RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under season finale premieres Saturday, June 19 on WOW Presents Plus.