TV

To Jasmine Kennedie, LollapaRuza Felt “Just Like Sunday Drag Brunch”

"I was like, track record-wise, I may not make it. So I'm still going to have fun while doing it."

Jasmine Kennedie has sent her last shoe flying from the mainstage of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Even though Jasmine never won a maxi challenge, the looks she served on the runway ranged from couture to campy, and she solidifed her spot in Drag Race herstory on Untucked . First, it was her heated exchange with Maddy Morphosis — don’t worry, they’re fine now — and then it was the emotional moment where Jasmine came out as trans, citing fellow competitor Kerri Colby’s confidence as one of the reasons why she decided to speak her truth on national television.

Throughout the competition, Jasmine found herself in the bottom two four times, and after the collective disastrous Snatch Game, the remaining queens, save for DeJa Skye, were forced to participate in a LollapaRuza lip-sync smackdown. With her track record, Jasmine knew the odds were not in her favor, and after her final lip-sync against Bosco, Jasmine’s time on Drag Race came to a close.

Jasmine spoke with Logo about filming Snatch Game, what was going through her mind after she came out as trans on Untucked, and how it felt being the only queen from New York to sashay into the workroom this season.
 

I’m excited to talk to you today, but first off, I want to ask about Snatch Game. During filming, did it feel like you were all bombing? What was the vibe on set?

I think while we were all like, “Oh, it was pretty easy, not too bad.” And then we got to deliberation, and they broke down what all went wrong. And then we all were like, “We really didn’t do what Snatch Game is supposed to be.” So before, we were all chill. I was like, my runway’s going to save me. I know I’m the bottom four, but pop me up maybe make me safe. Didn’t happen like that. Everyone was just a little like, “Oh shit. We sucked.”

“We did not understand the assignment.”

No, that’s the one we did not understand.

Let’s talk about the LollapaRuza, then. When your name was picked, you chose to go up against Daya. Did you have any hesitation, or did you know you were going to pick Daya?

It’s funny you say that. RuPaul literally had to tell me, she said, “Now, who do you want to pick?” She says, “Now wait.” Because she could see, it was literally about to come out of my mouth. She’s like, “This is television, give it a couple seconds — look around, give the eyes.” And then I picked her because when given the opportunity to produce how you want something to go, it was handed to me on a golden platter, and I gladly took it.

Would you have chosen “Respect,” or would you have gone with another?

She picked that song because they’re the only lyrics she knew, but I would’ve not picked “Respect.” It would’ve been “Radio” [by Beyoncé].

That day, you must have been so exhausted. Were you, or was there adrenaline powering you through? What was it like doing a LollapaRuza?

I will say it wasn’t as exhausting as you think it would be. I mean, I’m not going to speak for other girls because other girls definitely said they were exhausted. I necessarily was not. I said to them after my first lip-sync that I did not win. I was like, well, this is like Sunday [drag] brunch. So I got two more numbers. We’ll be good. I’ll rest my feet on the side. I was very chill with it. Also too, after not winning my first lip-sync, I had a feeling. I was like, track record-wise, I may not make it. So I’m still going to have fun while doing it. And I definitely think I did.

Why were you crying when you were standing next to Angeria?

When Camden picked Bosco, it just hit me right there that I had to lip-sync against Angeria. And Angeria has been someone throughout the competition that always helped me in terms of getting out of my head, in terms of just relaxing and not taking everything so seriously. While I was there, I was very laser-focused, and she sometimes helped me get out of that and be like, “Hey babe, relax, just breathe. I know you want to work on this right now, but just be a little bit more present.” I’ve always looked up to her in terms of how she handles things. And the fact that I potentially was going to send her home, especially with her track record compared to mine, it was very emotional. And I was like, “I don’t want to send her home.” Angie definitely had to wipe my tears off and be like, “It’s fine. You’re going to be okay.”

You said that after the first lip-sync, you kind of had a feeling. So by the time the last one came about against Bosco, were you surprised when you were asked to sashay away?

I wasn’t necessarily surprised just because of my track record before this episode, I was the worst in the competition. So going into this, did I know that out of all the girls who has to fight the most is me? Yes. In terms of my stake. But I wasn’t necessarily butt hurt by the time that I went home against Bosco because at that point, my last lip-sync, I was like, I’m going to have the most fun I can have. Relax, be funny with it, give them something I haven’t given. And if it’s not going to save me, I knew I gave it my all, and I don’t need any regret. And it happened like that. I was just happy that I got to be there for 11 episodes and not win a challenge. I was like, “Babe, I’m fine.” I have a full episode of me lip-syncing. I’m fine.

I wanted to talk about the episode of Untucked where you come out as trans. You called it a “euphoric moment.” But what was it like after you were done filming Untucked that day? What was going through your mind?

I think when I got into my hotel room, I was like, “I just did that. Cool. Awesome.” But I don’t think I really processed it until I came back because when I came out, I said, “I prioritized my drag so much that I never really focused on Kyle and what she wants.” So while I was in the competition, I still was laser-focused on the competition. I came out, but it was not on my mind other than the fact that it just happened. When I got home is when I really started to get to process things and really sit down and look at what I wanted to do and things like that, and how I wanted to get to the place where I am now. Still more to go. But while I was there, I don’t think I could have fully processed it the way I did when I got home. I think I definitely put [a pin on it]. It was just like, it’s there. It’s definitely in the frontal lobe. I just don’t want to think about it right now.

What was it like seeing all the fan reaction after the episode aired?

It was a great feeling. At first, I didn’t really know how people were going to react because up until that point not everybody necessarily was the biggest fan of me on the show. And with that, they could have taken it and just thrown it at me. It could have gone in a totally horrible direction, but it honestly went into the most positive, great way it could have gone. I still get messages to this day from kids, parents, grandparents, people going through their transition. They saw when I came out what a pivotal moment it was in my life, and they resonated so much with it. And it’s really weird to think that I’m 22, still just starting my career, and people are messaging me and saying, “You’re inspiring me” and things like that. It’s very humbling, and it’s very overwhelming but in a good way. It’s re-solidifying that I’m doing the right things in life.

What was it like being the only New York queen this season? That was surprising.

It was definitely surprising. I would say at first I thought I was going to be chill and fine. It’s like, yay, I’m the only [New York] girl! But at the same time, I really didn’t know anybody in there. So I guess you could say it was a little bit to my detriment that I had built friends while getting there, while some people already have friends [on the show] and have that support system. But I wouldn’t say there was a pressure on me necessarily to be like every other New York City queen. If anything, I put the pressure on myself to pave a new way or a new lane for New York City in the sense that not every New York queen is like the Britas, the Jans, the Rosés, and all that. There are other avenues.

And you obviously made friends. You must have been so close with the other queens because you were on for so long.

I mean, yes. It was very nerve-wracking but while getting there, I mean, so many friends. Jorgeous, Deja, and I are like three peas in a pod. Kerri and I talk almost every other day, as well as Angie and [Lady] Camden. Bosco and I usually text about our hormones and lashes. Maddy and I also talk a lot. Maddy and I are on FaceTime at least once a week.

I love that. Is there a New York queen you would love to see on Drag Race who hasn’t sashayed into the workroom yet?

Yes. I’m going to do three because they’re all going to be mad at me if I don’t say it. Lux Noir London — she is this 21 year old. She is this self-made drag queen who can sing. She’s produced EPs. She’s amazing. Jasmine Rice LaBeija. Everybody says it every year. I’m going to say it again. Jasmine Rice LaBeija from the royal House of LaBeija. And last but not least, let’s give it up for my sis, Izzy Uncut. She’s also a backflipping doll, but she’s backflipping and is funny. So she can do backflips and not bomb Snatch Game.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 airs Fridays at 8/7c on VH1.

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."
@chrisreindeer