TV

How “Will & Grace” and Jujubee Inspired Juice Boxx’s Drag Journey

"When Jujubee performed 'Black Velvet'? It was a cultural reset."

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR CANADA’S DRAG RACE

RuPaul’s Drag Race has finally ventured north in search of Canada’s next drag superstar on the inaugural season of Canada’s Drag Race. The premiere episode introduced us to the judges’ panel—Drag Race Season 11 queen Brooke Lynn Hytes, Canadian cutie Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, and fashion icon Stacey McKenzie Bowyer—as well the 12 contestants who would be competing to snatch the crown.

The first episode had the queens climbing a snowy mountain for a windy photoshoot mini-challenge, while the maxi challenge gifted the girls Canadian-themed boxes full of items they had to transform into a stunning runway look.
 

For Juice Boxx the premiere was quite the emotional journey. From getting her bracelet stuck to her outfit when she first sashayed into the workroom, to almost fainting on the mainstage, and ultimately having to lip-sync for her life against Lemon, performing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You.”

Though they both served it during the lip sync, one queen must sashay away, and this week it was Juice. She recently spoke with NewNowNext about her brief time on the show, her Jujubee obsession, and what advice she has for all of her Canadian drag sisters looking to compete on Season 2.

Hi Juice Boxx! So I loved the first episode. It was so fun. What was it like walking into that workroom?

Juice Boxx: Surreal. Crazy. Dream come true. Never done before. Club. Another club. Club. Airplane. Club. [laughs]

But then your bracelet got caught…

Oh my God, yeah. But that just feels like typical me, just so dumb.

The drag scene in Canada, is it pretty small? Did you know a lot of the queens in the competition?

I mean, you have to know, there’s a lot of us, but even looking at the population of Canada, it’s like a third of what you have in the States. You know, it’s big, but it’s not as big as the States. So you kind of know everybody.

Was there anyone that you were particularly gagged to see?

I mean, BOA. I gagged.

It seems like BOA has a reputation.

She’s so stupid. I love her so much.

Bell Media

I loved that conversation that you had about your sobriety with BOA.

Thank you.

Because I think that’s a really important topic to talk about in the queer community. How did your life and your drag improve when you got sober?

Night and day. It was insane. I used to go to the gym sweating tequila out of my pores. And I remember, it was like I would sleep all day and I would get nothing done. I constantly felt sick. I remember one time I projectile vomited at work in the bathroom, and I had to be like, “I don’t feel well” when I was 100% hungover. My very, very last drink was on my honeymoon at Disney World. Yes, I went to Disney World on my honeymoon.

Wow.

And it was at this Tiki bar in the middle of a rainstorm, and I looked at my husband, I had a drink, I was like, “This tastes awful, I’m never drinking ever again.” I stopped right there. And then it was like night and day. My drag got better, I started to take things more seriously. My performances got better. I found that I was more centered in myself. I was waking up fresher. I felt more confident. I felt happier. I got fitter, my God. So yeah, it was great. I miss mimosas, but I wouldn’t go back.

Speaking of Disney World, what’s your favorite Disney ride?

My favorite Disney ride… I would have to say it’s a tie between Splash Mountain and Space Mountain.

Going back to Drag Race, in the episode, you got the Muchmusic box. Can you explain to us ignorant Americans what Muchmusic is?

It was like our MTV. You guys had TRL, we had Much Live. So they’re kind of the same thing. In Downtown Toronto, you had the Muchmusic building and you would go there and you would see your artists. And then they have the Muchmusic video awards. And they would fill up Queen street and you’d have this big concert award show. So it’s definitely the same vibes as MTV. And Muchmusic video dances were dances that would happen in small towns that you would film, and they would bring these giant screens and they would just play music videos. You would dance to Ja Rule and Ashanti while the music video played.

Did you ever go to one?

I would always go to Muchmusic video dances! Oh, it was great.

I had heard of the Muchmusic awards, but I didn’t know there were dances.

Yeah. High schools would have Muchmusic video dances, and they were trashy and amazing.

Who was the first drag queen you ever saw or the first drag show you ever went to?

I mean, onscreen obviously RuPaul, but definitely the first one I ever saw live was Devine Darlin. It was Devine Darlin and Miss Conception, they’re two incredible iconic Canadian performers, both from Toronto. And it was at Windsor Pride, and I remember Miss Conception did a cartwheel, and it was this mind-blowing thing where she did a cartwheel in heels. I was just like, “How does that happen?” And then I watched Devine. She was onstage, and there was a table on the stage and she got on the table and she did a jump split off the stage, off the table, onto the concrete ground. It changed my life.

Who are some of your favorite queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race?

Jujubee. Obsessed. Who isn’t? That peach dress, when she walked down the runway [in Drag Race Season 2] in that peach dress? Or when she performed “Black Velvet?” It was a cultural reset. She’s my ultimate, though, I’m obsessed with her. I remember one time I walked up to her and I was like, “You’re the reason I started to do drag.”

Wow. Where did the name Juice Boxx come from?

I was watching Will & Grace. And Karen Walker had picked up two boxes of wine and she said, “I brought juice boxes!” And my friend looked at me and went, “That should be your drag name.”
 

And I see you’re from Essex.

Yes, I’m from a small town outside of Windsor called Essex, Ontario, but I usually live in Toronto.

What is Essex known for, anything?

We have a lot of retirement homes. There’s a Piggy Mart around the corner. I don’t know. Me!

You, exactly.

They should erect a statue of me getting eliminated.

Okay. Going back to the show. What was going on with that panic attack?

I think it was a number of things. It’s a very high-stress situation being on the show. There was a lot that goes into the day and it’s stressful. And there was obviously a bunch of triggers that went into it, but I’m just happy that I was able to bounce back and shoot out of it. Because I was really worried that I was going to a place where I was going to faint. And I was just like, “I’m not going to be the girl that fainted episode one, I don’t want to be her.” So I needed to do those things to sort of center my self and bounce out of it so if I was going to have to lip-sync, give a good one.

And that lip sync was so good. I didn’t know who would be going home!

No. You know what, it should’ve been a double save. Keep me.

It crossed my mind! I was like, “They can’t do a double save on the first episode.” But you were both really good.

It crossed my mind too. For a minute, I was like, “Maybe?” Then I was like, “Come on, throw me a bone!”

So, you lip-sync to “I Really Like You,” but what’s your favorite Carly Rae song?

I stan Carly Rae, but I never want to hear that song again in my life! I get to perform “Cut to the Feeling” a lot. I’m a big “Cut to the Feeling” kind of girl.

WOW

Is there a Canadian celebrity you would love to see on Drag Race?

I love Celine Dion. I think she’s a national treasure. I love her so much.

When I was looking at your Twitter your name said “Juice Boxx #BlackLivesMatter.” So with this tumultuous year, the coronavirus, all the protests, why do you think drag is important right now?

Drag is important especially right now because we have this platform that we’re given, especially as white performers, where we have this audience, we need to be able to use our platform and our audience to be able to amplify those voices so that they are heard and that the actual change can happen. Things can actually change. Because it’s insane what is happening in the world.

After you left Drag Race, did you take a break from drag?

It’s my full-time job, so absolutely not. No, I need to make money. I just went right back to work.

You’re now part of the Drag Race family, this huge platform. What’s next for you? Where can fans get more of you?

Well, you can follow me on Instagram. Well, that seems to be the only thing at this point. But hopefully, after all this is over, I’ll be able to travel and see people. I want to meet everybody. All these people are sliding into my DMs saying these cool things and tagging me in stuff. And you want to react, but I prefer to have these in-person moments. And I want to talk to people, I want to hug people. I want to meet all these little cuties.

And then, for any Canadian queens out there who want to audition for Season 2, do you have any advice for them?

I would say just be yourself. Don’t go in thinking that you’re going to be a character, don’t go in thinking about storyline. Don’t go in with this preconceived television show in your mind. Just go in ready to compete and just be 100% yourself. And wherever the cards lay, they lay.

Canada’s Drag Race is available on WOW Presents Plus.

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