Many a side-eye was made when it was announced that Maddy Morphosis — a heterosexual, cisgender man — would be among the cast of queens competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14.
But Maddy took us to Flavortown from the moment she walked into the Drag Race workroom dressed in her Guy Fieri getup complete with hamburger clutch. Though some smelled a stunt with Maddy’s casting and assumed she would be heading for the Pork Chop Loading Dock shortly after entering the workroom, the Arkansas native held her own against the crop of fierce queens from around the country. Maddy was able to volley insults and reads back at the queens with her quick wit and brought some seriously gag-worthy looks — like a headless Marie Antoinette and thunderous Spring Has Sprung outfit — to the runway.
Maddy found herself in the bottom two twice. The first time, she sent June Jambalaya packin’ with her disco-licious lip-sync to Kylie Minogue’s “I Love It.” It was her second time lip-syncing — this time against Jasmine Kennedie — that Maddy sashayed away and signed the workroom mirror.
Logo spoke with Maddy about how she made her runway looks, her Snatch Game backups, and what she really thinks of Alaska copying her Season 14 promo look.
First off, I want to talk about some of your looks. Last week’s look for the spring runway challenge that raincloud — how did you pack that raincloud?
So I actually couldn’t fit the raincloud itself. I had to bring the materials and just make it there because that’s the only way I could travel with everything. I’m actually in a hotel in Columbus right now about to do a show, and I’m making another one as I’m talking to you.
Why, because you couldn’t pack the original to take home?
Yeah. Because it’s just too big. The one on the show is, it’s a pretty decent size. But the one I have at home that I did the photoshoots in, it’s even bigger. I can’t travel with that guy, so I gotta make small ones for the road.
I loved it. I was gagged when you came out on the runway. And then, what did you think about Alaska copying your promo look?
I think imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. I’m glad that she has icons like me to look up to. No, I mean, it’s really amazing. Alaska is someone that I really loved on her season. I always admired her. And the fact that one, that she knows my name, in general, is crazy. But then the fact that she’s doing one of my looks? I don’t know… The first time I saw it I was like, what is this? Are you kidding me right now? Is this real? I thought it was a bad Photoshop at first, but no, it’s real.
Then this week’s design challenge, it was giving me “Coat of Many Colors” realness. Is that what you were going for?
It was. I was trying to go for a poor down-on-her-luck Southern girl going to a square dance. I was going very old-school country bumpkin, but with a really bright, vibrant twist.
— Alaska Thunderfuck (@Alaska5000) January 14, 2022
Looking back on it, do you think you deserved to be in the bottom for that look?
I think it depends on what lens you’re looking through. I think if you’re looking for something fun, just fun drag storytelling, I think I could have been higher, but if you’re looking for fashion then absolutely, I was the worst one. They shouldn’t have even made me lip-sync, just send me home.
In this week’s episode, you talk about your dad and grandmother. Are they watching Drag Race?
Yeah, my parents are really supportive. My whole family is really supportive of me doing this. They never watched Drag Race or anything like that prior to me being on the show. But now, they all have VH1 and they’re all watching the show, and they’re really invested. And my dad is always sending me memes or articles of me and stuff like that. It’s really cute. They’re really supportive.
Oh, that’s nice. This week on Untucked, things got a little heated between you and Jasmine. How did things end with you two?
If I see her again, it’s on sight. No, we’re really good. In that moment, we obviously had a lot of emotions. We felt some kind of way. It’s just a lot of stress and pressure from the show. But I think we both understood that it was just the moment, the circumstances, and we’re really close now. Everyone on this cast is really close with each other. There’s no animosity between anyone. It was just a moment, just a little fight between sisters.
I thought you both really served it during that Beyoncé lip-sync. Can you remember what was going through your head while you were performing that? Both of you had such high energy.
I just had “Sugar Mama” going through my head. I’ve been nervous at shows before lip-syncs just because I’m in my head, I’m thinking too much. So I was just like, I know this song, I know the lyrics; I know the emotion I want to give. I know the kind of performer that Jasmine is, so I knew that I had to be a very different kind of performer. I’m just going to do what I do to be very emotive, very energetic, and sing and the judges are going to decide which one they want. I was just focused on that lip-sync the whole time, just making hard eye contact with the judges and just trying to pretend that Jasmine isn’t even on that stage, like it’s just a one-on-one performance with me and the judges.
You jokingly said, “Oh, they shouldn’t have made me lip-sync — just send me home.” Were you surprised when you were asked to sashay away, or did you kind know it was coming?
I wouldn’t say I knew it was coming, because obviously me and Jasmine are very different styles of performers, and the judges like different things for different songs. I think it’s like a Tina Burner versus Utica type lip-sync where it’s like, they’re two completely different lip-syncs, so they can go any way. Any one person could win that lip-sync. And so I wasn’t surprised that I lost the lip-sync, but I didn’t resign myself to failure either. I was very much like, this is 50/50, it can go either way.
You made it pretty far into the competition, but I was sad that I didn’t get to see your Snatch Game. Can you say what you would’ve done for Snatch Game?
I had a few backups. I’ll let you know what my backups were. I’m going to keep my primary one in the vault, in my back pocket. But some of my backups — I did think of doing like a Joe Exotic. I also thought of doing a young Katherine Hepburn, because old Katherine Hepburn’s been done, but I wanted to do a younger one. And also a Joy Behar. I thought about doing Joy Behar and referencing the old fights that she had with Ru on that talk show [The View] a long time ago. I really wanted to recreate that moment or reference it in a Snatch Game. I thought Ru would really like that. But alas, it was not meant to be.
You’ve been doing drag for what, five years?
Yeah, it was five years in January.
Was this your first time auditioning for Drag Race?
No, I’ve auditioned two and a half times. This last one was the one that made it. The one prior, I felt really good about, but I think I just wasn’t quite there yet. And the first one, I don’t even consider a real audition. It was so bad. I don’t even want to talk about it.
When you got on this season, were you nervous about if the other queens would embrace you? How were you feeling about that before you entered the workroom?
I wasn’t really nervous about their reactions to me because like I said, I’ve been doing drag about four years prior to auditioning for the show, and I never experienced any pushback for my sexuality in drag. I was more so worried about them knowing out of the gate my sexuality, because in the drag scene I’ve noticed that whenever you tell them stuff like that about yourself, they start viewing your drag through that lens. And it’s not just me, too. I also see it with a lot of AFAB [assigned female at birth] performers. Whenever people find out that someone is an AFAB drag queen, then all of a sudden, they look at everything they do as like, “Oh, this is how an AFAB [artist] performs.” And I didn’t want to be viewed that way. I wanted to be viewed for my drag and what I’m doing and less so about who I am outside of drag.
Judging from the conversation online, it seemed like you almost got more backlash for wearing flats. Do you have anything to say to the children out there about the flats?
I mean, I will say I don’t think I could have done the look in heels, because of how I had to walk down the runway, crouching the whole way. But I will say to everyone, all the naysayers, they definitely could have been better flats. I took the only flats that I had. It’s what I could afford. I think they were some old Faded Glory’s, but they were so beat up that I think that you couldn’t even see the label anymore. But I mean, some people liked them, and I’m just going to lean into that and assume that those are the people with the correct opinion.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 airs Fridays at 8/7c on VH1.