TV

Pandora Boxx Almost Broke Out Her Betty White for Snatch Game

"I had brought Dolly Parton, but as soon as Kylie said she was doing Dolly, I was like, 'Oh, no. She's going to be perfect.'"

Pandora Boxx is one of the rare RuPaul’s Drag Race legends to compete in the franchise three times, creating one of the series’ first classic moments — her portrayal of Carol Channing in the inaugural Snatch Game — back in Season 2. A fan favorite, the other queens knew Pandora had something to prove when she walked into the workroom on All Stars Season 6.

Pandora is known for her dazzling runway looks and quick wit, cutting queens with a quip — but on a season filled with loud personalities, she sometimes disappeared into the background of the workroom. Even though she had the range on stage, impersonating Carol Channing again during the Super Bowl Halftime challenge and dressing as a mourning wife on the Oh My Goth runway, she never won a challenge on All Stars Season 6.

As the weeks went on, the competition grew stiffer. Pandora found herself in the bottom two twice, once with Jan, in one of the most jaw-dropping moments in All Stars herstory, and the second time after her lackluster Kim Cattrall impersonation during Snatch Game of Love. After Ginger Minj lip-synced against assassin Heidi N. Closet, Ginger won and sent Pandora packin’.

Pandora spoke with NewNowNext about being “haunted by the ghost of Snatch Game past,” giving advice to the younger queens, and if she would be willing to step into Samantha’s shoes in the upcoming Sex and the City revival.
 

Hi Pandora! I want to know first… For me, when I’m around loud people, I tend to get quieter. And I felt that on this season, there were a lot of over-the-top queens who kept commenting on how quiet you were. Is that how it felt for you?

Absolutely. Yes. I am like that, and also it was really hard to get a word in edge-wise with some of them because they talked over me a lot of the time too, and I’m like, “Girl, all right. Whatever.” Yeah, there were a lot of loud ladies on this season.

I just want to go back to last week’s episode with the double lipsticks. What was that like when Alexis [Mateo] pulled out both lipsticks? What was it like standing next to Jan?

Well, I mean, if you saw my face when my lipstick was pulled out, I was like, “Oh my God. I think I’m going to pass the fuck out right now.” And honestly, when she pulled out Jan, at first I was a little relieved, and then I was like, “Oh my God. What’s happening? We can’t both go home.” That was my thought. I’m like, “No, they can’t be sending us both home.”

What was it like getting to know Jan?

Jan is a very happy puppy. She’s a lot sometimes for me because she was always up. But I really, really love her, I enjoy her. And she’s got such great energy that it’s like, “Gosh, I wish I had some of that,” especially first thing in the morning like she does. She was one of the queens that I didn’t know at all, and then I found out that she’s a Rucyclopedia of Drag Race and knows every single thing about every episode, and it’s kind of amazing.

She had such kind words when I asked her about you. So, let’s talk about Snatch Game. If you hadn’t been sitting next to Eureka, do you think your performance would have been different?

I mean, I don’t know. Possibly, but also when I told a joke and RuPaul didn’t laugh, I was like, “Oh boy, uh oh…” I don’t know if she was feeling it. I was more focused on Ru because that’s who you need to make laugh, and I don’t think I did.

You kept saying that you were being “haunted by the ghost of Snatch Game past.” So I’m guessing that made you get in your own head?

Oh, 100% it did, because that’s all I’ve ever heard since I did it [impersonate Carol Channing on Season 2]. And so I knew there was pressure to do a good job, and when I felt it not going my way, I was like, “Oh God.”. All I was trying to do was stay in character and keep going and keep doing it, so I wouldn’t break character so I could stay in the moment. But it was tough because I definitely, there was a moment where I was in my head and I wanted to bolt, because I was like, “This is not… Oh my God. I can’t, I can’t. I just need to make RuPaul laugh.”

Did you have any Snatch Game alternatives?

I had brought Dolly Parton, but as soon as Kylie said she was doing Dolly, I was like, “Oh, no. She’s going to be perfect, so I’m not even going to do that.” And I also was thinking Betty White, a Rose Nylund kind of Betty White.

You were part of the first Snatch Game in Drag Race herstory. Do you have any memories from filming that original game?

Everybody sucked at first. Well, because I think a lot of them came out doing characters they do in lip-sync shows, and they didn’t really get the concept of what it is, which made me happy because I was like, “Oh, I get it.”

Speaking of Kim Cattrall, what are your thoughts on the Sex and the City revival, with them doing it without Samantha?

Well, I was really bummed out that she didn’t want to do it, but I totally respect and get why she doesn’t want to do it. So I’m curious to see what it’s going to be like without her because she’s a huge part of that dynamic, I think.

Yeah, totally. If HBO calls, are you willing to step in as Samantha?

Yes, I can step in as her drag queen cousin. Just find a Samantha impersonator to hang out with them.

There we go. And then, what was it like being one of the more experienced queens on the cast? Did you have any advice for them?

I don’t know if I gave any advice because it’s a competition, but… No, I mean, I didn’t try to sit there and count the age difference because that would’ve really bummed me out. But I really admired the fire and the drive that they have, and… I don’t have, I do but it’s not the same as being a young queen that’s thirsty and hungry for it, and I’m super excited about it.

Jan said that you would tell them, “Remember, this is smoke and mirrors. You don’t want to look back on this and watch yourself on TV and see you not having fun.”

Oh, I did say that. Ra’Jah and I talked a lot about that because Ra’Jah and I came to the show for the same reasons. We were kind of trying to redeem ourselves from not being the nicest person on the last season we were on.

I also wanted to say condragulations on getting your debut album funded on Kickstarter!

Thank you. I’m really excited, and it really took a lot for me to actually put the Kickstarter out. I was debating for weeks about it because I was like, “Oh God. What if people just don’t respond? Or what if this is going to make me look a certain way?” And I was like, “Well, just do it. Just… Fuck it, just do it.” And to have it funded in two days, it’s kind of amazing. Anybody that donates now, it’s also going into the album and then I can do music videos and get fancy outfits. So, please donate.

What can fans expect from the album? Can you give us any tidbits?

Yeah. I’m working with the same producer, Electropoint, who did “Ridiculous.” I wanted to do songs like that — funny, dance-y, electronic songs. So they make you happy and want to dance, even if you aren’t the best dancer.

Well, Pandora, I’m such a big fan. I loved watching you this season. Congrats on making it so far, and I can’t wait to see you live someday.

Thank you. Yeah, I hope things stay open. Everyone get vaccinated, please!

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 6 is streaming now on Paramount+.

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