Kornbread might be gone for the season, but we’re still hungry for more.
From the moment Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté sashayed into the RuPaul’s Drag Race workroom, fans knew she was one to watch. A natural star, Kornbread originally hails from Columbia, South Carolina, but it was in her current town of Los Angeles that she started her drag career.
Bringing what she learned in the L.A. clubs to the Drag Race competition, Kornbread won the first maxi challenge, a talent show for which she performed her own original earworm of a song. She served eleganza looks with a hint of humor on the runway, but she also had emotional moments in the workroom, like when she broke down talking about her family. There was even some drama, like when things even got tense between her and Jasmine Kennedie. Fans — and her fellow contestants — thought Kornbread was going to go the distance, but that was not meant to be.
On the latest episode of Drag Race, the queens got a surprise video message from Kornbread, who announced the sad news that due to an ankle injury she was forced to drop out of the competition. Kornbread spoke with Logo about her surprise departure, if she will be returning for Season 15, and what her friendship with Willow Pill means to her.
Hi, love. How are you?
Oh, I’m well. I’m a little surprised because when you first walked into the workroom, I was like, “Top four, there we go.”
In my head, I still feel like I’m going to pop up and win the next challenge. Clearly, I didn’t, but you can’t tell me I ain’t won this damn show.
So, what happened? When you rolled your knee, did you know right away that it was a bad injury?
Absolutely, I knew. My body went one way, and my ankle went the other. And I could feel the little pop situation happen, and it was like, “Ooh, ooh,” walking. But I was like, “No, ma’am, not in front of these people.” I didn’t want to add more [stress] to the group. There were so many elements of everybody’s importance in our group, if they had removed me from it that would have scattered everybody’s brain, and I was like, it would be very weak of me to be like, “Hey, my ankle’s hurt. I can’t do this. Y’all are on your own.” This happened at the beginning of the day. So, throughout the hours of filming all the challenges and stuff, more physical, more physical, I was just wearing and tearing on my ankle, and it was getting worse and worse. At the end of everything, even filming the runways and stuff, all of that caused a lot more physical pain on me too. But I ignored it, and I just didn’t talk to anybody about it. I wanted to get through the day, and I was hoping I could go to my hotel room and sleep, wake up, and all would be well, but that was not the case. We sat in the Green Room, Jorgeous and Daya and I, they were looking at my foot. I was like, “I can’t get out of my Croc,” it was swollen inside of it. It was so bad, I went to the doctor’s, and they said six to eight weeks I couldn’t be on my ankle, which basically kicks me out of the competition because it is physical. There’s a lot of walking back and forth, and a lot of fun challenges, that I wouldn’t be able to attend.
You recorded a video message announcing your sudden departure from the competition. Willow Pill was exceptionally upset watching your video. What does your friendship with Willow mean to you?
Willow’s one of my best friends on the entire planet. We talk damn near every day. I think Willow has taught me to embrace the weirdo side of myself, just accept the craziness that goes on here, and apply it to my drag. On the daily, I always think, well, what would people think of this, and what will people think of this? And it shapes my drag to be more confined to something else. Willow has definitely taught me, “No, do the first thought that’s in your head. That’s the thing that’s going to push you forward in life in general.” One of the best friendships I could have ever gotten out of the show is between her and Kerri [Colby]. You have a little devil and angel sitting on your shoulders, but they’re both great and always teaching me a lot about life.
Can you reveal if you have an open invitation for Season 15?
Ain’t nobody called me yet, and I’ve been telling them to, “Ring my phone.” I got a separate burner phone just for y’all to call. So, y’all know more than I do. Somebody better call my damn phone at this point. When everybody asking, they ain’t got no choice. I’m just going to go ahead and send an e-mail. “Hello, I’m moving back in.” But we’ll see. I’m waiting. I would love to go back. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I had there, regardless. But they ain’t called my phone yet.
I’m so mad — I was going through your Twitter before this, and then I see you said, “Every press interview I do, they ask me about my Twitter. I’m going off on this app too much.” I was like, “Well … “
I learned. My Twitter’s atrocious, and I was like, whoa. And it’s good, it’s funny. I enjoy the hell out of it. Twitter’s my favorite place to be. I’m nuts. I’m absolutely nuts on Twitter.
It’s fun. And then, Ariana Grande posted your talent show song?
Ariana, yeah. Twice. She’s so sweet, and she responded to a DM. That got me. J.Lo, Sharon Stone. There are so many people that have reached out. It’s still blowing my mind. It’s insane.
You started transitioning right before you were on Drag Race, right?
That seems like a lot to take on at once.
Oh, it was. That’s what them fucking emotions came from! Drag Race is a whirlwind in itself, and then putting on taking hormones, or HRT therapy, there’s just so much at once. There are mood swings that come into play, there’s physical energy of being full of energy, and then life is just drained from you. It’s like your body is going through a full transition. Your muscles are changing; they get weaker, they get stronger. There’s so much going on. I had so many different stages of my life all coming together at one time, on this big, heightened show, one of the biggest shows on television. There’s so much that took place in one setting. It was very overwhelming, and I’ve learned a lot from all of that. But it was a lot to take on at one time.
— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) January 22, 2022
You got emotional in the workroom talking about your family. Are they watching Drag Race?
They are. They are watching Drag Race, and they are enjoying Drag Race. I think the best thing about it is, these are conversations obviously I’ve tried to have with them before, and it didn’t work out. Now they can’t give a rebuttal or response. They just have to sit and listen, and have to sit and listen to exactly how I’m feeling because it’s on TV. I think that definitely helped us to have a stronger relationship. We’re good now. All is well. I have so much baggage on me that I’ve dropped off at the donation bin, honey, at the Goodwill, that I ain’t got to deal with no more. So, I’m very happy that it took place, for sure.
That’s great. It sounds like being on Drag Race helped you all around — in your drag and personally.
Way more than I thought. I was expecting it to boost my career. I did not expect it to be my therapy, at all.
Well, Kornbread, like I said, you’re one of my favorites of the season, and prayer hands, hopefully I talk to you for Season 15.
Prayer hands. Put them up because I’m going to put mine up, too. Let’s make it happen.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 airs Fridays at 8/7c on VH1.