Welcome back to my column! It's week four of RuPaul's Drag Race, and once again the competition has been taken up a notch. I recently got a chance to chat with Sonique, the no-nonsense Atlanta darling who flipped her way through the fiercest lip-sync of the season.
If you were like me, then you were floored at the performances Sonique and fellow bottom-two drag queen Morgan McMichaels rolled out for the Lip-Sync of Your Life. Sonique may have gone home, but I told her she definitely pulled out all the stops!
"That morning when I woke up, I had a different energy going through my body than I had ever had," Sonique told me of her last day on the show. "Something wasn't clicking with me. I just knew something dramatic was going to happen."
A trained gymnast, Sonique cartwheeled and flipped her way through an amazing Lip-Sync, which meant coming out of her tiger-print dress. "I kept going back and forth; should I lip-sync only or just perform?" she said. "You never know what the judges are going to look for. But I can't go back and change anything."
Sonique also told me that RuPaul was clearly moved by the intense Lip-Sync performances. Although it wasn't shown in the episode, RuPaul had to walk away and take time to decide who went home that week. Although she sashayed away, Sonique enjoyed her experience on the show and her relationship with Lip-Sync rival Morgan McMichaels.
"Morgan comes across as feisty, like, don't cross her path, but she reminds me of myself in different ways," Sonique revealed.
One of the things Sonique takes away from the show is a better understanding of her own performing. "I put so much pressure on myself," she told me, noting that she learned she needed to enjoy the competitions. By choosing Lady Gaga to impersonate in the Snatch Game, she went with a difficult persona to parody. "I took the role a little too serious," Sonique said. "I could have had more fun with it."
Because Sonique is a military school dropout, I wanted to know what her conservative mother thinks of her full-time career as a drag performer. "Several times she told me, ‘You need to stop it,’" Sonique explained, "but I was just determined. You have to accept who you are and what you love about yourself no matter what. It took a couple years, but two years ago she saw me perform, and now she's my biggest fan."
Sonique may have seemed tough on the show, but talking to her showed me her sensitive, vulnerable side. It was so refreshing to discover the person behind the drag mask, which proves this artistry allows performers to embrace totally different alter egos!
Don't forget, catch RuPaul's Drag Race every Monday night at 7pm and 10pm on OUTtv!