RuPaul Charles chose violence on this week’s episode of Drag Race UK when he chose to eliminate, not one, but two fan-favourite contestants from the competition. (It was H&M, all over again.) For their latest maxi-challenge, the queens showcased their best celebrity impersonations for the Snatch Game before stomping down the runway in fruit-inspired couture, while Scottish icon Lulu made her debut as a panellist. After receiving grim critiques for their performances, Choriza May and River Medway faced the lip-sync smackdown for the first time to Lulu’s classic version of Shout. In one of Drag Race’s most shocking – and controversial – moments to date, RuPaul send them both packin’. Like we said, he chose violence! It was the first time the host introduced the cruel twist on the British spin-off, which has only occurred twice before in the herstory of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“I don’t think it deserved to be a double elimination and I’m gonna be totally honest with you, I don’t think I should have been in the bottom at all. I think there were much better contenders than myself for the bottom two,” Choriza May confidently tells GAY TIMES of Ru’s decision, before adding: “It was very uncalled for. I felt that was a very disrespectful thing to do for the both of us, a double elimination can mean a lot of negative things for a queen’s career. We have been working so hard to that point. It was so hard to film a show like that too, in a pandemic, preparing for it, everything. I did feel, ‘There’s no need for this.’ I did feel very disrespected. I felt really bad for me and my sister.”
Immediately after her elimination, which has sparked outrage online, we spoke with Newcastle’s spiciest, meatiest and silliest sausage about RuPaul’s actions in the latest episode, as well as her overall experience on the third season of Drag Race UK. Choriza also discusses her incredible debut solo single, My Pussy Is Like a Peach, which been on repeat in the GAY TIMES office and is now – in the words of RuPaul – available on iTunes. Stream now for healthier skin, etc!
Before we talk about anything Choriza, I need to talk to you about My Pussy Is Like a Peach.
Yes, bring it up in the conversation because I need the promo. Do you like it?
I’m absolutely fucking obsessed with it. It’s so camp. It’s infectious. Tell me about the song, please!
Well, well, well, well, I’ll tell you something. What came first? The outfit or the song? Actually, the song came first. It’s something that I always used to sing in my shows here in Newcastle. It’s a Spanish song and I used to sing it and have fun with it. When I translated it to English, I realised it rhymes and it was very funny and people here loved it. So, when we got the themes for the runway and they said ‘fruits’ I was like, ‘Stop it. Is this made for me?’ I get to wear a massive peach on my head and wear it like a big billboard. Just like RuPaul promoting her songs at any given point I was like, ‘I gotta use the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race to sing My Pussy Is Like a Peach.’ Guess what? We did, it’s a bop! The song everyone was waiting for. RuPaul once said a very inspirational quote that has stuck with me, ‘Now available on iTunes.’ You can download it, stream it on YouTube. My Pussy Is Like a Peach. My outside is fluffy and the inside is juicy.
For this song, I will accept nothing less than a UK chart-topper and a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
Adele is shaking.
She’s gone. Sorry Adele, you’re great, you have been a great inspiration but my pussy is like a peach, you have nothing against me. Sorry.
Easy On Me, who?
Easy on my peach!
Please talk to me about the video, because it’s absolutely brilliant. And I was so excited to see some of the stars from Drag Race Espana in there!
I like to do like a big production of it. I already did the short film for Love is Blind, that little story that I told about in the show. When I thought of releasing a song, my first single, I always thought it’s going to have to be something big, we need a big music video and we need it to be fabulous, we need to be uplifting. It was going to be such a dramatic night, we needed something to really, really, really bring the spirits of the people up. That was really the main goal. So I was like, ‘Let’s do this.’ I left dressed like a peach and conquered dressed like a peach. Everyone involved with the video are my friends, we used to study at the same university, so everyone was such a joy to work with. Then, I’m friends with most of the girls from Drag Race. It was just a coincidence that we filmed the video in Madrid and they were there. I was like, ‘Girls, would you like to come and appear in my video?’ It was just literally for fun and to get to hang out with them and just have a project with them. I didn’t do Drag Race Spain, but still I feel part of the family. It was just fabulous. I think it’s a really gorgeous video and it has a little bit of a metaphor in there. There’s a story in there about some certain queen not liking my peach, but liking some other things. So, there’s a little bit of a message in the video as well.
I love every single part of it. So, let’s talk about this week’s episode…
Thank you so much. It was so sudden. I was not expecting RuPaul to stop production and crown me on episode six. I was shocked. What do you think?
How does it feel to be the UK’s Next Drag Superstar?
It’s great. It feels deserved. You know what I mean? It’s been such a nice day, getting all these interviews, talking about how deserving this crown was. Just for RuPaul to really appreciate my art-form and say, ‘I don’t need to see anymore, you win Choriza.’
RuPaul chose violence on that main stage, Choriza.
Yes, she did and it hurt like nothing else. We were not expecting it. They said there’s plot twists on RuPaul’s Drag Race… You know what’s funny? When RuPaul says your name first, that means you’re staying – most of the time. So she said Choriza May and I was like, ‘I’m staying!’ Then she said River Medway! So, I thought we’re both staying. Then, I saw in her face that same look that she had when she was watching the Draglexa adverts. I was like, ‘Choriza, you’re in danger girl.’ You know, it’s part of the game, it’s a show, we’re here to entertain people. That was certainly entertaining. It’s made people feel a lot of things, mostly sadness and anger. It’s nice to see that people are reacting and thinking something unfair happened.
Do you think that lip-sync deserved to be a double sashay?
No. I don’t think it deserved to be a double elimination and I’m gonna be totally honest with you, I don’t think I should have been in the bottom at all. I think there were much better contenders than myself for the bottom two. However, I’m a bit disappointed at myself, I don’t think I performed to the best of my ability. Bit of an outfit malfunction, but I’m not going to make any excuses. I should have lived up for the expectation and I do think River did better than I did. So, if anyone had to stay I would have given it to River to be honest.
Watching the episode, in my opinion, you didn’t deserve to be in the bottom at all. Your impersonation was hilarious and your outfit was absolutely spectacular.
Thank you very fucking much, because I thought the same. It was one of my favourite outfits and I looked at all the contestants and all my sisters – they looked great – but I looked the best. But, I also looked better than anyone in the panel of judges! They can take a peach and eat it! The juicier, the better. I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ I was so upset because they say you have to believe in yourself and it doesn’t matter what people throw at you. You have to believe in yourself. But week after week, they were critiquing me on my looks, and to be honest, I’m so proud of everything that I’ve done. I wore everything that I wanted. Everything was made by really close friends. It just got to a point in the last episode where I broke and I was like, ‘Am I delusional? Do I not look as good as I think I look when I look in the mirror?’ You know what I mean? That was a bit disappointing for them to not appreciate that. My Snatch Game performance was a very much safe performance, Kitty [Scott-Claus] and Ella [Vaday] really, really smashed it. I knew I was not going to win the challenge. However, on the look section… No.
I definitely don’t think you were wearing Jinkx Monsoon’s Delusion, at all. You didn’t deserve to be in the bottom. Also, when you look at the previous double sashays, this was nowhere near the same level.
No! Not at all. It was very uncalled for. I felt that was a very disrespectful thing to do for the both of us, a double elimination can mean a lot of negative things for a queen’s career. We have been working so hard to that point. It was so hard to film a show like that too, in a pandemic, preparing for it, everything. I did feel, ‘There’s no need for this.’ I did feel very disrespected. I felt really bad for me and my sister.
This season has been tumultuous, to say the least. There’s been double shantays, double sashays, queens getting injured, no badges being given out. Why do you think the twists and turns have increased ten-fold this time around?
I feel once you go into spiral of chaos, there’s no way that you can get out of it. I think it’s just gonna get the messier, even more twists and I can’t wait for it! Now that I’m not on it… I love a plot twist, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t like to be part of them.
During your time on the series, you opened up about being an immigrant – your entrance line went viral – and proudly showcased your Spanish heritage. What kind of impact have you noticed this have on viewers?
It’s all about representation and immigrant representation, it’s not just a UK thing. It’s a thing in every country. In Spain it’s the same to be honest. To finally have someone who’s an immigrant and is on TV, being successful and being foreign and having the representation for people, it’s just been amazing. At the beginning I thought, ‘Obviously Spanish people are going to be living for me because a Spanish queen is going to be there,’ but no. Just immigrants in general in the UK have been messaging me, saying how much they love me and how much they’ve seen themselves in me. It’s just been lovely. Then yesterday, after the viewing party, two Spanish guys came to the meet and greet like, ‘We live in Newcastle. We just moved not long ago and we’ve started doing drag because of you.’ Wow. That’s amazing, just for people to see that they can make it and you don’t need Drag Race, just to be able to do what you want in a country that is not yours. It’s really difficult. So, I’m happy people feel inspired to follow the dreams wherever they are.
The impact of Newcastle’s spiciest, silliest, meatiest sausage!
It’s real. It’s real, real, it’s very real.
It’s safe to say that you have become one of the most beloved Drag Race UK contestants ever, there’s not a soul in the world that has a bad thing say about Choriza May. You brought so much light, humour and positivity to the season. It was just a joy to watch you. What’s it like being a fan-favourite and having so many people rally behind you?
You know what, it took me a while to accept that. I think there are a few fan-favourites this season. I think now I can comfortably say I’m one of them! I’m not going to just be like ‘oh no I’m not’ because I do feel the love. I wasn’t really looking out for comments or what people had to say just in case I find negative stuff. But, my boyfriend and my friends keep sending me screenshots of tweets, things that people are saying from Reddit. People on Reddit love me! I was so scared but they had been so lovely, so supportive, so nice. It’s been really inspiring for myself to realise that how I am, and all these things that as a little kid I was told I was wrong to be, now people love me for this; for being camp, for being Spanish, for being unapologetically myself. It’s like, ‘Okay, thank you.’ That for me is the real win. Every week, I felt like I won a RuPeter badge thanks to the audience reactions to be honest.
You also provided representation to a lot of people in the UK, with your passion… for sausage.
Yeah. I know. You know what, one of the things that surprised me more about the UK when I moved here… The same year, I did an exchange programme here in Newcastle University. Then six months later, I was going to do the same in Brazil. I was expecting to get really good dick in Brazil. However, I was not expecting that from the UK. When I came here, and I saw just how big all of the dicks were… I felt so inspired. I was like, ‘I have to stay here. I have to stay here. This is my place to be.’ Thank you very much.
Choriza, thank you so much for sharing your story.
That’s alright. You know what? Anytime. Since I had that really inspirational talk with RuPaul about my dick, the distraction… You think of these moments, right? You think, ‘I’m gonna be in front of RuPaul and I’m gonna just tell her about myself.’ The fact I had that moment where we both connected in a very spiritual way, talking about the struggles of having massive junk hanging in the middle of my legs, and just distracting her really from the whole competition… It was really inspiring. I’m really thankful to RuPaul. RuPaul, thank you. That conversation changed me forever now, and I will forever be grateful.
Thank you, RuPaul. Oh Choriza, don’t cry.
Not again! I’ve cried enough! I’m dehydrated!
What has been your highlight of the entire season?
The highlight of the entire season has been meeting my sisters. Each and every one of them are so talented. But most importantly, they are so kind and good to each other. You have no idea when you watch the show. Yes, we fight and we are shady to each other. However, every time after production, the first thing that we would do if we had a problem was give a hug to each other and just tell each other how much we love each other. Just in the morning, we would be cuddling when it’s our breakfast. We call each other and we message each other every day. RuPaul’s Drag Race has gifted me a new family. It’s better than any other prize. For that, I will forever be grateful. It came in a time that I really needed it because after the whole pandemic being locked in by myself, I really needed a bit of human touch and and they really, really provided that for me, so I love you all.
In our last interview, you said you didn’t have a tribe when you moved to Newcastle. Now you have several!
Yeah, absolutely. It’s just so, so surreal. As a kid, my biggest fear was to be alone. I lived in a town where there was only 6000 people living there. I really felt like I was the only gay person in the world, as stupid as that was, but because the representation was so little. I was so scared, I thought I wasn’t going to have any friends when I grow up because I’m gay. I’m not going to have a partner. Needless to say, I have many families. I’m lucky to have my biological family that supports me unconditionally. Now, I have my Newcastle family. I have my boyfriend who is my biggest supporter and I now have my Drag Race family. I now have all the fans as well, never again feeling alone.
You’ll never be alone, Choriza. Don’t you worry about that. What’s next for you? Are you planning to release more music? An EP? An album, maybe?
Now that My Pussy Is Like a Peach is out there for the world to enjoy, I’m gonna wait, sit back, see how people enjoy it and see what directions I can move in. I would like to do a Christmas remix of My Pussy Is Like a Peach. My Pussy Is Like a Cracker? I would like to do a feature with another RuGirl, that would be amazing. So, that’s what might be happening next. Anyway, promo! Everyone download My Pussy Is Like a Peach – Spotify, YouTube, all of it. Then, I’m going to be on the West End. I’m going to be doing panto! Yes, I am. I am going to be Queen Rat in Dick Whittington and I’m so excited for it.
The first six episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 3 are now available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
You can also listen to My Pussy Is Like a Peach here on Apple Music and watch the incredible music video below.