¡Hola, Hola, Hola! With more than 20 years on stage, Supremme de Luxe is one of the most popular drag queens in Madrid’s nightlife. She has been present in all Pride celebrations in Madrid since 2000, having performed at Europride 2007 and World Pride 2017.
Although she was born in Madrid, she has been touring around Spain, while working for TV, film, theatre and radio. Her first incursion in the music industry was in 2012 when she released her first album Ahora Yo. Her latest release is Resurgiré from 2019 and she is about to bring a brand new song entitled Llévame al cielo.
Drag Race España is the latest member to be added to the internationally acclaimed Drag Race family and will premiere on WOW Presents Plus in the UK weekly as of Sunday 30 May. Speaking to GAY TIMES, she tells us about what it has meant being chosen as hostess of Drag Race España, her influences and even her favorite RuGirl.
Hi Supremme, it is a pleasure talking to you, nice to meet you!
You have a 20-year career, what has it meant to you being chosen to host Drag Race España?
Well, although I have a 20-year career in drag, I’ve actually been acting for much longer. I started doing theatre when I was 13-years-old and it went well for me. Presenting Drag Race has brought me a lot of happiness. Professionally, it is a wonderful gift. It also has brought me tranquillity because during the pandemic everything stopped, no performances, no work… Two days before I was looking to see if they were going to renew the government’s aid until May or June when suddenly out of the blue… It was mainly the tranquility, that is to say I have this whole year covered until we get the COVID situation under control and then we will see what happens, but at least the situation will be more normal.
Have you ever imagined yourself competing in Drag Race or presenting it?
No, never thought of presenting nor competing in it. It is very difficult. You have to be very brave to compete, and after so many years working, I know what I can do on stage and what I cannot do or what I no longer want to do. I believe that if you enter you have to go with a yes, always ahead. I think that I would have too many don’ts in my head and it would be unfair for me to take a position that someone else would defend better, or people who really want to enter, who has it as their objective and has prepared herself for it. I was very sincere from the first time when they contacted me, even risking being left out, I mentioned that I did not see myself competing. But presenting is something I did not imagine would ever happen to me, so look at me now!
What is the main difference you see in the current drag scene compared to when you started?
There really isn’t that much new. Perhaps it is easier now because of the digital world and globalization, shopping is also more affordable. Before, for example, it was very difficult to buy a wig, or if you wanted a lace front wig you had to order them, because it was not usual. They were used for theatre, but it was not common at all. Before that didn’t exist, tutorials either, I learned a lot watching them, which is the best way to learn. But then the essence I think remains quite the same. It is interesting to see young people doing the same things that I did when I first started. The same messages, certain mise-en-scène, certain effects in the show when presenting numbers, they are repeated over time. And I see it now with more years of perspective and I find it very curious. It seems that we have come a long way, but at the end of the day we are talking about the same old topics. Greek tragedies continue to work because they speak of love, jealousy, envy and this is almost the same.
You will be a reference for the new generations, could you tell us who were yours, especially LGBTQ+ people from the entertainment industry?
I do not only have references within the world of transformism because I consider the interesting thing is to have references of everything and then bring them to your essence. For example, actresses here from Spain. I am a very big fan of Concha Velasco who is a woman who has been on stage all her life and I really like what she does. She has done a lot of theatre, like me. Lola Herrera, another local actress, both of them over 80-years-old and still active. International ones, for example, I love Liza Minelli and Bette Midler, especially the one-woman shows they put on. I have based a lot of my shows on those structures, a person singing and telling. Using songs to tell a story has always interested me. In Argentina, Nacha Guevara is an actress who is very similar in this regard. And in Spain’s drag scene I like Psychosis Gonsales, now retired, an artist that in the 90s was very famous. She was on primetime shows, in newspapers, and for me she is a reference, the way she understands the show is very similar to the one I have.
What do Spanish drag have that we have not yet seen in the contestants of the other versions of the franchise?
Mainly the Spanish character that, when acting, changes a lot. I think that presence in Spain is very important, the artist is very forceful with her proposal and with what she raises. Many times the artist transcends what it’s wearing, maybe some people are more into aesthetics, clothes, music and many times the artist transcends all that, and you are going to see this person independent of what they do. You are convinced by the personal setting of the artist. I think here drag has gone that way. I think the world in general is going to be surprised because there is also a lot of fashion, beauty, something that is less associated with Spain. And it is very good to see that everything is coming together. Everything that is growing, enriching and presenting new things is always good.
What is the most important attribute for you in drag to win the show?
Consistency, go with a yes ahead and be able to work well under a lot of pressure. One of the things that has surprised me the most on a personal level is the enormous effort that the contestants made. In the program, it is barely seen as most of it was edited. You have no idea what it is to live that. I have suffered a lot, seeing if they were sleeping at night. They asked to get to the workroom very soon to be able to work, finish and solve the challenges. You know that it is a format that has many followers, many fans that will see you. But I think that for them it has been more important to resolve the challenges. I think they were thinking about the program and not about what they could do outside and that is also very good, it helps a lot that you focus on the program and on the challenge ahead.
The runway is a moment long-awaited by Drag Race fans, what can you tell us about your looks?
Well, I’m not going to reveal anything to you! But, I’m going to tell you that most of them have been made by @joseitspain who is a great designer, and some others from other brands. I have also tried things that I don’t usually wear, not even in my shows. In this first season we decided to keep the tone of the hair. We have changed the hairstyles as I had also changed it recently. I have been a ginger queen for many years, exploring different looks to it. We have worn a lot of clothes that I don’t usually wear, there is a bit of everything. There are corsets, more elegant clothes, we have tried to make fashion too, to mix and not only think about drag but think about fashion and the runway. I’m very happy because Jose and I understand each other very well. He’s a wonderful artist and I think I have said yes to 95% of what he showed me.
How do you guys deal with the translations? Drag Race is also known for the puns, they are always playing with the double meaning. Did you get help in this sense in order to create expressions that are so characteristic of each moment of the program or do you have a team of scriptwriters? Or did all this come up on the fly?
The program has a script, because on TV you have to have a script so as not to run out of time. As you see I’m a real parrot, I start talking and I can make you a 24-hour TV show. You have to have time and logically, it’s a franchise, then it has been agreed. From America they give you some options, here others are valued and agreements are reached. It’s like a hybrid, there are things that have been translated and there are things that are half in Spanish, half in English, it’s Spanglish. It’s good to keep some things, but I don’t think it’s bad to have translated others either. I think it gives a Spanish touch and at the end of the day that’s what we are doing, we are making a version, which is very respectful to the original format. I did not have the power to decide, I went through a casting to present and they chose me. So do not come over me on social media complaining about the translations because it is not my fault. I just say what I am being told.
Now I would like to ask you some questions about the franchise. Who are your favourite queens? Do you have a top three?
My favourite of all is Bianca Del Rio because she has a show concept very similar to mine. She does a lot of theatre, she faces the public, she continues to do one-woman shows. I really like Bianca’s slapstick and tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. She can say the rudest things in a gracious way, so it won’t be hurtful and I quite like that ability. She has an innate humour, and she knows it and enhances it. Then, Brooke Lynn Hytes. Seeing her in Canada’s Drag Race I say, ‘Wow, that’s cool.’ Also, when I saw her dancing on tiptoe and doing ballet numbers. I really like that people integrate what they already know in their show, because there are people who do drag and there are things that they stop doing, for example, the one who sings only wants to make lip-syncs, and no, it seems to me that it should be enriching. I also like Adore Delano because she is very punk, all the music that she has been putting out, very alternative, grunge, and underground, I like her proposal. These three represent the variety that can be in drag.
Who would you play in the Snatch Game?
I would play Concha Velasco, the actress that I have told you about, because she has a lot of personality, she also has a very characteristic tone of voice, so it would be easy. And outside Spain I would do Liza, Shirley Bassey or someone very iconic, like a singer who has a lot of over-acting that would lead to exaggeration, to make a beautiful parody of the character.
Which is your favourite song ever to lip sync?
A song that always worked very well for me and that works regardless of the generation is Last Dance by Donna Summer. It has always worked, it’s very iconic and has also been incorporated by the new generations. I stumble upon it constantly in their acts. And Spanish, for example, something by Rocío Durcal who has very beautiful and very representative songs.