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Gothy Kendoll is the current reigning queen of self-awareness. “I was living on borrowed time,” she admits of her trajectory on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs the World. The OG British Pork Chop was – spoiler alert, obviously – eliminated in the latest episode, which saw the seven remaining contestants compete in a girl group challenge slash Rusical hybrid – inspired by West End’s iconic SIX The Musical. It was a backbreaker of a challenge, with the queens having to pen lyrics about their Drag Race journey and sing slash rap live. They also had to concoct their own choreography, which was a bit unusual for a Rusical (budget, maybe?).

“A live singing musical? I couldn’t think of anything less me,” laughs Gothy, who openly admits that she’s not the kind of performer that’s required for the acting, dancing and singing challenge structure of Drag Race. With this week marking her third stint in the bottom, Gothy’s fate was sealed when Marina Summers, who defeated Tia Kofi in the lip-sync smackdown to become the series’ first two-time RuPeter Badge winner, revealed her lippy. ‘Queen of the Mothertucking’ may not be a title that Gothy can include on her resume, but whatever: it was more important for her to do what she didn’t the first time around, and that was to have fun and be “fully” herself. (And have more camera time, which was a given considering her Pork Chop status.)

Continue reading for our full interview with Gothy Kendoll, where she reminisces on the horrors of the Snatch Game – which she describes as one of the “worst days” of her life – the behind-the-scenes moments that she wanted to make the final edit and the queens she hopes to appear with on that much-rumoured first-outs season.

Gothy, how are you?

I’m good thank you, how are you? Well, I’ve just been eliminated so not that good!

You took it so well, though. It feels like there was some acceptance there, right?

Oh yeah, for sure. I think I was living on borrowed time.

Well, condragulations on making it to five episodes!

I know! Me? That’s kind of crazy.

As the UK’s Pork Chop, how does it feel to have had five episodes to show your growth?

It feels nice. The first time I was there, I didn’t get to show myself at all. Even the way I actually am, just out of drag, I was just not myself. So, it was nice to come in this time. Watching it back, I’m fully myself. I don’t know how to describe it. There were no walls this time. I know I have this confidence issue or whatever, but that’s just me. That’s just the way I am; quietly confident. I think, on Drag Race, you always have to be at 100, but I’m not that kind of person. I’m just happy that I showed who I actually was this time.

Although you left this episode, you were so much fun to watch. Like the judges said, it was so refreshing to see a queen mess up and not really care.

There’s just nothing you can do in that situation. I knew it wasn’t my strong suit, straight off the bat. A live singing musical? I couldn’t think of anything less me. As soon as we got the challenge I was like, ‘You just gotta enjoy it. You’re not gonna get this experience again. Embrace it.’ There’s gonna be mistakes, but that’s where TV magic is made, know what I mean? And I know we’re there to make a TV show.

You got negative critiques this episode, but they were the most positive and happy critiques?! RuPaul even said he enjoyed it “for all the wrong reasons” and that everyone was rooting for you. What was that like to hear?

That’s the magic of drag, know what I mean? You’re meant to find the joy in it. Even though I’m not doing anything perfect, that doesn’t matter. We’re all there to have fun and realise that drag is just stupid. And I was definitely that vibe in the episode, just stupid. I’m glad [the queens] weren’t offended by it. I was a bit nervous going into the challenge that they’d be a bit like… not offended, but annoyed that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want them to think I was wasting the opportunity. I’m glad they saw the humour in it.

Was it a case of trying to be self-aware? Were you trying to avoid the Roxxxy Andrews All Stars 2 edit?

No, I think it was… On Snatch Game, I had such a horrible time. I really didn’t enjoy that episode. Once I was saved by Tia I was like, ‘This is such a fun experience and you can’t have days where you don’t enjoy it. Even if you are in your own head, just smile through it.’ Going into that episode I was like, ‘I know I’m not gonna be very good, but I will be so annoyed if I get defeated and don’t enjoy it.’ You’ve got to take it on the chin and realise you might not be good at it.

How did the walk-through with RuPaul before Snatch Game affect you that episode? It was stressful as a viewer. On one hand, I understood why RuPaul did it, because that is what Snatch Game is like, but on the other hand, it was difficult to watch.

Yeah, it was so horrible, especially because… I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but we’d actually finished the walk-through and the producer came over and started asking about Ozzy Osborne, and then [RuPaul] started [asking] about it. I was like, ‘We had a really nice walk-through, why are you doing this to me?!’ This is going to sound dramatic, but it was one of the worst days of my life. It was so horrible! I think some people really thrive from tough love, and I definitely don’t. It was such a horrible… especially when everyone’s watching as well. I was like, ‘Please… make… this… stop.’ So yeah, it set me up to fail, for sure.

But I also set myself up to fail because I got in my own head. It’s definitely not all RuPaul’s fault because I think he was trying to get me out of my comfort zone to psych me up for Snatch Game. It was just not gonna work that day. Also, I thought I was gonna go home that day so I said to the girls, ‘Can we get a Nando’s tonight, because I think I’m going home.’ So we all got one and everyone’s arrived apart from mine! I was like, ‘Fuck this. I’m having the worst day of my life.’ I had to go into the toilet and have a little cry.

The universe was being cruel to you, forgetting your fried chicken.

Mercury was definitely in retrograde that day.

Well, if it’s any consolation, even though your Kim Woodburn lacked her menacing nature, your breathy vocals and constant smile had me laughing. It got me.

I couldn’t even watch it. I had the TV on mute, just so I could say I watched it. That episode, for me, is cursed. It was worse than the first episode of series one. I hated it. It was not nice.

Has Kim Woodburn said anything?

No! Someone told me she’s not really clued up on everything.

I understand why you weren’t fighting for your place this week, but last week… It felt like you didn’t have as much hunger to stay as Keta Minaj. Why was that? I was thinking, ‘Gothy! Plead your case!’

I think because the journey had been like, I was in the bottom on episode one – even though I shouldn’t have been, but oh well – and then I was safe and then I was in the top three and then I crashed back down. It was just annoying, especially after the walk-through and everything. I just had such a horrible day. I really didn’t have a nice time with it. So, I was definitely a bit defeated. But as soon as Tia saved me, I absolutely shook it off.

How did you feel about the online reaction to you being saved over Keta? Because these fans are just…

Arseholes. I have all my Twitter and Instagram notifications turned off, so, I don’t ever look at anything. I don’t want to know what people’s opinions are because I don’t really care too much. Obviously I do care, because I want to know the way I’m coming across. I really don’t want to see people’s opinions of me because they’re gonna be more personal this time. I just stay away from it all. Twitter can be a breeding ground of negative comments.

They’re unhinged, Gothy. Why would you send hate to a queen who got to stay? It doesn’t make sense.

It’s so funny. They suck the fun out of Drag Race. Good for them. You go for it, you fucking losers.

Well, you showed so much growth this season with your looks and we got to see more of your personality. You were probably one of the most relatable queens in the cast.

I definitely wear my heart on my sleeve. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. I think a lot of people go in there with a game face and wanna prove they’re the best. Live the truth, know what I mean? Don’t be afraid to be like, ‘I’m nervous about this’ or whatever, because it’s just real life for me. I’m not gonna put an act on. So yeah, I’m glad people found me relatable. That’s nice to hear.

It’s important to show that not all drag queens are ‘yes mama, sickening, boots the house down!’

Yeah, and I’m getting annoyed at the critiques for saying that I wasn’t like that. ‘So why ask me here then? You know I’m not that sort of drag queen at all.’ My name is literally Gothy, I’m obviously going to be some miserable goth. What do you expect? So, I was getting a little frustrated with the critiques that were like, ‘We don’t feel like you’re on 100. Charisma: two.’ When Michelle [Visage] said that, oh my god, actually hilarious. I am charismatic, but in my own way.

And we see an hour of, I don’t know how long you film, but we see the tiniest bit.

Yeah. You literally see none of it, which is crazy, especially watching it back. Obviously I didn’t get that experience before but I was like, ‘God, they missed out so much that happened.’

Was there anything in particular that didn’t make the edit that you would’ve liked to see?

Hmm. No, not that I can think of. They’re pretty spot on with the edits. They really do give everyone a real true storyline. The ball episode, a lot of that doesn’t get filmed. The cameras go down and then we have nine hours in the werkroom where we’re sewing, and we have music on blaring and we’re dancing around. It’s so much fun. I think the fans would really enjoy watching that because it’s like the real side of Drag Race, if that makes sense? I just remember thinking, ‘They really didn’t put any of the ball in,’ because we were all screaming running around that werkroom trying to sew a fucking dress together.

Gothy, if fans come to see you on tour, can they expect a little bit of fire breathing?

I hope so! We’ve got this Drag Race tour and I’m like, ‘C’mon, can we do fire please?’ They’re like O2 venues so they should let pyro. Fingers crossed! Obviously I’m a DJ, and I think that’s why my drag doesn’t really suit a Drag Race context that much because I literally don’t perform. I remember someone commented when we posted the talent shows, ‘I wonder if she’s actually performed before.’ I was like, ‘No. I’ve not. I’m a DJ!’ I think I gave a pretty fucking cool performance the first episode. No one’s ever done fire before, and I think it’s such a spectacle. I was really proud of that episode and I’m definitely taking that on tour, but expect me to be DJ-ing most of the time.

I don’t like the criticism over queens who don’t “perform”. As we’ve seen over the years, drag is more than just that. Performing is obviously a huge part of it, but a queen can do whatever she wants with her drag.

Exactly. I do understand fans saying, ‘ugh, she’s not a performer’ because in the Drag Race context, you do sort of need to be a performer. And I’m definitely not. But, the biggest drag queens in the country right now, like Jodie Harsh, I don’t think she ever performs. She’s mostly a DJ and she’s built a whole career off of that. There’s other queens to follow the example of, it’s not just lip-syncers and performers. I think that’s the American side of it. It is a UK version of an American show, so I do understand, but drag isn’t just limited to that.

Would you ever return to Drag Race for a third time?

Yeah, I’d never say no. It’s such a fun experience and you really learn a lot about yourself and your drag watching it. I really do appreciate the opportunity to do challenges and see how my drag fits into that context. But, I don’t know if I’d be any better. I think my runways might be a little bit better! But honestly, in terms of the performance, I think I’ll be a little bit worse.

You went from tenth to seventh. Let’s manifest a top three/four position for your third time. You’re on a trajectory!

Exactly. I’m on a slow incline. I think a UK All Stars would be amazing. Not saying that I should be on it, but there’s so many drag queens in the UK that I don’t think would fit the vs the World context but would fit an All Stars context. I really hope they do pull one out the bag soon, because there’s so many queens I wanna see back.

Or even a first-outs season.

That would be so hilarious. I want to be first out on that season, and I think we’re all gonna be gunning to go home first again. I’m trying to think of the Pork Chops I wanna be competing with, though… Tempest DuJour, I think she’s so funny.

Kelly Mantle…

Absolutely. Magnolia Crawford, if she still does drag.

I don’t think she does, actually.

No I don’t think she does either, thank god.

Drag Race UK vs the World is streaming in the UK on BBC iPlayer.

You can watch our interview with Gothy Kendoll here or below.