This week, the queens of Drag Race España season two had to perform in the all-acting, all-singing and all-dancing musical, La Llamadrag, based on the original musical created by los Javis, Holy Camp!, that later became a film and is already considered a classic. “It was very nice to work with los Javis, in such an iconic musical,” Jota Carajota tells us.
After making history as the youngest competitor in Drag Race herstory – being also the first queen of gypsy descent – Jota Carajota was the fourth queen to sashay away after lip-syncing against Juriji der Klee, who according to Jota, “did a great lip sync and truly deserved to stay”.
In this exclusive interview for GAY TIMES, Jota Carajota reveals her plans for the Snatch Game, addresses her relationship with Estrella Xtravanganza and makes an appeal: “We have to support our local drag artists. Even if they are not on Drag Race, go see their shows. Support your local drag!”
Hi Jota, how are you?
I’m fine, how are you?
I’m great, thanks. How are you dealing with your elimination?
I’m not mad, as seen on the show, Juriji did a great lip sync and deserved to stay. The final cut shows quite a different reality. I would have loved to stay. It hurts me a lot because super important challenges are coming. I was sad, but it was a good experience. I did the talent show, the musical, and everything I did was a success for me.
You are the first drag queen of Romani descent on RuPaul’s Drag Race. What does that mean to you?
It’s wonderful, it’s something that is extremely necessary, because the gypsy people were made invisible. Our culture is seen as deeply rooted in patriarchy, sexism. Also, people use us to make jokes, calling someone a gypsy is not a very nice thing. Being visible in a TV show like Drag Race is great, because people can see we exist.
You mentioned that you’re bisexual and have a girlfriend. What are her feelings on you doing drag?
My girlfriend loves it, she’s just like another queer. She is a drag too. We have a really cool relationship.
Being the youngest contestant in Drag Race, did you feel underestimated?
Well, I heard people saying, ‘What a pity, she is the youngest, she doesn’t have as much experience.’ But actually, I have been working much longer than some of those who are older. I’ve been working, even illegally, in nightclubs. I used to say I was 18, but it was a lie. I’ve been working since I was 13. I’ve been doing drag for five years, otherwise I wouldn’t have made it to the competition. There is a reason behind it. You have the balls to face such a competition because you know you have talent. I have never limited myself to my age. In the end I have a lot of experience in drag and I consider that age was not an obstacle.
I loved your performance in the talent show. Did you write the song you performed?
Well, the real talent was improvising it.
What? Are you telling me you just came up with it right then?
I haven’t written anything before. I was making it up as I went. I prepared the piano, the base of the tanguillo. Tanguillo is a type of flamenco style typical in Cádiz, and many flamenco singers are very funny, like Lola Flores. The tanguillos have their comic point, they are very funny. I wanted to represent it and do it in an improvised way. The real talent was actually about improvising. When I am on stage, I look at the audience and start to say things. The idea was to say things to the jury, and to all the people who were there, but in an improvised way. That’s why people are so surprised. People think it’s a prepared song, but it is not.
Is there something that you were especially excited for in the competition?
The Snatch Game. Of all the challenges in the show, it is the one I was more excited about.
Who would you have played in the Snatch Game?
I wanted to impersonate Lola Flores. I’m very good at imitating her, and people would have laughed a lot.
Do you have a favourite moment from your time there?
I have many. The entrance for me is very important, it was very exciting. I was so nervous thinking, ‘My goodness, I’m going to meet all the queens.’ The talent show was very impressive, as was doing The Day of the Beast runway. It was also very nice to work with los Javis in such an iconic musical. I didn’t even notice when it was over. I was still thinking about what a blast it was when suddenly you are being told that you’re at the bottom.
What is the status of your relationship with Estrella? It seems like you do not get along with each other…
If you watch the program you have noticed that in the confessionals you see me there, always criticising. No matter what I do, I always appear to criticise my colleagues. And that’s all for the show, I didn’t criticise it so much. But it seems that they have assigned me the role of the villain of the season. We love the show, but it really was not that way. Estrella and I love each other, and we got along very well.
If you had another chance, what would you have done differently?
Everything. I’d basically have changed everything. In hindsight, I can no longer change it. What is done is already done. But, I’d love to go back in and feel more confident. In a competition like this, you have to be very confident, and I went there with a lot of insecurities. Above all, I would come back to have a good time and not think so much about the competition. Just to give my best and think, ‘I’m going to have a good time because this is a unique opportunity.’ In a way, I think I could have taken more advantage of it.
Who would you like to take the crown?
Marina, she is wonderful. She is the superstar of the season. She is so creative and talented, even though she seems like a super calm person. You can see in the musical how she has succeeded, how she performed, how she dances. To me, she is the best artist of the season.
What’s your overall opinion of your time there? Do you think it was worth it?
It has been a wonderful experience. I would repeat it a thousand times. Being there at the bottom, doing lip-syncs. It’s an experience, being on stage and hearing your name, ‘The category is queen of your city: Jota Carajota.’ At that moment, you feel the nerves through your body, and it’s so emotional.
What plans do you have for the future?
There are many things I would love to do. First and foremost, I want to make a lot of music. I love making music, and that’s what I am used to doing. I have not changed my perspective of artistic creation by being in the contest, I continue doing my shows the same way. I am also going on tour [El gran Hotel de las Reinas]. After all that I still don’t know, maybe we could get together Estrella, Samantha and I. We are from the same city, and we could put on a show. Soon, I’ll release a song with La Prohibida, the guest judge of the episode in which I was sent home. I feel very happy, Drag Race introduces you into the world. Now it is up to you to do things or not.
Drag Race España S2 continues every Sunday on Atres Premium in Spain and exclusively on WOW Presents Plus everywhere else. Subscribe via: https://uk.wowpresentsplus.com