Her name is synonymous to the best of the crop, the crème de la crème and so far Ben Delacreme is one of the top contestants to beat on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 6, and she’ll make her first appearance in Sacramento this Saturday at Badlands.
Her unique style is a throwback to the 1950’s pinup girl and her charisma and sweetness has made her one of the favorite queens this season. Delacreme, who has been performing drag for 11 years, attributes her style to burlesque and cabaret shows and old cartoon where women were idolized.
“As a kid, I was really into those older Warner Brothers cartoons where the wolf is whistling at the lady,” Delacreme said. “That kind of image of womanhood was the thing I was most excited about growing up.”
Delacreme has made a career out of this sexy bombshell image performing burlesque shows in Seattle where she lives and around the country. She is part of the “The Atomic Bombshells” burlesque troupe and a producer of the Seattle “Tuck” dance/drag event.
On Drag Race she is one queen who stays true to the style that has inspired her look for many years. So far this season, Delacreme has won two challenges and is praised by RuPaul and the rest of the judges for her dazzling style and charm. She’s also spent time at the bottom lip-singing for her life but surviving.
“I think it really shows a realistic range of what it’s like to be a performer and a human,” Delacreme said. “I work really hard; I do my darnest to put my art out there and be true to myself and also give the audience what they want and sometimes you falter and when you do, you gotta get back up and try your harder.”
But on this week’s episode she flew back up with her fly-inspired look on the runway and her personable interview with Chaz Bono and Georgia Holt (Bono’s grandmother). Delacreme lived to see another week of Drag Race.
Below she discusses what to expect Friday, her inspiration for Delacreme and her current addiction.
Jorge Moreno: You have a unique style of drag, so what can your fans expect Saturday?
Delacreme: Well I am a queen of many faces, so you can definitely expect comedy, something a little bit out of the regular form of what the other queens do. I’ll be performing live and possibly doing a parody I wrote myself or something a little bit more complicated but bringing you all on a comedic journey. [Laughs]
JM: Where did DelaCreme come from?
Delacreme: I grew up watching old MGM musicals who featured Ann Miller, the tap dancer, and she was one of my first female icons, and she’s always wearing those little showgirl one piece outfits. I also get a lot of drag inspiration from the burlesque and cabaret world since I was around women who were referencing that time period as well so a lot of my style is entrenched in that background.
JM: What is a moment that stands out from being on the show?
Delacreme: Well so far, since I can’t give out the rest, has been winning the Snatch Game. It was really phenomenal because I wasn’t expecting it. I was really nervous coming in to do an impersonation [She impersonated the great Maggie Smith] and of course Snatch Game this year was really hot and heavy because there were really good performances from the other queens. So that win was totally like a high for me.
ME: Which queens did you bond the most on the Drag Race?
I got a really close with Adore [Delano] and you don’t really get to see that on the show except for little moments like when I jump on her back or hold hands but she is someone I talk to pretty frequently. Also, Bianca [Del Rio] and I developed a good friendship as well.
JM: Have you felt any negativity since appearing on the show?
Delacreme: It’s been really positive and I’ve been overwhelmed by how awesome and positive the response has been. I get tons of letters and emails with people telling me how they connect to me and the character and they feel inspired. I’ve been working in this field for 11 years and getting this kind of response really makes it feel like it’s totally worth it. Like I am doing the right thing with my life
JM: You were compared by RuPaul to Michelle Vasage. Do you see the resemblance?
Delacreme: I’ve been hearing that for a couple of years now. At first I was like, no I don’t know what you’re talking about but of course now that I see us on TV I totally see it. [Laughs]
JM: How hectic has your life been since appearing on the show?
Delacreme: I had experience doing shows before but this has been insane. I’ve been going to parts of the country that I’ve never been to and the audiences are different, and you kind of have to be ready for everything. I’m also working on writing new material, and creating new shows that I’ll be collaborating with others in the future.
JM: Will these collaborations be with any of the other Drag Race contestants?
Delacreme: Well, there are some things in the works but nothing that I can really talk about yet, but I can tell people there are things coming they can look forward to.
JM: You are also part of “DeLouRue Presents,” tell me about that?
Delacreme: It’s my production company with my two best friends, Kitten la Rue and Lou Henry Hoover, who are burlesque queen and a drag king, and the three of us have been working together in different ways for the past six years. We do shows that have cabaret and burlesque, and drag, comedy and social commentary and huge dance numbers. I like to think of it as a cross between an old MGM musical, “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and a contemporary drag show.
JM: What advice do you have for anyone in Sacramento or anywhere who wants to do drag?
Delacreme: My number one advice is, and what makes the coolest drag, is when you just listen to your own head. If people just focus on the things they love the most that’s when they will come up with the most interesting things in drag.
JM: What drag accessory can you not live without?
Delacreme: It’s hard to just pick one thing but what feels the most like Dela is having the right hair. Like she always has like a big bump in the back no matter what the hairdo is. When I get the hair pined in and I can feel it squishing behind me, then I know I am her.
JM: What’s your addiction right now?
Delacreme: Oh my god, I have a lot of addictions! [Laughs] As I travel around the country I realize that my true Seattlelite comes out because I cannot seem to get enough coffee in my body. I feel like the coffee everywhere else is half the strength like the coffee in Seattle. Caffeine is my drug of choice.
You can catch Delacreme on Monday’s on Logo TV at 9 p.m. She also has her own products and you can learn more here. Admissions into Badlands for the show starts at 8 p.m., and you can purchase tickets for a meet-and-greet here or at the door.