No one imagined that a drag queen who did her make up like a chola and whose catchphrase is “Party!” would make it to the end of season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race yet Adore Delano (Danny Noriega) charmed her way through the competition to make it the final three.
“It’s very surreal and liberating,” said Adore Delano. “I went into it thinking I would get half way but as the competition started to get harder, I started to push myself harder and thinking ‘you gotta fucking kick ass. This is season 6, lets fucking play.’”
Not apologetic or afraid to expressing herself, Adore’s star quality appeals to the masses. She was adored by RuPaul and the judges and was one of the funnier queens of the season. In one episode she said, “I’m from the hood. I’m from Asuza. I’ll stab a bitch.” with such seriousness you couldn’t help but laugh.
Being one of the youngest queens competing, Adore, 23, struggled throughout the season landing in the bottom and being criticized for her inexperienced looks on the runway. But when it mattered the most, she fought to stay there.
“The harder the challenges were getting, the more I knew I was going to stay because I know myself and I know that I don’t give up at all,” said Adore, who also competed on the seventh season of American Idol. “I will not leave without a fight.”
Drag Race concludes on Monday with Bianca Del Rio and Courtney Act as the other two finalist. And Adore is content with her two competitors.
“Courtney is a brilliant person and really talented, and Bianca is a comedic genius,” she added. Although, she wished Ben Delacreme, who was eliminated in an earlier episode, would have made it to the finals. Adore added that Delacreme was one of her closest friends on the show and consistently worked hard to make it to the final three.
Below Adore discusses her soon to be released album, her chola-ness, and her plans to conquer the world.
JM: How did you come up with Adore?
Adore: Adore was my brother’s chola friend’s name, and I loved it so much and kept tagging the name on the walls around the city, and I was like I want that name. My brother was like ‘no that’s her name.’ I was like ‘I’ll fight her for it.’ [Laughs] At my first drag competition, I didn’t even have a drag name and they asked me ‘What’s your name?’ I said Adore. I really connected with it and I just love the name.
JM: How did you decide to make drag a career choice?
Adore: Well School is fucking not for me. [Laughs] I started dressing up in drag when I was 15 and competing in singing competitions. I had to stop for American Idol because my mom told me to, and then I started to perform and dressing up again in local bars around the city. I was like yeah, this is something that I’m good at, this is something that I can incorporate my music in. It’s been like I can fucking take over the world in this. Lady Gaga is a drag queen. The only difference is I have a penis and she doesn’t.
JM: You also do videos as a character named Angel Baby dressed as a chola. Is that influenced from how you grew up?
Adore: My dad is still like a cholo and my mom is like an ex-chola. My family reunions look like Mi Vida Loca. It’s hilarious. It’s definitely inspired by all my cousins and the girls I grew up with. My new single “DTF” is definitely chola-realness. I like merging different genre of people. I have the chola background in the video and I think it’s really cool. It’s almost like a pin-up vibe.
JM: Speaking of the new single, you also have a new album coming out.
Adore: My new album is called “Til Death Do Us Party,” which I co-wrote. It’s a fucking awesome album. I feel like every song should be a single for different reasons. It’s very solid. I want to be taken serious as an artist and it’s about time that a drag queen busts through the main stream circuit again. I really think I can do that. I see myself touring and winning a goddamn Grammy! [Laughs]
JM: You have fans drawing Adore on alleys in Paris and making memes out of your character. Did you ever see that coming?
Adore: No. It’s very surreal and awesome. I’m also noticing people getting tattoos of my name on them and it’s so fucking punk rock of them. I love it! Party!
JM: You did American Idol when you were younger and now Drag Race. Which show has felt more like you?
Adore: American Idol is very watered down. It’s run by Fox, by republicans. It’s very watch what you say. You can’t sing this. You can’t sing that. Don’t act too gay. Don’t come out. On Drag Race, it’s literally balls to the walls. It’s literally documenting who you are as a person.
JM: What do you think about Conchita Wurst winning the singing competition in Europevision?
Adore:I think he’s brilliant and sobering. He has a beautiful aura and amazing voice. It’s such an awesome statement that he’s making.
JM: In Latino culture, masculinity is very prominent and being gay is something that sometimes gets viewed down on. How do you view drag in your culture?
Adore: I don’t give a fuck. I came out of the closet when I was twelve years old and my mom was very accepting and I felt very blessed for that. She basically raised me to really not care and as long as my immediate family is okay with it and if someone isn’t okay with that, it is there issue. I was lucky enough to have a family that has brains and realize that I was gay when I was a kid. My brother’s basically treated me like their little sister but they really roughed me up. I was like literally in piggy-tails playing football with my brothers in family reunions. I’m kinda like the tomboy of drag.
JM: You even mentioned to RuPaul that you didn’t want to be seen as the chillona (crier). Will your fans get to see a Llorona (A Mexican folk legend of the weeping woman) inspired drag?
Adore: Probably not. [Laughs] My mom used to tell me that story when I was a kid and it used to scare the shit out of me.
JM: Anything you want to tell your fans?
Adore: I can’t wait to marry America in “Til Death Do Us Party!”
You can catch the season finale on Monday night at 9 p.m. on LogoTV and see if Adore Delano wins the $100,000 prize and the crown.