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'America's Next Drag Superstar' is crowned ... and promptly passes out

April 27, 2010 | 11:45 am


Was that a finale or what?

"RuPaul's Drag Race" concluded on Monday with the most logical choice for the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar," but did anyone see what happened next coming? The beautiful Tyra Sanchez collapsed on the floor, hyperventilating, while the stunning runner-up Raven sat helpless by her side.

Now that's the way to end the highly dramatic second season of this Logo hit. Tuesday morning, we spoke to "The Other Tyra" about her big win, what she's been up to lately, her 4-year-old son, and how she managed to show everyone that she was not who they all thought she was (read: witch) at the beginning of the show.


Here's the interview:

Tyra, I remember when I visited the set you were missing your son and concerned about him since you couldn't call him. How is he now?

He’s doing very good. He’s 4 now. He’s just very energetic. He talks a lot and asks a lot of questions.

In the reunion show, you said that you now have custody?

Yes, he’ll be moving in with me at the end of the month because, next month, his mom is going off to the Army.

Did he watch the show?

No, I don’t want him to watch it until he’s like in his teens. I don’t want anyone to say, “His son’s gonna be gay.” Everything should be his decision, not influenced by me.

OK, let's talk about that finale. What happened to you? Are you OK?

I was in such a state of shock that I didn’t think about breathing. My mind went somewhere else. The producers were on stage with water and a paper bag to breathe in, but that was pretty much it.

And you’re fine?

I’m OK. This happened to me before when I won a beauty pageant.  When I get excited, I just need to remember to breathe.

I’m sure that was scary, especially for Raven.

We were talking about that today. She was like, what am I supposed to do? I don’t have anything up here to help her.

Did you have a feeling the judges were going to pick you?

It was kind of scary because you had three amazing queens and you didn’t know who they were going to choose. Each one of us had our own personality, our own style. At that point, it was like, how can you compare these three women?

But you had never been in the bottom two, which was your advantage.

It’s kinda of scary because last year Nina Flowers had never been in the bottom two and she lost.

Getprev The judges always complimented you on your wardrobe and your taste, and you always did look phenomenal. Do you have any desire to go into fashion?

I do. I’m working now with an Orlando woman to start the prototypes for my own fashion line. I really want to have my own fashion line. The name of it is Willyaam Xa’vier -- my middle name spelled differently and my son’s name spelled differently.

What kind of clothes?

I want to start the line with women’s clothing, of course, because I do drag. But I want to start with things that you wear to the club. Things that make you look fierce, even things that you wear to the club and can wear the next day and go straight to work.

How long have you been doing drag?

Since 2007. I was 19.

So it hasn’t been that long and you were able to really stand up to the more experienced contestants.

I hang around a lot of the older queens and so I’ve learned a lot from them, and I mix my old-school drag with my new-school drag. And I’m very creative, so that plays a big part in it.

Are you still living with your drag mother?

Yes, I am. But now I’m not sleeping on the couch. I have my own room and Jeremiah has his own room, and we share the rent.

What did this experience mean to you?

For me, it means a new start. I’m still the same person. I’ve just gotten a bit better at who I am. So it means a new beginning for me.

Do you feel that you changed when you were on the show, or did it just take you time to open up and be yourself?

I don’t think I changed. Well, during the show, you saw the change that I opened up to more people. I didn’t want anyone to think that I was a bitch when I’m truly not. But as far as outside the show, from the show until now, I’m still the same person. I have the same qualities. I just think it’s been amplified to 10. So you see a major difference. I’m trying hard to be your friend and interact with you.

What have you been doing?

I’ve been performing and working and helping the younger queens with their drag careers. I’ve been out of town almost every weekend.

Did your mom watch the show?

My mom watched the show, which is kind of aggravating because when you talk to your mom, you wanna talk to your mom. You don’t want to talk to your mom about Tyra. It got to the point where she was only calling when the show was on. She was giving me good critiques but especially in the wedding episode, she wanted to curse the girls out.

That must have been hard to hear all the girls turning on you like that.

The wedding challenge wasn’t hard for me. It pissed me off a little because people were saying things I didn’t think were true. But, obviously,  if they all thought it was true, then it had to be true. So I just told myself that I needed to change a little and show more personality and be more open.

What was it like to spend so much time with RuPaul?

That was amazing. You got to see that RuPaul is actually the person she is on TV.  She loves to laugh and loves to have fun. And she gives great advice.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez (Follow me on Twitter @writerchica)

Photos: Tyra Sanchez on set last July. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times


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