RuPaul’s Drag Race and Strictly Come Dancing star Michelle Visage, talking last night at Samsung KX’s ‘Thread Talks’ revealed her funniest, favourite and most controversial moments on Twitter along with juicy gossip including the real reason why she is not appearing on the Strictly Live Tour.
Held in association with Twitter, Thread Talks is a series of six intimate and exclusive ‘in conversation’ events in which comedian and host, Alex Zane is joined by some of the biggest names in journalism, sport, culture and comedy – taking place at Samsung KX, Coal Drops Yard.
Designed to give guests the ultimate immersive brand experience, Samsung KX is a place where people are invited to discover, interact with and learn new skills in a dynamic environment through a range of workshops, events and performances together with local community partners.
Obviously you were amazing on Strictly and a lot of fans are disappointed you’re not going to be on tour, so I’m not really sure what happened there..?
Oh you’re trying to get the tea aren’t you?
I’ll tell you what happened, it’s not that racy or scandalous but what happened was they and asked in the beginning for my availability, this is the honest to god transparent truth, I said yes but I have RuPaul’s Drag Con is there any way I could miss the matinees and I would drive or take a train wherever to get there for the night shows. They were like you have to do all of them and I was like, okay do you want me to see if I can move it? And they said yes. So I moved it, I got out of it because at one point I was going to do the tour and not drag con and at that point they were like “Oh I’m sorry, we’re going to pass”.
So I cleared my schedule and they passed on me so that’s what happened.
You can’t take it personally they probably locked people in when they thought that I couldn’t do it so there wasn’t shade but I would absolutely have loved to have done it. Maybe next year we can clear schedules beforehand.
Michelle says she has no regrets about performing final Strictly dance
I left the show after performing one of the most important dances of my life. The Twitter community showed me and Giovanni so much support for our dance it was the most loving, supporting battle cry for me and I know 10,000% (if that’s a percent) that I did the right thing this week and I wouldn’t change it for anything… I’m so proud that I could do that and make a statement for my community.
Michelle Visage admits she went back at work one week after giving birth to avoid losing her job on morning radio
I did breakfast radio in the States for 17 long years through two pregnancies and being a woman in that industry I was able, British people, ready people of the world here, I was given 1 week off to have my baby. No joke, two C-sections, I was back on the radio in a week literally freshly cut like “ok nobody take my job”. But that’s how difficult it is, especially being a female on morning radio was no way someone was going to come for me.
Michelle Visage admits she only went into Celebrity Big Brother to pave the way for Drag Race UK
Most people know me from RuPaul’s Drag Race which has been on for 10 years which, in my opinion is 10 years too many to not come to the UK I did a little embarrassing show 5 years ago called Celebrity Big Brother and the only reason I entered into that house of hell was to get drag race on the map here in this country because I had performed here so many time I knew how important it was to gay kids here in the United Kingdom to have their own show that represents them and yes the American version is amazing and it will keep going, hopefully forever until I’m really old and snatched really tightly and Ru too! But for me, I know how important it was so I didn’t have a fake tan range to sell, I didn’t have a book at the time, I didn’t have a calendar, I was just in there to be the voice of queer people, of queer culture, of a generation. Yes I’m not going to be offended – I am supposedly a heteronormative woman who’s been married for 23 years, I am cis gendered woman But I am a proud ally and advocate of the community and have been for over 30 years; so for me being a voice for kids who don’t have the ability to have that voice was important to me. So just to let you know, it’s taken 5 years to get Drag Race made I think it’s so ironic that it’s ended up on the BBC of all places! Although we know what the BBC really means. It does kinda make sense.
Michelle Visage says Strictly is more pure than Dancing with the Stars
I didn’t do Dancing with the Stars because I wanted to do Strictly, for many, many reasons I love this country so very much, I feel like I belong here, I feel like I’m home here, I feel like one of you and I’m grateful for that but also Dancing with the Stars got really kinda crazy over the past few years like in the middle of a foxtrot they’re twerking and it was like ok, no. And what I loved about Strictly was very pure. It was like if I’m gonna learn how to foxtrot, I’m gonna learn how to foxtrot so I really held out for that.
Michelle admits she would love to appear on EastEnders in the future as Kat Slater’s American cousin
Many people believe you are Kat Slater’s American cousin … Is it going to happen?
Michelle Visage (re-enacts and tweaks famous Eastenders moment):
“I’m not your cousin, Yes I am.”
I don’t know but I love Jesse, I love it – it would be amazing and hilarious and I think people would eat that up.
Michelle says she loves pushing the Queens to be the best they can be
My favourite part is to be able to help the girls be the best they can be so when I’m tough, the reason I say it is because that there’s something else there and they can be better than they’re doing. They can be more. When the Queens leave the show they have literally a year before the next Queens come in and I hate to say it you don’t want to be forgotten about. So I push them to be the best they can be so maybe their 15 minutes will last to 30 minutes. So that’s my favourite part, it’s being able to put something on them.
I use Jinkx Monsoon as an example but every freaking thing she said she hated it, she fought it and then she gave in and she won. Now that doesn’t mean that everything I say is going to win. Max for example had lovely grey hair, I said can I please do something different she came back with black hair and went home… I love just pushing them to be the best they can be. Help them extend their stay in showbiz because it’s very fickle.
Michelle Visage says she longs to come back to the West End
Will you be coming back to the West End?
I would love to come back to the West End, I did Everyone’s Talking About Jamie for five months last year. It was such an incredible experience to be able to make my debut in that musical with a really s**t Sheffield accent but I tried! … So yeah I’ll definitely be back, it’s just timing cos the thing with the West End or Broadway, they don’t let you come on for 2 weeks so it’s always a commitment of months and because of filming between here and America and other shows that I’ve got planned here in the UK it’s not so easy. But Musical theatre is my passion, it’s my first love – it’s what I was born to do … but yeah thank you I can’t wait to do that.