PRIYANKA opens her heart and spills the tea in a one-woman show

What’s her name? PRIYANKA!! The newly crowned queen of the first ever Canada’s Drag Race reveals how it feels to be the first iconic winner of the show and how her life has changed after this moment. The first Canadian POC drag superstar reveals how important it is to have visibility and diversity in shows like this and why we need many more seasons of Drag Race in our lives.

Credits: Quinton Cruickshanks

How does it feel being the first Canadian Drag Queen superstar?

It feels so incredible! It’s starting to sink in finally and I honestly feel like I am on top of the world. I find it so cool that we all have these big dreams and then they can ACTUALLY come true.

Did you expect that you would be the winner? When did you start believing you could be the crowned queen?

I started to believe it the first time I lip-synced. I’m from Toronto where we lip-sync of our lives every single night. When I saw myself do the “I Drove All Night” lipsync I was like…”You know? I could win this thing”.

How has your life changed after the crown?

My life is a whirlwind right now. I have so many projects on the go, so many new friends, I just feel like I CAN DO ANYTHING. Which is how it’s changed. Before being crowned I kinda had a “I’m not good enough” mentality, but now that I have a crown on my head I’m like “Well…I am good”!

Credits: Quinton Cruickshanks

How did you come up with this clever catchphase?

WHAT’S MY NAME!!!! I came up with this because when I started drag in Toronto my Drag Mother was like “You should say this because everyone thinks your Tynomi Banks”. So I took it and made merch, a song, a music video and my entrance line for Canada’s Drag Race!

What shall we expect to see regarding your merchandise?

I have so many fun plans for merchandise. I want people to have unique items that remind them of me. T-Shirts and pins are my favourite but I have some fun things cooking up!

How did you find the cast of your season?

I thought the cast was outstanding, I’ll never forget the first episode. I was standing there really thinking that ANYONE of us could take the crown.

Have you received any messages from previous Drag Race winners?

YES! Shea Coulee and I FaceTimed the night I won, I chatted to Violet Chachki, Trixie Mattel and I have LIGHTLY chatted, Jaida and I did an instagram live together, Aquaria has been following me way before Canada’s Drag Race…all of the Drag Race girls are so nice. We all have something in common that a lot of people don’t have!

Credits: Quinton Cruickshanks

Did you like your season? How did you find yourself and the other queens on TV?

I LOVED my Season!! Are you KIDDING!!!!!! It was the most talked about show this summer and I am so thankful to be the winner of that. Truly blessed. I always said that I was so happy to be on Drag Race because it was a place for me to be both Mark and Priyanka. I used to never exist as the same person in the same room and Drag Race was able to do that for me.

Your final dress is related to your heritage. Do you feel proud to have shown yourself who Priyanka is?

YES. When I was at my finale viewing party and I saw the way that finale gown looked on camera. I said “That’s my winner!!!!!”. It’s so important to show who you really are because we often forget that there are so many people that look like us, identify like us, have the same struggles as us.

Who was your biggest competition?

Rita Baga!

How did Canada’s Drag Race differ from the American one?

It has a freshness to it none of us have seen before. It was their first season, so I’m sure they were figuring a lot of things out, but, it honestly was so unhinged in such a fun way that it made the entire world fall in love with Canada!

Credits: Quinton Cruickshanks

How did your family react to you being the winner? And also, how has your father reacted to your coming out?

My family was so excited. They were so just like the MOST EXCITED. The love and support I felt from them was IMMENSE. My dad is the MOST excited. Since winning the crown, everyone at his work is saying “tell your son congrats!”. I think it’s so cool for him to see how globally accepted I am because now he gets how the LGBTQ+ community is just like everyone else.

What were the best and the most challenging moments during the show?

The best moments were the lip sync for your lives but also the most challenging. When you’re told you’re not good, and you didn’t impress the judges it takes quite a strain on your brain. Snatch Game was also the worst thing of my entire life haha!

Do you think people were quite harsh and critical towards Jeffrey? Do you think he would come back in season two, if there was one?

I would love if he came back for a season two! I think he deserves to be on the panel. People were very harsh to him, the fans just banded behind their favourites and whenever judges would say bad things about us the fans would attack.

Credits: Quinton Cruickshanks

Will there be a season two?

I HOPE SO! I have no clue at all but I want there to be, so that Canadian talent can keep shining.

How did your drag career start and how have you evolved during all these years?

My Drag career started because I had my Drag Mother Xtacy Love perform at my birthday party and she suggested that I should start drag and just try it out. So I did and then I work horsed my way to the top. I’m just that kind of person that takes a project and really makes sure it happens!

Who was your drag mama and who were your influences and role models?

Xtacy Love! She is an incredible performer in Toronto. I also love Ivory Towers, Jada Hudson, Katinka Kature, Helena Poison, Baby Bel Bel, Sapphire Titha Reign…so many Toronto based that helped me with my drag but also that I used to go watch live!

How would you describe the drag scene in Canada?

Unpredictable!

Is Priyanka in love at the moment?

I was and then I got dumped a few weeks ago. I saw it coming….yeah that’s right I actually had a real vision. CALL ME NOW!

How did the pandemic change your life?

The pandemic forces me to calm down. I was so frantic and always running around but now I can just chill and watch Canada’s Drag Race over and over again.

What are your future plans?

Oh…you’ll see 😉

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