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TELEVISION Two Windy City queens 'Drag Race' into herstory
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2016-02-24

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Start your engines as RuPaul's Drag Race revs up for an eighth season on Logo TV, debuting Monday, March 7.

Premiering in 2009, the show has gone on to increase in popularity and prize winnings. In the past the competition show usually has Chicago represented, but this time out there are two queens from our neck of the woods. The Windy City duo includes Puerto Rican Naysha Lopez, a beauty and pageant queen who has won the crown for Miss Continental in the past, and Kim Chi, bringing her anime drag as the first Korean drag queen to be on television.

How will they do? We will have to wait for the finish line, but in the meantime Windy City Times hit the Chicago queens up with some quick questions before the race starts.

Windy City Times: What was your journey to being on RuPaul's Drag Race?

Naysha Lopez: It was a journey! I actually auditioned three or four times, which is not too bad. Timing is everything I think and this was just the right time.

Kim Chi: I made an audition video, submitted it and then I got on! Ta da! I've never auditioned for the show before and seeing my friends Pearl and Trixie having so much fun with the opportunities encouraged me to try out.

WCT: What did RuPaul first say to you upon meeting?

Both: "Hello, hello, hello!"

NL: We all met Ru as a group.

WCT: What is your tagline?

NL: I do refer to myself as the beauty of the season. Tag line hmmm, I might just have a few.

KC: "I'm here to make friends!"

WCT: Whether you make it to Snatch Game round or not, who would your choice to portray?

NL: I love female comedians, modern day and old school, from Kathy Griffin to Lucille Ball. Guess you'll have to tune in!

KC: That one Sparta warrior in the movie 300. Perhaps Smeagol, also known as Gollum, from Lord of the Rings. I think I look just like him.

WCT: Naysha, I saw you perform at SEVEN Nightclub in the past. Is hosting or stand-up something you would like to try?

NL: Oh, I'm glad you've been to SEVEN and, yes, I enjoy comedy a whole lot don't know that I can do stand up comedy, although I have been very interested in doing it and taking a stab at it. I actually am a very shy type of person and I think I might need a drink or two to get up on stage and do stand-up.

WCT: Is your family accepting about performing drag?

NL: They are! I am very fortunate in having a supportive family.

KC: My family doesn't know that I do drag.

WCT: Every year the competition gets harder. How is this one the fiercest yet?

NL: This is a very talented group and a very diverse group. Everyone is so different it's quite impressive actually.

KC: The previous seasons haven't experienced the wrath of my fart. My farts on the show were the fiercest the work room has seen to date.

WCT: What does it mean to be a hometown hero and how do you represent?

NL: Wow—a hometown hero? Well, I have had the opportunity to represent Chicago and Illinois as a whole at the Miss Continental pageant and I tried to do it in the most positive and classy way I can. I like to make my hometown proud I don't want to disappoint anyone.

KC: There is more to Chicago than overloaded hot dogs and deep-dish pizza! Chicago drag really changed and went through a renaissance this past few years. There's so much variety and artistry that's being represented currently and I'm here to showcase a tiny glimpse into what the scene is like!

WCT: How was it representing your ancestor's culture on the show, and was there a big responsibility with that?

NL: Well, you know, I'm from Puerto Rico and they always try to have some kind of Latin influence in everything I do. I hope that you get to see that on the show.

KC: If by my ancestors, you mean pack of trolls roaming free in the forest, then, yes, I trolled the show responsibly.

WCT: Was it easier or harder knowing each other going into the competition?

NL: I think any time you enter foreign ground, so to speak, and you find yourself with someone you know, you find a level of comfort, so I would say it made it easier going into the competition knowing each other

KC: It didn't make a difference to me on who was going to be at the competition because I'm here to represent my own individuality and showcase my work.

WCT: One thing you learned from the Drag Race experience?

NL: I love being in the studio and can't wait to get in front of the camera again.

KC: That my farts are deadly!

Catch Lady Bunny, Bianca Del Rio and the gang from season eight at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. on Wed., Feb. 24, with doors at 8 p.m. Tickets are at www.vossevents.com .


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