Bianca Del Rio: Zero F*cks Given

RuPaul's Drag Race reigning champ Bianca Del Rio will bring her brass, sass and 'bitchitude' to four Missouri cities next month as part of the widely anticipated RPDR Battle of the Seasons tour. Stops include St. Louis (3/17 @ Pageant ), Columbia (3/18 @ Blue Note), Kansas City (3/20 @ Uptown) and Springfield (3/21 @ Gillioz).
Del Rio will join fellow Drag Racers Adore Delano, Alaska, BenDeLaCreme, Courtney Act, Darienne Lake, Detox, Ivy Winters, Jiggly Caliente, Jinkx Monsoon, Manila Luzon, Pandora Boxx, Phi Phi O’Hara, Raja and Sharon Needles for the 47+ city marathon throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe in the Condragulations Tour, a showgirl showdown hosted by the one and only Michelle Visage.
#Boom caught up with Del Rio via telephone at the start of the tour where the head diva in charge talks Battle of the Seasons, "Rolodex of Hate", political correctness, Joan Rivers and more.
This will be the first time a RuPaul's Drag Race tour of this size stops in St. Louis; it's one of four shows in cities acrossBianca2 Missouri. What can audiences expect from Battle of the Seasons?
I say expect the unexpected. What's amazing about this, like the show, is that it's a group of us that are all different, talented, amazing performers; so you get to experience all of it, which is kind of genius. It's great to travel with everybody because we all possess different talents, we all have something else to offer and to be in one group and one show is kind of like a treat.
I've been traveling a lot - you know, single by myself and getting to see the world - but it's great when we're all together because we all are quite different but it makes it good for an audience. If you hate me, you're gonna love Sharon; if you love Sharon, shit, you're going to enjoy Phi Phi, so it's great to get everybody in one mix.
You're approaching the end of your reign as season six champion and as you mentioned, you've gotten to travel the world, what's impacted you most about this journey?
For me, I've done this a long time, I've done this for 19 years so to get this golden ticket at this point in my life has been surreal; to experience the audience, to meet the people. Television's a powerful thing and seeing how it's changed my life has been surreal. But really getting to meet the people; back in the day, there was nothing like this on television so the people that I meet who are 13 years old with their mom coming to the show is pretty amazing. In my day, it didn't really exist.
What would surprise RuPaul's Drag Race fans the most about the show if they were contestants - there's obviously a lot we don't see.
Yea, I mean we film 13-14 hour days and it's edited down to an hour, so it's a lot. It's pretty intense and most people don't realize that it happens a lot quicker for us. We don't get to mingle with one another and we don't have a week in between each episode. We do it rather quickly so it's kind of crash course. You need to come in, you need to be prepared and it's quite a magical thing. Something
that you do for a couple weeks out of your life can change it and I have no regrets. It's an amazing journey.
Bianca4What are your thoughts on Season 7 of RPDR?
You know what, I have no thoughts, which is good. I mean I know Miss Fame, I know Kasha Davis; I know a couple of them I've met through my life but I'm looking forward to it as a viewer. I enjoy the show for what it is so I have no inside information and I'm excited to see what comes of it.
You're originally from New Orleans - I absolutely love that city - how did New Orleans help shape you as a gay man and as an entertainer?
Well, New Orleans is an amazing place because the bars are open 24 hours, seven days a week (which explains my drinking habits) but also when I started out there I was 20 and I got to work five days a week for 10 years. So it was an amazing stepping stone for me and I was unaware of how important it was until I was doing something like Drag Race and I was able to use all of the stuff that I'd learned and experienced. It's a great place; I visit often and I'm going to be there for Mardi Gras this year, which I'm excited about. It's home and it's quite magical.
You're one funny and sarcastic bitch. Did you always have the gift of the quick comeback or did that develop through coming out and interacting in the community? Reading used to be a rite of passage.
It wasn't always accepted and I think through the years it's been quite fascinating to see how easily accepted it is now. Many people will greet me and go read me, read me when back in the day they would run from me. So it's been a journey but it's also been something that I've always done; it's always been a part of me. My brothers and sisters don't care for it, so... [Laughs.]
I've noticed a lot of entertainers have a pretty thin skin when it comes to "reading" - it used to be you weren't anybody until you got "read", right?

I think the problem now is it's not so much that people are sensitive, I think it has a lot to do with social media; everybody has a fucking opinion and we have to sadly hear all of it which is not good. I think people become far too sensitive. I would say lighten up; I'm a man in a wig. Trust me, the biggest joke is me and I think they need to sit back and realize where I'm coming from. I'm not standing on the steps of the White House; I'm doing my drag show. Lighten the fuck up.
Let's talk about your one-woman show "Rolodex of Hate" - are you still performing; how has it been received?

It's been amazing. It's great, because for me I've been lucky enough to travel the world and do appearances where I do a 20-30 minute set. Well, my show is an hour and a half of me getting to do my thing and explain to everybody where I come from and what I'm about and the process of me being hateful. It's great because it's more of a theatre setting and people are actually sitting down
and watching which is genius for me and I love it. At first I was concerned about having to come up with that much material, but then a friend of mine was like, bitch, you never shut up.
When developing material - and this goes back to that whole political correctness thing - have you ever passed on a joke because you thought it crossed the line and then regretted it.? What's your process in choosing material?
The one thing is to trust your instinct, you know, if it's something that you say and I always say what people are thinking or I think it's crossed your mind. But no, I don't shy away from anything, I go with it. Trust your instinct and do it; if I think it's funny someone else will. But it's not that serious for me. When people shut down and go, oh, I can't say that. No. I run the other way; I go fuck it, let's do it. And if it doesn't I'll sit back and go hey, maybe I shouldn't have said it. But in the end, no regrets, none whatsoever.
Talk about your film Hurricane Bianca - where are you with the project?
It's great. We're still raising money but we start filming in July this year which I'm really looking forward to because it's been like five years in the making of getting to do it. But this is the first break that I'll get to film it and it's going to be lovely.
I know you're a big fan of Joan Rivers and how cool you did one of the last episodes of In Bed with Joan before her passing...
Originally I had no idea what the show was about and then I got a call asking if I'd like to do the thing with Joan Rivers and I was like yea. I had no idea what it was but I said yes immediately because it was Joan and I've always admired and adored her genius. It was really surreal for me. Many people ask what's your best achievement? I say yea, winning Drag Race was lovely. Sitting next to Joan Rivers was insane. I remember this six year old gay boy inside of me freaking out. It was insane.
I think you're one of the few RPDRers who hasn't cut an album - do you hate auto tune that much??
No, I'm not fond of it. I might do a comedy album of "Rolodex of Hate" and I think a lot of them have put out comedy albums because their singing is a joke. But it's not my thing, it's just not what I want to do. I think it's made for certain people but it's not made for me. You don't want to hear me singing. Not anymore. [Laughs].
Once you give up your title and things settle down what's next?
That's always my favorite thing is that when people say this happened and this happened and this happened; what's next? I have no idea what to expect and I hope things don't settle down. The great thing is you're given this golden ticket and you ride it for what it's worth. So I hope to continue working. If they call me up and say, you want to be monkey? I'll be like, sure, let's be a monkey, let's try it. So I have no idea what to expect. I don't know what I want but I know what I don't want - which is the boring life before this. It's been an amazing journey and I'm looking forward to whatever's to come.