By Christopher Rudolph
On last night’s grand finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Yvie Oddly slayed the competition, and was crowned the winner of Season 11.
MTV News spoke with Yvie about her journey to the crowning, her epic “Sorry Not Sorry” lip sync, and why she thinks her win is “a win for putting humanity back in drag.”
MTV News: Hey Yvie! Condragulations! How are you feeling today?
Yvie Oddly: Super good. I’m just still trying to figure out what it means to be America’s Next Drag Superstar. [Laughs] I can’t believe it’s real!
MTV News: What was that like, watching the finale?
Oddly: I actually didn’t get nervous until literally that last second, when we were just sitting there and Brooke and I were about to find out which one of us took it. But up until that, for the rest of the night, I was just excited to see how beautifully this journey closed and how wonderfully this chapter ended. I’m really, really pumped for the future knowing that, either way, we’ve done some amazing things and been set up for success.
MTV News: You’re on the Season 11 tour now, right? How’s that going?
Oddly: It just started, but it’s so fun! It reminds me of being back in the the-a-ter again. I’m really enjoying taking this show on the road, and I’m really glad that everyone gets to see what not only me, but also my sisters, are capable of.
MTV News: Your “Sorry Not Sorry” lip sync has become one of my favorite lip syncs ever on the show. Did you know during that lip sync that you were absolutely killing it?
Oddly: I mean, I definitely knew I was killing it, that’s for sure! But that’s also because I had to. I knew that with Brooke being in the bottom with me, there was, like, a really intense chance that I was going to go home if I wasn’t able to pull everything out. So I literally let every trick I had out of the bag. I played with my comedy. I just made sure I was having fun the whole way, because if you’re enjoying something that’s hard, it’s hard for other people not to enjoy it, too.
MTV News: You are a unique individual — I mean, it’s in your name. Did you really see yourself going all the way to the finale when you entered the competition?
Oddly: I actually did. That’s the thing. Maybe it’s just my drag queen delusion taking over, but when I stepped into the workroom and saw my competition, I was nervous for a half a second, ‘cause they were all way sparklier than I could ever dream of. And then I realized that that’s exactly what I wanted. That’s what I came to represent in the competition — that one missing piece. That other. So I felt really confident from there, and I thought I was gonna make it all the way. That definitely changed along the way. There were some bumps along the road where I was like, well, that’s the end of my journey. But… [Laughs]
MTV News: Aside from when you were in the bottom, were there any other scary moments when you thought this might be the end of the road for you?
Oddly: I have to say, after I injured myself during the Draglympics challenge, that’s when a lot of my mindset began to change. Unfortunately, I let my inner saboteur get the better of me because instead of focusing on, like, what I get the opportunity to do and am excited to be able to do, I felt like I was really fighting against myself. And tackling every challenge, like, what I’m forced to do, what I have to pull off so I can stay here, and that’s just — I mean, that’s not what drag is about. [Laughs]
MTV News: Have you heard from any other past winners?
Oddly: The fact that I haven’t even looked at any of my social media aside from making a few quick posts — I just looked, posted some things, and then I got off, ‘cause I’m a little overwhelmed — I mean, I assume so? I think I saw Sasha Velour message me.
MTV News: Did you sleep in your crown last night?
Oddly: No, unfortunately not, because I didn’t want to ruin it with my dirty, gross ways and break it. Have to turn it into a whole new outfit… [Laughs]
MTV News: That last lip sync outfit with the mirrored headset — where did the idea for that come from?!
Oddly: Well, I was thinking about the finale in general and how after Sasha Velour’s reveal of the roses, it just kind of turned into this reveal-gate of who can do the most reveals in the least amount of time, turn out the most tricks without really connecting to a song. And so when I was thinking about what I was going to wear, I wanted something that wasn’t going to rely on any of those gimmicks, per se, but still have an element of theatricality. And literally get to show people a new side of me.
MTV News: I feel like your win is important for Drag Race because you’re different. Maybe a whole different crop of queens will feel empowered to audition for the show.
Oddly: I think why I was really hoping to win — and what I’m hoping my win really stands for — is a win for putting humanity back in drag. For reminding people that as nice as it would be if queens could come onto the show with, like, millions of dollars worth of designer pieces and all the connections and all the polish … the drag queens who are actually out there working to evolve [this art form] are the people who are on the streets, who can’t afford all of the nice things. They’re the gritty queens working for drink tickets and, like, a half-ass hand job. [Laughs]
MTV News: I also wanted to ask about “Dolla Store.” It’s a bop!
Oddly: Yaaas! I’m so happy.
MTV News: Is there more music coming? What else is being planned?
Oddly: You know, I have some other projects in the works. Nothing too official as of yet, ‘cause I really do want to take this year to go out and meet the people. But I wanted to make at least one, shitty RuGirl song because, like, I kind of think you have to. [Laughs] I always wanted to play around with music, but I’ve always told myself that I wasn’t good enough. Like, you either are born with this talent, or you aren’t. And, like, getting to shoot that and make that song showed me that I don’t really care whether or not I’m talented. I just want to make some fun music.
MTV News: Now that you’re a winner, baby, what advice do you have for future queens applying for the competition?
Oddly: Um, it’s this really complex, delicate balance. That’s what I have to offer for advice. You have to remain true to yourself, obviously. You really do have to let yourself be yourself and go through these true moments. But, I feel like in my opinion, you also should push the boundaries of exploring what it means to be yourself. Don’t be the type of person who would say, “Oh, I would never do this.” Say, “What does it look like when I do this? What is it like when I’m this person — when I’m an old lady? When I’m singing?” Try and find ways to put yourself into everything you’re doing.