June 22, 2024


Art Is Experience

Canada’s Drag Race: Victoria queen Jimbo on hypersexualized drag, judging backlash, and eating on air

When the twelve contestants strutted into the Canada’s Drag Race workroom back in July, a person queen turned heads much more than many others: Victoria-primarily based Jimbo.

Originally from London, Ontario, Jimbo is a costume designer, creation designer and drag clown with a penchant for buxom breastplates, freaky authentic fashion creations, and a seemingly insatiable oral fixation.

Jimbo promptly grew to become a cult favourite, earning shout-outs from admirer-favourite queens from the U.S. model of RuPaul’s Drag Race and racking up much more than 200,000 followers on Instagram—more than any other queen on Canada’s Drag Race.

Even with the buzz, Jimbo pulled off only a person maxi-challenge win—albeit a excellent one—the Snatch Sport. Her Joan Rivers impersonation snatched a possible gain from Lemon’s Jojo Siwa. But in runway soon after runway, the judges browse Jimbo for messy make-up and a absence of consideration to details.

Jimbo’s sexed-up shtick also seemed a little bit a lot for judges Brooke Lynn Hytes, Stacey McKenzie, and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. “Jimbo was robbed” grew to become a widespread chorus on social media, and in recent weeks admirer backlash to Bowyer-Chapman in particular—as very well as other contestants—led Bell Media-owned streaming system Crave to talk to supporters to silence the “hateful remarks.”

Jimbo’s memorable run provided taking in a sandwich on the air, blowing Bowyer-Chapman’s microphone in the pageant challenge, and a complete-protection denim look for the Canadian Tux-shedo: Denim On Denim On Denim runway.

Regrettably, the devil-clown is in the details, and Jimbo’s a few Snow Ball seems to be in Episode nine unsuccessful to impress visitor decide Michelle Visage—the queen of harsh critiques from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Jimbo exited as memorably as she arrived soon after a lip sync facial area-off with Rita Baga to Tegan and Sara’s “Closer”.

The day soon after elimination day, we caught up with Jimbo to communicate about becoming an outsider in Victoria’s drag scene, the Canada’s Drag Race judging backlash and what they feed the queens at the rear of the scenes.

How did you come to be a drag performer?

I grew to become a drag queen about the training course of a lot of a long time. Practising my clowning, practising my effectiveness and weaving in the feminine side of my temperament. I appreciate wearing glamorous outfits, becoming sparkly and sensation fantastic. I’ve designed into a drag clown. I was thieving my mother and my grandma’s dresses when I was five and six a long time outdated. I didn’t like the similar issue as most of the other boys I favored sparkly points, I favored to play with the women. It was a shameful issue for a lengthy time then it grew to become a genuinely wonderful issue that empowered me.

Are your mother and grandmother’s type represented by the outfits we have viewed you dress in?

Absolutely my mother. She loves seeking at my drag and viewing herself. She can see a great deal of herself in me: She experienced massive breasts and lengthy nails and she favored limited dresses that flowed out. I recall her in crinoline and she usually wore massive fur coats. She likes her jewels. She likes sensation the fantasy and she can see that in me and she loves it. It provides her a great deal of joy.

When you walked into the operate space, folks didn’t know who you ended up. You ended up like the mystery participant. Inform me about the reception you’ve had—Drag Race queens like Shea Couleé, Jujubee, and Latrice Royale right away pegged you as a person to watch.

When we ended up waiting for [the show] to occur out, we genuinely questioned how it would be received by the fandom and how we’d be received by our American sisters. It was genuinely beautiful and encouraging to know that they ended up seeing, they ended up intrigued and genuinely energized for what Canada has to offer in its drag scene. All of us ended up about the moon, and I’m even now blown absent by how a lot the appreciate and assist and all the shout-outs from these legendary folks influenced me alongside the way.

Would you say becoming so unfamiliar gave you an advantage?

A great deal of the other competition experienced record with the judges. They experienced record with viewers. Substantially of the time, the judges ended up seeking over and above what [the queens] ended up carrying out on the phase and referencing points they know from their time undertaking together. When I was on the key phase, I was judged on what I was carrying out in that instant, with no preconceived notions of who I was. Whilst a great deal of the other folks on the show, they experienced a baseline comprehension of who they ended up. When they didn’t conduct to their very best, in the back of their head [the judges] would say, “Oh, very well I know you are an wonderful performer.” When [fashion designer] Evan Biddell was there, he instructed Tynomi [Banks], “You’re my favourite performer.” But owning the judges know you clearly didn’t operate out for Tynomi. The simple fact that the judges have that prior expertise of you and your expertise, it can be an advantage or a disadvantage. So I would say it was both.

How massive of a existence are you in the Victoria drag scene?

I was not genuinely recognized by the drag community listed here. I made my personal phase in my household and we host our personal demonstrates listed here. I conduct with a neighborhood Vaudeville troupe. My drag doesn’t focus about lip syncing. My drag is mainly about stand-up. It is about connection and character and sooner or later I do weave in the factor of lip syncing. That only genuinely receives you so considerably in conditions of the emotions you get from undertaking. I get the most joy out of connecting reside and viewing what comes about.

My track record listed here is I set on an wonderful show, I set on odd demonstrates and to expect the unforeseen. The key drag queen in town never ever booked me for a single show for the earlier 10 a long time. Once you are on the show everyone’s like, “Oh wow! You are wonderful!” and you are like, “Okay. Neat. Thank you so a lot. I recall when you didn’t give a shit about what I was carrying out for so lengthy.” So it’s great.

Jimbo is quite hypersexual. Can you communicate about the place that facet of your drag comes from?

A clown is all about making points greater and much more excessive. Drag is about pushing boundaries. It is about tests social norms. For me, sexuality was a massive element of increasing up. There was a great deal of repression about sexuality. There was a great deal of disgrace about sexuality. So there is a great deal of electrical power in possessing sexuality and not fearing sexuality and difficult preconceived notions about what is attractive, what is beautiful and what is acceptable for a man and what is acceptable for a girl. There’s a thing funny and beautiful about every thing in daily life. It is ok to be attractive. It is ok to be slutty. No a person should come to feel ashamed of nearly anything.

Bell Media

How do you come to feel that was received on the show? The judges ended up freaked out by your attractive sisters drag in the relatives makeover challenge.

Brooke Lynn is a pageant queen so there are specified approaches of likely about drag from the stage of watch of a pageant queen. Most of the approaches I categorical myself, Brooke Lynn would never ever categorical herself that way. It is hard for her to look at me and go “Yesss!” simply because it’s not what she sees in herself. There’s lots of appreciate there, but I hope seeking back at the show the judges go, “I really don’t genuinely know what our problem was. That was truly wonderful and so funny. I really don’t know why we didn’t celebrate it.”

I really don’t know what their problem was. They experienced to have a thing to say about it so that is what it was. Perhaps they ended up worried to say that was genuinely funny? For all the critiques they gave me about make-up, my breastplate matching and my padding, they didn’t say nearly anything about all of that operate I did. In the conclude, it was not for them. It is for my supporters. As a clown, every thing I do is for my audience and for myself. The simple fact that a few random folks didn’t’ get it is a drop in the bucket of the a lot of, a lot of folks in this environment that do.

You are the most adopted Canada’s Drag Race contestant on Instagram. How does this level of exposure come to feel? On a person hand, you have the positive opinions from the fandom, but on the other there was this “Jimbo was robbed” chatter that turned into bullying Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. What is your choose on the chatter about the judging and the part the “Jimbo was robbed” contingent played in that?

There ended up numerous difficulties that JBC confronted that weren’t just about me. It was mainly the fans’ reaction to his manner, mindset, and remarks on the show, along with Brooke Lynn and Stacey. The audience didn’t concur with the choices and the possibilities. But the audience also has the advantage of becoming there at the conclude and seeking back about the greater photo.

I say to my spouse all the time, “If I didn’t do a thing every single time another person instructed me not to, I would never ever have finished nearly anything.” Every phase alongside the way there is another person indicating no. It is not unusual for me to do a thing and be misunderstood or not be viewed. That is the wrestle of my daily life and me becoming an artist. That’s what is pushed me to be the artist I am. I hope that by becoming me—and becoming on that show and presenting the way I did—that it can help open up their eyes to foreseeable future contestants, so when they occur by way of they are viewed and valued and acknowledged for their stage of watch and their drag. A critique of what you would do rather of seeking at what the human being does—that’s not a critique. That’s another person indicating, “This is what I would do if I ended up on the show.”

In conditions of JBC, I appreciate JBC so a lot. I felt awful for him. This is his desire occur genuine to be a decide on the show, to assist all these queens, to be viewed in the environment on this system. I cannot picture how disappointing and unfortunate it would be to be received by the environment so negatively, when genuinely you wished to be a star like absolutely everyone else wishes to. He was forged as the bitchy decide-y Judy and he took it genuinely considerably. I’m certain he’s seeing and likely, “Well, upcoming calendar year I’m likely to tone it down a minimal little bit.” I’m certain the writers are likely, “Next calendar year we’re likely to tone it down a minimal little bit.” It was all finished to make a reality Tv set show. It is not serious. The only issue that is serious are the folks on the show. They have emotions and are serious folks. In the situation of JBC, that was particularly hurtful.

That was [the judges’] initial time carrying out that and absolutely everyone requirements at some time to study. They clearly have to have to study a couple of points about judging and that is ok. No a person is anticipated to know how to be an wonderful decide right absent.

Bell Media

The judging worked out for you on the Snatch Sport episode. Inform me about impersonating Joan Rivers and what she means to you.

She was a massive boundary pusher and sometimes she would go as well considerably and it was quite cringey. But a lot of times it was quite beautiful and hilarious, and she captured the essence of so a lot of hilarious issue about daily life. That was the second time I’d finished that—the initial time was my audition tape. I’ve watched Joan Rivers my full daily life so I have a minimal little bit of her inside of. I experienced no concept how it would go and I was so grateful and genuinely happy that I did it so very well and the show went so very well, and that I gained.

You ended up also filmed taking in in the operate space. I really don’t believe I’ve at any time viewed another person try to eat on Drag Race.

I was just so hungry and the meals came at odd times. Often we’d be all dressed and they’d be like, “Okay, here’s a plate of meatballs.” And all of us are like, “Meatballs! How the fuck are we intended to try to eat meatballs with our make-up on?” If a person issue drops, you go household. All of us ended up like, “We’re not taking in.” And they ended up like, “You have to have to try to eat simply because you ended up functioning so a lot.” And we’re like, “We cannot try to eat simply because you are not feeding us at the times we have to have to be fed.” I snuck my sandwich in, stuck it on my tray, hunched down, and pretended to go get a thing. I was snacking absent and I peeked up to watch the women as I was owning my snack. They filmed me and ended up like, “What the hell are you carrying out?” Havin’ my snack, seeing the women.

They have to have to do a challenge the place the queens try to eat meatballs with a straw.

That’d be excellent! [Slurps] I’ll have that a person no problem!

Do you come to feel like you’ve upped your match as a drag queen?

Significant time. One particular of the most important points was assembly my drag sisters and studying a great deal from them. As a clown, my focus is fewer on precision in the make-up and much more about embodying a character and becoming entertaining. It was not right up until I was on the show that the women explained, “Your make-up is broke down.” Like I explained, I didn’t have drag queen friends at the time. My a person close friend was Vivian Vanderpuss. I have much more now, but she was demonstrating me make-up strategies. On the show I was reminded frequently about how unappealing my make-up was. I’ve tried my most difficult to up my match.

What is the tale with
the name Jimbo?

Jimbo is my childhood nickname. It is a different name for the name James. My dad utilized to simply call me Jimbo and Jimbalina. When I moved out west, my spouse at the time commenced to simply call me Jimbo and it just stuck. Men and women get a perception of familiarity and friendship right absent, which is what I appreciate.

This interview has been edited for size and clarity.

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