When Alaska made her entrance in the Season 5 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race a catchphrase hit the mainstream, “Hieeeee!” she shouted.
And that is how she answered the phone when I called to talk to her about the new reality show, Scared Famous, which premiered on VH1, Monday, October 23. She also spilled some heresay tea about this new season of Drag Race All-Stars.
In her current show, Alaska is a member of a cast of 10 reality stars chosen to hang out in a haunted Georgia mansion where they must complete tasks inspired by some of the greatest horror movies of all time. The “survivor” can win up to $100,000 for charity.
Most of the celebrities in the show are stars in their own genre, from “Mob Wife” Drita D’Avanzo, to Tiffany “New York” Pollard, to “Top Model” Don Benjamin.
But Alaska is the only drag queen and I recently talked to her about the experience, after all, being placed in the remote backwoods of Georgia in the humidity amid swarms of biting insects doesn’t sound like a good time.
“I don’t know about “good time” but I’m glad I did it,” she said from a bus in the U.K.. “I mean it was living in the sweltering heat with wasps and flies and mosquitos. So I’m glad I did the experience, but it wasn’t a summer camp. It wasn’t exactly a spa.”
She says when doing Drag Race, getting into makeup wasn’t easy even in a climate controlled room, but the Georgia heat was a bit more demanding. “It was definitely challenging but, and I don’t think there are a lot of drag queens that could do it or would even be able to do it. But I did it.”
Reality celebrities sometimes never go beyond their own demographic. For instance, hip-hop fans are more likely to recognize Erica Mena from Love and Hip Hop, so when Alaska entered the house, only a few knew who she was.
“I think a couple people recognized me, but for the most part it’s like everyone in that house, we’re all the same and we’re all doing the same thing but in completely different lanes,” she said adding her excitement in representing the queens of reality TV. “So I thought is it was great that we were all coming together and getting to know each other you know?“
Alaska says she recognized most of her “Scared” castaways, but meeting them was a bit surreal.
“It was that sort of thing that I like kind of recognized everyone,” she said. “Because when people are on TV you feel like you know them when you meet them in real life so it was sort of like being Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, waking up and seeing your uncles and like, oh that was you, yeah.”
Walking into a group of celebrities who are not used to drag entertainment induced some anxiety for her. She says it was nerve-wracking, “because I’m the only drag queen and I’m the only queer person so I felt extremely vulnerable and extremely exposed, but that’s sort of the only way you can grow is by putting yourself into situations where you’re not comfortable.”
And speaking of that, the whole series takes place in an alleged “haunted” house. She explained that the area itself is drenched in gory and grotesque stories, but did VH1 select a real one?
“I mean just the entire region has its demons and so, the short answer is yes.” She said, adding that ghosts may be a state of mind, “I think it’s this sort of thing like if you believe in ghosts that they’re real for you. So I’m not saying ghosts aren’t real. But the show is called ‘Scared Famous’ for a reason so you’ll definitely see why.”
With a number of costume changes she did on Drag Race, creating all those now famous looks, Alaska says she also went “berserk” while packing for Scared Famous, but it was helpful to already have a theme in mind. “My influence was like classic horror movies, but the show is very influenced by that as well. I wanted with my looks, I wanted to reference things a little bit.”
Alaska says she mostly remained in drag during the show, but that brought up the question about her choice of shoes especially during the often physical challenges she is required to do.
“Well I mean I wore heels as much as I could, but I’m also that queen that likes to wear flats anyway, so I brought a good selection of boots, sneakers and one pair of Louis Vuitton’s.”
Speaking of drag, I asked her about this latest season of Drag Race All-Stars and if she had heard anything behind-the-scenes worth repeating to our readers.
“I heard that Pork Chop Parker gets in a fist fight with Tammie Brown,” she laughed. “that’s what I heard so I think that will be fun to watch.”
Alaska is currently making her way through Austalia and isn’t sure when she will visit San Diego, but in the meantime, you can watch her get down and dirty in drag on “Scared Famous.”
“It’s really fun and I’m really excited to watch it,” she said.
The series which airs Mondays on VH1 was a whole lot of fun she says and you are going to love it too.
You can watch full episodes HERE.