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Canada’s Drag Race star Aimee Yonce Shennel on being fearless & feuding with her sisters

Canada’s Drag Race’ star Aimee Yonce Shennel on being fearless & feuding with her sisters

aimee yonce shennel
Courtesy of World of Wonder

Plus, why she is living for the Matilda of it all.

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Just when you thought the Drag Race girlies were too afraid to speak their minds (because of the inevitable backlash. Fandom, do better, seriously!) Aimee Yonce Shennel entered Canada’s Drag Race season 4’s Werkroom and choice violence.

We were living!

This Ottawan queen, by way of the Dominican Republic, was serving all the charisma and nerve. Unafraid to speak up when she disagreed with her sisters or the judges — and to defend herself — she was like a fresh breath of old-school Drag Race air.

During her time on the show, she made plenty of memorable moments, particularly with her towel look during the design challenge, as well as kicking off a couple of fierce rivalries with Luna DuBois and Nearah Nuff — the latter of which came to a head during the epic Lip Sync Slay Offs. That challenge saw the two facing off for a second time and it would ultimately send her to the bottom where along with Kitten Kaboodle was asked to sashay away, in a heart-breaking double elimination.

PRIDE sat down with Aimee to talk about her time on the show, those spicy moments with her sisters, why she is fearless about speaking her mind, and how she’s feeling about the Melinda Verga of it all.

The lead-up to Drag Race is always really interesting to me. You get cast, then have to rush to get ready, and then you can’t tell anyone for months. How are you feeling about the experience now?

It feels good. We’re not allowed to talk about the process so everything is confidential. I only have one person who I can talk about and if you’re excited, you want to share this, you want to say, ‘Yes, I’m on Drag Race!’ We filmed this long ago, and we were just waiting for the announcement. There are rumors and people start asking you and you have to say, ‘No, no, this is not true.’ But it feels so good. When you can say, ‘Yes, I’m part of Drag Race season four. I made it, I did it!

Watch PRIDE's full interview with Aimee Yonce Shennel and Kitten Kaoodle below.

One of the things I appreciated about you on the show was how you brought back the spirit of early Drag Race when queens didn’t have to be afraid to speak their minds because of the fandom backlash. I am curious, for you how you found being outspoken to be a good thing or a bad thing?

It’s a very good thing for me. I’m always in trouble because of my big mouth. I would say what I think and how they feel. It doesn’t matter who is taking it but I’m that honest person. So, what you saw on TV, this is who I am. I wasn’t pretending to be anyone else. I didn’t bring a character on TV. That was Amiee 1,000%

Sometimes I say things and after I go back and say, ‘ I’m so sorry. I think I shouldn’t say what I said but... you’re a fucking bitch.” [Laughs]

Speaking of which, you had a couple of iconic rivalries this season, with both Luna DuBois and Nearah Nuff, I’m curious where you stand with each of them today.

This is gonna follow me forever. No, I like to talk about it because people say we hate each other.

The drama with Luna just had like one little moment. But the drama between me and Nearah was real, it was really intense, and that was from day number one until last night. It happened a long time ago but watching the show last night all of the memories and all of the emotions come to me and I was like, ‘Yeah, this fucking bitch.’ But we have talked about it and we are not best friends, I don’t have her phone number we just talk through Instagram sometimes. Just checking [in]. For example when something happens, like we’re fighting [on the show, we’ll] say like, ‘We fight, It’s okay. I just want to check on you. And I say it’s fine. You’re a superstar.’ I feel like we respect each other. And we are not gonna say we love each other because love is a strong word. But we are sisters.

I just need time to let it go because the fans are coming from me. The fans are coming for me about me being safe and saying like, ‘Nearah sent you home. You are ugly. You are gross, all of these things. Can you even do the splits?’ I don’t know the splits but I know how to do a motherfucking show!

Yaas! Ok now let’s shift gears and end on a shady question. How do you feel about Melinda still competing after saying she wanted to leave?

Shady! Melinda Verga is my fucking winner. Let me put it right there. Watching the show and seeing Melinda is so talented. She’s so funny. I feel Melinda is one of the big pieces of the show to make the show interesting. Every time I go online, I’m twittering all the time. You see a lot of the memes and it’s funny.

I freaking respect her. I love her and she deserves to be there.

This interview has been lightly edited for grammar and conciseness.

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.