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Angeria Paris VanMicheals on her Drag Race BFFs & what she REALLY thinks of the no cash prize

Angeria Paris VanMicheals on her ‘Drag Race’ BFFs & what she REALLY thinks of the no cash prize

Angeria Paris VanMicheals
Courtesy of Paramount+

The season 14 fan favorite is back on screens and not a moment too soon!

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 fan fave Angeria Paris VanMicheals is back on our TV (thank gawd) and reminding us she is many, many things: a pageant queen, a comedy queen, a lyricist, and a total charisma bomb. But the one thing most certainly is not is an ug-aly bitch!

Needless to say, just three episodes into All Stars Season 9 and she’s already showing her sisters she’s a threat for the crown. We’ve seen her snatch the win, get the chop, slay a girl group challenge, and kill it in the Snatch Game of Love. But of course, this isn’t your typical All Stars season. Rather than competing for a cash prize, the queens are using their superstar power to fight for causes that are meaningful to them. In Angeria’s case that’sNational Black Justice Collective, which is a leading civil rights organization “dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+ and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.” In other words, while the queens won’t be eliminated each week, the stakes and impact of a win have never been higher.

PRIDE caught up with Angeria to get her take on the for charity season, who she’s grown closest to in the cast, and what it felt like to give — and get — the chop.

PRIDE: What was your first reaction when you learned that this was going to be a charity season and not a cash prize season?

Angeria Paris VanMicheals: I’m gonna be honest with you. I heard ‘non elimination’ before ‘charity’ when they called. So when I heard that and it was followed by charity, I immediately went, oh, fine. That’s fine. I’m a long-game kind of girl, so I’m gonna look at the bigger picture. And the bigger picture to me was more TV time, which equals more money in the long run. Then to do it for charity is still an amazing thing. Let’s say I wait for another season and they’re given cash prizes and then I go home first. No, that’s not what we’re doing here.

I’m personally living for this new format because I want to see the full package. Every season I’m so sad because I know there are looks my eyes will never be graced with, and this season we get to see everything you brought.

It’s exciting for us too. We spend so much money, so much time on these looks, and to have to go home and then just show them on Instagram, it’s fine, you still have an audience to show it to but it’s not like on TV and putting it in front of the judges and your full package of art, like celebrated in front of the world.

I know, the fans sometimes might be like, ‘Oh my God, I want stakes. I want the girls to be trembling, I want them to go home.’ And we’re like, ‘No, honey, we want to show everything we brought.’ [Laughs]

I agree! It’s not that there aren’t stakes, because I mean, there are still some All Stars rules. We saw you get the chop. How does that actually feel when it happens?

You saw me get and give the chop!

That’s right, you’ve already done the full cycle.

Oh my God, two weeks in, and I’m already fully playing the game. It was a nice thing to win but of course I knew going into the next week that no matter who I cut off, I knew it was going to make me a target. And it’s the first week, so I’m the first target. Actually, I’m the only target because yeah, there’s Jorgeous, but I won the entire thing. I would have looked at it the same I would have been like, ‘Well, if there’s two people with badges, but one won the overall lip sync I would have been like, ‘Oh, like, I really got my eye on you.’

It has to be a little bit flattering because your fellow queens are recognizing that you are a threat.

In the moment, I’m still focusing on the fact that I can’t win a badge. It’s about the game still, it’s still about winning. You have to still think about that. So I wasn’t happy about being cut off but yeah it does feel good to know that the girls are seeing you as competition.

Angeria Paris VanMichaels in the girl group challenge

Courtesy of Paramount+

At the end of the day, you’re a pageant queen you love to win and you are a threat. You’ve been dominating and just absolutely killing the game in every single challenge. Your ‘Drag Queens Rule the World’ rap was incredible. I need more music from you immediately. I’m curious, do you have plans for music and, if so, which of your fellow queens and musical artists would you be most excited to collab with?

I actually want to do music with Tayce, who is a very good friend of mine. Tayce is just a big ball of energy. And she’s so, so talented I don’t think she does music enough. We’ve already talked about it, so I’m still waiting on that collab. If I could do something with one music artist, my favorite music artists are Jazmine Sullivan and Fantasia. If it was the end of the world, and they say you get one collab with somebody. It would be one of those two, probably Fantasia.

Oh my god, the Angeria/Fantasia fantasy!

Manifesting!

Speaking of amazing performances, you killed Snatch Game. Did you surprise yourself? Or were you confident going in that you would do well?

I felt more comfortable than last time. I felt very comfortable with the character. Now, I didn’t know if I was gonna win or not, but I will say in my group for sure, I did feel confident.

I think it’s always also a strategy to choose a character that you know, that RuPaul knows. It cuts the work you have to do in half because now you don’t have to work too hard to be extra funny. So I can just put my humor into it. I feel like RuPaul does get my sense of humor a lot. So that always makes me feel very comfortable in the comedy challenges because I know how to make her laugh. And I’m very confident about knowing how to make her laugh.

I still tell people to this day that I had fun doing Tammy Brown and I don’t care, I did. But I did have more time and more fun this time because I could feel RuPaul liking it, and that meant a lot.

Angeria Paris VanMichaels, Roxxxy Andrews, Shannel, and Jourgeous in The Snatch Game of Love

Courtesy of Paramount+

I love the drama and the fashion of Drag Race, but I also always love to see new friendships being discovered in the Werk Room. I’m curious, who were you most excited to get to know this season?

Oh, I was the most excited to get to know Plastique and Shannel, who were the ones that I knew the least. Shannel is one that really snuck up on me. Me and her, we’re so close now‚ and I really knew her the least... I feel like we’re two different people and we hit it off. I mean we really hit it off.

I’ve seen her a couple of times in Las Vegas and she’s just so incredibly charismatic. You two are a duo I need to see on stage together.

I didn’t know — and I mean it’s in the best way — I just didn’t know aside from the show how warm she was. She does like being that girl and that bitch and to see her be so down to earth and, and so warm and so nice. She literally was my shoulder a lot of times throughout the competition. I felt so understood by her.

I love it! Okay, that actually leads me to my last question. It is known that this is not RuPaul’s Best Friend’s Race — but what if it was? If there were to be a season where you competed alongside another queen from the universe of Drag Race, who would be your Best Friend’s Race partner?

My Best Friend’s Race mate would be Sapphira [Cristál]. Me and Sapphira, not only are we very similar, we are great friends, we are very, very close. I met her about three years ago on a Drag Race booking in Philadelphia, and we hit it off completely. We’ve spent so much time together. She spends the night at my house. We go out to eat. We are like two peas in a pod. I think especially because our drag is similar — she also has a pageant background, and she loves gowns as much as I do — I think we’d work so well together because the dynamic is already there.

Oh my gosh, what an unstoppable duo! World of Wonder, I hope you’re listening!

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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.