5 Surprising Things Delta Work Said About 'Drag Race' & RuPaul
Delta Work spilled some hot tea!
Delta Work was introduced to the world while competing in the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Though she placed seventh overall, Delta left an incredibly significant mark in the series and has gone on to become one of the most memorable contestants in herstory.
Following her time as a season three contestant, Delta was eventually hired to become RuPaul’s personal wig stylist starting in the second episode of Drag Race season nine. She continued to perform those duties throughout seasons 10 and 11, as well as All Stars 3 and All Stars 4.
However, Delta and RuPaul’s work relationship had a falling out around the time when Ru started to film AJ and the Queen. Not only was Delta not hired as Ru’s wig stylist for the Netflix series, but she was also replaced in subsequent seasons of Drag Race.
In a new interview with Joseph Shepherd for his Exposed series on YouTube, Delta got candid about her post-Drag Race experience and explained what went down with RuPaul while they worked together.
Scroll through for standout quotes from Delta Work’s Exposed interview with Joseph Shepherd.
Delta gets most of the blame from the Heathers group on ‘Drag Race’ season three.
Season three of Drag Race featured the legendary rivalry between the Heathers – Raja, Manila Luzon, Carmen Carrera, and Delta Work – versus the so-called “boogers,” which was basically everyone else that didn’t qualify as a Heather.
Though many negative things were said by the Heathers about the other contestants on the show, Delta does feel like she’s gotten most of the blame from fans. “I got a lot of backlash for that. I still get backlash to this day,” Delta said on Exposed. “The backlash doesn’t come from anyone protecting who they believe to be the ‘boogers.’ The backlash comes from the place that it’s always come from – there’s a huge chunk of people that don’t like fat people, people of color, people who don’t look like them.”
She added, “They love fat people… in a cage. They love fat people who are jovial, who look like Santa Claus. Even to this day, 12 years later, they come with messages like ‘I love X, Y, and Z, but you were so mean to this person on Drag Race.’”
She credits Chad Michaels for helping her get cast on ‘Drag Race.’
Delta almost didn’t get cast on Drag Race season three due to technical difficulties related to her audition tape. Thankfully, Delta shared a wonderful story about how Chad Michaels helped her get everything sorted out so she could make it onto the show.
“When I did my audition tape, we had one day left to [submit it]. They were going to pick them up at a club called VIP in Riverside. [Producers] used to go like guerilla-style to a club and you’d bring in your tape,” Delta explained. “So I was going to do that, but all my footage was lost. I lost everything, and I was in tears. I called Chad and I was like, ‘I’m not going to be able to do it, I don’t know what to say.’ He was like, ‘What do you meant you’re not gonna be able to do it?’ I said that I lost everything.”
Delta continued, “[Chad was] like, ‘Get your ass to San Diego right now. We’re clearing out the living room and we’re going to reshoot everything. Adam [Chad’s partner] has been working on costumes with you. We’ll get them on, pin them on, glue them on, tape them on – whatever we have to do. We’re getting your tape done and you’re getting on the show.” Chad and Delta successfully pulled this off, and the rest is herstory – Delta did go on to compete in season three, and Chad subsequently got cast in the fourth season of Drag Race.
Delta received very limited directives when she was hired to do wigs for RuPaul.
Delta Work on Drag Race Emmy's Snafu (Part 1) - From the latest episode of "Exposed" on YouTube. Link in Bio
As previously mentioned, Delta was hired to become RuPaul’s personal wig stylist starting in season nine. This new opportunity came about due to Mathu Andersen – who was Ru’s makeup artist and wig stylist for many decades – suddenly exiting the team.
Going into the new job, Delta knew that she’d be doing wigs and would work alongside a makeup artist to do RuPaul’s drag. It turned out that the makeup artist was Raven, who is still working with Ru as of 2023. With that said, Delta and Raven were given very limited direction as to what their jobs would actually entail. “When I went into it, I didn’t know who the makeup artist would be. We were going right into an episode,” Delta told Shepherd. “There were no conversations about what’s to be expected, really. We’re just going to learn as we go.”
She noted, “My directive was just, ‘Keep it off my face. Keep it big. Keep it off my face. Cheat it for the camera. That’s where we’re going to go and then we’ll move on from there.’ This is a person who is not just a drag queen, but the queen of drag. And she has been used to just one person, always working with that person.”
After winning an Emmy, Delta was taken out from consideration in the following year.
Delta Work on Drag Race Emmy's Snafu (Part 2) - From the latest episode of "Exposed" on YouTube. Link in Bio
In 2018, Delta’s work on Drag Race season 10 won her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Multi-Camera Series or Special. She dedicated that award to Mathu Andersen as a way to honor his work on RuPaul’s drag over the span of so many years.
A year later, however, Delta’s name was no longer submitted for awards consideration in the same category, even though Delta did the exact same job on RuPaul’s wigs in season 11. “I was no longer working with the production company so my name wasn’t put forward,” Delta said in the interview. “I wasn’t put on the Emmy and I wasn’t allowed to go to the ceremony. The production company can put on or remove anyone they want from the award. So they were within their rights, but they were not ethical.”
The real reason why Delta stopped working with RuPaul.
Despite so much drama and back-and-forth between Delta and the production team of Drag Race, she intended to keep doing RuPaul’s wigs moving forward. When production started on the Netflix series AJ and the Queen, Raven was hired to do Ru’s makeup, and Delta expected that she’d also be brought on to work on the titular star’s wigs. And yet, Delta was told that she’d have to do hair not only for RuPaul, but for all other actors on the show.
“The idea was you need to become part of the union in order to be a part of this show. And while you’re on the show, you will be doing hair on extras,” Delta explained. “And I said ‘I don’t do hair on extras, I do hair for the star of the show and then I’m done.’ I’m not trying to be f*cked-up, but I’m already in my mid-40s and I know what I want.”
Ultimately, producers hired someone else, Curtis William Foreman, to work on the wigs for AJ and the Queens. Foreman was then brought on to do RuPaul’s wig on subsequent seasons of Drag Race as well. According to Delta, she received a short email from RuPaul that read, “Hey D, [AJ and the Queen] has me busy. Working with Curtis from now on. Let you know if I ever have extra work.”
Delta concluded this section of the interview saying, “That’s when I realized I could always have respect for the image of the supermodel, I always will. But I question the ethics of a person like that.”