Drag Race Philippines Star DeeDee Marié Holliday On Mending Rivalries & Getting Her Love Of Drag Back
'DRP' Star DeeDee Marié Holliday On Mending Rivalries & Getting Her Love Of Drag Back
The queen spills all the tea on the drama and reconciliations with her costars, her proudest moment, and why she feared she was a “has-been.”
When DeeDee Marié Holliday walked into the Werk Room of Drag Race Philippines season two you would never have guessed beneath that air of confidence was a fear that her time as a drag star might be coming to an end. “I even called it quits last year,” she tells PRIDE. “I was gonna leave drag and pursue a different path.” That was until she heard word that Drag Race Philippines was coming back and was looking for new queens to vie for their chance to be the Philippines’ Next Drag superstar. “That was the last chance for me to do drag,” she thought at the time, so she decided to go for it.
Flash forward and not only did she make it on the show, she made quite an impression, turning lewks, winning the Rusical, and stirring up plenty of drama and shade in the room with her fellow queens — many of whom she had known for years. Right out of the gate, the tension was apparent between her and Captivating Katkat, and during the puppet challenge, she let some private information about Hana Beshie slip causing another rift. But then, this is exactly the kind of messiness, and frankly, humanity that makes us love the queens.
Going through that process, the ups, the downs, the shade gave DeeDee more than just a chance to shine on the world stage — though it also did that — but it gave her confidence and her drive to be a queen back. “I’m 38 years old. I’m not exactly spring chicken. I felt that my prime as an entertainer has already passed and that I am a “has-been,” she confesses. “I no longer feel that way. Being on the show reignited my passion for the art. I am an entertainer, and I always will be.” Werk!
DeeDee also opened up about some of the challenges she faced with her sisters in the workroom and where they stand now. Plus, she dishes on her proudest moment, a new business venture, and what’s next for this newly inspired (and inspiring) queen.
PRIDE: Bernie questioning your Rusical challenge win seems like it kind of deflated your confidence. Why do you think it impacted you so much?
DEEDEE MARIÉ HOLLIDAY: I have known Bernie for more than a decade and I consider her a sister. We worked together in the same bar. When she won episode two, I was cheering for her. It broke my heart and made me terribly confused when she said I didn’t deserve my win in the Rusical. She’s the last person that I thought would be unhappy about my win.
The Puppet Challenge is one of my favorites! Did you have any kind of plan going into it? Or did you just wing it at the moment?
I did. I had a little plan, but it definitely wasn’t what happened. After my sister said I didn’t deserve to win the previous episode, I had to go next. My mind somehow went blank and then I started saying all the things that I wish I never did. I wish I could turn back time.
When did you realize that your jokes about Hana Beshie’s relationship weren’t hitting how you meant them to? Did you try to talk to her at any point before the runway?
Right after I stepped out of the puppet booth, I knew I f*cked it up. My mind was spinning and I didn’t know what to do. I immediately wanted to apologize to Hana but she had to go next. I wrote Hana a letter to apologize for my behavior and slipped it into her hand when I had the opportunity.
How do things stand between you and Hana now?
Hana and I are good. I met her partner during our premiere night and I apologized to him. After that episode aired, Hana urged the fans of the show to spare me from hatred. I am forever grateful for the grace that she has given me. I also reached out to her mother to personally apologize and I am glad to say that she has also forgiven me. She is wonderful.
I am going to really miss you in the Werk Room, you brought a lot of fun shade and history with the queens. Including a bit of a rivalry with captivating Katkat. How does that relationship stand today?
Aw. Being in the Werk Room is so much fun. Letting it loose makes it even better. Katkat and I go way back. We have been through thick and thin. We were able to talk it out privately. We both recognized our shortcomings and we also know that at the end of the day, we are sisters.
Despite doing a really great job in the challenge you ended up in the bottom two, do you feel like the judging was fair?
Oh! Thank you for thinking I did a great job in the acting challenge. It is a competition and definitely people are gonna be sent home packing. I think the judges were objective enough. I was actually happy with the critiques I got which pertained to my performance in the acting challenge. I guess I didn’t steal the show hard enough for me to be considered as safe.
What are you most proud of from your time on Drag Race?
I won the mothertucking Rusical! How many people on Earth can say that? The RuBadge I got from that episode reignited the fire and passion I have for drag. It made me believe in my talent and capabilities as an entertainer, once again. I am not a washed-up queen. I am ready to conquer more stages and entertain more people.
Is there anything you would change?
Nothing, really. I feel that I had an amazing and memorable run on the show. Some people loved me, some people definitely hated me, but at the end of the day, I knew I was a force to be reckoned with. I gave everyone the DeeDee Marié Holliday experience.
What did you learn about yourself from your time on Drag Race and seeing yourself on TV?
Always choose kindness. Yes, it is a competition and yes, there will be big personalities in one room. It will be chaotic. Choosing kindness is something I somehow failed to do at some point in the competition. This made me question whether I deserved to be there, and if it’s the way I want to be remembered by the people who will watch the show.
What’s next for you?
I recently launched my own make-up collection called The Shade! By DeeDee Marié Holliday. It is a collaboration with Filipino make-up brand, Glamz Ph. I am very excited about this venture. The First products I released are Vegan LipTints and Eyebrow Pomades.
I am also continuing my advocacy work for HIV/AIDS Awareness. I work with the local community hub in my hometown to try and combat the spread of the virus. I have held testing drives to try and reach the grassroots of our community to provide access to our services. This advocacy is very close to my heart because my dearly departed guncle Erica passed away from complications related to the disease. I was unable to help my uncle, so I promised to do what I could to save those who are suffering in silence.