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DRUK's Vicki Vivacious & Michael Marouli On Being Besties Before The Show

DRUK's Vicki Vivacious & Michael Marouli On Being Besties Before The Show

Vicki Vivacious & Michael Marouli

PRIDE caught up with the season five stars to talk about the wild, coincidental moment they were both cast on Drag Race UK, and why having a friend in the room was so meaningful.

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One of the most powerful things about Drag Race, across all its many forms, is the sisterhood that the queens find with one another. For some, that all begins in the Werk Room, but for others, it’s a pre-existing friendship and a bond that deepens when they discover that they’ve both been cast on the show.

For Drag Race UKseason five stars Vicki Vivacious and Michael Marouli, two queens vying for the title of UK’s Next Drag Superstar, it was the latter scenario. Unaware that the other had gotten the call to the big show, they discovered they had a kindred spirit when they walked into the Werk Room. Would that breed competition and resentment? Not for these two. “It strangely didn’t even enter my head,” Vicki tells PRIDE. “Because I thought, whatever happens, we’re on together. Whatever happens. We’re going to be on tour together. I instantly thought of that. positives before I thought of the competition.”

Both gushed about the opportunity to go through this life-changing experience together, alhough they both set their sights on badges. Michael was all-in on the comedy challenges. “I love to do that kind of thing. That’s where my comfort zone is,” she tells PRIDE, confessing that it’s the design and sewing challenges that filled her with dread. “There’s no excuses. There’s nowhere to hide. It happens every single season,” she laughs

For Vickie, whose background is in musical theater and performance, it was no surprise that the Rusical was the classic challenge she felt most confident about. “It’s a week I look forward to seeing every single season. And it’s [the challenge where I always] think, ‘Wow, if I was to ever get onto Drag Race, that would be the thing that I would really hope I’d excel in,” she says. Vickie agrees with her sister that the design challenge is the one that had her crossing her no doubt perfectly manicured fingers.

While they’re not teasing any spoilers, one thing is sure: They are ready to show off all their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to the world.

PRIDE caught up with the queens to talk about the moment they were both cast on the show — and the wild coincidence of that moment, plus what fans can look forward to in this “epic,” “next level” season.

PRIDE: Tell me about the moment you were cast, what you were thinking, how you’re feeling!

VICKI VIVACIOUS: I was standing in a really cold wet train station, lugging my suitcases to a gig. Absolutely hating life because it was busy, I had one wheel broken — if you ever speak to a drag queen, suitcases break on a weekly basis. I was just in a really bad mood. I think I’d stepped in a puddle. My foot was wet. The phone rings and [it was] this amazing creature down the end just saying, ‘Congratulations, you’ve made it onto the short list of Drag Race UK season five. I just stood there and I just cried. I think people around me must have thought I’d had a death in the family or something. Because I was howling like a wolf.

MICHAEL MAROULI: I was just waiting and waiting and I was willing the phone to ring. I was thinking ‘Oh, come on. Come on. Come on.’ I just wanted it so bad. And I was lying on the couch... and I was actually texting Vicki. This is a true story. I was texting Vicki Vivacious, I was just writing a text about something else. I didn’t even send the text because my phone lit up. And I just knew.

That’s amazing. So you were already friends before the show. How was it to be able to go through this and see this experience together?

VICKI: It was lovely. I walked into the Werk Room, I saw Michael. And it’s that moment where you’re in a situation that’s so surreal. And you feel like security is gonna throw you out at any minute because it’s like impostor syndrome. And then all of a sudden you see a familiar face from home. So it connects the outside real world with this world. That’s like a fantasy. So it’s nice to be able to ground you and go right okay, I am here. This is real. I’m not dreaming.

It took a bit of pressure off in the sense that I can relax. I know... at least one person will like me. [Laughs]

Vicki Vivacious

Courtesy of World of Wonder

MICHAEL: Going into it, you’ve got no idea who’s gonna be there. To have Vicki in the Werk Room, it was fab. I have known how much this means to Vicki. We both worked hard. We’re both old-school queens who have done the hard yards and all the gigs and all the work.

Vicki, you’ve had an incredible career already working on the West End and performing with pop girlies like Little Mix and Dannii Minogue. Which was scarier, those high-profile gigs or Drag Race UK?

VICKI: Drag Race 100%. When you’re in a show, whether you’re in town or on tour, the only thing that’s going to be different every night is the audience members because you know that you’re scripted, you’ve been choreographed ... it’s so regimented. I carry that through my entire life. In drama school, if you weren’t at ballet at 8 a.m. you weren’t able to do any of the classes in the day, so you had to be there at 8 a.m. So I’m very kind of that way in it. And sometimes I let that kind of take over and I become a bit too serious. So if I see people like, not taking things as serious, I’m like, why are you not being serious? So I need to chill out. It’s not them. It’s me. Drag Race is like therapy for me babes.

Michael, you said something in your Meet the Queens video that stood out to me. You said that you’re bringing your “end game” to the competition, which sounds a little frightening! What are we going to see as a result of you bringing your end game?

MICHAEL: Well, actually, I said I’m bringing my ‘A-game.’

Ohhhhh. That makes so much more sense. [All laugh]

VICKI: Ooh, she’s lethal!

Marouli

Courtesy of World of Wonder

MICHAEL: Getting the opportunity to be on Drag Race and to be cast, I’ve not took it lightly. I really want this to be everything!

OK, last question, how would you describe this season in five words?

VICKI: Talent. Drama. Laughter. Excellence. 100% and just fierceness, it’s just epic. It’s—and I know that Queens must say this about their season—but I cannot tell you how special this season is. It’s just epic. I get so excited because it’s so good. It’s just got twists and turns on fabulousness. And oh, it’s just gorgeous. You’re gonna love it!

MICHAEL: The level of the season is beyond. Ten Queens at the top of their game, and they all want to win. And they're all amazing. And it's gonna make for an incredible season.

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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 Dread Central, 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 Dread Central, 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.