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DRDU's Rita Menu On The Pain & Pleasure Of Snatch Game & Who's In Her DMs Now

DRDU's Rita Menu On The Pain & Pleasure Of Snatch Game & Who's In Her DMs

Rita Menu
Courtesy of World of Wonder

PRIDE interviews the drag star about the importance of representation and how she feels about being called a lip sync assassin.

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Rita Menu is a testament to what a baby drag queen can do given a chance to show her talent on the world’s biggest drag stages. After fighting her way through two lip-syncs and the Snatch Game, she became the third queen to sashay away in season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under. She did her hometown of Hamilton, New Zealand proud and the only riffraff she brought to the mainstage, was when she homaged the Rocky Horror Picture Show character by that name.

Rita sat down with PRIDE to talk about what it takes to be a lip sync assassin, that wild moment on the runway when her cast mate had a medical emergency, and what exactly she originally had planned for the Snatch Game.

Rita Menu as Cardi B

Courtesy of World of Wonder

PRIDE: Congrats on season three of Drag Race Down Under! Now that you’ve had a little time and space from it, how do you feel about your time on the show?

RITA MENU: I have enjoyed every second of it. I’m pretty sure Kita [Mean] once told me, ‘Don’t read the comments,’ but I’m in there. I read everything, I don’t really care. Funny thing, all the comments, but there’s been a lot of love behind everything and that’s what I’m very excited for. And to showcase myself and my hometown, which has never been ever, like recognized on Drag Race, ever. So I’m very proud of myself and very happy where everything is going.

Watch PRIDE's full interview with Rita Menu below.

Is there a moment in particular that you’re especially proud of?

My Riff Raff runway because one has actually never been done on — don’t quote me — I don’t think it’s ever been done on Drag Race before. But for me, it hits home because Richard O’Brien [Riff Raff on stage and screen] lived in Hamilton itself. And we’ve actually got a statue, literally, like one two kilometers down the road that represents Riff Raff.

Rita Menu on the runway in her Riff Raff inspired look

Courtesy of World of Wonder

You’ve talked about the importance of representation for your community… how has the response been, has anyone in particular really touched your heart?

Queen Kong [of Drag Race Down Under season 2]. It was really nice just talking to them because they were on the last season, they represented themselves and their culture. It was just nice having that figure to look up to. And so I was in awe when she messaged me, I was like, Oh! Me?

I love that! She’s so amazing! And she’s an icon. So, you got to do Snatch Game. I’m curious now that you’ve done it, how was it different than what you expected?

You see it on TV and it all seems good. But in the moment. It’s very, very stressful. You’re rushing to write down your answers. You’re thinking of the answer, but you’re thinking of making sure you’re still giving it to the cameras. There’s just a lot going on. So I think for me, I definitely struggled with that. Also the characterizations, I went into competition with two choices. And then I ended up having to choose a third choice. Very stressful because I literally had nothing at all to go. I did audition with Cardi B but ... I was kind of like in my head in that moment.

Drag Race Down Under season 3 queen play the snatch game

Courtesy of World of Wonder

Speaking of your other choices, I do want to talk about one of your other options: Mr. Bean. As the judges pointed out, Mr. Bean does not talk. Did you have a plan for that?

He’s got his teddy and I was gonna reenact a lot with the teddy. [Laughs] Mr. Bean is very facial and that’s what I was going to envision for [him].

A part of me almost wishes we could rewind, because I just want to see how that was gonna play out. It sounds hilarious.

Me too.

This season has been so shady, which we love. Who do you think is the shadiest queen in the werkroom this season?

Can I give two options?

Oh yeah!

Sadly, my sister Flor, but I think it’s a really good shade. It’s really funny. And I think her little laugh after every time she shades someone is hilarious. And the second option would be Ashley Madison.

She’s a popular selection.

I think so! [Laughs]

Rita Menu and Ashley Madison chat in the werkroom

Courtesy of World of Wonder

You are this season’s first official lip-sync assassin. I’m curious how you feel about that title and if you wear it proudly.

I do. Lip-syncing is what I really enjoyed doing. You’re in the bottom the first time so I was going for it. I guess it’s how you interpret the song as well. So for that second lip sync, I was giving emotion and drive because I’ve already been in the bottom once I don’t want to go home second.

I love lip-syncing. I love doing it, I love performing. I don’t want to say it’s really nice to be doing it but I really enjoyed lip-syncing. [And] the first two lip-sync songs I did were the two songs I really wanted.

Let’s talk about that second lip-sync. Tell me about what was going through your mind when Ivory Glaze fainted.

You’re in the moment of having to lip-sync for your life, so I was already in my power stance. I was ready to go. I was ready to lip-sync for my life. But then, as soon as I heard the judges kind of going like ‘Oh!’ I clicked straight away and I literally saw her fumbling. And the only thing that I could do is literally run over there and hold her up to make sure she wouldn’t fall over. It was very scary. Because I don’t say, ‘You think it’s fake or you think it’s real,’ but for me, in the moment, all I wanted to do is make sure she was okay.

Rita Menu and Ivory Glaze lip-sync

Courtesy of World of Wonder

Well, I have really loved seeing your journey on the show and would love to see more. Would you come back for an All Stars or Vs season?

Opportunities come once, and as long as you just go for it, that’s all that matters. So if it does pop up again, I will take it within a heartbeat. I’ve learned a lot from my season already and I want to now show that I’ve learned, you know what I mean? Being new to drag it was a huge learning curve for me to get into Drag Race itself.

Rita, this has been so much fun. Thank you so much for taking the time for me to chat with me today. I am so excited to see what you do next!

This interview was 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.