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Interviews

Tia Kofi & Hannah Conda dish on DRUKvTW secrets, rivalries & have us CACKLING

Tia Kofi & Hannah Conda dish on 'DRUKvTW' secrets, rivalries & have us CACKLING

Tia Kofi and Hannah Conda
Courtesy of World of Wonder

Before the finale, PRIDE sat down with Hannah Conda and Tia Kofi to talk sisterhood, reunion rivalries, and the funniest moment we didn’t get to see.

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Rarely have I giggled more in an interview than when I sat down with the witty and effervescent duo that is Drag Race UK vs. the World sisters Tia Kofi and Hannah Conda, but these two together are a true comedy duo.

This week saw the queens face off in a finale lip sync to “Your Disco Needs You” by Kylie Minogue and it was a high camp extravaganza. While Tia Kofi was ultimately chosen the winner by Mama Ru and named Queen of the Mothertucking World, there’s no question that together they lit up the stage. There’s a natural ease to their friendship that comes out whether they’re shimmying side-by-side or on a Zoom call together. They finish each other’s sentences, giggle conspiratorially over inside jokes, and cheer one another on when they get just a little bit shady. They're a hoot.

Naturally, sitting down with them to talk about the highs and lows of the season — including forging a true sisterly bond during the show, some hilarious moments that fell on the cutting room floor, and facing down some shockingly salty sisters during the finale reunion — was the very definition of a kiki.

PRIDE: Let’s kick things off with some positivity! Do each of you have a favorite memory from the season?

HANNAH CONDA: My favorite memory was just after we had all walked onto the runway and the whole cast was there together. I had a moment where I just looked around at us like, oh my god. The fact that I’m with all these people just really just blew my mind. There was already a lovely energy in the space... Then in the last episode when all the girls came up and gave me a big snuggle. That really meant the world.

TIA KOFI: My favorite memory is of the unaired moment [when] Scarlet Envy fell through a chair.

HC: [Laughs] Poor thing, she did!

TK: It was while Choriza and I were having a good lovely bonding moment about my dead mum — and then Scarlet Envy fell through a chair. [Laughs]

HC: She did! Tia was like, “and my mum died” and then Scarlet’s like, “bang!”

TK: It was at that moment that I knew that my mother was still with us and she was trying to take out the competition for me.

I love all the fashion and shade on Drag Race, but really I just love the sisterhood, because as queer people friendship and community are everything. Who did each of you form the closest bonds with this season?

HC: Tia Kofi. I hoped Tia was going to be there. I saw the Reddits and thought she’s not going to be there and I was really devastated. Then when I walked in, and she was the first one there, I just was so excited because I knew we’d get along, there was no question about it. We had the best frickin’ time and our rooms were across the hallway from each other when we’d left the hotel, so we could walk down the hallway together in the morning.

Another surprising one for me was Gothy. She’s just that little sister that we just want to hold and keep protected and look after her because she’s just so precious. She’s one of the funniest, weirdest people you’ll ever meet— but if they put a camera on her, then she’s not funny. [Laughs]

TK: My other ones apart from Hannah would be Arantxa and Choriza. I don’t know if it’s because Tia means “auntie” but in my heart I’m now a Spanish queen. That’s what had happened. You can’t tell me that I wasn’t on Drag Race España.

OK, let’s get a little messy! The finale turned into a reunion and things got a little tense with you two, Scarlet, and Jonbers. I would love to know how each of you were feeling in that moment when they confronted you and where things stand with them today

HC: This is camp! Scarlet was the last person to leave us before we did our reunion. And I remember when she walked in, she’s got these beautiful blue piercing eyes, and they were laser beaming through my skull and I felt if she could, she would blow my brains out of my face. [Laughs] I felt so bad. I really had to avoid eye contact for a little bit because I got so comfortable.

Fundamentally, we knew we were creating a TV show. I did feel really bad because I knew how much she wanted to be in the finale. But I couldn’t get rid of Marina, I love the Philippines and I do not need the whole nation of the Philippines to come and murder me and Le Grande Dame had done exceptionally well. I just felt like at that point, fair was fair. I never said that I was playing the game fair. I never said out loud what my strategy was. So yes, the last time may have been a little bit personal, but the time I did eliminate her was track record, so sorry about it.

TK: Can I just tag onto that it wasn’t the question but I’m gonna say it anyway. Speaking of playing the game fairly, do you know what I didn’t like was when I eliminated Keta and suddenly that was the worst thing anyone has ever done in human history. The previous episode a group of people said that they would have sent Keta home, and then the next episode they’re like, “Wow, can’t believe Tia did that.” I was like, “Marina get a grip. What are you talking about? You would have sent her home in the last episode and now suddenly everyone’s attacking me! For doing what you all said!” When I was the one who would have saved her by sending my UK sister Jonbers home. Please. I’m sorry, Hannah, I interrupted, carry on. Apparently I needed to get that off my chest.

HC: But yeah I’ve seen Scarlet after and we’ve been fine — as far as I know.

How about you and Jonbers, Tia? How are things between you now?

TK: Me and Jonbers are great. She at one point ostensibly tried to marry me off to her brother so I think she’s fine with me. We hang out loads, she’s literally hosting the finale party at my home bar The Two Brewers in Clapham. We’re thick as thieves. She messages me when she sees negative things and checks in on me and I really appreciate that. But I’m glad that the reunion is juicy because at the time I was sat there going Marina sent three of you home and you’re attacking me and Hannah!

I know! No one came for her at all!

HC: Tia and I said at the end of the reunion, “How the hell did we become the bad guys?” I eliminated one person, Tia eliminated one person, and Marina eliminated three and no one said anything!

TK: Literally! My recollection of the reunion episode is Le Grande Dame and Marina answered one question and then sat there looking gorgeous and me and Hannah were being handled like...

HC: Obliterated!

TK: I don’t know how it happened, because we’re also very nice people. Hannah, I think you’re great.

HC: And vice-versa, bitch! I wouldn’t be friends with you if I thought you were an asshole. So, hello. [Laughs] But honestly, we felt that when we left the reunion, like, oh my god, this is bizarre! [Laughs]

Well, I’m glad we did get some drama but that things worked out OK in the end. Thank you for another incredible season of Drag Race and sharing your journeys with us!

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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.