Reigning from Ontario, she's drag royalty. What's her name? IT'S PRIYANKA!

Jun 1 2022, 1:00 pm

Queen Priyanka made herstory when she sashayed down the runway at Canada’s Drag Race 2020 to be crowned the first-ever winner of the series. Despite being in the bottom two twice, she didn’t let that discourage her. Priyanka lip-synced for her life, including one performance of Celine Dion’s “I Drove All Night that saw her hand standing across the stage and performing the splits alongside contestant Kiara — wigs intact. 

Since winning the series, Priyanka has gone on to perform at sold-out venues around the world and has hosted the Canadian Country Music Awards as the first drag queen to both host and perform at a major televised show.

Did we mention she graced the cover of ELLE Canada? Making history again as the first drag queen to have a standalone cover on any of the magazine’s 45 editions. It was the highest-selling issue ever. 

Born in Whitby, Ontario, and now based in Toronto, we caught up with Priyanka ahead of Pride to talk about life after the show, memorable moments, and how she’s celebrating this month.

 

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It’s been over a year since you were crowned the first queen of Canada’s Drag Race. How has your life changed since then?

Being crowned Canada’s first-EVER drag superstar was an honour but with a little bit of hard work and star power — I took over the entire world. I won’t lie when I tell you it’s been a bumpy ride.

I got to be the face of a hard seltzer initiative grant program that gave back to my community, was on the cover of ELLE, hosted the Canadian Country Music Awards, toured the UK and released an EP that now has multi-million streams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The wins make the bumps in the road so smooth and the bumps and the road will make great lyrics in my new music…coming soon 😉 

 

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There are so many iconic moments from your series. What’s the most memorable for you?

SNATCH GAME! I hated it so much and still hate it. But my favourite part in the whole wide world was lip-syncing for my life — I LOVE to perform so the fire was ignited to fight for my spot in the competition. I should probably watch back my season soon. I kind of miss being ON Drag Race! Should have called me for that All-Winners season, AM I RIGHT? 

You made history as the first drag queen to have a standalone cover on ELLE magazine. How does that feel? 

I remember when it happened, everything was such a whirlwind. The photographer, Shayne Laverdière, shot Julia Roberts right before me, and I was absolutely honoured to be on set with the amazing ELLE Canada team. You can tell for all of us it was a risk — for me to do such a fashion shoot, for a fashion magazine to accept a drag queen as their cover star, but all the stars aligned, and I remember when we wrapped the shoot we all KNEW it was going to make the impact we wanted it to make. I am HONOURED to be the first one, it really steered me in the right direction of “popstar on her way to global domination.”

 

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Pride month is kicking off today around the nation. How are you spending the month? 

PERFORMING, PERFORMING, PERFORMING, and also shooting the FINAL CHAPTER to my iconic Taste Test EP visual music video series. My fans made my last video go completely viral, so now I’m gonna feed them with a grand finale before I release my new music. 

Who’s your favourite queen and why? 

My favourite drag queen in the world is Michelle Ross. She passed away last year, and it was one of the most heartbreaking moments in Canadian Drag History. The entire Toronto Village misses her, but we know she’s with us when we’re performing!!! 

You’re headed on tour and the TSA confiscates your wigs. What does a girl do to improvise? 

I WOULD CRY. I think about this every time I travel. When Kandy Muse was in Toronto for a show she lost her wig and I remember having to give her one. So I would just hope the sisterhood would come through 😉 

 

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Sean LoughranSean Loughran

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