Home > Culture > ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Sasha Colby Is Ready to Reign as ‘The Face’ of What Transphobes Fear

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Sasha Colby Is Ready to Reign as ‘The Face’ of What Transphobes Fear

After a high-octane season that saw the show’s highest ratings in three years, RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15 went out with a bang on Friday (April 14).


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In the finale episode, the top four queens (Anetra, Luxx Noir London, Mistress Isabelle Brooks and Sasha Colby) performed in a series of solo lip sync numbers, before getting narrowed down to a top two. With Anetra and Sasha Colby advancing to the final event, the pair performed a dramatic lip sync to Amii Stewart’s “Knock on Wood,” where only one queen emerged victorious — Sasha Colby.

The Hawaiian drag superstar — best known for winning the prestigious drag pageant Miss Continental back in 2011 — humbly accepted her new scepter from RuPaul at the end of the finale, declaring that she was dedicating her win to her community. “This goes to every trans person, past, present and future,” she said. “Because we are not going anywhere.”

Colby came into the finale with the strongest track record of any of her competitors — along with never landing in the bottom in any of the show’s challenges, Sasha also racked up four challenge wins over the course of the season, more than any other queen on the show. Fans favored Sasha for the crown, with 47% of respondents to Billboard‘s pre-finale poll declaring Sasha as their winner (Anetra was the next closest with 44% of the vote).

Speaking to Billboard a few days after her crowning, Sasha Colby talked about what it meant for her to win the crown, how she executed two extremely memorable lip syncs in a single episode, her Beyoncé conspiracy theory and why it’s more important than ever to have a trans woman take home the Drag Race crown.

You must have had a wild weekend, queen. 

It’s really been wonderful, I got to spend some time with some really good friends who always supported my work. I just got to soak it in, let it integrate, you know?

Yes, because nothing big happened, right?

No, no, you know, I watched a little show on Friday, but other than that, it was chill [laughs]. Which is exactly how I felt going into the event on Friday night, I was telling the top four when we were doing our numbers, like, “Girls, it’s just brunch.”

Let’s get into it — congratulations to you, our winner, our current reigning! How are you feeling after clinching the crown?

I feel amazing! As a very competitive pageant girl, it’s nice to accomplish something, and it really feels good to sit back and know that this was a job well done. I did everything I could — I mean, I literally put my whole a– out there. It’s just really lovely to get this from the ultimate drag queen herself. 

This is not your first experience taking home a crown — in your career, where does this particular honor rank amongst your many achievements?

This is the highest honor so far, until my presidency [laughs]. No, this is the pinnacle for me. Doing Miss Continental 11 years ago, Drag Race was, I think, about three seasons in. It was pretty new. When I made a miracle happen by winning Continental, I sort of thought that you get one miracle in your lifetime. But it’s wild to think that we made magic again — and by “we” I do mean my tribe, my family, because it definitely was not just me. 


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Right after winning the crown, you had this beautiful moment where you dedicated your win to your community, to “every trans person, past, present and future, because we’re not going anywhere.” With everything going on in the country right now, why was that an important dedication for you to make?

You know, I was thinking about being funny, being cheeky — no pun intended. But really, what summed it up the entire competition for me was the fact that I was getting so nervous. You get very in your head, you start feeling insane, like a drag-zilla, if you will. I had to step back and make the competition where it was not about this dream that I was so happy to have achieved. All that was in the back of my head was, “What’s going on?” It was about traveling, and feeling unsafe where we’re going, and this rhetoric on the news about trans folks. 

So it was a way for me to not make it about, “I need to win Drag Race, this is the end-all-be-all.” No, when you’re trying to achieve something, you have to look at what’s after. Once you know there’s something else you have to do that is greater than this desire you have, the desire immediately gets filled because of the purpose you have. To me, this is why I waited [to be on Drag Race], because I was supposed to be here right now, to be the face of exactly what these people are trying to eradicate. 

Well-said. On a much less serious note, on a scale of 1-10, how certain are you in your conspiracy theory that Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce moniker was inspired by you?

Girl, that is a desperate, desperate ploy for Beyoncé to contact me [laughs]. And you know what? The hive has not come for me yet, because deep down they know that they all would have done the same thing. If it meant mother would talk to them? They would’ve done the exact same. 

They’ve just been sitting quietly saying, “Wait, no, let’s see what happens.” 

Ugh, the doors Gia Gunn and I have opened [giggles]. 

There’s so much to talk about from the finale episode, so let’s start with your performance of the original song “GODDESS” — you were in perfect form for this number. Tell me a little about how you went about staging this, because it looked very meticulous. 

Well, I was definitely thinking Continental 2.0 — I definitely have a formula when it comes to performances. Even if it’s a solo, I do have a formula that my dance director has worked with us all on for years; “When you tell a story, you have to have a beginning, a middle and an end.” 

I like to use my body to write the story of what I see in the music. So if I feel a suspension of breath like there was in “GODDESS,” I want to show that with my body. If I feel tension, I want to show it. I remember Monica Monroe told me the most powerful thing is to understand the silence of the music. Because that takes you on a journey, and it points the viewer in the right direction. And, you know, I like being a little f–gy. 

Then we get to the Lip Sync for the Crown, where you executed not one, but two absolutely wild outfit reveals. How much did you have to practice those before getting on the stage?

Can I be real with you? Not one time. The outfits weren’t finished and didn’t get delivered until the day before. I couldn’t unwrap that massive coat, because even if I did, there was no space with enough room to practice that reveal! I’ve done the trick with the second dress before (ripping out a chord from the center of the dress until it falls away), it’s an old-school burlesque trick. But it’s hard to execute, and we did end up painting a little purple on it so it would blend it, which made it a little trickier. So no, that was not rehearsed, and I was really on that stage like, “I am going to rip this off on camera.” I also just didn’t want to be that queen saying “I need to rehearse on the stage! I need to this!” It’s just like, it’s a competition, hold your cards close to your chest. 

Do you have any big plans for what you’re going to do with the $200,000 cash prize?

I think I’m gonna try and save, to be honest! I’d love to save it up so I can buy a beautiful home. But, a splurge might be something like … great teeth, honestly. A star smile! Because dental health is very important! It seems like a vanity buy, but ultimately it’s a healthy buy. 

What can fans expect from Sasha Colby’s reign as America’s Next Drag Superstar?

You can expect the same goofy, silly, sexy girl to come to every city. You can expect high energy, mothering love, and probably some groundbreaking things that are already in the works as we speak. I mean, I’m not gonna stop now! In the eternal words of RuPaul herself, “This is the beginning.”

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