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A quick Kiki with Crystal, Brooke Lynn Hytes and Monet X Change

Published On: February 13, 2020
Written By: Bianca Sutton

What’s better than sitting down and catching up with one of your favorite drag queens… sitting and catching up with three of them of course. Crystal, Brooke Lynn Hytes and Monet X Change were all recently in town for the annual drag festivities that is It’s Just Drag and we got the opportunity to catch up with all three of them to see what they’ve been up to, what they think of the Season 12 cast and who some of their biggest inspirations are.



Crystal and Brooke Lynn – how are you enjoying back in your home country?

C: I love it! I’ve just been mainlining maple syrup and poutine since I got here so it’s good to be home. People are just so nice and appreciative here.

B: It’s good to be home again. I spend more time here now than I do in the States it feels. I am here every month.

Do you see a difference in the drag scene in Canada?

B: I think the only big difference [between American and Canada] is we don’t have a pageant scene up here. Pageants are so big in the States and they’re just not really a thing in Canada. That’s really the big difference. I wish they were up here because you learn a lot from pageants. It’s a really good teaching tool for drag.

Photo by Kevin Free Photography

Since your final episode aired, what has changed for you and what have you been doing?

M: [I’ve been up to] some great things. One of the biggest things is my talk show, The Exchange Rate. It has been amazing to do that. My biggest dream in life was to have a talk show. A lot of people are watching it and a lot of people are supporting it which is the best thing you could ask for. I’m having a great time doing that and interviewing celebrity guests.

C: Well now I’m living the lifestyle of the not rich and somewhat famous. It’s been crazy, it’s been non-stop, the year has been a blur. I keep having to go ‘take a moment, enjoy it, look around you.’

B: Everything has changed. Getting on Drag Race is like the golden ticket of drag. Your world opens up and you’re catapulted on another level in terms of opportunities. So it’s been amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better year or outcome… besides winning.

Brooke Lynn, what was it like being in the live final with Yvie?

B: It was a lot of pressure. It was fun though. I remember having a good time and being happy. After the first lip sync was done and I knew I was in the top two I didn’t care. I thought, whatever happens, I have made the top two. My goal going on the show was never to win, I just wanted to do really well.

Photo by Kevin Free Photography

Looking back at your season, what were you most proud of?

C: Just being myself for the most part and if we’re talking about the competition my posh on a penny look

B: Snatch game *laughs* In terms of television that was my best episode. I had a perfect arc – I had a horrible snatch game and then I did the poncho reveal that everyone lived for and then I had that great lipsync so I’m kinda happy I didn’t do well on the snatch game because it made for really good TV in the end. But I think my proudest moment was the episode after that when we did the improv challenge. I had a really hard time getting out of my zone of trying to be perfect Brooke Lynn all the time. And then I finally got to let go and have fun.

Was there anything from your season you weren’t as proud of?

C: Well… the snatch game was a bit of a miss. From a personal point of view, I wish I had gone in with a bit more confidence and self-belief. I didn’t realize how hard the process was going to be and how much it was going to chip away at my self-belief. Knowing that now I wish could have given myself a bit of a shake and been like, ‘babes you got this.’

B: Besides the snatch game – I won’t even go back and watch it. My least proud moment beside the snatch game is probably the second week when we had to do the [parody] challenge. I kind of bombed in that, it wasn’t very funny.

Photo by Kevin Free Photography

Crystal, you pushed what is seen as the “traditional” mold of drag, especially with keeping body hair, how important was it to stay to true to yourself?

C: I didn’t go in there with an agenda to push. It was only a couple of days before we started filming that I was like ‘Oh they might not be into this OR maybe they’ve cast me because of this.’ It hadn’t really occurred to me as a storyline at all because in East London everyone is hairy or beardy. I’m the least hairy queen I know.

Crystal, originally your name was Crystal Beth – what were your reasons for shortening it?

C: I’ve never taken Crystal Meth. If you have a dark past with it – then maybe it’s okay to make fun of it. It’s not my joke to make. I always wanted to be called Crystal and I thought you had to have two names to do drag, but it never really felt right and people always called me Beth.

Season 12 has just been announced. Have you watched the ‘Meet the Queens’ video?

M: Yeah, I’ve watched the Meet the Queens. The queens I know of the most are the New York City queens. They’ve definitely got a very diverse group of New York City queens. There is a theatre queen, a young pop queen, there is Brita who is a brassy, very loud mouth kind of queen and you have Jackie Cox who is music theatre, 60s type of vibe. There all so different. I have to say though, I am standing with Gigi Goode – she looks really good.

B: I’ve worked with Gigi Goode before – I’m very excited for her, she is stunning! I’m excited for Nicky Doll, I think she is beautiful. I’ve worked with Jaida Hall and that bitch can sew so I’m really excited to see what she makes.

Photo by Kevin Free Photography

Did you know Jackie Cox is Canadian?

B: She’s from Canada? That fucking bitch *laughs* That’s amazing! I had no idea!

Are you going to be tuning in to watch Drag Race Canada?

M: Of course! I’ve watched Drag Race Thailand, Drag Race UK, I watch all the drag race iterations. I think it’s important to watch these queer stories unfold. Queer people from around the world have different experiences and to watch them in a place like Canada that is so loving and so free, I think it will be a different kind of Drag Race and I am really excited to watch the girls go through the Drag Race machine.

Who would win in a lip-sync between you all?

C: Brooke Lynn Hytes – have you seen her!

B: It depends on the song first of all. If it had something to do with axe-grinding then probably Crystal.

M: Fuck the three of us, if you had people like Tynomi Banks and Priyanka (two performers at Its Just Drag) they would fucking destroy all of us because they are amazing.

Photo by Kevin Free Photography

What’s your favorite song to perform to?

C: Boys Wanna Be Her by Peaches. Canadian icon!

M: Right now my favorite song to perform to would be Press by Cardi B. You definitely feel the heart and soul in her lyrics and to perform it you feel like a boss ass bitch.

B: I have so many! One of my all-time favorites that I always get my life to is Partition by Beyoncé.

What was your first-ever performance like?

C: I think I did a whole song while pregnant hanging from the ceiling.

M: My first ever drag performance was at The Ritz Bar in New York City. It was a pageant called Our Lady of Saliva and I made a mix that made absolutely no sense. It was Beyonce’s ‘Girls Run the World,’ mixed with ‘Stormy Weather’ by Ella Fitzgerald mixed with some other song. The three of them had nothing to do with each other, but you cannot tell me I was not the fiercest of them all.

Did you win?

M: Oh I lost… miserably.

Photo by Kevin Free Photography

Who are your personal favorite drag icons?

B: So many! One of my people I model my drag after and who has really inspired me is Sasha Colby. She’s a trans performer and a former Miss Continental. She is my ultimate all-time best performer. I could watch her for hours. My drag mother, Farra N. Hyte, Monica Munro, Mimi Marks… these are all old school pageant legends.

C: Probably local queens in London. Baby Lane, Ruby Jones, Margot Marshall. People I work with who I’m like ‘ahh you’re sickening.’

M: Sherry Vine is such an iconic queen and one of the nicest, sweetest, most professional people I’ve ever met in my life. Lady Bunny is a filthy fucking pig and I love her.

What advice would you give to drag queens wanting to apply for RuPaul’s Drag Race?

M: There is this trend of people overly producing their videos. They’re hiring camera crews, sounds guys and this, that and the other. Girl, what’s going to get you cast on Drag Race is A. Look and B. Personality. They want to make sure you have a personality that will fit with the other girls they are casting. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and be yourself.

B: How did I get on then?

M: We’re all still wondering.

To catch up all on Monet X Change, Brooke Lynn Hytes and Crystals series on RuPaul’s Drag Race, head over to OUTtvGo.com now and binge away.