Kandy Muse wasn’t about to let anybody dictate her Drag Race narrative but herself.
The outspoken, brutally honest queen had a Cinderella run to the final two, making many friends (and perhaps just as many enemies) along the way.
Daniel Trainor and Sam Stone talked to Kandy about being unapologetically herself, creating great reality television and why this is just the start of her journey.
Daniel Trainor: Miss Muse, my baby, how are you? How are you feeling?
Kandy Muse: Every time I talk about i get nervous about I feel like I’m gonna blow up
SS: So Kandy, I would love to talk to you about some tea, some drama, some absolute gossip if that’s ok. Let’s talk about this Tamisha Iman momentina. What happened there? How are you? How is Tamisha? How are you feeling about the whole thing in retrospect?
KM: You know, that Untucked was a little wild. I think we all saw that Untucked. Since then, obviously people have picked sides and whatever. Since the show, me and Tamisha haven’t really had communication since filming. And, that’s alright. Some people don’t click and that’s fine, it’s life. I don’t hold anything against Tamisha. I don’t wish her bad will. I wish her the best in her career. I think it’s amazing that for the first time in Drag Race history, an older black drag queen, a pageant queen, has seen so much love the way Tamisha has, which is amazing. And what’s more, we made some great TV we’re nominated for MTV’s best fight.
DT: Something that was so interesting about watching you this season, is that it always seemed like you were very in control of your own narrative. I think that you really leaned into that, specifically when you changed your Twitter handle to Kandy “Producer” Muse, what was the reason behind that, and how aware were you when you were on the show that you wanted to make good reality TV?
KM: I grew up watching reality TV. I grew up watching reality TV on VH1 to be exact. I know a lot of the girls who’ve gone onto Drag Race, and there are certain girls that don’t like the way they’re edited and they blame the editing. Here’s the thing though, as much as I know I’m coming into the competition to compete for the crown and a hundred thousand dollars, at the end of the day I’m also making television, and I know there’s a camera there, there’s a camera there, and there’s a camera there, and they’re all rolling and I’m miked. Therefore, any time I’m given the opportunity to be on camera, I’m going to take it to the next level. People always ask me, do you like the way you’re being edited on this show? — yeah, because I produced it myself. I gave them that footage. It really is about being smart. As much as it is about competing and being yourself, you also have to be a smart cookie, and know that you’re filming a TV show.
SS: It was definitely so much fun to watch you making iconic TV on TV. It felt like through a lot this season you really knew who you were. Did it feel like that from the inside?
KM: Being there, I can tell you any time I walked out of the room it just would get super quiet. It was about having confidence in yourself, and knowing that you’re there to have a good time. Certain people get in their heads — and it’s a normal thing to do, but I take life — not as a joke, but I just don’t give a fuck. I filmed Drag Race, why would I be stressed about Oh my God I’m gonna do awful at this challenge? if I do awful in the challenge and I end up in the bottom two,
I’ll lipsync for life which is what I do back at home. It’s really no worries. I’m here to have a great time and make America and the world fall in love with me.
DT: I think you get away with that so well, because you are the first person to be completely honest about yourself. You will call yourself out if your look isn’t up to par, if your makeup isn’t great. Looking back at the season, what are the one or two missteps where you’re like that wasn’t my best stuff?
KM: Listen I think we can all agree that that Pockets runway was….something.
DT: At what point that day did you realize you realize oh…shit?
KM: The second I put it on. Then, when I went out there and I saw the judges faces. When I walked out there those faces were blank. I was like, oh baby they are going to read me.
SS: On the flipside, what look were you most proud of?
KM: Oh, I obviously loved my beads. I loved my beads so much.
DT: Now that slowly but surely we’re getting back to normal, what do you think the future of drag holds not only for New York, but also for Kandy?
KM: I definitely want to do more television. I enjoy television work. I just love being in front of the camera. I’m excited to start touring and meeting the fans, like performing for everyone. I would be lying if I said I’m going to be so nervous to meet everyone. No, this is what I’ve worked hard for. This is what I’ve wanted for a long time. I’m happy and excited to be here. At a place where I’m happy and comfortable in my career.
DT: When you talk about wanting to do more TV, are you thinking of doing scripted stuff, or more reality?
KM: I do love scripted stuff, but I do love the reality television moment. I think the viewers are more engaged in reality television.
SS: Kandy, what do you hope to see more of in the world of drag?
KM: I really do hope that people stop expecting so much from queens. As much as we have this amazing platform, people expect us to go up there in the most expensive outfits, and the most luxurious hair, and you know what? I think that people also expect us queens to be…how do I say this…? I think people expect too much of queens, and people put queens under a magnifying glass and really examine every single word they say.
DT: Kandy, it was such a pleasure watching you this season. We’re happy to have you around, and we’re thrilled to watch the finale.
KM: Thank you so much!