What a fabulously gay summer it’s been. From Kylie Minogue’s “Padam Padam” to Troye Sivan’s “Rush,” Kim Petras’ Feed the Beast, and that steamy Red, White & Royal Blue trailer, LGBTQ+ content is hot right now. Up next? The finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8 (Friday, July 21), in which just one winning queen will emerge and enter the Drag Race Hall of Fame — unless, of course, Mama Ru pulls a Monét- and Trinity-style tie.
After knocking Alexis Michelle, Jessica Wild, LaLa Ri, and Kahanna Monstrese out of the top six, Kandy Muse and Jimbo emerged as this season’s finalists. But who deserves that $200,000 cash prize the most? Only time will tell. Just after Pride Month in June, the top two stopped by StyleCaster headquarters for one final lap around the track. Below, Jimbo and Kandy Muse discuss All Stars 8, all that Heidi N Closet drama, and how they plan to beat each other.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Jimbo: Somebody was a little bit late to today’s shoot.
Kandy: I was a little tardy. But to be fair, we just finished Pride season and I’m exhausted and I overslept four hours through my alarm.
Jimbo: Well, you’re here and you look gorgeous.
Kandy: Listen, the fact that I was later than Jimbo tells you something because Jimbo is always late.
Jimbo: I love it. The fact that I only slept for two hours and I was on time is a miracle. I literally drove all night like Celine Dion. Anyway, how was your Pride? I know you were in Seattle.
Kandy: My Pride was amazing. I’ve done Alabama, Seattle, Boston, Albuquerque, L.A.
Jimbo: All their Prides?
Kandy: I’ve done all their Prides.
Jimbo: Oh my God. That is wild. I’ve done one Pride so far — Toronto Pride and I loved it.
Kandy: That’s it?
Jimbo: Well, because you’ve been doing them all! They didn’t need anyone else. I loved being in the parade. I felt like Princess Diana, Lady Di, waving at the people. So, let’s jump into it. Kandy, we first met on the phone, and our first impression was that we were gonna be best! friends!
Kandy: You know what? No. You actually messaged me on Instagram during season 13 and you were like, ‘Oh, I love you. You make such great television.’ You were such a sweetheart. I was like, ‘When we meet in person, it’s gonna be everything.’ And then we went on tour together in Canada for War on the Catwalk. When we met I was terrified. You were dressed as a ghost. I was like, ‘Ohhhh, bitch. We’re both Scorpios. I don’t know what it’s gonna be like.’ Then we hit it off.
Jimbo: I was afraid because I had a reveal coat that was kind of like yours and I was like, ‘Oh my God, Kandy’s gonna read me to filth, she’ll never never let me wear this, I’ll have to find something different.’ And you were like, ‘Bitch, I don’t give a shit.’
Kandy: My favorite quality about you is your way of always seeing things on the positive side. Even the fact that you drove down from Toronto ‘cause your flight was canceled. I would have had a heart attack at the airport — like, someone take me now and take me away. On the Drag Race set you were always positive. A lot of the girls were always stressed out about the challenges, or the long filming periods, or maybe our food was cold. But you were always like, ‘Girl, just pop it in the microwave and make it hot again.’
Jimbo: I love your confidence and star power, star quality. We were waiting for you today, and then we really saw why. You own the stage and deliver such emotion with such conviction. It’s really intoxicating.
Kandy: And intoxicated I am right now. Hey, it’s 5 p.m. in the U.K.
Jimbo: Let’s talk about All Stars 8. Kandy, we knew we were each other’s competition going into it — that’s why we formed an alliance.
Kandy: So the tea is you and I — and Heidi [N Closet], actually — found out at the same time we were on tour. I watched you on UK Vs the World and Canada, so I knew how beloved you were — great competition, period. Knowing what I knew already going into All Stars 8, it exceeded my expectations. I was like, ‘Damn, bitch!’ The fact that you had four challenge wins towards the end of the season… I was like, ‘Alright, girl, I need to get this last challenge in because bitch, she slayed the girls.’ Which is why there was a rumor spreading around that I wanted to send you home!
Jimbo: I guess we’ll never know if you were really gonna send me home. By the way, have you talked to Heidi ever since she went home?
Kandy: No, I actually hate her. [collective screams]
Kandy: I was just with Heidi in Seattle for Pride. Heidi calls me and texts me every single day. Looks, it’s television but there are definitely feelings that get involved. When we were on tour — you Jimbo, Heidi, myself — in the U.K., the episode came up in conversation before the season aired and we talked through it and then we got over it and now we’re super close. We’re actually going on a cruise together to the Caribbean in February!
Jimbo: We’re producing it ourselves!
Kandy: Plug! But we’re good, you know? The fight made for great TV. Also, it was important that Heidi take care of her mental health at the time of filming.
Jimbo: I love Heidi. She’s one of my dearest friends. With Drag Race, as long as you’re able to take it with a grain of salt and really see each other as performers, then I feel like we’re able to walk away with friendships intact. When drama comes up, that’s the nature of reality TV, and we know that. We’ve been able to process it and move on.
Kandy: Plus, there was no way of putting you, me, and Heidi in a room and not get to the drama.
Jimbo: Oh my God. It was so wild when Kahanna [Montrese] almost threw in the towel, too. Heidi had planted the seed that there was an exit and people were deciding they were gonna jump ship. Lala [Ri] was thinking about going. You, Kandy, said you had had enough. Alexis [Michelle] was over it. I said to one of the people in the room, ‘You have to go get Mama Ru.’
Kandy: Literally! The funny thing is, the reason why RuPaul came in — girl, I’m telling you, it was about to go from a top six to a top two real quick. Jimbo, you were like, ‘Y’all have to get RuPaul in here.’
Jimbo: I was kind of joking. Never in my wildest dreams did I think she’d actually come and then five minutes later they were like, ‘Mama Ru is coming to the work room right now.’ And she gathered that bitch. She said, ‘Kandy, have you been to the chiropractor lately? Because you’re about to get an adjustment.’
Kandy. Uh-huh! She let us have it. There were so many moments on All Stars 8 and Jimbo, your Shirley Temple was such a character during Snatch Game. When you started dancing around, I broke character but also everyone on set — the crew, the camera men, the producers — was crying. There was no way I could keep a straight face.
Jimbo: I loved seeing you break. That was so funny.
Kandy: What people don’t realize is you have to be so smart. Playing Snatch Game of Love is so different from regular Snatch Game. In Snatch Game, you have at least 40 seconds to think of an answer. But with Snatch Game of Love, you have to think of it off the top of your head. When this bitch started dancing out of nowhere, it caught everyone so off guard.
Jimbo: I didn’t even know I was going to do that until right before I went. Kandy, what do you think about the comments about Alexis right now? She’s getting a lot of online negative feedback. Does that ever happen to you?
Kandy: Well, here’s the tea though: Since season 13 I’ve always gotten negative feedback from people online. And listen, it makes for a great algorithm, right? My thing is when I post, I don’t go back and read the comments because although we would like to know what people think of us, when you indulge into the negativity, you start to believe those things. At the end of the day, the opinions of other people are not my opinions. Like RuPaul said, feelings are not facts. So because you felt that my runway look was off or that I wasn’t great in the challenge, that’s your opinion, that’s great for you. I still stand behind every single thing that I’ve done on the show. Even the whole, ‘I’m gonna send Jimbo home.’ I always tell the girls not to reply to people’s opinions because you’re fighting with a wall.
Jimbo: They’ve already made up their minds.
Kandy: You’ve done Drag Race three times now. But I told you before — the American, original version is a monster with die-hard fans. So how has it been for you?
Jimbo: It’s been next-level, the excitement, the love, the recognition out in the world has been exponential and absolutely insane. I could not move around Pride at all. It’s been primarily positive for me. Though as a clown, I’m all about all the feelings and I don’t mind negative feedback. But I try not to look at it. It’s kind of like looking at the sun — you know it’s there, you just don’t stare at it.
Jimbo: I don’t let it bother me.
Kandy: There really is so much love out there too. My fans, the Muse Hive, are diehard fans and when we are in the trenches, they are going non-stop. They’re probably the most annoying fans in the world because they go hard for me, as they should. Real recognizes real.
Jimbo: I think the world really did see that you can be a big bitch but you can also be a big softy, too.
Kandy: People come into All Stars thinking, ‘I’m gonna have to prove how much better I am as an artist, as a person.’ I stand by everything I did on 13 — the way I was — and I haven’t changed as a person. I’m still the same bitch I was before I even got on Drag Race. I’ve become more organized as an artist because we’re on the road so much. But besides that, bitch, I’m the same old bitch.
Jimbo: And you’re unapologetic.
Kandy: That’s why I always tell everyone just be yourself – they’ll either love or hate you. So! If I were to ever come back, either for an all-winners season or for Vs the World or something, I’m gonna be even more of a bitch. But Jimbo, we need to talk about your makeup this season. It’s been giving since day one.
Jimbo: Watching back Canada’s Drag Race, it was so disappointing not seeing myself the way I envisioned and not being able to fully realize my characters. So coming back to see myself the way I want to be seen is so amazing. I’m so glad! Practice does make perfect. And Kandy, you’re a makeup artist and you helped me as well. You gave me some tips and tricks. But… I’m ready to kick this fucking bitch’s ass in the finale.
Kandy: Ha! I cannot wait for everyone to watch the finale. We obviously don’t know the outcome of what’s gonna happen but throughout the season we had so much fun filming and the fact that we get to do the finale with every single girl from All Stars 8, it’s going to be really good.
Jimbo: There’ll be some fun and some closure.
Kandy: Jimbo, you and I told each before the finale, ‘Let’s just have a good time. Let’s have fun. We’re here.’
Jimbo: We’re competitors but we’re also really good friends.
Kandy: But it doesn’t mean we’re not going to kick each other’s asses during the finale.
Jimbo: Exactly. I have a few tricks I’ve planned.
Kandy: You never know what’s gonna happen. Maybe the girls are gonna start flying out of the air. We brought it. It’s a really great finale. It’s the cherry on top of an amazing season.
Jimbo: I’ve been inspired by doing “Padam Padam” as my Shirley because people went crazy for it. It went off.
Kandy: It’s so funny because we sound narcissistic about what inspires us. Ourselves! But “No More Wire Hangers” has been the gay anthem of the summer. It’s been amazing seeing fans love on us.
Jimbo: Honestly, it’s such a gift to be able to represent for queer communities and for our countries at this time when drag is under attack. We’re able to really show other sides of drag and how diverse the performance qualities can be.
Kandy: Any final thoughts?
Jimbo: I can’t wait for our cruise! I can’t wait to sail the seven seas with you and take in the sunshine.
Kandy: Yaas! I want to remind the viewers that we have an election year coming up, so make sure to register to vote. Voting is very important, especially in times like these where people are trying to take away our rights. Besides that? Stay tuned!