Bianca Del Rio Source: Shaun Vadella

Drag Superstar Bianca Del Rio Explains Why She Wants to Wreak Havoc on the World Again with Latest Tour

Steve Duffy READ TIME: 8 MIN.

It has been a decade since Bianca Del Rio was crowned winner of Season 6 of "RuPaul's Drag Race." At that time, there was only one version of the show, and that was broadcast on the LGBTQ+ network Logo. Since then, the Ru-universe has exploded with international franchises and spin-offs covering drag across the globe. The original "Drag Race" moved to VH1 and now MTV, giving it a far wider viewership; and it has also won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Competition Program five times since 2018.

On the show, Bianca (a.k.a. Roy R. Haylock) was one of the few contestants to make to the final three without having to lip sync for her life, and the first to make it through her season without being placed in the bottom. She has yet to return to compete, but has made numerous appearances as a guest. Her success led her to place as "the most powerful drag queens in America" when New York Magazine ranked 100 former "RPDR" contestants in 2019.

What might be keeping Del Rio from returning to "RPDR" to compete is her busy schedule. Over the past decade she has appeared on numerous television shows and music videos, and in two meta-films, "Hurricane Bianca" and "Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate," with a third in the works. She appeared in London's West End in the hit musical "Everybody's Talking About Jamie," and also appeared in its recent film version. But what likely has contributed to her high profile are her successful international tours – six to date, the latest being "Dead Inside," which recently began its North American tour that will take her to some 60 venues in the U.S. and Canada. (Follow this link for a full list of dates.) Once done, Del Rio brings the show to the United Kingdom.

EDGE spoke to Del Rio about "Dead Inside," as well as if there is anything off-limits in her comedy, and why you should get tickets to her latest show.

EDGE: Tell us about your new tour, "Dead Inside."

Bianca Del Rio: I'm excited to get back on the road again. I think it's time for me to spread my hate to the masses. It's been about a year since I ended my last tour, which was pretty big. We did 129 shows in 27 countries in 99 cities. I feel it's time to wreak havoc on the world yet again.

The tour begins on February 11th in San Diego. We've got lots of shit to talk about. I mean, so much happens in the world, and so much happens so quickly nowadays, that we have to find the humor in it because we are in some dark times. I feel like I'm always saying, "We are in dark times." I don't want to be that miserable person, but we must find the humor in it to get through it.

EDGE: Why are you dead inside?

Bianca Del Rio: Can't you see me? I mean, listen, I am dead inside, rotted. We went back and forth with the title. "Dead Inside" seemed the most fitting. It explains that I'm fearless because I'm approaching death, and it matches my face. We couldn't say rotten inside, because that is a little too specific. I just thought dead inside works, because I'm kind of numb to what's happening in the world. A lot is going on.

EDGE: This is your sixth stand-up comedy tour. How have they evolved over the years?

Bianca Del Rio: I would love to say that I have a full orchestra, but sadly it's me, a table, and a glass of wine. It started as a Jack-and-ginger cocktail, and now I've moved to wine because I am of a certain age.

I would say the audiences have gotten bigger, which has been great for me. I thoroughly enjoy connecting with them.

About 10 years ago, when I started the first tour, I had this idea of what the show should be, and I am still trying to get there. I was concerned with creating everything that was scripted, and it's not my way. When I started drag I worked in bars where there were alcoholics still drinking at 1:00 AM on a Monday night, and they don't care about scripts. I slowly eased myself back into a mixture of scripted and not scripted, because it's amazing what the audiences can give you in a live environment. There's nothing better than live interaction between you and the audience. Some of the best stuff happens in a doctor's waiting room, my show, and the airport. So, interacting and putting people in one room is what I enjoy. What has evolved is my connection with the audience, and the fact that I still get to do it after all these years.

by Steve Duffy

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