Chad: What do you think was behind Farrah accusing Nina of not even wanting to be in the competition?
Toyota: I totally understand where Nina was coming from. Self-doubt is a rude motherf--ker and she can mess up everything for you, even if you want it more than everything. I’m glad the girls, especially Shea, got Nina right together and told her that she’s supposed to be there, and that the whole pity party has been canceled!
Chad: How excited were you to see Nina play Jasmine Masters???
Toyota: I agree with the judges in saying that it’s a cop out to do previous contestants/judges for Snatch Game. They’re low-hanging fruit, but that said, I love Nina and Jasmine, so I was excited to see how she’d do. I feel like her impression was good, but like almost every Snatch Game contestant ever, she coulda gone farther. I wanted to see earrings as big as her head and that damn loaf of bread! I’m a sucker for props. And just a sucker in general (wink emoji)
Chad: I was VERY worried about Sasha after her chat with Ru in the workroom-- it seemed like they were setting her up to fail. Do you know who Judith Butler is, and did you think her impression was funny?
Toyota: There’s always one girl in the competition that Ru helps sway from one decision to the stronger one. I’m a trans feminist, so I’m familiar with Butler, but Sasha’s impression was too respectful. Not that you have to mock the person you’re impersonating, but you have to maximize their eccentricities and make their essence humorous. She was much better as Marlene Dietrich because she could play up the lesbian-ness, the German-ness, and the sultriness.
Chad: Why do you think queens have had so much success in Snatch Game playing eccentric, anachronistic women? -- Joan Crawford, Mae West, Little Edie, and now Marlene Dietrich?
Toyota: First of all, I had to look up "anachronistic". Secondly, I feel like Ru and the judges *love* when the girls pull out these gigs because they hearken back to times when queens emulated these throwback screen divas. There’s a real payoff in the juxtaposition of quickly-famous modern celebrities next to celebrities with real cultural staying power. And you forgot to mention BenDeLaCreme’s wonderful performance as Dame Maggie Smith! These kinda ladies are sometimes easier to get right because of their heightened accents and reality. Rather than having to impersonate a peer or currently-famous person. I have one of have one of these types up my sleeve when I get cast on Season 17. Just wait ;)
Chad: Liza Minnelli might not quite fit that category, but Alexis was legitimately pretty great, right?
Toyota: Alexis was fantastic, and you could tell Liza was someone who she deeply admired and who has greatly inspired her drag. She coulda gone crass with the slurring and the shakes, but she kept it classy and was really on it in terms of hitting the right references and nailing the look and voice.
Chad: Is it bad that I think Alexis had a sunnier personality as Liza than as herself?
Toyota:Lol this question is going to get you in trouble. I feel like when she became Liza, she was able to filter out her own insecurities and learned toughness that one has to develop as an artist/drag queen, especially somewhere as cutthroat as NYC. She hasn't been edited as the nicest girl on the season and probably isn’t in the running for Miss Congeniality. Her rant in the faux fur Untucked was not a good look, so I’m glad she redeemed herself with a well-deserved win.
Chad: How good did Shea look? She really held her own, right?
Toyota: Shea looked amazing, but Shea looked like Shea. Which is the highest compliment, because the bitch already looks like Naomi Campbell. She was able to pull off *an* accent, the right bitchiness, and her wit was quick. She didn’t get enough screen time, in my opinion. (Shea, can I get a free shirt or a pin or something??)
Chad: I thought Trinity as Amanda Lepore was a smart pick, and she looked great, but I can't really remember any of her jokes.
Toyota: She did look great but didn’t stand out. I like her, but I don’t need her to win this competition. And like I said earlier, I wanted more in terms of exaggeration, posing, name-dropping references, snorting diamonds, etc.
Chad: As always, we didn’t get enough Snatch Game-- it all goes by so fast! Did you have any other thoughts? What was your favorite joke?
Toyota: Snatch Game goes way too fast! Some girls only answered one question (not that I needed to see more of some of these impressions). I wish they released an extended version online, but I also understand that this whole show is so heavily edited that showing more of the impressions than we saw might sway us in one direction or the other. My favorite joke of the night was Cynthia Lee Fontaine. Girl.
Chad: So Peppermint finally came out as trans to the other girls. All along, I had been wondering why no one brought it up-- was it the producers or something? But apparently she just wanted to take her time and wait until the right moment! How did you process all of that?
Toyota: This would totally happen the week you interviewed me, Chadster! I am super skeptical about how this all went down (from the producers' angle), and I also don't know Peppermint's T like that, so I don't want to make assumptions. It’s ridiculous to think that no one knew, because the NYC girls at least would have known. When we first saw the looks for the confessional, my roommate Abhijeet (that’s @bon_abhijeet) questioned why Peppermint’s look was very subdued. But then again, maybe that is her daytime realness, so it’s possible the rest of the cast didn’t know. I feel like the producers waited for storyline purposes to match up with her being in the bottom. I feel like as the show goes on and I know more of the girls, I get more and more suspicious of the editing, especially when it comes to these emotional moments. I totally related with Peppermint’s story of finding transness through drag, and I am glad she brought light to the sometimes tumultuous relationship between the trans and drag communities. There are prominent queens right here in Chicago who don’t think trans women, or cis women, can be drag queens, and that some people are only trans for the attention, so we’ve got a lot of work to do to adjust the public’s attitude. I’m glad Peppermint is visible and using this platform.
Chad: For the runway theme, why disparage Season 8 for repeated costumes and then have TWO DIFFERENT SETS of outfits that were even more similar?? Aren't there interns and charts for this kind of thing??
Toyota: *In my Trinity voice* “I call shade!” This was some shady boots nonsense. Shea even said that they brought backup outfits, so this was just lazy and eyeroll-inducing because they just pulled this stunt a year ago. Another Madonna runway, closely following a Gaga runway, was not necessary. I hope they’re not scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of challenges and runways because I’m still trying to get on the damn race so my booking fee is more than 2 drink tickets and cab fare! If it wasn’t producer-fed, I have no idea why Peppermint would have repeated Shea’s look knowing she was already at risk in being in the bottom because of her lackluster Snatch Game. And Nina is so creative, I’m sure she could have whipped up an even better and more unique Madonna look had they not asked her to wear what she did.
Chad: Is it bad that the only runway look I HAD to draw was Sasha's?
Toyota: I can totally understand why Sasha is an illustrator’s dream. Her looks are so striking and graphic that you can easily see how the drawings will turn out and translate. It’s an iconic Madonna look, she nailed it, and as we saw with Valentina, simpler is better. Are you as gagged over Valentina as the rest of the world? Every time I wanna not like something about her, she brings me right back in. She was one of my favorite parts about this week’s Untucked. And her runway slayed me.
Chad: I thought Valentina’s runway look was smart and sexy, and definitely one of the few real standout looks this week! But I didn't end up drawing it for two reasons: 1) Although the censor bars looked great on TV, I don't know that they would translate to an illustration with the same effect-- it would just look like I'm censoring my own drawing! And 2) I have a kids book coming out next year, and I've already gotten in (a tiny bit of) trouble for my sexy depictions of Valentina, so… yeah.
Toyota: Give the people what they want, Chadwick! I was hoping her butt would have a li'l censor bar on it, too, but I was also with seeing what she had to offer in the cucu department. I’m also writing a book! It’s an illustrated journal of all of the dudes I’ve...hung out with...since moving to Chicago, and it’ll be out later this year. #ToyotasTradeDiaries
Chad: With Snatch Game episodes, I really enjoy conveying the queens more cartoonishly than usual, emphasizing the celebrity likenesses and spirit of the performances rather than getting caught up in the glamour or fashion. Which I guess is the whole point of Snatch Game!
Toyota: What’s the question here, Chadley? But I totally understand! I love seeing how you bring their interpretations to life and sometimes your drawings are more enjoyable than the performances.
Toyota: Is this the part where I plug stuff? Follow me on Instagram (@toyota_corona), add me on Facebook and my backup Facebook when I get blocked for posting d-pics, send me money for hormones and makeup on Venmo (@toyota_corona), and my snapchat is @agcorona. I host Burgers, Beers, and Bingo every Wednesday night at Crew Bar & Grill in Uptown. I’m hosting the Kentucky Derby there with Alexis Bevels this Saturday afternoon. This week, I’m the special guest for Trannika’s Most Wanted at Berlin, and I host a monthly party every 3rd Wednesday at Berlin called Love Machine. The next one is May 17th and there’s no cover! I’m having a few birthday parties in Milwaukee and Chicago at the end of this month because I’m turning ** years old, and next month I’ll be back in Milwaukee to host during Pridefest at my favorite bar and late-night snack, D.I.X! Crap, I have a lot to plug. Lastly, buy my merch featuring a design with art by you! I’ll give you royalties if I sell more than 5. Which I probably won’t! Xoxo thanks for having me, cutie, and thanks for the art! (Photos by Shawn Rowe and Erik Michael Kommer)
Thanks to everyone who came out to DragCon this weekend! It was amazing to meet all of you, and it was shocking to hear that anyone actually reads this stuff. With DragCon and C2E2 finally behind me, I'm going to be adding a ton of new prints, posters, and postcards to my Etsy store! And yes, I'll be featuring some of those shiny new gold foil prints, too!
The sketches included in this post will be going out this month to my supporters on Patreon! That's a service that allows you to support artists with a monthly contribution and get some cool stuff for it!