Drag Race season 14's 'Trantastic 5' reunite to talk chaos, clashes, and secrets of their her-storic run

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·13 min read
Drag Race season 14's 'Trantastic 5' reunite to talk chaos, clashes, and secrets of their her-storic run
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Kerri Colby, Willow Pill, Kornbread "The Snack" Jeté, Bosco, and Jasmine Kennedie are dressed to the nines, comfortably nestled on a velvety-smooth couch in a luxe hotel suite in West Hollywood — and, in fitting tribute to the powerful season of reality TV they just finished fronting across RuPaul's Drag Race season 14, the gals are... well... climaxing. Loudly.

Somehow, a harmony of ecstatic moaning feels like an appropriate tribute to the excellence that was season 14, which was rife with drama (Bosco vs. Lady Camden, Maddy Morphosis vs. that dress pattern, sweet baby angel Jasmine vs. literally everybody) and artistry (need we mention Willow's finale looks yet again?). But, as the five contestants — representing the largest collective of trans competitors to ever grace the Drag Race set at one time — gathered for EW's exclusive Awardist roundtable interview (above) indicate, the power at the heart of season 14 is all attributable to one thing: Authenticity.

"I think the show will never be the same again," Kerri declares. "Instead of looking for trends and tag lines, we've pretty much showcased many forms of drag. There are obviously more, and now that we've broken that mold of trans and trend — I always say, those are both two T-words, but they're different, trans is not a trend, but trans is trendy — so we got that out of the way, we did that, and let ya'll know why it is, it's beautiful, unique, and has so many different faces," she says of how she hopes season 14 broke the mold for future generations of queens entering the Werk Room.

She continues: "I'm so excited for us to see, going into the future, instead of trying to hype things up for a political moment or a tabloid statement, now you're going to get to see representation at its finest, giving what it's supposed to give, without the pressure of narratives that get put with it."

EW Drag Race screengrab
EW Drag Race screengrab

EW holds a 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 14 reunion with Kerri Colby, Willow Pill, Kornbread, Bosco, and Jasmine Kennedie.

Beyond the significance of its trailblazing cast, season 14 was, simply, a blast, and the queens also get into the juiciest behind-the-scenes secrets of making it all happen, including tea on never-before-seen moments, how they really felt heading into that lip-sync smackdown, RuPaul's vibe in the room as they bombed Snatch Game, and how they bonded over their identities when the cameras stopped rolling.

Watch our exclusive video interview with the largest cast of trans contestants ever to compete on RuPaul's Drag Race above, and read on for all the highlights (including timestamps).

  • 2:48 — The queens discuss how representation on season 14 redefined what it means to represent for the trans community on RuPaul's Drag Race: "They made the decision to authentically, from the jump, let a trans woman… in the door," Kerri says. "It really spoke to when you allow someone to be authentic in a space and give them an opportunity to share their story and connect with their sisters. You never know what really can happen."

  • 5:07 — With regard to the number of trans contestants to come out before, during, or after season 14, Kornbread jokes that "if you said 'it's chocolate' on Drag Race, you're trans," and also hopes for an all-trans cast for season 15. The "Trantastic Five" also recalls coming out in phases so each could have their moment to shine and take control "of their own narratives on their own terms."

  • 7:45 — Kornbread reveals that she initially planned to come out during the final regular episode of season 14 as RuPaul asked her to speak words of wisdom to a photo of her younger self if she'd made it to the end, instead of coming out publicly in an Instagram post after filming wrapped. "When they put the pictures up, that was going to be my moment. I wanted to get through Drag Race without having that be any part of what was happening to me. I wanted to go there and show my style of drag, because my style of drag is not necessarily what I want to present in my transness and in my life," Kornbread explains. "I was going to wait for the picture. I was going to be like, 'I want to tell that kid that now is your moment,' because I wanted to live my authentic dream as a drag queen on the show, and when I was talking to that picture, I'd be like, 'this is my moment to express to people that drag is what you do, it's not who you are. I wanted my whole entire trajectory to be that."

  • 9:00 — The queens regularly had a "hot tub conversation," according to Kerri, about their identities back at the hotel during filming, even when they weren't ready to discuss them on camera. "Bosco and I talked about it almost every day on set," Willow recalls. Jasmine later adds: "Bosco was actually on the other side of the room [when I first talked to Kerri about it] and she was kind of in the conversation when we were talking, it was actually the Glamazon Prime outfit I was working on, I remember making that god-awful hat, talking to Kerri, breaking down like, 'I think I'm trans, I just want to be a pretty girl,' and Bosco's like, 'Are we saying it on the show or no? What's the vibe?"

  • 11:29 —Jasmine and Kornbread reflect on how Kerri impacted their journeys as trans women.

  • 16:16 — After getting a tattoo of Willow on her thigh, Kornbread reveals that she has more season 14 body art planned, including a tattoo of drag legend Divine with Bosco's eyebrows in place of hers.

  • 17:33 — Willow shares how Drag Race helped her come into deeper understanding of her identity. "It's very bizarre to watch yourself onscreen, and watching myself was part of the reason that I was like, I'm more trans than I thought, because I really was not liking what I was seeing. It was beyond just not feeling confident in how I looked, it was like, oh, I hate that I look like a boy," she says. "But, I just couldn't watch it. It's hard to watch it now still, and I was like, if it bothers me this much and if looking in the mirror every day bothers me this much, I've got to change something."

  • 19:55 — The queens address the importance of representation and standing up to political attacks on the LGBTQ community, particularly trans women.

  • 24:39 — President Kerri Colby gives a State of the Union address on how people can affect change beyond simply watching Drag Race. "Love doesn't end at the bar, it doesn't just end at the venue, it doesn't just end at the show where you see a girl give you a moment and performance," she explains. "If you support and you love and you like and you enjoy what's going on and you want people to be able to continue doing that safely…. if this is what matters to you and this is what you love and this is what you're giving your money, time, and energy to, I need to see this exact same energy at the polls."

  • She continues: "You need to be impacted, affected, and put your money where your mouth is…. look for opportunities where you can see you can help make a positive impact, it's a splash and a puddle in a very big ocean but ripples happen and tsunamis happen because of these things. We represent a future and we represent the right to exist, and not just be known as the artist and the individual in this outlandish person, but we represent and entire group of people that deserve to live, and live comfortably."

  • 37:50 — Kornbread breaks down re-injuring the same ankle that forced her to withdraw from season 14 while she was preparing for a gig with Maddy Morphosis. "Maddy was there for that day and got through helping me," Kornbread says.

  • 39:10 — Willow and Kornbread clarify their recent comments about potentially phasing out of drag in the future. "I make a lot of money from drag right now, so I'll stick around for a little bit," the season 14 champ shares. "There is kind of a desire to phase out of drag. I've done drag for a while now and it's loads of fun, a great way to get out my creative energy, but, you know, I'm tired. Really tired. I'd like to get to a place where I'm doing it less and less until eventually I'm just gardening mushrooms," she admits, while Kornbread adds: "The wording of everything has been off. Drag is always going to be part of my life. When I say I'm weaning away from drag [I mean] bars and clubs," noting that she is in a financial position where she feels comfortable moving forward with her transition before pursuing more acting roles on stage and screen.

  • 44:01 — EW previously confirmed that Hocus Pocus 2 would feature Drag Race alums Ginger Minj, Kahmora Hall, and Kornbread, who reveals the trio had around three lines, but speculates they'll all get "chopped out" of the final cut. "There's a whole moment where we're there with all the witches, taking a break. I'm there with Ginger and Kahmora Hall, and they go yeah, 'It's so great that we have two people from Drag Race and one local queen,' because no one knew I was on Drag Race yet."

  • She also remembers a particularly comical exchange with returning Hocus Pocus star Kathy Najimy, who reprises her role as Mary Sanderson in the upcoming film. "No one knew, because literally two weeks after we were released [from filming season 14] …. that's when I went to go film Hocus Pocus…. I wasn't supposed to be there. So they all thought I was a local queen. Kathy Najimy comes up and goes, 'One day I hope you're on Drag Race. I know RuPaul personally, I'm the reason Bob [the Drag Queen] got on the show, I'm going to call RuPaul about you,' [and] I go, 'Kathy, you know what baby, don't do that, I appreciate you, but don't do that."

  • 46:23 — Jasmine on keeping the Untucked crown in New York City after Kandy Muse ascended to the drama throne on season 13. "I went there like I'm probably not going to win this season," she says, being that she was the only season 14 girl from New York City. So, she decided to lean into the more explosive bits of her personality. "I'm going to go in there and know what I'm best for, my personality and my dance."

  • Kornbread also says that their infamous clash only lasted for around "five to 15 seconds" and was actually ignited by Jasmine, and speculates that it was only played up in the edit as a means to give her a complete storyline despite her minimal amount of filmed footage before she left early due to her ankle injury.

  • 51:00 — Bosco says Jasmine "Producer" Kennedie has "a nose for drama that can't be denied," and remembers her running the set and coaching the queens on what to say (and when) the same way a producer would. She then addresses her MTV Movie & TV Award-winning fight with Lady Camden over the role of Saltine in the Moulin Ru challenge. "I'm usually a very tolerant person, more than happy to give somebody something, but we were in the context of a competition and both wanted the part," Bosco says, explaining that "the mantle was there for who was going to start the next fight" after Jasmine's exit left the Werk Room (somewhat) drama-free.

  • 57:40 — Jasmine remembers RuPaul discussing the season 14 Snatch Game celebrity impersonation challenge and offers an apology to the host over the disastrous outcome. "It was killing her because we were doing that bad on the show! I'm so sorry, Mama Ru!"

  • 1:00:51 — Bosco doubles down on citing the Snatch Game as a particularly bothersome — but totally entertaining — portion of the show. "It was just moldy vibes all around. It wasn't fun to do, it wasn't fun to watch, it wasn't fun to be a part of," Bosco says. Jasmine also reveals jokes she wanted to perform in character as Betsy DeVos, but ultimately decided against, including a "full written packet" of political gags, like "written jokes about Betsy shaking hands of corporations to take them down for their money," which Bosco hilariously cuts down moments later.

  • 1:03:26 — Kornbread performs a little bit of her Leslie Jordan Snatch Game impression she never got the chance to do on the show, and Kerri follows with a quick interpretation of Mariah Carey.

  • 1:04:58 — RuPaul punished the season 14 queens for their awful Snatch Game with a lip-sync smackdown the following episode, which saw the remaining cast members — save for DeJa Skye, whose Lil Jon impression saved the challenge from complete failure — battling it out in a series of battles on the Main Stage that resulted in Jasmine's elimination. Bosco remembers Angeria having a panic attack at the back of the stage, while Willow calls the entire day "chaos," but that didn't stop Bosco from keeping her shoes on (and looking completely shook, per Jasmine) for the entirety of the shoot while others ditched theirs in favor of comfort.

  • 1:08:38 — Jasmine, who clashed with fellow season 14 sister Daya Betty multiple times throughout the season, chose the latter to lip-sync against at the start of the smackdown, but has since reconsidered her decision to do so. "If I was being strategic, I wouldn't have picked Daya as my first person. I would've probably picked Jorgeous, because me and her, at that time, were at a level field in terms of eliminations and tops and bottoms," Jasmine says. "I chose television over strategy."

  • Jasmine also remembers RuPaul cautioning her to make a wise choice: "She was like, 'Jasmine, you get to pick,' and my mouth opened. She goes, 'Wait, this is reality television, give it a moment, sink.' She knew I was gunning, she knew I was ready," remembers Jasmine. "She was like, stop, think about it, really think about it, and I was like, nope, Daya."

  • 1:15:48 — Season 14 was the first Drag Race installment to not feature a makeover episode in years. The queens reveal how they prepared for the challenge that never materialized (including a large undertaking from Kornbread) and lay out who they would have chosen to make over among the cast (and what they would have done) for the fan-favorite challenge.

  • 1:21:38 — The queens discuss crafting their reunion and finale looks, with Bosco revealing that the wings she wore for her final musical performance broke before she hit the stage, while Willow's final looks — including the infamous crotch-faced ensemble, co-created by Utica from season 13, and her giant suit — were initially switched for the presentation.

Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to RuPaul is available online or wherever magazines are sold. 

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