Jax Spills the Tea on That "Shocking" Lip-Sync LaLaPaRuza
The last few episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race had already been a lip-sync marathon for Jax, even before it was revealed that the maxi-challenge on the latest episode would be a lip-sync LalaPaRuza.
Even though the New York queen never won a mini or maxi challenge, she wowed the judges and her fellow competitors with her fashion and killer moves, like when she showed off her jump roping skills in the season premiere talent show.
Jax sailed through the season, but she finally landed in the bottom for the old lady girl groups challenge. She sent Robin Fierce packing in that week's Lip Sync For Your Life, but found herself in the bottom again the following week. Jax pulled out her moves against Aura Mayari, and sent her home, but when she was in the bottom for a third episode in a row, "the writing was on the wall."
Jax spoke with Logo about her time on Drag Race, what was going through her mind while performing all those lip syncs, if she was surprised when Ru asked her to sashay away, and why she wants to throw out all of her drag and "start from scratch."
So I'm excited to talk to you all about the Lip Sync LalaPaRuza. Well, first off, the past couple of weeks have already been a lip sync extravaganza for you...
What was the vibe like in the workroom when RuPaul dropped that bomb that there was going to be a LalapaRuza that day?
The first thing that went through my head, was, "Yay! Finally, something that I can excel in. Something I know I can do with." And then we see how that turned out.
I'm sure all the queens were in a frenzy.
Oh, absolutely. It was an immediate rush just to just be ready. We had no idea what the format of it was going to be. We had some idea because of Season 14, but really every single season of Drag Race, every single episode, there is a twist that they love to throw on us, and we just got to bear ourselves for it and just go with the punches.
Before we get to the lip-syncs, I want to ask about your red outfit. What was the inspiration for that? You looked like a fighter in a video game.
I was going for "if Doja Cat was a Street Fighter character." It was very much that. I love a primary color block moment and I just wanted to show that I'm not just an athlete. I'm also just a huge, huge nerd.
I loved it. Moving onto the lip syncs, if you could have had first dibs on the songs, which would you have chosen?
If I had first dibs, I would've chosen "Boys Don't Cry" by Anitta, which was Marcia and Malaysia's lip sync, or the Joan Jett song ["Do You Wanna Touch"]. I would've chosen one of those two.
So why did you choose the Taylor Dayne song?
I ended up choosing that one when Mistress chose me simply because that's a song that I love. I've performed it before, I have a good time performing it whenever I do it, and I know I can turn the party to it. I knew Mistress and I would do it in different styles. So based off of what was left on that list, I was just like, "This feels right."
What was going through your mind when that lip-sync ended and then Ru told Mistress that she could go back to the workroom?
Truly, in those lip-syncs, I fend for myself. I am on that stage just trying to do my own thing and turn the party. So I wasn't really aware of what she was doing behind me or next to me, so I really had no idea which way it could go. When I say, "I was shocked," it was simply just because I know that I put my all into it. So just having that moment, putting your all into something and then especially something that you're good at and then not moving forward in it, that was a shocking aspect for me. But it is what it is.
When you are doing the lip sync do you save some moves for the next lip sync to wow the judges again? Or do you just put it all out the table? Is there even a thought process?
I definitely save some things. There is more that I can do. I like to say ... I mean, knowing who I am, a lot of people just assume, "She's a dancing queen. She has tricks, she has stunts," and they expect me just to throw my body around and do stunts on stunts, on stunts. But at the end of the day, that's not really who I am. I really do make sure what I'm doing. If I do a stunt, it's going to be to add emphasis to the emotion of something, not just to throw a trick, to throw a trick. So I definitely waiver where I'm going to do certain things or what feels right in the timing. I like to treat my numbers as a cheerleading performance where it's like, we got this section of the song, we got this section, and then we got the stunt things here and how it breaks down.
Yeah. I was going to bring up the cheerleading because in the episode you said that you were tired of fake smiling. Was that your cheerleader coming out? Just always having to keep that smile on?
Ooh, did I say that? Oh, I didn't remember that. Yeah, it's a little bit like that because when we cheer, we always have to be hitting the front of the mat just like, "Here we go. Let's do it. Yeah!" Our cheeks are on fire.
How were you feeling during those lip-syncs? Once the lip sync ended, were you just like, "Oh my God, I can't believe I have to go again"? Or were you just kind of, "Just get through it, just get through it..."
It was very much just like, "Just get through it, just keep going." But I feel once it kind of came down to the second or third one, I was just kind of like, "Whatever happens happens. Everyone here's a fierce competitor. Just have fun, just fool around. Drag is fun. You're an idiot in a wig rolling around onstage, just do that."
Were you surprised when Ru asked you to sashay away?
No, simply because every single week I've just been getting critiques on how to heighten myself. You're kind of seeing the writing on the wall after a while. But while I wanted to stay there as long as possible and do what I did, because that's the name of the game. Also, at that point, I was just like, "You wanna know what? It is what it is. Now I go home, I throw out all of my drag and I start from scratch and I rebuild it all.
Do you have a lip sync that sticks out to you, either one that you just really loved or was especially challenging, out of all the ones you did on the show?
I would say the "Sweetest Pie" lip sync was probably the most fun for me, just because that's a song that I would perform at a bar and just have a fun time with it. So when it came down to doing that on the stage, I was like, "I'm just having fun. Let's just do this and turn it out. If I could collect some tips right now, I would."
So I saw that you've been streaming on Twitch? How's that going?
It's fun! The thing is, I've just been traveling so much, I've only been able to do a few streams. But whenever I do it, it's just such a fun fan base that goes onto those streams. They're one-on-one connected. And it's fun to have conversations in that way with people rather than the typical drag, going on Instagram live and getting ready, doing makeup. I have more fun just playing Fortnite and video games. I was an only child. That's what I grew up doing. I just played video games every single day at my house. And so being able to just do that and share my nerdiness with people is very fun for me.
RuPaul's Drag Race airs Fridays at 8/7c on MTV.