Chad Michaels was the ultimate perfectionist on "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars."
Never a hair or scrap of costume out of place, makeup flawless and demeanor regal, the Cher impersonator and long-time drag star came in second during his season but finally took home the crown during the finale of "All Stars," which aired Monday night on Logo.
RedEye got the chance to speak with Chad the morning after the big win, and as expected, more compliments than shade was thrown, and he overflowed with gratitude and good will.
That's Chad for you: Perfect, even off-the-cuff. And that's a good thing.
Q: How are you today? Exhausted?
A: I am, I'm really tired. It was a late night last night. We were performing at Micky's in West Hollywood and had a wrap party there and had a long drive home, so I'm kind of tired. But I'm just running on the glory, baby. It was quite an amazing evening.
Q: What was it like seeing the big moment? I mean, you lived it, but watching it on screen?
A: It's always surreal. It took me a while to get used to watching myself on TV. It's just strange. It's a weird sense of being removed. But it was pretty awesome to see it on TV. I don't know, it's hard to put it into words. It's just the climax to a really fantastic year and a lot of hard work. It just feels good to be recognized, especially by RuPaul.
Q: Was the recognition the most important part of the win to you?
A: Yeah, I think it is important. When you put yourself on the line like that in a competition, you just go balls to the wall and let it all hang out, you certainly do hope to win and to be recognized for what you achieved during the course of the competition, so yeah, that meant a lot to me. And RuPaul has always been a role model for me, as an entertainer and as an individual.
Q: So what's next for you?
A: I've gotten this question a lot today. For me, it's hard to say because it's so unpredictable. You could get a call for a movie audition tomorrow or a TV pilot or whatever and I have always enjoyed the ride. And I intend to keep riding the ride and hopefully not get injured along the way. But you know, I've got a little bit of merchandising going on on my web site. I'm very cautiously approaching doing a single. I want that to be right and it's got to be right. It would probably be very easy for me to look stupid doing a dumb single. So I want to make it represent me and something that's going to appeal to people and they're going to like.
Q: What have you enjoyed the most about competing in "Drag Race"?
A: I love to get out and meet people. That's been the big reward of this year, meeting all the fans that have truly supported and stood behind you through thick and thin, mouthy or not mouthy on the show. It's great to be there and they're so enthusiastic. We're lucky as Drag Racers to have an opportunity to touch people's lives and in a lot of cases, change people's lives.
Q: What was your favorite challenge this season?
A: My favorite challenge was Gaff-In. I loved the opportunity to do celebrity impersonation, which I love, and work with Shannel on that, because she's a brilliant celebrity impersonator. And I don't care what they said about her Lucy, she is an awesome Lucy. She's one of the best Lucys. And I stand behind that. There's actually a fantastic bonus reel on Logo.com of our full segment of our jokes. Because they only showed like one of our jokes. We did 12 of them. ... And I loved the Girls Gone Wild challenge. That was very off-the-hook spontaneous. We never saw that coming. We certainly foresaw ourselves selling on Hollywood Boulevard trying to put whipped cream down someone's pants.
Q: How was working with Shannel for most of the season?
A: It was fantastic and I wouldn't have changed it. We chose each other right off the bat. I think with Shannel and I, our relationship was very much put on front street during the show. We have a great relationship, he's like a brother to me. But there will always be that creative competitiveness between us. And I think that gave us that edge, that gave us that static that we needed. It wasn't all a love-in for us. We had couples' therapy, is what we had, on 'RuPaul's Drag Race.'
Q: How was working in teams of two?
A: Going into it, nobody wanted to be put in teams. And that took us completely off guard. Everyone who got put on the teams just made the best of it, you know, did what they had to do. I think Shannel and I did it extra-special, I really do. We set 'Drag Race' history by winning three challenges in a row and that's something that no other team or individual has done yet, and that says something. We were criticized for being too similar. We were criticized for being too anal and perfectionist, but hey, the results speak for themselves. We won half the challenges.
Q: Well, being called 'perfect' isn't actually the worst insult I've ever heard.
A: I've said this to Michelle Visage, I will take 'perfect' with a negative connotation attached to it any day of the week.
A: Oh, I've absolutely been doing my Nancy Drew work online. And I've actually had the opportunity to do a little traveling. I met Honey Mahogany and I met Jinx Monsoon this past weekend in Seattle and love them both. Honey is absolutely beautiful. Like an angel, her face is. He's a social worker. So I think there's gonna be a lot of substance there. Jinx is absolutely hilarious. And she's a real go-getter. She's a real Broadway baby. You know, she said in her entrance video, 'I've done some vaudeville. I do a lot of burlesque work.' Really? OK, you know. This is going to be some good shit.
Q: Who's your favorite?
A: I'm personally rooting for Detox. Detox is a very close friend of mine. She's one of my Dreamgirls here in L.A. and I am on team Detox. I know Matthew pretty well. Probably not as much as I'd like to know him, because geographically we just live far away from each other so we don't get to spend all that extra, extra friend time together. But I love him, and his spirit is so unique and he doesn't give a shit what people think about him. He's just all gorgeous. All gorgeous, is what he is. I can't wait to see him and his work this next season. It's going to be amazing.
Q: Well, congratulations on the win. You must be very proud.
A: I am. It's been an amazing experience and I am eternally grateful.