Shea Couleé, Miz Cracker and Jujubee Spill the Tea on Their 'All Stars 5' Experience (Exclusive)
By John Boone
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RuPaul's Drag Race returnees Shea Couleé, Miz Cracker and Jujubee have been sitting on a secret for more than a year. But it's not a secret anymore: They are the top 3 queens of All Stars 5.
While Shea and Jujubee made the finals on their previous seasons (season 9 and seasons 2 and All Stars 1, respectively), with Cracker just missing out on final 4 in season 10, the trio returned to the Werk Room ready to compete and quickly cemented themselves as this season's frontrunners via countless sickening runway looks, two top-tier Snatch Game performances and one trusty pickle costume.
Ahead of Friday's finale -- which will see one of the queens being inducted into the Drag Race Hall of Fame -- ET's Brice Sander chatted with the top 3 about winning the crown, feeling Rudeemed and whether we'll ever get to the bottom of the Alexis and India feud.
Do you each feel like you were able to accomplish what you wanted to accomplish by going back to Drag Race? We'll start with Juju.
Jujubee: For me, my goal was to A) make it to the end, so check, and B) show people this version of me that took me a while to find. I call her good Juju, and I think that she's here and I think that she still stumbles, but that makes her human. I think I was able to show that. And I think y'all see that.
Shea, do you feel like you accomplished what you wanted to accomplish?
Shea Couleé: Yeah. When I left filming, I just felt really at peace with everything, because I knew that I went in there and gave it my 100 percent best and most authentic self. And that's what I wanted to do. I'm really glad to look back and watch the show and see the person that I had grown into from my time on season 9.
Miz Cracker: I'm Jewish. I'm always anxious about what I've accomplished.
We did get to know you all on a little bit deeper level this time around. Shea, we got to experience the story of your family, Juju, you opened up about your sobriety, and Cracker, we got to know more about your childhood. What did it mean to each of you to share those pieces of yourself on national television?
Miz Cracker: It was important to tell people that art has been a part of my DNA since I was born. I wanted people to know that, that this is not a hobby for me.
Shea Couleé: Having the opportunity to be more vulnerable and show the human side of drag that I feel like sometimes people forget about was important. A lot of times people see a drag queen's successes and think that we didn't have to struggle to get there or go through things. So, it's nice to be able to kind of pull back the facade of what people see on social media and show a little bit more truth and humanity.
Juju, you brought us a moment that is rare in Drag Race where we see real, deep emotion from RuPaul, talking and crying with you about sobriety.
Jujubee: Yeah, and as Shea mentioned, it's the human, it's the vulnerability, it's the ability to separate our art with our heart, if that resonates with us. It's that separation and coming out of the artistic ego and bringing in the human soul. And being available for RuPaul, I needed that so badly. I don't know what that did for Ru, but for Ru to be able to open up like that I think was really beautiful. Oftentimes, we don't get to see that vulnerable side of RuPaul, because this is RuPaul. This is Supermodel of the World. So I'm glad that I brought my tears and then made her laugh and cry. [Laughs] We felt every emotion in 30 seconds.
When we talked at the beginning of the season, you teased that there was going to be some unresolved drama that you hoped would unfold on the show, which we now know is the Alexis-India-was-there-or-was-there-not-a-campaign-going-on-to-get-Shea-out-of-this-competition. Do we know the truth today? Do we feel like we have an answer?
Jujubee: What I can say is: My campaign slogan is Jujubee for MSG 2020.
Miz Cracker: And vice versa.
Jujubee: I'm confused! I don't know!
Shea Couleé: We all are, and I think that that's the point. There's so many things that are up in the air that we still don't know, because it really happened just between Alexis and India. And they're both telling us two different stories, so.
Do you feel like you'll ever get resolution there?
Shea Couleé: I feel like I've just created my own resolution for myself from what I've seen on the show. And I feel like perhaps what was presented to me was, like, a very tiny portion of the truth that was delivered in a way, for my anxiety in the competition, to take it and run wild with it. I think that's how it all spiraled out of control, because I heard something really sinister from India. And I don't know if that was her intent -- for me to hear it as sinister as I heard it -- but it did create a lot of concern and turmoil. I know how people make me feel, and I just love Alexis Mateo so much.
Another moment that was almost sinister was Cracker, you toyed with our emotions. You gave us the Naomi-Manila moment, pulling Shea's lipstick out. Shea, I gotta know what you thought when you saw that play out on TV.
Miz Cracker: I have to know, too!
Shea Couleé: I was cracking up. You know, we have all these moments where we are filming by ourselves, making these decisions, doing these things. I never even considered it, so when I saw it on TV, I just started dying. It was really hilarious.
It was theater. It was a moment of theater you brought us, Cracker.
Shea Couleé: It really was. And I'm a theater kid, so you know I love a good ole [gasp].
Let's do some rapid fire about this season: On that note, what was the hardest vote for you guys to cast?
Shea Couleé: Mine was Mariah.
Jujubee: Mine was Blair.
Miz Cracker: Mariah. I agree.
What was your favorite look of the season? It could be yours or it could be someone else's.
Shea Couleé: Mine would have to be Jujubee's finale runway. Holy sh*t. When you guys see it, you're gonna die. You're gonna die. I died.
Miz Cracker: She didn't understand what the word "finale" was pronounced like. She thought it was "finally." As in, I'm going to finally do something right.
Jujubee: My favorite look had to be Shea's Love the Skin You're In look, the fully rhinestoned [bodysuit]. That is probably one of the best looks that has been on that runway. And I love your hair, Cracker! I love your hair.
Miz Cracker: Just generally. [Laughs] Love Blair's prom look. I thought it was just immaculate, just really immaculate.
What was the quote of the season for you, the thing you know the Drag Race fandom will be quoting back to you for years?
Shea Couleé: [Imitating Jujubee as Eartha Kitt] "Well, I'll turn it up to a sensible 74."
What was your favorite lip sync of the season?
Miz Cracker: I got to see Monét for one of the lip syncs and I got to see Juju in leopard print, which is her favorite. So I'd say that was mine. That was a joyful one.
Jujubee: That was my favorite lip sync too.
Shea Couleé: For myself, I would have to say -- even though it's not technically a lip sync -- our final top 3 production is a real chef's kiss.
Juju, you mentioned to me when we talked at the start of the season, because this was your first VH1 season, that you were a little nervous how this audience was going to interact with you. And I feel like it was good, from where I was sitting as a fan. How did you feel?
Jujubee: Honestly, I'm very grateful to still be able to do drag the way I'm doing it now. There's definitely a completely different audience now than what I had before. The internet is huge and there are a lot of fans from all over the world, and I can't tell who they are because their pictures are of me, Miz Cracker and Shea, so we never know who we're actually tweeting back to. It's insane. The love is there, but I also hope that the fandom chooses to just love. Because I see a lot of negative things out there too, and that makes us all uncomfortable and it's unnecessary. So I hope the fans could watch this and see that we love each other and we support each other and just spread love.
There's a video going around that, Cracker, you're a part of, with some of the Drag Race family saying, "Enough is enough with" -- to put it frankly -- "racism in the fandom." What are some actionable items you would like to see the fans do to keep this community positive?
Miz Cracker: I think Juju said it best, "Don't be racist."
Jujubee: Don't be racist.
Shea Couleé: Just stop it.
Jujubee: Wash your hands, don't be racist, watch Drag Race.
Shea and Cracker, how would you say the All Star experience was different from your initial season experience?
Shea Couleé: My All Star experience was different from season 9 in the way that I've actually had a lot of fun interacting with the fans. There are so many really sweet ones out there and it's been great getting a chance to talk to them and engage and develop these little, fun online relationships. It's cute.
Miz Cracker: Every season, we see more and more people engaging with drag through social media, and I think it's a beautiful thing because it means that the art that means the most to me means a lot to other people too.
Friday night, the crown is on your head, what does that crown mean to you?
Jujubee: The crown, for me, means that I have made it into this world of being one of the great drag queens, being at the top of her game. I think all of us could agree with that. We want this crown and the title. I mean, keep the money, just give me the title and the crown. That's what I want. And I hope third time's a charm, because there's not going to be a fourth time, b**ch!
Shea Couleé: That crown would mean that I would be able to keep the promise that I made long ago to Baby Couleé that if I won, I would use my 100 thousand dollars to give her a set of dog stairs up to the bed. She has been such a good girl and I feel like she deserves it and I really wanna bring home those stairs for Baby. [Laughs]
Miz Cracker: A chance to prove that comedy can make a difference.
We got the lip sync assassin twist, which was really fun to watch. Fans were so eager each week to see who's going to be there. Is there anybody you were disappointed didn't come out to give you a run for -- literally -- your money?
Jujubee: I thought that it was going to be Raven! For a split second, I actually thought Raven was going to come out to lip sync against me and I was, "Oh, god. Here I go. 'Dancing on My Own' again. Like, "Is this gonna happen?" And then I saw Monét and I was like, "Oh my god, can y'all bring Raven back? Because I can't do this against Monét!" [Laughs]
Miz Cracker: I would have loved to see Kameron [Michaels] come back and do a lip sync with her. A rematch but also just because she's been so supportive and amazing in the years since season 10 and it would be a great way to redo that ending.
Shea Couleé: I would have loved to see Trinity K. Bonet. I think she's a really terrific lip sync assassin. Or my Chicago sister Dida Ritz, I would have loved to see her.
Would all of you come back as a lip sync assassin? I feel like this is probably it for competing, but would you come back as a lip sync assassin?
Shea Couleé: Yeah, why not? I think it was Cracker who said it, "When RuPaul calls—"
Miz Cracker: I said, "RuPaul is like your bladder in your 30s. When she calls, you go."