The Huffington Post: Let’s start with the lip sync ― why did you just give up? Was this the tactic you had planned from the beginning if you ever had to lip sync for your life?
Charlie Hides: You mean, serve authentic Britney Spears 2007? Dressed like a slut and dead behind the eyes while doing a tragic lip sync. Yeah, that was the game plan.
What did you hope to gain by going on “Drag Race”?
I wanted to be seen as more than just a celebrity impersonator. When you do impersonations, the most you can hope for is to be a second-rate someone else but I have the potential to be the best me!
What is the biggest thing that you feel like you learned?
“Next time bring sleeping pills!” I arrived from London totally jet-lagged and only got 2-3 hours sleep each night. Not a recipe for success on reality TV.
How do you feel about the way you were portrayed on the show ― was it an accurate representation of who you are as an artist?
I know I slayed on the runway every time and I should have been top three in the Princess challenge. My aesthetic and flair were definitely represented but you didn’t really get to see my dark sense of humor. I’m glad audiences got to see my more serious side when discussing the AIDS crisis and how I buried almost all of my friends in the 1980’s and ‘90s.
What do you want to do with the platform that “Drag Race” has given you?
I want to continue to entertain and engage with my growing audience and to educate the younger generation not to take for granted the rights they now have that were so hard fought for by my peers who rallied, marched, organized, protested and made a difference. But most of all I want to continue to make people laugh. It’s more important now than ever.
Do you see any important political implications with “Drag Race” being on such a mainstream network at this specific moment in time?
We are the opposition party. Drag has always been anarchic and confrontational. “Drag Race” is serving a giant “fuck you” to the right wing conservative assholes in power and at the same time normalizing this art form that I love so much.
Is there a particular queen that you would like to see on a future season of “Drag Race”?
Out of everyone left in the competition, who are you rooting for to win?
Sasha, Alexis and Trinity! Three very different, but fierce, competitors.
Ultimately, what do you want people to understand about who Charlie Hides is?
As a survivor of the plague that nearly wiped out my generation of gay men, I’m a firm believer in the humor and hope need to be celebrated.
And that my new single “The Dame” is available on iTunes!
RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs on Friday nights at 8 PM ET/PT on VH1. Check out “Untucked” below. Missed last week’s interview with Kimora Blac? Head here.