On The Scene: Rupauls’ Drag Race All Stars 7 Cast Become Window Models At Saks Fifth Avenue

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 11: (L-R back row): Jinkx Monsoon, Raja, Monét X Change, Shea Couleé, The Vivienne, Trinity the Tuck, (L-R front row) Jaida Essence Hall, Yvie Oddly attend RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7 Saks Fifth Avenue window display Ruveal and red carpet at Saks Fifth Avenue on May 11, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for VH1/Paramount +)

The All Winners season is here and it won’t disappoint

Rupaul’s Drag Race has become a TV staple.  And this Friday, May 20th, is the premiere of their next season of All Stars, which is also the notable ‘All Winners Season.’  And last week, the contestants of Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7 came to NYC and transformed into window models at the famous Saks Fifth Avenue locations.  The queens unveiled their personalized window while posing the house down in their own fabulous outfit.  We had the chance to interview some of the contestants and get the inside scoop on what fans can expect in the upcoming season.

 

First up, we got a chance to talk to Jaida Essence Hall who won Season 12 of Rupaul’s Drag Race.

 The Knockturnal:  How was it like being a gorgeous, gorgeous model in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue?

Jaida Essence Hall:  I mean you saw it, I looked really cute in the window.  But, it feels really good to just know that Saks represents a lot and for us to be invited at Saks and be a part of this unveiling means drag is expanding into so many different parts of mainstream society.  And I just hope we keep it rolling.

 

The Knockturnal: So where were you when you got the call to be on this All Stars season and how did you feel?

Jaida Essence Hall: I was not doing anything special.  I was at my damn house sitting on the couch.  I got the call and they said ‘hey girl you wanna do it?’ and I said ‘oh my god, maybe.”  I knew in my mind that it would eventually come and that they would want to do an all winners season because the fans have been asking for it for a very long time.  And we like to give the fans what they want.  So I knew it would happen but I didn’t know it would happen so soon.

 

The Knockturnal: And so once you see the entire cast day 1, is there anyone you thought was your biggest competition?

Jaida Essence Hall:  I don’t know!  I don’t know if any of the girls made it feel like a competition.  I also know that everybody that has won the show has won for several different reasons.  So I am the type of person where I don’t go in and underestimate anybody because the moment you do that is the moment you get hit on the side of your head.  A slice of humble pie.

 

The Knockturnal: Can you describe All Stars 7 in three words for me?

Jaida Essence Hall:  Fashionable.  Sexy (because I’m there). And loving!  Because there is a lot of love with the girls this season.  There is still a lot of shadiness too.  And you can love some shady bitches, because I do.

 

The Knockturnal:  Out of the entire case, who is your dream blunt rotation?

Jaida Essence Hall:  Blunt rotation?! Okay! First is going to be me because obviously I don’t want none of their cheap lip gloss all over my blunt and get on my mouth.  So, me first!  And then I have to pass it to Yvie because Yvie is always there for me and that would be nice.  We got to honor mother Raja.  Maybe Shea – you know what, I’m just going to get it and blindly pass it.  Just make sure it gets back to me – that’s the real tea.

 

Up next we talked to Jinkx Monsoon who won Season 5 of Rupaul’s Drag Race.

The Knockturnal:  How was it like being a gorgeous, gorgeous model in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue?

Jinkx Monsoon:  It feels like I’m living in a movie.  It feels like a subplot to Home Alone 3 or some shit like that.

 

The Knockturnal:  Where were you when you got the call for this season?

Jinkx Monsoon:  I was at home and it was full swing pandemic.  And I don’t remember what I was doing but I said I needed a week to think about it.  And then two weeks later I gave them an answer.

 

The Knockturnal:  What was your initial reaction to getting the call?  How did you feel?

Jinkx Monsoon:  It was an honor to be asked and was very exciting.  It was also like – I’m so proud of where I have gotten to since my first season.  I put out a feature film with Ben Dela Crème.  I’ve gotten to voice act on so many cartoons that I love.  I’m so happy with where I’m at that there was a part of me that felt ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”  But, then my husband said to me, ‘if you don’t do it and then later you’re watching it, you’re going to be so upset that you weren’t there.’

 

The Knockturnal: What are you excited for fans to see from you this season?

Jinkx Monsoon:  I think the evolution that I have experienced since my last season.  And also to get to know – I think you got to know the artist who does the drag more on season 5.  And I am hoping you get to know the character of Jinkx Monsoon better on All Stars.  Trust me, you’re still going to get a lot of the person behind the makeup, but I’m hoping people get a better sense of the persona that I have created over the past 19 years.

 

The Knockturnal:  Can you describe All Stars 7 in three words for me?

Jinkx Monsoon:  Epic! I hate these because I’m a Virgo so I want to get it perfect.  Okay so, epic!  Moving.  And optimistic

 

Up next we talked to Monet X Change who was a contestant and Miss Congeniality on Season 10 and later won All Stars Season 4.

The Knockturnal:  How was it like being a gorgeous, gorgeous model in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue?

Monet X Change:  Well I’ve always been a model.  But now I’m modeling windows so this is the next level for me.  But, this is truly, truly, amazing.  I am a New Yorker from East Flatbush and went to school on 48th and 8th.  And my friends and I would walk this way to school and pass by Saks (and walk in there but they would kick us out).  So, to even have a display here on one of the most iconic New York City stores is crazy and I feel very honored.

The Knockturnal:  You really sold the window I will say that.  You worked every corner in that window.

Monet X Change:  Thank you!  You know, a lot of these girls are lazy.  I’m just kidding!  I really enjoyed doing it!

The Knockturnal:  It seems like nobody wants to work anymore.

 

The Knockturnal:  So where were you when you got the call to be on this All Stars season and how did you feel?

Monet X Change:  I was in Puerto Rico.  I was at the hotel gym and getting ready for some trade so wanted to get in a few pumps.  And I got the call and was like, ‘you know what? Why not?’

 

The Knockturnal:  When the dust settled the first day and you saw the cast, who did you think was your biggest competition?

Monet X Change:  I would say Jinkx.  I have always been a big fan of Jinkx’s work.  Jinkx is very funny and we tick a lot of similar boxes in terms of our strengths like music and comedy.

 

The Knockturnal:  How has your drag evolved since you first competed until now?

Monet X Change:  In terms of my drag aesthetic it has evolved a lot.  I have so much more accessibility.  When I competed the first two times, there weren’t people who made wigs like this.  There weren’t people who adorned Black hairstyles and Black clothes in a way that I thought was fashion.  So the access to getting to these designers who have the varied repertoire to produce things like that has definitely changed and makes me super happy.

 

The Knockturnal: What are you excited for fans to see from you this season?

Monet X Change:  I’m excited for fans to see me play the game.  And with all of us coming back, we just wanted to have fun.  We didn’t want to choke ourselves with anxiety of wanting to do the perfect thing.  I wanted to just have a good time.  I came to do ‘Drag Race x Survivor’ and that is what you’re going to get.  I am going to be the Boston Rob, I’m going to be the Parvati, I’m going to be the Cirie.  I am going to be one of them bitches from ‘Survivor.’

The Knockturnal: I’ll take your word for it.  Admittedly I don’t watch ‘Survivor.’  I am more of a ‘Real Housewives’ reality TV person.

Monet X Change:  Alright then I’ll be the Nene – no not the Nene.  I’m going to be the Kenya Moore.  Porsha maybe? Sheree maybe?  Spring Summer September!  Not Sheree!!  Sheree if you see this girl I love you.  You know what, I’ll be the Andy Cohen let’s start there.  The one who owns the whole franchise girl.

 

The Knockturnal:  Can you describe this season in three words for me?

Monet X Change:  Great. Survivor.  Fashion.

 

 

The Knockturnal:  And my last question for you is, out of the entire cast, who would be in your dream blunt rotation?

Monet X Change:  Shea Couleé.  Shea Couleé.  Raja.  Shea Couleé.

 

After that, we interviewed Season 9 contestant and All Stars 5 winner, Shea Couleé.

The Knockturnal:  How was it like being a gorgeous, gorgeous model in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue?

Shea Couleé:  It’s such a dream come true.  Saks Fifth Avenue is such a cornerstone of fashion and style.  And for someone who is a lover of fashion and being able to be here in a window that I got to help design and create has been so much fun.

The Knockturnal: Oh!  That’s so interesting I didn’t know you got to help with the design of the window!

Shea Couleé:  All of us did!  Really we just picked colors and dresses that we thought would look beautiful together.  My favorite color combinations are pink, orange, and yellow so we decided to go with pink and yellow.  We put an Oscar de la Renta gown in the window and I am wearing Maison Valentino.  So we just decided to go for it and make it as beautiful and lux and classic as possible.

 

The Knockturnal:  So where were you when you got the call to be on this All Stars season and how did you feel?

Shea Couleé:  I was in my living room watching ‘Naked and Afraid.’  And after I got the call, surprisingly I too was naked and afraid.

 

The Knockturnal:  When the dust settled the first day and you saw the cast, who did you think was your biggest competition?

Shea Couleé:  I definitely would have to say – I could not pinpoint my biggest competition from the beginning because everyone is so strong and I knew everyone came hungry and ready to compete.  So I was excited to see what everyone was going to bring.

 

The Knockturnal:  What are you excited for fans to see from you this season?

Shea Couleé:  I’m really excited to see mine and Jaida Essence Hall’s friendship.  We knew each other long before being on drag race.  She is from Milwaukee and I am from Chicago.  We worked together a lot and so it’s so nice to be able to share this very specific moment and experience together.  It just made us that much closer.

 

The Knockturnal:  How has your drag evolved since you first competed until now?

Shea Couleé:  I would say my drag has become more elevated and refined.  But as I continue to discover and understand myself as a drag queen and artist, I feel like I learned to constantly challenge myself in executing my ideas to the best of my abilities and try my 110%.

 

The Knockturnal:  Can you describe this season in three words for me?

Shea Couleé:  Iconic, legendary, unforgettable.

 

The Knockturnal:  And my last question for you is, out of the entire cast, who would be in your dream blunt rotation?

Shea Couleé:  I’m going to pass it to Jaida.  And then Jaida is going to pass it to Raja.  And then Raja is gonna pass it to – I’m going to say Trinity The Tuck because she doesn’t smoke so that would be really fun.  You always have to throw a wild card into the rotation.  She would probably be talking to the couch.

 

After a great conversation with Shea, we got a chance to talk to Season 3 winner, Raja.

The Knockturnal:  How was it like being a gorgeous, gorgeous model in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue?

Raja:  I mean, I kind of reverted to my high school fantasy.  Because I was telling my friend there was a program in high school where they had a modeling class.  And one of the things you got to do was model in the windows at the mall.  And you get to replace the mannequins and be the mannequin.  And I always fantasized about doing it and this time I got to do it.  And I’m on the corner.  I was like ‘I’m on the corner of Saks Fifth Avenue.’  I didn’t even realize.  They were walking us in the back and they told us where we were standing.  And then the curtain goes up and I was like ‘Oh my god this is the best spot ever.  Sorry about it girls.’

 

The Knockturnal:  So where were you when you got the call to be on this All Stars season and how did you feel?

Raja:  I don’t remember exactly where I was.  It was during covid so I was probably at home.  And I couldn’t believe what they were telling me in my ear.  I asked myself if I was ready for it and I just kind of agreed to it.  I like making decisions that way just like ‘Fuck it!’  I love being on TV.  We’re all showgirls.  We’re all entertainers.  Drag Race and TV is such a huge stage and platform and the visibility is what we thirst for so of course I say yes.

 

The Knockturnal:  When the dust settled the first day and you saw the cast, who did you think was your biggest competition?

Raja:  None.  None!  Well, we hadn’t gotten there yet.  We were still in the love boat.  It was pretty easy and I was happy to be with them.  I know it sounds super corny, but they’re probably gonna call us the most boring All Stars because all we did was make out and hug on each other.  Not actual making ou – well maybe we did, I’ll never tell.  No spoilers here.

 

The Knockturnal:  Did you get close to anyone this season that you were surprised to really get close to?

Raja:  Yvie Oddly.  I have been a fan but we never spent any time together.  Most of the girls I have spent time with.  Monet, Jinkx, Shea – a few of us have been touring together over the years.  It was nice to hang out with Jaida.  I met her during covid, we did this thing for Voss Events.  But, it was still kind of fresh off covid so it was nice to hang out with a bunch of cool queens.  So we were all just ready for it.

 

The Knockturnal:  Can you describe this season in three words for me?

Raja:  Oh my gosh.  Magical, inspiring, and legendary!

 

The Knockturnal:  And my last question for you is, out of the entire cast, who would be in your dream blunt rotation?

Raja:  Well me first.  Then I’d pass it over to Shea.  Then it would go to Monet – no, it would go to Yvie and then Monet.

 

And last up we have Season 9 contestant and All Stars 4 winner Trinity the Tuck Taylor.

The Knockturnal:  How was it like being a gorgeous, gorgeous model in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue?

Trinity the Tuck Taylor:  I feel like a proper mannequin, which is my dream.  It’s an incredible honor.  This has never been before and probably will never be done again.  And just the moment that the curtain raised up and I saw the people, it was elating, it was incredible.

 

The Knockturnal:  So where were you when you got the call to be on this All Stars season and how did you feel?

Trinity the Tuck Taylor:  Well, we were in a pandemic.  So I was at home.  At first I was like ‘I don’t know about this.  I already won, do I want to go on again to potentially tarnish my reputation.’  And then I realized I’m a big whore so why not.  I love attention.

 

The Knockturnal:  Going in, was there anyone you were hoping to see there?

Trinity the Tuck Taylor:  I think the girls that ended up coming on the show were the girls I wanted to see.

 

The Knockturnal:  When the dust settled the first day and you saw the cast, who did you think was your biggest competition?

Trinity the Tuck Taylor:  I think Michelle was probably the biggest competition.  She is so mean and hates everybody.

 

The Knockturnal:  What are you excited for fans to see from you this season?

Trinity the Tuck Taylor:  Oh girl, I have shown them that I can win pretty much any challenge.  I have shown them fashion, I have shown them funny, all different facets of who I am as an entertainer.  This time I went in wanting to show them – well actually not showing anyone.  I just wanted to have a good time.  So I hope the fans saw a little bit more light hearted Trinity.  A bit more fun, less competition driven – I still want to win, but I want to have fun doing it.

 

The Knockturnal:  What was your biggest takeaway from this experience?

Trinity the Tuck Taylor:  I think, these girls and the relationships I have formed, it just solidified how much I love them.  And above all else, relationships matter and that is more important than fame and money.  And that is the biggest thing I took away from this.

 

The Knockturnal:  And my last question for you is, out of the entire cast, who would be in your dream blunt rotation?

Trinity the Tuck Taylor:  The rotation!  All of these girls smoke a lot of weed so I’m gonna smoke it first because if they got it first, it would be gone.  If you give it to Yvie or Raja or Jaida, it’s over.  Just give me an edible at that point then.

 

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