‘Sometimes I felt sidelined’: Le Fil on how he kept his positive attitude on Drag Race UK
‘I always try to think WWKD: What would Kylie do?’
After three weeks in the bottom by no fault of his own, this week’s Drag Race UK saw Le Fil sadly sashay away from season four at the notorious Snatch Game hurdle.
Le Fil has spent this season a fan favourite. A queen heralded like many fan faves are by the fandom as “robbed” – and one whose biggest crime was never failing, never flopping, just slightly being outshone. That’s a hard position to be in in the competition, and one that he never seemed to let make him defeated or less motivated. A real class act. I jumped on a Zoom with him to find out how he was feeling after the world saw his runways for the last time this season.
I’ll be speaking to every queen this season after they’ve been eliminated, so make sure you check The Tab on Friday afternoons to read up on our kiki!
‘I don’t ever want to feel like I got shortchanged or that I didn’t do enough’
Hey Le Fil, so good to speak to you even under sad circumstances! How are you feeling?
I’m super proud. I was really nervous to watch this episode. I think what I enjoyed most is that my sense of joy and optimism came through, especially on this episode. I only went on to showcase my talents and artistry and to have fun. We get one life and one chance, and I don’t ever want to feel like I got shortchanged or that I didn’t do enough. I enjoyed myself to the max.
It’s been a great couple of weeks and it’s been really nice having all the support and love from the fans on social media. It’s been lovely.
I just want to touch on your journey on the show, because you were in the bottom three for the last few weeks but you never slipped up or made an error. How did you find the energy to keep a positive mindset and not get defeated?
It started with episode two because I worked so hard and choreographed everyone and didn’t even get chance to work on my bit til the mic check. The everything got a bit harder – the design challenge I loved doing but I feel proud of ours, it was really good. By the fourth episode, where the critiques didn’t match the feelings me and Baby were having from having doen the legwork we were just like, oh I think we could be next for the chopping block.
When I’m in that mode, I have to turn it around and find a way to see the optimism. For the Rusiscal, I just decided that for every second and frame you see me in that performance I am going to be amazing. I wanted to keep the spirit high. By the time I was in the bottom for that I was just like, I’ve been trying my best.
I don’t have a stiff upper lip, I’ve got a camp upper lip. I came out for episode six guns blazing, and if you don’t want me, whatever. No regrets!
A lot of fans have been saying you were robbed! A robbed queen! How does it feel getting that response?
It’s been really nice. Having been on the show and experiencing that frustration firsthand I felt sometimes quite sidelined. I’m not the loudest, but I’m not quiet. I’m humble and try not to talk over others. I always think WWKD: What would Kylie do? That’s my sense of humour and I feel like things like that don’t translate on the show.
The response has been so touching and rewarding.
‘You can find me peeing in a urinal – thank you very much!’
Your androgyny this season has been so refreshing, how does it feel to represent that in our community both in and out of drag?
I was dead chuffed. We always see traditional drag queens using she/they, and my pronouns for the whole season have always been he/they whether I’m in drag or not. There are many ways of expressing masculinity. You can find me peeing in a urinal, thank you very much!
I want to challenge what you see, and to break stereotypes is the only way to do that. For a show like this to embrace that I think is so good. Everyone this season is so in their own lane and doing their own thing. As long as Drag Race UK keeps bringing the diversity I think it’s going to be consistently amazing.
Pivoting back to Snatch Game this week, how much does Ru coming in to discuss options spook the queens? How much do you reckon queens should stick to their guns with their characters or change to please Ru?
When you say Ru spooks you, we have to please Ru. Ru’s going to spook us every single week because Ru is our head boss. We’ve got to make him laugh. There was a discussion about me doing Posh Spice with a Chinese accent, but in the end I was like nah. I had to stick with my guns.
I went in knowing I wanted to do an Asian character. There’s so few in pop culture and I didn’t want to lose that opportunity. I wanted to focus on Asian representation.
‘It’s all come full circle’
What was the hardest part of Drag Race UK for you, Le Fil? Looking back?
Not the stomping down the runway in 12 inch heels, that was all good! The critiques were definitely the hardest part for me. I felt like I was always doing a good job but getting critiques that didn’t fit with what was being presented. I was worried I was having a cup of delusion. I was questioning what I did.
I felt sad and disheartened after I was eliminated, but watching it back it’s been really reaffirming and it’s come full circle again. I’ve felt so happy about what I produced and so it’s nice that it’s come full circle.
What’s next for you in your career Le Fil, following Drag Race UK? Tell us everything you can!
Well I’ve got an EP out today called Le Filosophical! Because I’ve made a song for each runway, there’s still music to come! I’m a pop artist so that’s my thing and more of that coming next, more pop culture and more art and connecting it all to my music. Le Fil means the thread, so it’s all about connecting different creative disciplines.
The future is bright and the future is Le Fil!
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season four continues on BBC Three and iPlayer Thursdays at 9pm.Watch the full Meet the Queens here.
Special thanks to Jasmine Aloma at the BBC.