Arts & Entertainment
3 min

Drag Race runner-up Adore Delano comes to Vancouver

‘If you want to be successful, you have to work your ass off,’ she says

Drag Race star Adore Delano has a special love for Vancouver. Credit: Austin Young

There hasn’t been a breakout star from RuPaul’s Drag Race quite like Adore Delano. The Season 6 runner-up is so busy, she’s a day ahead of me! I catch up with her by phone as she tours Australia and New Zealand.

“The crowds are freaking brutal here!” she exclaims. “They’re really hardcore, man. There’s fans outside my hotel. They think I’m more famous than I am!”

Or do they? Delano’s debut album, Till Death Do Us Party, debuted at number three on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart, leaving Iggy Azalea in the dust and setting a new record for a Drag Race queen.

“I’m just myself,” Delano says, when asked for the recipe to her success. “Pride yourself in being true to who you are. And have a purpose and a reason for everything you’re doing, and be aware of timing. If you want to be successful, you have to work your ass off.”

Although Adore is adored all over the world, she has a special place in the hearts of Vancouverites, having filmed the video for her third single, “Party,” in the backyard of Vancouver’s own Isolde N Barron and Peach Cobblah.

“I’m not lying; Vancouver is one of my favourite places that I’ve been to,” Delano says. “When I was on Davie Street it was so gorgeous. I love Vancouver more than I love Chicago, and I love Chicago a lot!”

The affection is obviously mutual, with Delano being brought in for two gigs this summer. First, she’ll be performing at Battle of the Seasons during Pride on Aug 2, then on Aug 21, she’ll bring her solo show to Fortune Sound Club.

“I’m really nuts, so basically, expect a cat with rabies onstage,” she says. “I’m a wild cat. I work off the energy, so that’s why the shows here in Australia and New Zealand have been so successful.”

“[RuPaul’s Drag Race] is opening the eyes of so many people,” she says. “It’s showing people that we’re human beings and we do this for a living; this is a career choice. Usually, the straight couples at the shows are partying the hardest. They just want to have a good time and aren’t taking it too seriously. We’re like anime characters or superheroes to them!”

Like a superhero, Delano has some impressive talent. But when I ask if she feels more legitimate as a singer/songwriter (her first foray into reality television was on American Idol) than some of the other Drag Race girls, she’s quick to defend her fellow queens.

“I think we all have different purposes in life,” she says. “I wouldn’t say ‘legitimate’ artist because that would be kind of mean. Some girls love performing in the bar scene, and I love the club scene, too — don’t get me wrong. I love it; it’s the most punk rock you can get as a drag queen. But I want to break boundaries; I want to be mainstream and carry on the legacy of RuPaul.”

“Fuck it, man,” she says, “you have to strike it while it’s hot and do what you got to do. You can’t hate the hustle. If you want to release a dance single that makes people shake their ass, more power to you.”

The loyalty between sisters is strong, especially for the Season 6 top four, who share the same management and often travel together.

“I don’t know any other season where the girls actually really genuinely love each other and like each others’ company,” Delano says. “After the shows or a night of clubbing, we all hang out in one of our rooms and are, like, cuddling and drooling all over each other. It’s awesome, the love that we have. Since all three of them are old men, I always say I’m like the little sister that’s, like, ‘Mom said I can come — I’m tagging along!’”