Following every RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Observer gets the scoop from one of the contestants. First up: Jaymes Mansfield.
Observer: Campy queens like Tammie Brown and Tempest Du Jour haven’t done well on the show. Was that a concern going in?
Jaymes Mansfield: Absolutely. I knew there was going to be a good chance my type of comedy and drag would be misunderstood. It’s one of those things you just have to power through and stay true to yourself. I feel like I did that.
Who were you thinking of doing for Snatch Game?
Rebel Wilson. I was really looking forward to playing Fat Amy and making people laugh.
“Love Shack” seems like a song tailor-made for your zany persona. Were you excited that at least it would be a song that was somewhat organic to you?
I actually had the exact opposite opinion when I heard the song. I worked in a department store for years and immediately associated “Love Shack” with being back at work. It was not my ideal choice. I usually like songs that have more narrative and story to it. I wish I got “Rock Lobster.” That would be have been a great B-52s song for me.
Who did you think was your biggest competition the first day?
Shea Couleé, but only because I already knew her before the show and knew what she could do. She’s amazing. I was a fan of Peppermint’s but didn’t know her before the show.
That line from Eureka about you being fake seemed mean but could easily have come off as fun teasing in real life. How did you take it?
I took it as her trying to be funny and the joke not landing. As a comedian, I know sometimes things don’t come out the way you hoped they would.
Do you wish you had waited a few years, getting more experience, before appearing on the show?
I feel like I was actually very experienced going into the show. When you’re in those circumstances, under that time crunch, you pull out what you can. I have no regrets.
If you had to lip sync against anyone except Kimora, who do you think you would have excelled against?
Were the judges right, were your nerves getting the best of you?
It’s a high-pressure situation and we’re all nervous to an extent, but when we got our critiques I just went into an artist mindset and thought “They’re all wrong, this is my interpretation of drag.”