Week 12 of season six pulled no punches and we were taken straight to the main challenge. This week the “gurls” were filmed for the music video of RuPaul’s single “Sissy That Walk,” and then they were asked to act in two scenes. All of the queens performed their tasks well this episode, and I was particularly impressed with Adore. All four queens lip-synced for their lives to “Sissy That Walk,” and it was perhaps no surprise that Darienne Lake sashayed away. The other three queens simply placed the bar too high. That leaves the ABCs in the finale on May 19: Adore, Bianca and Courtney.
At what age did drag become an interest and how did you pick your name?
Shortly after I came out, when I was 18, I went to see a local production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I was so enamored with the transformation from male to female. I knew then I wanted to study that craft. I noticed after the show, they’d go to this diner in drag. They invited me and then later they painted my face and put me up in drag. When I asked what name I should have, they said “What about Ricki Lake from Hairspray?” I didn’t want someone else’s name, so they suggested, “Well what about Ricki Lake’s little sister Darienne Lake?” Darien Lake is this theme park between Rochester and Buffalo near where I live. So that’s where that came from.
How many times did you apply to be on RPDR and how did it feel when you found out you were chosen?
I applied for seasons four, five and six. After season four, two of my drag sisters passed away within three months of each other, and I didn’t know if I could bring myself to go on the show, but I knew I had a story to tell. When I was chosen, I was in complete shock. Everything felt like a dream. I thought, “Wow, I’m finally achieving the dream I wanted.”
Tell me about your RuPaul’s Drag Race experience.
Growing up, I always heard, “It’s okay to have dreams, but have a realistic back-up. Dreams don’t happen for people like you.” What I learned is that you can have your dreams, if you pursue them with drive, passion, intelligence…and a completely fearless attitude.
How are you going to leverage your time on Drag Race?
I’m going to use it to create more dreams, to figure out where I can take this character of Darienne Lake, whether it’s with acting, or traveling around the world. The thing I love to do most is performing, so I know I’m also going to use this time to perfect my character and expand my repertoire.
Who do you want to win?
It’s such a hard question, because every one of them possesses qualities that I don’t have that could make them a great representation of America’s next drag superstar. Adore has a young, fresh ability to cross over, and she has no fear of failing. Bianca has created such a polished, professional character who can cross over, and then Courtney has already done that. If I had to pick one, it’d have to be Bianca.
Tell me about the man behind Darienne.
In many ways I can be sort of an introvert. I’m definitely not as aggressive as Darienne Lake would be. I’m more of a comfortable, laid-back person.
Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.
Being the middle child, I’ve always been very independent, so I’ve never relied on other people for what I have or how I’ve gotten to where I am. I’ve also never been in love, but it’s also never been one of my interests. I’ve always wanted to be independent and on my own.
What’s ahead for Darienne?
Hopefully traveling the world and learning more about my craft and other crafts that interest me, like acting and professional comedy.
You can catch up with Darienne Lake at: