June Jambalaya Talks Zodiac Signs and “Real Housewives” Taglines
Hope you’ve got a sweet tooth because this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race has a chocolate surprise.
On the latest episode, Ru not only RuVealed the golden ticket twist, but also brought back Orion Story and Daya Betty, the two queens who were originally sent packing in the two-part premiere. That meant all 14 competitors were together for the first time, and all of them were in danger of landing in the bottom two.
After an epic ball challenge where the queens had to design two runway looks, June Jambalaya and Maddy Morphosis were placed in the bottom two. The two queens competed in a disco dance-off lip-sync to Kylie Minogue’s “I Love It,” but in the end, June was asked to sashay away.
June spoke with Logo about what it was like to see the eliminated queens return to the workroom, what inspired her to audition for Drag Race, and what her Real Housewives tagline would be.
Hi, June! I loved what you brought to the runway. But first, I want to ask about Untucked. You were getting pretty emotional when you were preparing for the lip-sync. What was going through your mind in that moment?
I knew what was about to happen, and I was very disappointed in myself to be there so soon again. But I told myself, I just have to really throw caution to the wind and have fun, because after that first lip-sync, my confidence was really shot, to be in the bottom in the talent show, having a degree in dance. So it was kind of hard for me, and I just wanted to have fun with it, but I kind of felt the ending approaching.
Speaking of the first lip-sync, what was it like seeing Orion and Daya walk back into the workroom after you sent Orion home?
I was not excited to have Orion back, but I understood because she didn’t get a chance to fight for her dream, which is fine. And I’m happy for anyone to fight for their dream. I did not know Daya, but I was very sorry to see her walk through the door, ’cause I think Daya is absolutely stunning.
What was it like having all of the queens together in the workroom? It must have been chaotic.
Yeah, it was a lot, but it was really fun because drag has only been something I’ve been doing part-time, so I really got to be around these artists and see how everyone works and does their art form and their style. I got to get a lot of inspiration and pull from it.
You mentioned how you don’t have a drag mother, and you’ve only been doing drag for two years. What is your drag origin story?
I was choreographing for drag queens. I was choreographing for a competition. And then, one of the queens said I should enter. I entered the competition, Dragged Out in West Hollywood, and I won. I was the first person of color to win the crown. And I just started doing brunches and gigs. So it was just something I did part-time, for nightly and brunch gigs. This was the first time I ever had to get gowns and stones and elaborate things.
What did you have to do to win that competition?
I think it started off with 18 queens. We competed for 10 weeks, and each week we would have categories and challenges kind of similar to this. And we would have to perform within that category and challenge, and the fans would vote for us weekly.
Was winning that competition what prompted you to audition for Drag Race?
No, it was actually during the pandemic. I was creating visual performance content, and I thought about it, I was like, wow, if I’m able to do this with $200, imagine if I got on Drag Race with my friends that are dancers and videographers and DPs. Imagine the type of visual content we could create if we actually had financial backing. And so, that was my whole objective going on the show: to create a bigger platform to showcase me and all of my incredibly talented friends.
You don’t have a drag mother, but do you have queens you look to for inspiration?
Roxxxy Andrews has always been someone I have looked up to. I didn’t know her personally, but she’s the ultimate showgirl and just polished beyond belief. And Shangela and Vanjie – dancing Queens. I looked to these queens, I just didn’t have relationships with them.
And you only auditioned for Drag Race once?
Yeah, this was my only audition.
Wow. I’m guessing you were surprised when you got the call to be on the show?
I was surprised and not surprised, ’cause my tape was really incredible.
I love that.
One thing I’m very good at is doing visuals. Visually, I can edit myself very well. So I was very good with that.
I mean, I’ve seen the visuals, I’ve seen your Instagram. Stunning.
She can take pictures and do visuals, all day.
You got your drag name because you’re a June baby, like me. Do you agree with the bad rap that Geminis get? People think we’re crazy.
They think we’re split personalities, two-faced. And honestly, I am genuinely a happy-go-lucky type of bitch. I really am. And if that other side determines two things, what you do to me, or what the situation is causing me, needing to give. That’s it.
I have a question about the “Water Me” lip-sync. Did your sleeves rip off?
Yeah, so my sleeves were not detachable, and I was walking down. I think it got caught in the lights on the side, and it just yanked and ripped, and I just kept going.
Oh, okay. For this week’s lip-sync, you took off your shoes, you took off the wrap. What was the reason for taking all that stuff off?
I just really didn’t care. It was just like, they kept saying polished, polished. And I was like, I’ll show you unpolished. I just wanted to just have fun. I was like, fuck it.
Usually I ask if the queens are surprised when they’re asked to sashay away, but it seems like you kind of knew, the writing was on the wall.
Yeah, for sure. I’m not delusional.
You’re a big Real Housewives fan. Your entrance line, would that also have been your Housewives tagline? Or do you have a different tagline in mind?
I’ve always loved, “Don’t paint me like a bitch, because I’m already painted.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 airs Fridays at 8/7c on VH1.
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