Bosco Brings Seattle Grunge to RuPaul's Drag Race Season Finale
“I'm here to show the world that I'm not just some skanky alternative girl from Seattle, I am the skanky alternative girl from Seattle."
In the weeks following that iconic introduction, Bosco—Seattle’s very own deliciously spine-chilling drag queen—would battle 13 other queens in the quest to be crowned "America's Next Drag Superstar" on season 14 of RuPaul's Drag Race.
The battle ends tonight. After fierce lip-sync challenges, fiery roasts, a futuristic 80s-inspired runway look, and a narrow save from elimination compliments of a lucky Golden RuPaul Chocolate Bar (think the fabulous version of a “get out of jail free” card), condragulations are just around the corner. The season wraps tonight with the finale, aired live from Las Vegas and available on VH1.
Ahead of the final solo numbers tonight, we caught up with our hometown queen, already back in the Emerald City after a full season of filming.
How did you end up in Seattle?
I was an air force brat growing up and moved around a ton, but I was raised mainly in Montana. About six years ago, I was sick and tired of being cold all the time, so I moved out here to be wet all the time.
What should a Bosco virgin expect from their first time watching her perform?
Almost full-frontal nudity and flexibility.
I have a vibe that very much registers as Seattle. I've always just kind of been somebody who fits in this type of scene. I think there's something about the Seattle scene that has a little bit of DIY to it, a little bit of punk, a little bit of edge. And I'm glad that that comes through with my drag. Drag is just kind of like a heightened version of me. I'm not really putting on a fully developed character study when I’m in drag.
My drag is mainly influenced by villainous, hot women. I love a combination of camp and sensuality. There's a Washington-born Mexican showgirl from the 1940s, Tongolele, and she is known for having black and white hair and doing skeleton-like burlesque belly dancing. She was just like creepy and sexy all at the same time. Skanky, sensual horror is kind of where I like to operate.
Take us on set—what has it been like filming for RuPaul this season?
It's an incredibly daunting, painful, and wild experience.
Drag is traditionally a four-hour sport that happens while you're drunk at night. So to be doing it for 16-hour-long shoot days—sober—is, um, interesting. It’s very, very difficult and very, very painful. When we shot the finale, I was wearing an incredibly tight corset for about nine hours and my back is still covered in scabs. So a very painful, yet rewarding way to do drag. It’s not for the faint of heart.
Let’s strut the runway of memory lane. What was your favorite look from this season?
I was really, really fond of my tutu look—my “buzzed-off ballerina.” That was one of my favorite things that I brought with me. I tend to mix in a lot of horror elements to my drag.
We’ve been warned. The bloodied, woodworking-project-gone-awry tutu runway look was a favorite among judges as well, landing Bosco a challenge win.
Any sneak peeks for the finale?
It's everything that you loved about the season, but now we have money.
After those dollar signs fade from your eyes, what’s next for you after the finale?
The short-term plan is to tour and see the world. I’ll work on some fully produced numbers with set pieces and backup dancers and extravagant costuming with the Werq the World Tour. My medium-term goal is to write a one-woman show and start working on my solo career.
What else should we know about you offstage?
I have a son. More accurately, I am the stepmom to a horse. It was his twelfth birthday on Sunday, and he was very cute. We gave him this fruit and veggie medley as a kind of birthday cake. He may not be part of the upcoming solo project, but I do want to take a nude photo shoot on him. Very Godiva-esque. Think Cher topless on a horse, but I want that to be me.
What’s your go-to spot to perform live in Seattle?
Queer/Bar is always my home bar. It's where I really started getting my footing in Seattle, and the community and love that I feel there is incredible. And there's a giant mural of my face on the wall.
Any underground Seattle spots to shop?
No offense, but Seattle is not really known for its clothing scene. (None taken; that's why we were hoping to scoop some fresh ideas.) I have to get a lot of things custom-made now. Seattle doesn't have a whole lot of natural resources when it comes to clothing. We're very functional and warm and athletic people.
For out of drag, I like Crossroads because you can find fun stuff there. Oh, and Red Light Vintage up in the U District actually has some really fun stuff, just not always great for drag.
As told to Taylor Gerlach. Transcript edited for length and clarity.