Third time’s the charm. Canadian drag queen Jimbo is now the reigning queen of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars universe after defeating Kandy Muse in the season 8 finale on Friday, July 21 on Paramount+. With her win, she becomes the first international performer to take home the main stage crown.
StrippedPixel caught up with the fashionable clown after the finale to talk about her reign, how she’ll be spending it and how she made winning look so easy, plus what it was like going up against Kandy — a queen that host RuPaul has often said is one of her favorites in the business.
As the newly crowned queen tells us, Jimbo’s longstanding faith in her work made winning always seem possible, but the unpredictability of Drag RaceHis structure kept her on her feet. Here, dive in All the stars Season 8 with its new champion.
Congratulations for the victory! I’ve been rooting for you all season.
Jimbo: Thank you! It’s an absolute dream come true.
You absolutely killed it. So when you’ve won most of the challenges by quite a margin like you did, what kind of doubts about winning come up when you’re working on that final episode?
Good, Drag Race it is one of those amazing games and competitions where anything can happen at any time. And it really all comes down to the last episode and your performance on the main stage in front of Mother Ru. She takes the whole season into account, but you know, at the end of the day, it’s not always the last taste in the mouth. And so I was really nervous about the correction and (Ru is) also a big fan of Kandy Muse, so the wins definitely made me confident going into the end, but I also knew that anything could happen.
Right. And I noticed that every week this season, you were very easily confident in your creative decisions. I wonder if you’ve always been this way as an artist or if this is the result of years of work?
Well, I guess I like to take risks and that’s part of my art. And what I really love about the drag art form and being a performance artist is using all the tricks in the bag and pulling them out when you need them. Drag is also all about confidence and kind of selling what you’re trying to sell. So yes, I believe in what I’m doing and that’s part of how I got here. I really had to be able to stand up for myself and really express my thoughts and visions.
This is your third Drag Race run, how do you think your darling has fared from your first season to this one All the stars victory?
It’s definitely evolved in terms of just trying to make my ideas a little more concise. I feel like I have a lot of ideas and I have a lot of things that I like to do, add and say through my love and art. So this season I felt like I had a good idea to focus on what I wanted to offer and deliver it in a way that was polished and elevated so that Mama Ru would see me for the all star that I want to be.
Sure, you did it. One of my favorite tracks was the back-to-back Adam and Eve look. That was incredible. How did this idea come to life?
Thank you! So this is by a (named) designer Joshua Aponte. Basically, that look was inspired by spies. There are these shoes that spies used to wear, where the back of the shoe had another shoe on it, so when they go one way, the footprint they leave behind goes the other way. I always thought it was really cool and that’s where the look came from.
To talk about your final performance, did you feel pressure while working on this performance or did you enjoy taking it all in, being in the finale? Did you trust that it would work?
Well, I basically had another outfit planned for the finale, but during my season critiques, I really found that they were looking for something more unique and special from my point of view. So luckily I had a confetti popper that I had brought with me for an emergency and I ended up peeking into the Werk room there and doing a specific feat to end up beating Kandy. I was very nervous but excited. I committed myself every night to making sure I had something to surprise Mother Ru.
It looked like you and Kandy had a good time during the final lip sync. You were?
Yes, I had a lot of fun! I told Kandy I had a little trick for us, that confetti cannon, and I did that look with my big ass. I was really trying to do something that would be really fun and be a fun celebration together at the end. So yeah, I just wanted to convey joy, I guess.
You certainly did. I wonder who are your biggest artistic influences? Your final choreographed number was like a David Bowie and Little shop of horrors mashup, which I liked.
(laugh) God I love this! I feel so seen. I like Little Shop of horrors. I love David Bowie from Mazeand I love my Pee-wee Herman, Elvira, and of course RuPaul. I’m inspired by comedians and fashion and a little bit of everything. Pop culture, it kind of comes in like the sun and then hits you in the heart.
Did you anticipate how much fans would want to see you in your Shirley Temple Snatch after the show? I saw that Shirley Temple/”Padam” Show. online. It was amazing.
He went crazy! I went around doing my Shirley for everyone. Everyone can get a kick out of it and laugh their heads off. I think it has a really fun energy. I never try to think too far ahead. Before I went that day, they had these mini-challenge cans. So I said, “Can you get me those caps?” And I tied their legs and ran out there and that kind of dancing happened spontaneously. It was all a big surprise to me too, so it’s so exciting to see how the fans will react. It blows me away.
Aside from yours, what was your favorite Snatch Game performance this season?
I thought Alexis (Michelle) did a great job as Bea Arthur. I love The Golden Girls, and had some funny moments. He sold me like an old lady for sure. (laugh)
What look of yours this season made you look at yourself and say, “Damn, I killed it”?
The final look – I love that look with the hair horns and a sort of collage print. I like the look CHRISHABANA this was the cell phone, the dark influence aspect where i’m covered by all these flashing cell phones. It was kind of like a futuristic Met Gala. There are so many looks actually. I am so proud of my entire package. It really is so exciting. I love fashion and I love how dear this combination of art and performance and fashion is. So yes, I feel very proud.
What do you do with all these looks after the season? Are you going to dedicate them? Do you still wear them?
Well, I have all my looks from Canadian Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race: Great Britain Vs. The world all in garment bags and all organized. I’m getting ready for my exhibition one day with all my looks. And I take them out on the road. Fans love seeing the looks in real life, so I like to tour the ones I can and save the others for the museum someday.
And how was the vibe between you and Kandy during the final episode?
Kandy and I are very good friends. He is one of my best friends and we had so much fun on tour and on set. It was kind of a unique situation where we both wanted the crown so badly and at the same time were okay with it going either way. I love Kandy so much and finally when you’re with one of your best friends it’s easy to support them. It’s easy to be able to say, “OK, well, whatever happens here, we’ve both done our best and it’s going to be up to Mama Ru in the end.” So the energy was really positive. We both felt really supportive, and then I think when you watch the reaction, you can really see all the love there, that we were both there for each other and really excited.
I think he came. Was there a vote this season that was particularly difficult for you?
Almost every vote is so hard because you create this connection with everyone so quickly. Even though you know you have to get rid of everyone in order to win, it doesn’t make it any easier. At the end of the day, we are all there to follow our dreams. We are all there to show the world our point of view. I would say the hardest – and this wasn’t necessarily an elimination – was Heidi N Closet quitting.
It was quite a shocking moment. It’s not often that queens self-eliminate. Being a close friend of hers, what was it like for you at that time?
I know that pressure comes in many forms. It’s a very intense time when you’re there filming and there’s so much expectation. I think she did what she had to do for herself at that time. He just had to decide (say), “I’m not in the best place to compete.” She wanted to show herself in the best light when she decided to leave, so I support her in her decision.
Finally, how do you want to spend your reign?
I want to spend my reign connecting with the people who basically made it possible for me to be here. And I have so many projects coming up. I have a solo tour of North America. I have a cruise with Heidi, Kandy and Jessica (Wild) in the Caribbean. And I have a new show on Wow Presents Plus, a Deflated show. So my plan is to keep making art and keep sharing joy and keep spreading love and keep meeting people and feeling good.
Well, congratulations again. What a memorable performance you gave this season.
You are so sweet, thank you. It was a dream come true and I am so proud of myself and my heritage to be able to show all the things I love at the performance.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All StarsSeason 8 Now Streaming, Paramount+