Drag Race España, one of the…if not the most acclaimed series in the entire global RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise, is back for season 2.
The 12 queens competing on this season are Ariel Rec, Diamante Merybrown, Drag Sethlas, Estrella Xtravaganza, Jota Carajota, Juriji Der Klee, Marina, Marisa Prisa, Onyx, Samantha Ballentines, Sharonne and Venedita Von Dash.
The logline: Season 2 of Drag Race España will put the queens to the test once again as they compete in photo shoots, dances, artistic challenges and musical performances, impersonations and improvisations. Each week, one queen will be eliminated at the end of the episode until just one queen remains with the title and crown of Spain’s next Drag Superstar.
Shadow and Act spoke to host Supremme De Luxe, judges Ana Locking, Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo, as well as director Steve Kelly, to talk about the season, what they are looking for, España being a fan-favorite series and more.
What did you learn from season 1? Did you think you would have judged differently when rewatching the season?
Ana Locking: I’ve learned to value and admire even more the overflowing talent of these artists whose creativity allows me to access other parallel and fascinating worlds. Obviously, all opinions evolve as people and circumstances evolve with the times we live in, but the most important thing to bear in mind is that all the assessments I give are always made with the utmost respect and admiration for the queens with the intention that they grow and demand more of themselves as the great artists they are. I think this is one of the most important parts of this talent show, the personal growth as a drag artist.
Javier Ambrossi: We already knew that drag art was important but during season 1 we have fallen even more in love with it. We think it is a necessary, wonderful art, full of comedy and emotion. And season 1 has made us witness the power it has. Being in contact with the queens makes us rethink our relationship with femininity and masculinity and the unreal things we live in society.
Javier Calvo: As a learning experience for us, since the first edition we have kept in touch with many of them and we have met names from the international drag scene, which have made us fall in love even more, if possible, with this art and this show.
Ambrossi and Calvo: We feel that we could have judged some things differently, perhaps argued more passionately for them.
Season 1 of ‘Drag Race Espana,’ per fan voting on IMDb, is the top Drag Race season of all-time, worldwide. Why do you think that is and what does that mean to you?
Locking: I think the whole team that are part of the show was very empathetic, we connected on an emotional level in a very special way and we understood that we had to let our emotions come out into the open, regardless of the fact that there were cameras in front of us, and that allowed us to feel freer and above all to enjoy what we were doing. I am thankful that I was open enough to be moved on set, to let myself go and fly thanks to this connection that I could call brotherhood, which for me is a real family.
Ambrossi: I think one of the main reasons of the success of season 1 has been the feeling of going back to the origins, the freshness, the innocence. The queens have shown their best and the whole team has experienced it with the enthusiasm of the first time. I think this has brought a special charm to a format that has been around for so many years, the feeling of seeing it again for the first time.
When searching for Spain’s next Drag Superstar for season 2, what are some things you looked for?
Locking; Drag belongs to a type of people marked by talent and creative exuberance, that said, what I look for in each of the queens is that they are clear about who they are, what they have to offer, and that they know how to make of it something unique and fascinating that defines them and differentiates them from the rest. And of course that their talent and performance bring out new emotions that I can connect with in different ways, and I believe that this is the most important and enriching experience that a spectator can receive.
Ambrossi and Calvo: In this new edition we are still looking for the ultimate drag, the most complete queen. Obviously, we highly value the part of interpretation, comedy, improvisation, character creation, although we have also considered and valued a lot the make-up, outfits and creativity on the catwalk.
What are the biggest differences between season 1 and season 2?
Steve Kelly: The biggest differences, apart from having 2 more contestants and 2 more episodes this time, are all the things we learned from making season 1. Lots of technical things that make this show a unique joy and challenge. We have added more difficult mini and maxi challenges this time around, for both the contestants and us and we have definitely pushed everything further. That is in large part because the queens of the first season taught us so much. I cannot thank them enough for that.
Supremme De Luxe: The main difference is that this season there is more of everything: more contestants, more episodes, the set is bigger too, and the excitement and difficulty of the challenges has increased. In addition, the new queens have come with a great desire to compete and fight for the crown and they have worked very hard for it.
This is also a very diverse season, in terms of gender and race, how important was it for you all to explore all of the facets of Spanish drag?
Kelly: It’s absolutely the most important part of the casting process for us. All of Spain needs to feel represented because, apart from anything else, the show is just much more interesting that way. Each part of Spain brings something uniquely different from the world of drag. Canarias is so different from Andalucía (the south), Madrid from the small pueblos (villages). Attitudes to comedy, gender identity, catwalk looks, etc. – there is so much more richness to the show when we showcase the true variety of styles and attitudes of the different Spanish regions.
Supremme: Spanish Drag has always been very diverse with many forms of expression, and I think that a casting that reflects this diversity (as far as possible, as there are only 12 queens) with very different proposals is a plus for the show and something that the viewer will appreciate and enjoy very much.
Describe this season in three words
Kelly: I would have to pick Spectacular, Emotional and Unapologetic!
Supremme: Talented, Diverse, Surprising!
New episodes of Drag Race España drops Thursday on WOW Presents Plus in the U.S.