Drag Race UK star Choriza May discusses why Spanish drag is so gag-worthy and her plans to “glow up” before seeing Mama Ru again.
The truly iconic queen rose to prominence in series three of Drag Race UK, making her the first Spanish queen to appear on the series. It wasn’t long before fans fell in love with the beauty’s bright personality, witty banter and stellar looks.
So it was heartbreaking when the beloved queen was tragically cut from the series too soon during a shocking double elimination with River Medway. Though her Drag Race UK flame died too soon, Choriza has kept busy by taking the West End by storm last year, touring across the UK in an adult panto and filming TV shows.
She also recently got the chance to become a guest judge on the sixth episode of Drag Race España, which has been heralded as one of the best spin-offs in the Drag Race franchise to date.
Choriza May tells PinkNews that she tried to be the judge that “I would have liked to have” when she was on the other side of the stage. She describes how judging is about “finding the balance” and giving the queens something to get “motivated” to elevate their performance.
“When I was on Drag Race, I wanted to get the critiques that were going to help me move forward in the competition and not critiques that I couldn’t do anything about,” she says.
“I think I have that extra level of empathy because I have been through it, and I saw the shine in their eyes – how excited they were to be there.”
She adds it was a “lot easier” for her to be behind the judging panel than to strut across the runway. But Choriza says that doesn’t mean that she’ll never appear in the Drag Race werkroom again.
Choriza recalls enjoying all the highs and lows of the experience and knew she would “do this again” as soon as her time on Drag Race UK finished.
“I remember the day after, I was in the hotel and I heard the girls that were still on the competition walk in to get to the studio,” Choriza says. “I was like, ‘I want to go. I want to do another challenge.’”
She tells PinkNews that she would “absolutely adore” the opportunity to appear on an All Stars season or the next series of Drag Race UK vs The World. However, she wants a chance to hone her craft a bit more so she can dominate the competition.
“I have to say I like the glow up factor,” she explains. “So I have no problem working hard that I’ve been doing for maybe a couple years and then go on an All Stars to show the fans the growth that I’ve had thanks to their support.”
She tells PinkNews that she wasn’t anticipating that she would become a fan-favourite so quickly. Choriza May describes how she thought fans would like her looks, performances and artistry – but she didn’t realise quite how many people would come to adore her personality.
“I annoy myself,” she jokes, “so for people to be like, ‘Oh my god, she’s funny. We relate to her on an emotional level’, it does mean a lot.”
She continues: “It’s so nice because I interact with people quite a lot on Twitter. It’s nice to do these little tweets and just reply to comments and get people excited.
“One of the things that surprised me the most is, having this platform, [how] making someone happy takes very little.
“It just takes a comment, replying to a tweet, giving someone a shout out and I’ve been loving that side.
“I’m lucky they [the fans] have been really kind to me, and I’m more than happy to pay back that kindness.”
Choriza May has been at the forefront of fans witnessing and appreciating different styles of drag and flavours of the Drag Race franchise.
She tells PinkNews that the spin-off is just highlighting the unique differences between drag performers in different countries and how the true beauty of Spanish drag culture comes from the country’s deep appreciation for art.
“I think when Drag Race UK started people had that shock because we were used to a very specific format with American queens like some kind of pageant queens and this thing that elevated drag to the next level,” Choriza explains.
“When the UK popped in, I think people were blown away by the comedy, and I think that’s what the UK queens are best at.”
She explains that Spanish drag runs with a “lot of the folklore and the culture that we have”. Choriza tells PinkNews that art, music and everything that “falls into the umbrella of art” is a “lot more respected” in Spanish schools than perhaps in other countries.
“People have a bigger appreciation for the amazing history of art that we have in Spain, and they motivate that a lot,” she says.
She describes how there was a music school in the “little town” where she grew up that lent out instruments so each person could learn to play music. Choriza says it’s these “little things” from childhood that influence how people carry artistry into their adulthoods and bring an additional depth to the drag scene in Spain.
“We have all these people who have these amazing backgrounds, and I think that’s what shines because you get to multiply that per 1,000 when you’re doing drag,” Choriza adds.