On Friday 6 November, drag queen Envy Peru was crowned the first ever winner of Drag Race Holland, becoming the inaugural Dutch Drag Race Superstar.
Despite facing tough competition, it was clear throughout the series that Envy had the talent and drive to go the whole way, paying homage to Queen Máxima of the Netherlands with her first runway look, dripping in jewels for the theme ‘Shine Bright Like a Diamond’ and honouring her Peruvian roots when taking to the catwalk with her mother.
Metro.co.uk caught up with the drag performer to hear how she’s feeling after winning a cover shoot with Cosmopolitan magazine, a dazzling crown and a dress designed by Claes Iversen worth €18,000 (£16,257) as her prize.
Envy, who is the first Peruvian to compete in any Drag Race series, told us she feels ‘very proud and happy’ to have taken the crown, describing the finale as ‘a very special day in my life’.
So what does the title of Dutch Drag Race Superstar mean to the triumphant drag queen?
‘A lot of years of hard work, getting the recognition internationally for your craft, your drag and your art, and of course being a representation of the queer community,’ she said.
Envy first came to Holland when she was around four and a half years old, arriving in the country with her auntie and her mother, who was 24 years old at the time.
Now 31, Envy explained that when she was younger, she ‘never thought’ she would end up becoming a drag queen, studying as an actor and going on to become a make-up artist.
She admitted that she previously ‘experienced a little bit of inner homophobia’, feeling hesitant to be a part of anything ‘that was too queer’.
However, after being introduced by her best friend to RuPaul’s Drag Race – which she has followed avidly since season 1 – and discovering the queer community in Amsterdam, everything changed, with Envy going on to co-found the drag house Mermaids Mansion alongside fellow drag queens Miss Abby OMG and Ivy-Elyse Monroe.
‘Coming to Amsterdam has really opened my eyes and shown me the beauty of the community, and I really wanted to be a part of the community,’ she said.
‘That’s why I started doing drag – by seeing the other queens and thinking, ‘I can do that too, but maybe a little bit better’.’
Envy has clearly honed her drag since entering the scene, describing her drag as ‘very ultra feminine, polished and fantasy’, adding that it’s ‘a mixture between modern drag, with a little bit of a futuristic touch’.
But her appearance on Drag Race Holland may not have ever happened, had she leaned into her hesitation not to apply for the show.
‘At first I didn’t know if I wanted to apply for the Dutch version [of Drag Race] because my ambition was always to apply for an American version or a UK version,’ she said, explaining that she wished to reach an ‘international audience’.
Nonetheless, she believes strongly that the first season of Drag Race Holland has placed the Dutch drag scene firmly on the map for viewers across the globe, championing diversity while doing so.
‘I’m very proud of the cast that we have at Drag Race Holland, because we have so much diversity in the cast,’ she said with pride.
‘We had our first bearded queen, we’ve got non-binary representation with Ma’Ma Queen, people who are a little bit more conceptual as drag artists, Abby is the first Brazilian, I’m the first Peruvian, so there are a lot of firsts in this season. It’s very important to show more diversity in drag.’
One of Envy’s favourite moments in the series came in episode 6, when she was given the opportunity to take to the stage with her mother for the makeover challenge, which the drag queen described as a ‘full circle moment’.
The pair wore matching, colourful, intricately-designed ensembles that paid tribute to their Peruvian heritage, with Envy eventually reigning supreme for the week.
After being put to the test in seven gruelling weeks, Envy reached the final of the competition alongside not two, but three queens: Ma’Ma Queen, Miss Abby OMG and Janey Jacké.
In the end, Janey Jacké was the final individual who stood in the way of Envy’s route to the crown, with the two queens battling it out in a lip sync of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’.
Looking back on the final lip sync – the first time throughout the whole series that Envy had to lip sync, having never been placed in the bottom two – she said she was ‘so excited’ to perform that particular song, which carries such a ‘beautiful message’.
While Envy was up against worthy competition in the grand finale, she admitted that she felt that ChelseaBoy, who was eliminated in episode 6, ‘went home way too early’.
‘She’d been doing so amazing throughout the competition and she became one of my best friends of the season as well. I was really hoping to have her in the finale with me,’ she said.
But by the time she reached the final, no matter the other queens who joined her, Envy was ready to claim her title, showcasing her ‘best drag’ – an ensemble inspired by Dita Von Teese – which made her feel ‘really beautiful and feminine’.
When judge Fred van Leer finally announced her name as winner, a simple thought rushed to her mind.
‘I felt really happy,’ Envy said. ‘I really felt like a winner.’
The full series of Drag Race Holland is available to watch on WOW Presents Plus. You can subscribe to the platform for £3.49 a month.
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Credit: Original article published here.