RuPaul’s Drag U – Meet the Faculty – Jujubee
She may not have won the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” on season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, but Jujubee won our hearts with her sassy personality, fierce looks and a great tribute to Kimora Lee Simmons. It’s easy to see why this dynamic diva was nominated for the title of ‘Most Addictive Reality Star,’ at 2010’s NewNowNext Awards. Jujubee is back as a professor on season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag U, helping women – including her own sister – find their inner drag divas. Jujubee chats with us about being back at Drag U and what she’s been up to lately in our exclusive interview!
Socialite Life: Hi Jujubee! How are you?
Jujubee: I’m good!
SL: What’s been going on with you since we last spoke?
Jujubee: I’ve just been working. I’ve just been traveling and just enjoying myself. Getting things done, basically, you know. I’m always away, so I’m finally home for a week and I’m excited!
Check out more from Jujubee after the jump!
SL: What was it like returning to Drag U for season 2?
Jujubee: Amazing, of course. I was very excited because I love the whole concept. I love that we’re changing these women into these gorgeous beings – inside and out. It’s exciting!
SL: Did you find this season’s experience different from last season’s?
Jujubee: Yes. There was growth in the whole project itself. I felt more comfortable showing somebody who really didn’t want to walk in high heels how to do it. I just felt like, okay, I’m going to own this as much as we all are owning this and I’m going to show them how to do it. It was great, and girl…just the room itself (the drag lab) has so much more, so that was much more exciting for us as well.
SL: It seems this season, you’re working with the widest array of women. You’re on episodes with lesbians, nurses and virgins. Who were the easiest to work with?
Jujubee: You know, they all had their obstacles, so I don’t know if I couldreally choose one. Every single story was so intense for me and I’m just here biting my nails thinking, “Am I doing this right?” and kind of doubting myself. But, at the end of the day, it all turns out beautiful.
SL: Is working on Drag U as much fun as it looks on TV?
Jujubee: Of course it is! I get to see RuPaul, I get to see Lady Bunny, I get to meet great people. I see Raven, who’s my bestie. It’s exciting and I get to spend time with people and the cast and crew are the most amazing people – they’re so much fun to be around.
SL: You get paired up with Raven a lot on the show and you two have great chemistry.
Jujubee: I feel like it’s by accident.
SL: Last season, they paired you up as more of adversaries and it seems like your relationship has changed a bit this season.
Jujubee: You know, Raven and I have a great time together. I love working with her and she loves working with me. And we also hang out as Airline and David as well. We chat on the phone about nonsense, we have a good time and she is a great teacher and his face, you’ve just gotta love it!
SL: So has Raven been your favorite queen to work with?
Jujubee: Yeah, so far, aside from RuPaul, you know. No shade to any of the other girls. I love everybody on the show. I met Mariah for the first time when we were filming Drag U and I thought she was such and angel – just gorgeous.
SL: Who’s been your favorite celebrity judge so far?
Jujubee: Well, you know, Coach Beiste was on…what’s her name? Dot.(Dot-Marie Jones) She’s just the sweetest thing, she’s just so real.
SL: Are you a big Glee fan?
Jujubee: I’m a total Gleek! (Laughs) I’ve missed a few episodes, but I am.
SL: You’ve worked with a lot of famous people. Do you ever get star struck?
Jujubee: Honestly, I get star struck every time I see anybody from the competition. I’m star struck by Raven, I’m star struck by Tyra (Sanchez). It’s really weird for me and I still get that way. Yeah, I was on it, but I’m a total fan. (Laughs) It’s kind of weird. When I met Alexis Mateo for the first time, I was like “Oh my gosh” and Carmen (Carerra), who’s also on Drag U, I met her for the first time and I was like, “I’m freaking out right now and I don’t know what to say, but I don’t want to be crazy so, ‘hi’!” (Laughs)
SL: Last season, you made one of RuPaul’s sisters over and later this season, you’re making your own sister over. What was that experience like for you?
Jujubee: It was a great time and I found out some things about my sister that I didn’t know. It was an experience where I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so close to you but I know almost nothing about you.” We grew closer and it was a great experience because I don’t get to see her that much and I got to spend so much time with her. I can’t wait to for you guys to see it.
SL: Is she continuing to put your tips to good use?
Jujubee: Mmm…hmm…you’ll see!
SL: Last season, you had some of the best lines. Some of my personal favorites were “No cash, no ass” and “No money, no honey”. Did you have a writer or did those just all come from you?
Jujubee: You know, I recycle things. I have things I’ve heard from places or I’ve read somewhere and I’ll just find the right moment for it. I’d be like, “Okay. Nobody’s saying anything, here I go.”
SL: What’s your favorite saying right now?
Jujubee: “I’m hungry!” (Laughs)
SL: Last season, you gave Charlene Tilton a drag makeover. Was she as difficult to keep under control as she appeared on the episode?
Jujubee: Well, Charlene’s a superstar. She’s going to act like a superstar – and she’s going to be fabulous. I’m very happy for her.
SL: If you could make over any celebrity, who would you choose?
Jujubee: Ummm…you know, just because I really want to meet her, I’m going to say Nicki Minaj – but she doesn’t really need a makeover! I’m sure I could pull something out of her.
SL: Did you learn anything new from working on this season of Drag U?
Jujubee: I sure did! Raven hooked me up with some contouring tips for my eyes and it’s kind of opened up my look. You’ll definitely see different looks on Drag U from me – we were just having fun and experimenting. It will be interesting to hear what people say.
SL: What do you feel was your biggest challenge this season?
Jujubee: The students were, I feel, more intense for me and there was more to it for me emotionally. I don’t know if they’re going to show every single part but there were moments where people break down and it’s all real, tender moments. So it’s definitely more emotionally intense.
SL: Another change this season is that there’s more of Lady Bunny. Were you able to interact more with her this season?
Jujubee: Yes, Lady Bunny is awesome! Girl…the things that come out of her mouth…(Laughs) She’s amazing and she’s wise and she’s clever. She’s been doing this for, like, 300 years (laughs), I’m tellin’ ya!
SL: There’s been some talk about Drag Race being nominated for an Emmy. Are you surprised about the show’s enduring popularity?
Jujubee: Not at all. I’m not surprised. RuPaul’s Drag Race and Drag U are just big entities – and thank you, Logo. I’m not surprised, it’s amazing. People are curious about us because, why not? They don’t want to see what the wrong is and what the right is – it’s just fun to watch. Once you watch, you can’t stop. You want more and more and more! (Laughs)
SL: Speaking of more and more, when I spoke with Ongina last season, she mentioned that she was working with you on “The Jujugina Show”. Is that still in the works?
Jujubee: We’ve tried stuff but with the scheduling – and Ongina’s crazy – so don’t even listen to anything she says! She’s crazy! She’s just going to get you under her and she’s just going to take you away from me! You know, it’s the crazy schedule that we can’t keep up. But I know that I’m a professor with her on an episode of Drag U this season.
SL: I asked Manila and now I’m asking you – who’s the fiercest Asian queen on Drag U this season?
Jujubee: You know, hmmm…well, I guess you’ll have to wait to see my sister! (Laughs)
SL: We all remember your spot-on impersonation of Kimora Lee Simmons from Drag Race. Who’s been inspiring you lately?
Jujubee: You know, I’ve been listening to a lot of Beyoncé and a lot of Jessie J. I think their music is very emotional. It’s very cultural, almost, and it’s exciting. I want to instill in myself to try new things and it’s such a different sound that I would like to portray something like that on stage. I don’t know what I’m doing tonight, I’m trying to figure that out too!
SL: Do you often just come up with last minute ideas for your performances? Jujubee: Yes, sometimes you just take it and you run with it. But you always have to be comfortable with yourself and believe in what you do – and that’s basically what I instill in these students on Drag U.
SL: What’s next for you? Are you going to follow in the tradition of many of the Drag Race queens and record a single?
Jujubee: I will be recording a single, but I don’t want to rush into things. I want to write music that inspires, and I want to be inspired before I write music. By any means, I’m not a songwriter so we’re going to have to play with it. I’m in no rush, whatever. But I’m proud of my sisters and I do like it wild! (Laughs)
SL: Any plans to write “Memoirs of a Gay-sha”?
Jujubee: (Laughs) Could you imagine? I don’t know, I feel like everybody already knows everything!
SL: Are you planning to continue touring?
Jujubee: Yes! You can find my schedule on Jujubeeonline.com - on the events page. Everything is out there, the whole listing. I’m working a lot!