It seems like it had been nine years, but it has only been nine months since RuPaul crowned Jinkx Monsoon the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5. Now it’s finally time for the premiere of season 6. We had been hearing about this group of talented “gurls” for so many months that I was anxious to see them kiki. However, RuPaul had another secret up her sleeve, and that was that this year’s premiere only featured the first seven contestants. We would have to wait for next week to see the other seven. After a mini-challenge that had the contestants jumping for joy, the elimination challenge had the “gurls” channel some of our favorite TV shows (old and new). In the end, Kelly Mantle sashayed away. After speaking with her, I can see why she has been in show business for 17 successful years. It’s a pleasure to bring you RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6‘s first exclusive Hotspots interview.

KellyMantleAt what age did female impersonation become an interest and how did you pick your name?

I have been dressing up as a girl since I was four or five years old, so it’s all I know. [Kelly Mantle] is my real given birth name.

How many times did you apply to be on RPDR and how did it feel when you found out you got chosen?

I had never applied before this season. They asked me to be on the first two seasons and I turned it down because I am an actor and don’t really do reality television. Then I became a fan of the show and I submitted an audition tape and was chosen. When I found out I was chosen, I was eating tuna (no surprise) and I literally spit it out, I was so shocked.

Tell me about your RuPaul’s Drag Race experience.

I’m the type of person [where] a gig is a gig. It’s one of many television gigs. I had a great time and it was a lot of fun. I knew the first challenge was a sewing challenge and that was going to be the biggest challenge for me as I have never even picked up a needle and thread. I shop at Neiman’s.

How horrible is it to be the first eliminated and how are you going to leverage your short time on Drag Race?

It’s interesting and as it was happening I couldn’t process it fast enough. What I am taking from this is that I faced the biggest fear, every RuPaul’s contestant biggest fear, and that is to be [the] first eliminated. I am still standing and surviving and I wrote a song called “Eliminated” and released the video on YouTube the night of the premiere and in one night it’s gotten over 5000 views.

Who do you want to win?

I am Team Bianca, as we have known each other a long time. We did a standup comedy special on LOGO a few years ago. She also has a heart of gold.

Tell me about the man behind Kelly.

He has been packed away in a closet for so long, but he is shy and he is a pretty cool cat.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

I’m such an open book after this many years in the biz, but something that may surprise people is that I am an accomplished songwriter and write all my own music, and I play many instruments.

What’s ahead for Kelly?

I am in a movie called “Confessions of a Womanizer” with Gary Busey and C. Thomas Howell, which comes out soon and I am very excited about [it]. As I mentioned above, I released my song yesterday called “Eliminated” and my album is coming out in a few months. I am also excited about all the live shows I will be performing around the country, and to meet all the fans.

For more information on Kelly go to, or her fan page at, or on Twitter at