In week four of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11, Ru informed the girls that the mini challenge would be that they would be breaking the news live in the look and style of Rachel Maddow. They were given 15 minutes to get into quick drag with wigs provided by Rock Star Wigs. The winner was Scarlet Envy who received a $3000 gift card to The Divas Jewels.
The maxi challenge was to put a political twist on “Grease” by performing “Trump: The Rusical.” Each girl would be playing a person in Trump’s life and Scarlet assigned the roles since she won the mini challenge. Yanis Marshall choreographed the musical and the guest judges were Tiffany “New York” Pollard and Joel McHale. The runway category was “Orange Alert.” In the end, Silky was the winner and received a trip to South Florida at the Grand Resort and Spa. Mercedes and Ra’Jah were in the bottom two and Mercedes sashayed away.
We caught up with Mercedes to dish on her Drag Race experience.
At what age did drag become an interest and how did you pick your name?
I went to The Gay 90’s in Minneapolis when I was 21 and I saw drag. I said, “OMG, what is this?” I immediately thought I could do this and went to the show every week. My first drag name was TP, and then after like a year I realized I didn’t think it fit me. So I was tasked with finding a new name. I drove a Mercedes so I picked that as my first name. Iman was my older sister’s name and Diamond came from my drag mom.
How many times did you apply to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race? How did it feel when you found out you got chosen?
I auditioned four times and when I got the call I was at my day job as a personal banker. I didn’t answer the California number since I thought it was a telemarketer. At my break I listened to the voice message and it felt amazing to finally get the call. I knew my life would change forever!
Tell us about your RuPaul’s Drag Race experience?
My experience was amazing, but it was a lot of work. It’s so much harder than it looks like on TV. It pushes you to the next level, and you learn a lot of things about yourself.
Is there something you wish you did different and or is there a certain look you wish we could have all seen?
I wish I was more confident talking. I was so shy when we were taping. I am not sure why since that’s not who I am. I am a crazy loud person.
What’s your marital status?
I am single! I would love to meet someone, but only if they are confident. It’s not easy dating a drag queen!
Who do you want to win?
I don’t know who I want to win since I love all my sisters. Whoever wins I will be happy for them.
Did you hear good things from the Muslim Community?
I have gotten a lot of amazing beautiful messages from people that are Muslim and are happy to see a Muslim drag queen. They have thanked me for being a voice for them and I was so happy I was able to have my Muslim voice heard!
What’s ahead for Mercedes?
It’s bright as this is just the beginning. I am booked through the rest of the year and I am so excited to meet a lot of people from around the world. Hopefully one day be back on all stars.
For more information on Mercedes follow her on Instagram.com/mercedesimandiamond.