Canada’s Drag Race
Episode 7 – Ilona Verley
Maxi challenge we have entered the 6 of you in the very first pageant in drag race herstory. You will be competing of the crown of Miss Loose Jaw. It all about small town girls with big personalities. Each girl was assigned a unique character that they had to embody in Swimsuit, Talent and Interview. This pageant is not about being best in show but about bringing your character to life and making her funny! Rita, as the winner of last weeks maxi challenge she chooses who has which character.
Rita – Miss Matched
Jimbo – Miss Behavin
Scarlet – Miss Informed
Lermon – Miss Fits
Ilona – Miss Erable
Priyanka Miss Demaeanor
The guest hostess this week is Allie X, and the category for the runway is Pageant Perfection. In the end, the winner this week is Lemon and she receives an all-inclusive luxury vacation for two to Iceland, courtesy of Pink Iceland. The bottom two are Ilona and Priyanka with Ilona Sashaying away.
It was a pleasure to sit down with Ilona for this Hotspots exclusive interview:
At what age did drag become an interest and how did you pick your name?
I believe about the middle of high school I started getting interested in drag even though I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about it. After a friend showed me Drag Race I got inspired.
Ilona comes from this fabulous lady I worked with in a fabric store, she was in her late 80’s and always done. When she was younger, she was a burlesque dancer in Germany, and Ilona was her first name. Verley is my legal last name.
How excited were you when you heard Drag Race was coming to Canada and how did you feel when you found out you were chosen?
I have dual citizenship, so I auditioned to be on season 11 and 12 of the American show. So when I heard it was coming to Canada I knew it was finally going to be my moment and I gunned for it.
I did have a strong feeling I was going to get it, but I was so over the moon when I got the call that I was chosen.
How did you prepare to go on Drag Race?
I rented a studio space and the I had friends (designers) helping me get ready. We all spent many late nights making sure the fashion was on point.
How hard was it to keep the secret that you are on Canada’s Drag Race?
OMG, that was probably the hardest experience of my life. I felt I was lying to everyone around me, and I kind of withdrew into myself until the announcement was made. It was such a relief for me.
Tell me about your Drag Race experience?
I didn’t go into the show with the mindset to win, but rather to show my art for indigenous people and the non-binary/Trans* people.
Now that you have been eliminated, is there anything you would have done different?
I think if it was anything, I would have made sure I got myself out of my own head and been more of my authentic self and less of what the judges, or camera wanted to see. Instead I tried to conform and show versatility.
I need to ask you about all those Tattoos? When did you start, are you finished, etc?
I got my first tattoo from my partner who was a tattoo artist, and eventually he showed me how to use the machine and I started tattooing myself. Now I have friends who are tattoo artists, and I have about 2000 tattoos. And yes I plan to have a lot more. Most people don’t realize I have 7 face tattoos.
How can you have 7 face tattoo’s and we didn’t see them during the whole competition?
Lots of Make up!
What’s your marital status?
I’m single right now and I feel like I will probably not have a relationship for the rest of my life, as I am too emotionally unavailable and too Hoe-ish to not settle down.
What’s Ahead for Ilona?
Right now, I have got some exciting virtual drag performances coming up, and I have a make-up collaboration coming out in the next month or so. I am excited to continue furthering important conversations, and education.
For more information on Ilona, follow her at: Instagram.com/ilonaverley.