Taylor Dayne has spoken openly about her transformation into Electra Owl RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race season 2. She says the hair and makeup team did such a good job that she didn’t even recognize herself when she looked in the mirror. After surviving the first week, she entered the second week’s elimination. Although her experience was brief, it was life-changing. The masked singer The alum spoke with Shadow and Act Unscripted about her journey on the Drag Race stage.
S&A Unscripted: How was your drag racing experience?
TD: You know, at some point, I had to take off my heels and rub my feet like everyone else. It was so crazy, you know? And I’m a woman and I can wear heels. So these poor guys were then getting into everything, it was unbelievable. I would say it was a wonderful, short-lived experience, but at the same time, wow, this is no joke.
What did you learn about drag culture while working on the show?
TD: I work with the best of the best, so you can’t go wrong with these guys. From the hair team, the wig makers to the styling. But you’re also in a race. So the pace is extremely fast. But they’re helping you every step of the way because that’s not really my genre of performance. But performing for sure. But my voice, my stories, my ability to tell it my way. This is different when you sing. Lip singing, to be honest, sounded pretty scary to me. But anyone can tell you, you can ask Leah Remini anyone – what are my thoughts on lip syncing? I said I don’t have them. It’s not my job. People love it. People don’t. But that is the past.
How would you describe your experience working with your coaches?
TD: Oh, they are amazing. This has only been their experience. And they were just, in terms of mentoring, they were just always loving and supportive. But they got out there fire.
You performed “Last Dance,” which is a big karaoke song. It’s also very big in the LGBTQ+ community and drag culture. Was a song like that intimidating at all, knowing how iconic the song is and how special it is to the community?
TD: I didn’t find the song scary. I wish they would turn up the mic because you should have heard me and Donna [Summer] do it together Now, that’s not the scary part for me. Every part of that song is beautiful – the instrumental, the melodic beginning. The song is a treasure.
What do you think contributed to your elimination? The judges thought you were holding back your solo performance due to minimal dance moves. But you also said that you were a little upset that you couldn’t sing. And I’m sure you would have shown your vocals, maybe you felt you would have gone a little further.
TD: Just a little, I think a lot. But it’s not about that. This is part of what you are seeing. So you’re asking me what my struggles were? As a woman in this culture where you’re trying to be something and challenge yourself, I took this challenge with a procrastination mentality. Clothing – everything it came for. We could learn a song and we could choreograph. But the choreography—at the end of the day, we were putting on four hours of hair and makeup and all these different things. You have to work with them and then let it be part of the performance. It was more like a circus.
You are featured in “Be Someone”. It’s a fan favorite and a RuPaul favorite. A remix was even featured on Runway’s song on Season 5 of ‘All-Stars’. What does it mean to you that you were a drag racing staple before you were on the show?
TD: Well, as a judge, a guest judge at Drag Race, it’s just an honor to be a part of that community for so long. I’ve had a long and beautiful relationship with RuPaul for 30 years, maybe more than that. As an artist myself, it was a part of me that was just coming out. I was out of the loop that way. It’s an absolute honor to see how it’s transformed and how much Ru has contributed to it. So the art form is just fascinating to me.