The self-described "Adam Lambert of RuPaul's Drag Race 2," Raven (aka David Petruschin) was the most talked-about (and most polarizing) contestant on the show this season, yet in an upset placed second to surprise winner Tyra Sanchez. This was a huge shock to me, as I thought from episode 1 that Raven--a true queen with a stunning array of widely varying drag personas, from blonde country bumpkin to Streisandian '70s diva to leathergirl dominatrix--took drag seriously and best demonstrated what an artform it can be.
Raven, once described by fans as the "Dark Princess" due to her gothic appearance, also seemed like the most rock 'n' roll contestant to me, with her pale wolf-eye contacts, penchant for black PVC, facial piercings, and over-the-top props from guest judge Terri Nunn of Berlin.
As a result, despite placing second, Raven is still the most rockin' breakout star of RuPaul's Drag Race, and is sure to be the big draw on the Drag Race tour that kicks off this week. I recently spoke to Raven upstairs at Micky's, the West Hollywood bar where she has staged absolutely fabulous drag revues for years, where--before she celebrated her eighth annivesary of doing drag by lip-synching to Goldfrapp in a glamorous curly wig and white top hat and tails--we talked about her musical and artistic influences; how she became interested in costuming and makeup; the process of David transforming into Raven; how RuPaul's Drag Race has created acceptance and respect for the art of drag; and how she feels about being "robbed" on the show's controversial finale.