Spoilers for the second week of Canada’s Drag Race below:
Océane Aqua-Black is a fun drag queen, but unfortunately, she became the second drag queen to go home on Canada’s Drag Race. However, Aqua-Black isn’t sad about her experience.
“I didn’t expect to get on…there were so many people applying of course–my colleagues and everyone was talking about [applying], so it was kind of throwing something in the air, you know? You don’t know if it’s gonna result in something,” she said to Shadow and Act. “But the minute I got the final call…I just couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t from one of the big cities like Vancouver or Toronto. It’s just little me in my Quebec City area. I was like, ‘Oh my God! There’s some potential!” I was so thrilled.”
Aqua-Black might be the second queen eliminated, but she’s the third queen to sustain a knee injury, following Eureka on the American flagship show and Victoria Scone, the first AFAB queen for the franchise, on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK.
“Is it a curse?” Aqua-Black joked, adding that at the time, the only person’s injury she knew about was Eureka’s.
“At the time of filming, I only knew about Eureka. [With Scone’s episode] I listened to it [and said], ‘Oh my God, this is really something!” she said. “I don’t know what’s up with that, because from what I can see is that on set, everything was secure. They didn’t just throw us in like this and there was no [protection]. And when I got my injury, I’ve been treated so well. People were always around me and helping me deal with it.”
She said that with emotions running high, she actually didn’t think her knee was as bad as it actually was.
“I think that because of the adrenaline of everything, I was like, ‘Oh, everything’s okay, I’m going to be fine. But when I got eliminated and when everything comes down, damn, I felt that knee!” she said. “…Maybe it was a little bit worse [in the long run] that what it appeared to be [in the moment.” It was pretty roughed up, more than I anticipated.”
Despite the injury, Aqua-Black said she had a great time trying to learn the choreography for the second episode’s main challenge, a “Rusical” paying homage to drag queens through the use of clown characters. Aqua-Black’s character, a French-speaking clown, might have spoken to Aqua-Black’s Quebec upbringing, but she said that perhaps she should have chosen a different character.
“The most fun about it was to work with a professional. I learned so much during that time…The people I worked with either vocally or with choreography were so great. I learned so much,” she said. “It was really cool; that was the most fun part. The worst part I would say is [choosing the character]. You know, when you see us on screen, and we’re reading the script and choosing our characters, we don’t know what we’re going to do with those characters.”
“I’m not mad about my elimination whatsoever because I could have gotten another character and could have slayed it. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” she continued. “You have to work with what you’re given. So positive points to the professionals, and the negative point is the fact that we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s part of the show.”
She said she went into the competition but, laughing, she said “I should have.”
“Of course I wanted to last until the end but the people who were in that workroom are also talented…I actually learned some tricks from the other queens because in the drag scene, we never stop to learn. I would say that I could have been a little more strategic,” she said. “Thinking about it afterwards, I was like, ‘Damn, why did I go for the French character? I should have left the French character to an English girl so that she could struggle. But I was there to have fun, I was there to enjoy myself, so I don’t have any regrets. But for sure, I could have been more strategic.”
Despite thinking that perhaps she should have given her sisters a bigger challenge with a French character, she said she loved creating sisterhood with the queens, including a queen she knew outside of the competition.
“It was great, actually because when I came in, I recognized one of my longtime friends [Icesis Couture],” she said. “I didn’t have any idea. We talk a lot and do a lot of stuff together but she never told me anything. Icesis is one of my best friends ever, so it was nice.”
“I [met] new people, different people,” she continued. “I’ve been really close to Beth. I’ve been really close also to Suki [Doll] [and] Stephanie [Prince]. Of course, being sent home the second week, I couldn’t have formed deeper relationships, but we all talk to each other nowadays and it’s great because we are the only people who know what we went through together. So of course, there was a lot of sisterhood created…it’s great, I love every bit of it.”
As for Snatch Game, Aqua-Black had two choices.
“I was going to do Cardi B. I also had a famous YouTuber, Norman Freeman,” she said. “…He has this crazy character and I’m crazy, so…I was going to go in those two directions.”
While we won’t be able to see her Snatch Game performance, she did say she came away from the show having learned a lot about her art form.
“I’ve done this for 18 years now and I’m always surprised of everything that I learn, still today. That always amazes me because there’s always new ways to do things. Like, with my sisters, I exchange some tips, they gave me some, so that’s what’s the most surprising to me,” she said. “A girl can come in there and have three years [of] experience and she shows me something and, ‘Damn, I’ve never thought about that.’…Yeah, you grow with the judges and the critiques and everything they give you from feedback, but you also [grow] with your sisters.”
Canada’s Drag Race airs every Thursday on WOW Presents Plus.