BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are like peanut butter and jelly. They're like bacon and eggs. They're two great tastes that taste great together. Though they were not on the same season of RuPaul's Drag Race, they were on back-to-back seasons, a one-two punch of perfect comic timing, stunning looks, and eccentric Seattle energy. Jinkx won her season, DeLa was robbed on hers, but the world was in love. (And DeLa's return to the show on All Stars 3—featuring the "gag of the century," with a generous assist from a bottle of White-Out—was the most talked-about All Stars performance ever.)
The two have appeared together on Seattle stages so many times that it would be ridiculous to list them. They are drag sisters, and BFFs. Last year, they started a new tradition, and unlike most December traditions, it's one I can really get behind: a joint holiday show. Just Jinkx and DeLa, doing Jinkx-y, DeLa-ish things. Last year, it was called To Jesus, Thanks for Everything! Jinkx and DeLa. This year it's called All I Want for Christmas Is Attention.
There will be singing. There will be dancing. There will be looks. There will be jokes and jabs and verbal jousting. There will be... okay, look, I don't know what there will be, because I've never seen this show before. But I can tell you it's selling out like crazy. Last I checked, they had just added a 3 p.m. Sunday show on December 22 to try to appease their ravenous fans.
I caught up with Seattle's most famous drag sisters while they were performing All I Want for Christmas Is Attention in early December in the United Kingdom, before crossing the pond for tour stops in Boston, Chicago, and New York City, en route to Seattle on December 21. The show runs at the Neptune through December 27 (and then moves on to California). I asked Jinkx and DeLa about the show, but I also asked them about the best and worst presents they've ever received, whether they ever get on each other's nerves, and how they plan to spend Christmas Day.
What's the best present you've ever received?
DELA: Eternal salvation from our lord Jesus Christ. JK, JK. Bourbon.
JINKX: My grandma bought me a Marie Antoinette wig for a coronation event for the Imperial Court system in Portland. I was Rosebud XXIX, the underage title in the drag community of Portland. It was really special to feel so supported by my grandma and my aunt, helping me be a fearless 16-year-old drag queen! I later painted that wig pink and wore it on Drag Race. So a gift that keeps on giving, and all that sappy BS.
What's the worst present you've ever received?
JINKX: As a very genderfluid and obviously queer child, sometimes family members couldn't decide between getting me what I actually wanted or what would be a socially acceptable gift for a little "boy"—so I got things like trees planted in my name or a star named after me. I appreciated the gesture as much as any 6-year-old could—but you can't play with a certificate of authenticity.
DELA: When I was a kid, ALL I wanted were My Little Ponies and Jem and the Holograms dolls, which made a lot of the adults in my life feel the need to give me hypermasculine toys. I have a very vivid memory of crying inconsolably while staring in horror at a He-Man action figure. I wasn't even old enough to think it was hot.
If you could have one of Santa's reindeer as a pet, which one would you pick and why?
DELA: Dasher. Because I'm pretty sure he's exactly the same as all the other ones.
JINKX: Cupid? Is Cupid one? 'Cause... I dunno. Cupid.
You're performing All I Want for Christmas Is Attention at the Neptune up to and after Christmas, but not on December 25 itself. How are you going to spend baby Jesus's birthday?
DELA: I have a Christmas party every year for all of the queer showbiz weirdos who perform in Seattle through the holidays. There are so many shows in town, and we all spend a lot of time making Christmas happen for other people, so the 25th is the day we all just drink eggnog and lie on the floor in our pajamas.
Is Home Alone the best Christmas movie of all time, or is it Die Hard?
JINKX: If those are my two options, I'd go with Home Alone—the film that instilled in me an unreasonable fear of intruders, but also an unjustified confidence in booby-trapping.
DELA: I can't get down with this two- party system. I'm voting Gremlins. Gremlins is my Jill Stein.
What's your favorite Christmas carol?
DELA: I really love the one about Jesus.
JINKX: "Oh Holy Night." The "fall on your knees" bit really speaks to me.
Holidays tend to make people irritable. Do you two ever bicker?
DELA: Any conflicts that arise between us get written into the script. Which is great because then you can resolve them by just writing the other person falling down a flight of stairs or whatever.
JINKX: We don't really bicker. Maybe I'll act cold and passive-aggressive for a moment, and then we'll quickly process our emotions—'cause we're Pacific Northwesterners.
DeLa, you have become a savvy producer over the last few years. What is the hardest thing about being a producer?
DELA: Being a producer is basically just having a lot of very strong opinions and keeping a lot of balls in the air at the same time. The hardest part is not stooping to puns about balls.
Jinkx, you are famously known as "Seattle's premier narcoleptic Jewish drag queen." What does a narcoleptic Jewish gal do on Christmas?
Since giving myself that title, I have moved to San Francisco, I have gotten my narcolepsy symptoms to a manageable place, and I identify as a witch. So I'll just answer this: Get laid.
What can you tell us about All I Want for Christmas Is Attention?
JINKX: It's everything you didn't know you wanted, and never would have asked for, from a drag-queen holiday show.
DELA: I think this show is a perfect marriage of our true styles. It's got all the fun, glamour, and smarts you've come to expect from me, and all the dick jokes you've come to expect from Jinkx.