Shantay she slayed! Icesis Couture is the winner of ‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Season 2

Canada’s new reigning drag superstar celebrates her big win with Xtra

When Icesis Couture stepped into the Werk Room on Canada’s Drag Race, she was the first contestant to represent the nation’s capital. The veteran performer, designer and drag artist was already one of the best known names in Ottawa—now she’s Canada’s reigning drag superstar.

Icesis watched Brooke Lynn Hytes call her name as the winner of Canada’s Drag Race live last night during a watch party at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall. Flanked by her Season 2 sisters Pythia and Kendall Gender, Icesis burst into tears when her name was called before being swallowed in massive hugs from Pythia and Kendall.

Dressed in a black latex bodysuit and a floral gown inspired by Richard Quinn’s Fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection, Icesis received her crown and sceptre from Canada’s Drag Race choreographer and guest judge Hollywood Jade, then she took a triumphant victory walk to a standing ovation.

The next morning, Xtra called up Icesis to talk about her big win, sharing the spotlight with her drag daughters and why there was drool all over the stage during the finale.  

Congratulations, Icesis!

Thank you so much.

I loved your Richard Quinn fantasy at the live crowning last night. 


Wasn’t it so good? I was so excited to see it. It has been locked in my suitcase, I hadn’t taken it out. I literally left it in my garage because I wanted to feel it in the moment. It was as good as I remembered.

Where did it come from?

This hand and this one!

When you turned onto the runway with your teeth exposed in the finale episode, I gasped. How long did you have that mouthguard in?

I had it in for the entire time! The only time I took it out is when I did the lip sync and when I talked to the judges. There was so much drool all over the stage. It was everywhere.

Did you go out to the after party at Night Owl last night? How late were you out?!

Okay, well… I did go to Night Owl. I went for an hour and then I came back, then I had to pack my stuff because I have to leave [Toronto] tomorrow. I think I slept, like, 20 minutes?

 

What time did you get up this morning to get into drag?! 

Four-thirty.

Oof! How long does it take you to get into face?

Three hours.

Well, you look stunning. What did it feel like last night to stand on the stage with the crown on your head and the crowd cheering?

It felt so amazing. The fact we were able to do it with the three of us together and have our drag family members open for us and our family members in the audience, flown from different parts of Canada, it was so amazing, so touching. I literally couldn’t stop crying. Kendall was laughing at me, like: “Girl, stop. There’s nothing even sad, we’re all making jokes and you’re still crying.”

It was such a special moment. It meant so much to me.

I loved that your drag daughters Kimmy and Savannah Couture opened up the show at the crowning party. Savannah is your actual birth sibling! Tell me a bit about the two of them.

Kimmy is one of my newest daughters, she’s been with me for a couple of years. She’s such an amazing trans woman, an amazing trans performer. She brings so much energy and I see so much of myself in her. I’m so grateful to have her as part of my family.

Obviously my brother, he used to be my assistant when he was like, [gestures] this tall. Now he’s my drag daughter, which is so crazy. When I introduce him on the mic I never know what to say. Brother, sister, mother?! What are you?!

I saw you were reunited with your very newest drag daughter, Makayla Walker Louboutin, who you met during the prom makeover episode, too. She’s a rising star in the Toronto drag world!

I said that to her last night. I’ve been working for 15 years and was never able to crack into the Toronto scene. The fact that you’re five minutes old and you’re already the next rising star in Toronto?! Like, I hate you. I hate that you’re so good.

Another Ottawa performer, Kiki Coe, was also top three on the show Call Me Mother, which had its finale earlier this week. Are you and Kiki pals?

Me and Kiki are best friends. We live down the street from each other. When I said I wanted to go on Canada’s Drag Race to make one friend, it’s because the only friend I had was Kiki and I was tired of hanging out with her.

You must be very proud of her for what she showed on Call Me Mother.

I am. We helped each other with our packages [for Canada’s Drag Race and Call Me Mother] and she’s so amazing and so special. The fact that the two of us were able to finally shine a light on Ottawa that I thought was long overdue… I don’t think there’s anyone better than her—or me!—to do it.

Your Season 2 sister Kimora called out the Ottawa performer Yaya Torres a few weeks ago for some racist behaviour. As a veteran of the Ottawa scene, what did you make of that situation? 

That situation had been going on for a very long time… conversations around that situation have happened for many, many years. I did stop working with her for years before that. 

Ottawa has welcomed Kimora and taken her under their wing as if she lives in Ottawa. They have so much respect for her. The fact that she stood up for everyone in our city when she’s not even from it just because she’s an amazing person and an amazing spokesperson for her culture, I’m so proud of her. I love her so much. She helped so many people.

Kimora ran up on stage after you were crowned and picked you up and spun you around!

That one friend I was looking for on the show? That’s her. But she didn’t even have the decency to brush her hair! I was like, “You told me you were coming in drag! Not you coming in your onesie and not brushing your hair.” She just wanted to be there, that sweet angel.

 
When you were watching the scene in the finale in which you discuss experiencing abuse, Kendall had her hand on your arm in a very sweet, supportive way. It seems like the top three really have genuine care for each other.

Me and Kendall’s stories are definitely very similar. They definitely cross each other. Pythia as well—we were the three that were together for months, we went through the whole thing together and we shared moments that the world got to see with each other and were there for those moments. We honestly really like each other. We really care about each other.

You saw. Nobody got thrown off the stage last night! Everyone was fine.

Congrats on your new single, “La Pusetta.” You’re a Spanish pop girl now!

What happens when you get on Drag Race is you start to become delusional. Clearly, I lost in the second episode and they said I could not sing—or dance! Then I leave Drag Race and release a song.

You know what the funny thing is? I totally forgot I was releasing a song last night. I woke up this morning and was like, “There’s totally a song.”

The music video just came out! It’s been amazing and I want to continue to make music. I want to do the full drag fantasy. Priyanka had such an amazing year and she’s got such big feet, I need to fill those shoes! If I’m going to be on her or Brooke’s level I need to step it up and this is the first portion of that. Plenty more to come.

Do you plan to tour El Salvador?

I would absolutely love it. We’re in talks. Being gay is illegal in El Salvador, you can be killed for it, but there is, in the capital, gay nightclubs that are safe, welcoming and beautiful to be a part of. If I can get the time to go out there, that’s the first place I’m going.

You’re now $100,000 richer. What’s something you plan on splurging on?

New knees!

Canada’s Drag Race is currently casting Season 3. What do you hope to see from the next batch of contestants?

I hope to see more representation from Ottawa. You thought me and Kiki were amazing? There’s so many other performers, many diverse performers. We have AFAB performers, non-binary artists, trans folks, many people of colour. Ottawa is such a diverse drag scene and I really want to see this momentum keep going—to continue to put the spotlight on Ottawa and not Toronto [laughs].

What’s next for Icesis Couture?

We’re going on tour in January with Voss Events. We start on Jan. 8 and we finish in Ottawa Jan. 30. That should have been a sign to me that I won, duh!

We’ll tour, then I have a cruise coming up. I’m planning to go to the U.K. and I’ll do more music. I’m going to celebrate and spread love.

Well, the world is yours now! Congratulations, my queen.

Thank you so much!

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Russ Martin is a writer whose work has been published in Flare, the Toronto Star, The Walrus, and NewNowNext. He lives in Toronto.

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