Derrick Barry Is Ready For A Producer Credit On 'Drag Race Live Untucked'

There is a lot of drag content circling on your device in 2024, but one thing you can’t ignore is any opportunity to watch Derrick Barry on television. Perhaps the most well-known Britney Spears impersonator in the world, Barry has been television gold on multiple “RuPaul’s Drag Race” seasons including the shortlived 2020 reality series, “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Vegas Revue.” Now, Barry and a number of their co-stars from the “Drag Race Live” show in Las Vegas are back with a new spin on that concept, “RuPaul’s Drag Race Live: Untucked.” And, no, surprise, Barry is so entertaining, they genuinely deserve some sort of producer credit.

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“Really? O.K,” Barry says, genuinely surprised. “I like that. Y’know, I think I tried to do things like that on ‘Vegas RuView’ and I learned my lesson that I probably should not be producing.”

Her co-star Bosco interjects, “Well, apparently you didn’t learn Your lesson from the sounds of it. I’m excited to see this Episode!”

“Yes, because on ‘Vegas Review’ I learned from my mistakes that what I think is going to be good reality TV does not necessarily mean it’s good reality TV for everybody,” Barry replies.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race Live Untucked” follows the cast members of the Las Vegas live show that has been a mainstay at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino since January 2020 (well, except for that long break due to the COVID pandemic). The cast includes the aforementioned Barry and Bosco as well as Kennedy Davenport, Lawrence Chaney, Pangina Heals, Coco Montrese, and Latrice Royale.

Two episodes were provided to the press for interviews and we’re happy to report the show delightfully captures the natural shade among the working queens, the difficulty of integrating new numbers into the show, and some grounded, real-life moments (strangely, the queens themselves had not seen the episodes yet). Unexpectedly, the latter includes Montrese discussing her love life – a top she’s often avoided on “Drag Race” – and the difficulty she went through appearing on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season five while her husband was undergoing chemotherapy back home. It’s been 12 years since that season was filmed, but this is the first time, on camera at least, where Montrese has discussed what was weighing on her at that time.

“There was a point on the show back during season five where we were filming ‘Untucked’ and we did talk about it,” Montrese admits. “But they were not able to air it because at the time I wasn’t comfortable with it being out because he was still going through chemo and I didn’t know if he would even be around when it aired. So, I needed to talk about it then, but it made me very uncomfortable at the time. Well, [now] he’s been in remission for several years and he’s doing amazing. And I think people can benefit from hearing that story because a lot of times with drag queens, we are masters at masking our personal emotions.”


Montrese adds, “We can deliver you an amazing show and smile through every meet and greet and then go back to our room and break down. And a lot of people don’t know that about the things that are going on with us. So at that point, I felt comfortable and I did feel comfortable because I was in a safe space and I had many familiar faces around me. Lawrence was there and the other girls were there, and I’m comfortable with them. So, it felt like it would be okay for me to go ahead and about it now, and especially because on the other side of it now, and I just thought it would help people. So yeah, thinking back to doing that, if that’s on the show, I’m going to be a wreck watching it.”

For Davenport, who has also been on multiple seasons of “Drag Race,” finding out a new “Untucked” was in the works was not surprising. In fact, from their perspective it kind of comes with the territory.

“You just got to be ready,” Davenport says. “Whatever comes your way when it comes to ‘Drag Race’ and ‘Drag Race’ related things and television. So, I was most excited about it and to know we would get a boost. This is a boost for ‘Drag Race Live’ to bring some more awareness to the show.”

There was a “little hesitation” on Montrese’s part on doing the new “Untucked,” but after being in the business for 32 years they thought, “Why not? Let’s do it.” For Lawrence Chaney, the winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” season 2, and Glasgow’s resident comedy queen, it was a unique opportunity.

“I guess my perspective was that I was really up for doing it because normally this show is a really abnormal show, and I mean that in the best way possible because normally backstage at a drag show, normally drag queens are quite antisocial because the job is quite social on stage, you’re talking to people very intense that way,” Chaney says. “But with this show, the cast is so talkative and the banter that happens backstage, I always said if you love the Vegas show, that the version of it happening backstage of costume malfunctions or reading a girl because their wig came off, stuff like that. That is the funniest thing. And before I joined the cast, I always saw a video of Coco and Jasmine Kennedy having a shade match with each other. And that to me, I was like, ‘That’s drag.’ That’s the perfect embodiment of, ‘Yeah, they’re saying shady things to each other, but this is out of love.’ No one’s watching this and saying, wow, that’s bullying. It was that one-liner, another one-Liner. And it is the best show to work on because everything changes every day and especially Coco Montrese here is truly the funniest person I’ve ever met.”

That being said, the queens found it hard not to reveal the cast members who couldn’t handle the grueling schedule of the live Vegas show. A queen can do the splits or kill at comedy, but a nightly show may not be the best use of their talents.

“For me, I had already been in Vegas since 2010 and I was used to doing six nights a week, two shows a night, the exact same thing for years,” Montrese says. “You weren’t allowed to change costumes, you weren’t allowed to change this. Everything had to be the way it was. So, I’m used to that. And then before that I was at Disney for 11 years. It’s monotonous. It’s the same exact thing constantly. If you’re not used to that and being an artist, you can feel stifled, especially if you’re young. Oh, the older ones that come and they’re pretty much going to be fine. They’re used to that. And I thought that Lawrence was going to be used to her. I was like the older ones that when they come and then I found out Lawrence was 27.”

“And to be fair, Coco’s 27 as well,” Chaney quips. “She’s 27 pounds heavier than when I last saw her yesterday. Today,”

Montrese retorts, “Not with 27, but that’s the whole thing. Clearly 47, maybe not 27. That’s the whole thing about it. It’s not for everyone. It doesn’t mean that you’re not talented. It does not mean that you’re not beautiful. It just means that the fit for this every single night will affect your mental state being creatively stifled, so to say.”

Chaney thinks some queens don’t last because may just can’t keep to an everyday schedule.

“Yes, you may be the most gorgeous drag queen ever, but if you take three hours to get ready and then you sleep in at 9:30 or 7:00 when our showtimes are, if you are not ready by then, the [music] track is still playing, so something’s going to happen on stage,” Chaney explains. “There’s no exceptions, there’s nothing. And I like that. That’s good because when you turn up to a job at grocery store, if you don’t show up on time, you’re fired. So, that is the same for being a drag queen. You should have pride enough to show up and want to be ready in time for the fans as well. It’s not just about the crew and stuff, it’s about the fans that are watching the show as well.”

For Barry, an opportunity like “Drag Race Live” ties back to some sage advice they learned from their drama teacher in high school. “If you can perform nightly for a living and that is how you make your living, you made it.” So, a Vegas contract with five or six night’s a week? That’s making it.

“We do six shows a week right now. I would rather do that than do a one-off gig on a Friday or a Saturday night where I’m traveling,” Barry says. “And it’s because I love being on stage. I love the show. I believe in the concept. I’ve always asked for a Broadway meets ‘Drag race,’ and this is the show. This is the highest caliber drag show that’s ever existed on the Las Vegas strip. It’s the third one I’ve been a part of, and so I can honestly say that, and it’s the sets are bigger, the props are bigger. The amount of times that someone is flying in and out of the stage is unbelievable. So it’s just exciting. I’ve never seen any show like it.”

Bosco’s reasoning? “Money.” But seriously, she notes, “No, it is a great, great opportunity. As Derek said, having the security of working six times a week, that doesn’t happen very often in the drag world. There’s not very many places in the world that can facilitate that, and not many people are good enough to do that. So to be offered a position in the show was crazy. And then to look around and see people like Derek and Coco Latrice and Kennedy who have had years spanning decades, that rocks, it feels like you’ve definitely made it when you get to have that spot.”

Drag isn’t easy whether you’re doing a brunch, a club gig, or a touring show. For “Vegas Live!” Barry says you have to have the physical stamina to pull it off night after night. And that just doesn’t include what happens on stage. There is a lot of stairs backstage as well for those heels and heavy costumes.

“I think mentally you have to prepare yourself that you are coming to work five nights a week and a lot of people can’t do that,” Barry says. “They think it’s going to be a good idea. And then you arrive at 6:30, 7:00 for a 9:30 show and you don’t leave until almost midnight, and that is a big part of your day. You’re prepping for the show. You’re redoing hair, wigs of your own, putting new costumes in, stoning things, working on things, thinking about your diet that day so that you feel confident on stage or you could fit in your corsets. All that goes into our show and I think that you have to be ready for it. You are a showgirl in this show.”

For Davenport, both “Drag Race Live!” and the new “Untucked” series is an opportunity for people to “love on us.” They add, “This is the opportunity where whatever’s going on at your house or whatever you got going on personally, you leave it wherever it is. And that’s what we do at the clubs. That’s what we do everywhere we go. Even on the microphone as a host, we say, ‘Baby, don’t bring that in here, or whatever you went through, whatever you went through with your boyfriend, whatever went on, whatever happened, leave that wherever it is and come and get your life.’ And so this is the perfect space in Vegas for people to do that. And they are doing it every single night. And regardless of what’s going on with politics and all of that, I mean, it is not even a factor. And I think that’s very important in our life today that we can set some things aside and to say, you know what? Let’s have a good time. Even if it’s just for an hour and a half.”

The “Drag Race” universe has spawned multiple international editions including “All Stars” spin-offs “RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. vs. the World,” “Canada’s Drag Race vs. the World,” and an upcoming “RuPaul’s Drag Race Global All Stars” (get ready for that one). We asked Barry, who famously was sent home way, way, way too soon on the fifth edition of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars,” if they would consider returning for an international edition. They have other ideas.

“I feel like I deserve another chance at the regular ‘All Stars’ since that was cut kind of short,” Barry says. “And I like the format where the girls can’t send you home. I like that. Yeah, I like the non-elimination. I feel like you get to show your actual package that you brought and I still haven’t shared what I brought to ‘All Stars’ because I feel like that’s going to have a new journey and I’ll plug those in places that I feel need it.”

Yep, Barry has kept her “All Stars” wardrobe from prying eyes for almost five years waiting for another opportunity.

Barry adds, “I think that a lot of things that I had made were able to go into a lot of different categories so people will see it makes sense. And when I do get to wear it, I’ll say, this was something that was made for this, or maybe not, maybe I won’t. And then we’ll just let people think what they want.”

“RuPaul’s Drag Race Live: Untucked” debuts on WoW Presents Plus on April 17.