From glitter to the shitter, Melbourne’s dazzling drag diva, Ashley Madison, has bid farewell to the DRDU stage. With a reputation of nipple flashing and embodying the fabulous “gay Jesus”, Ashley carved her mark on the show before exiting as the fifth queen to sashay away on season three. Unfortunately, her performance in the ‘BMX Bitches’ girl group challenge found her singing the wrong tune.
In an interview with A Modern Gay’s Guide, Ashley candidly spills the tea on her life before the Drag Race frenzy, the challenge that spun her into a tizzy, and her ultimate departure at the whims of Bumpa Love.
Before sashaying into the spotlight of Drag Race, Ashley was hustling behind the scenes. “So, prior to the season three auditions, I didn’t think we were going to get a season three,” she reveals. “I was focusing on pushing my career, running my booking agency, and my 3D printing jewellery business. I also started DJing… then I got the call and was like, well, that’s going on the back burner. Now let’s spend $25,000 On Drag Race!”
As for whether the investment was worth the glitter, Ashley’s answer is a resounding yes. “Going this far means it was all worth it,” she beams. “I think I would probably feel a different way about it if I went home in, like, the first three episodes or something, but the fact that I won Snatch Game, and then I went home… I’m good. This is fine.”
Reflecting on the reading challenge that failed to crown a queen, Ashley admits, “It was really bad at the start, and then it progressively got better. I had jokes that were funny—that Ru giggled at—but I think that by the time that it got to me, there’d been so many bad ones that Ru was just like, I’m not laughing at any of this shit.”
Unafraid to spill the tea, Ashley pulls no punches about her struggles during the BMX Bitches maxi challenge. “I’m not a dancer. I’ve never been a dancer,” she boldly asserts. Juggling lyrics, choreography, and bicycles was, as she puts it, “a recipe for disaster.”
But what caused the spiral that led to her eventual departure? Ashley lets loose, “I honestly think that winning Snatch Game was what caused me to spiral.” Ashley bares her vulnerability, sharing how her seemingly cocky entrance to the competition concealed a lack of confidence. “I wasn’t quite sure why I was cast, where I fit in, what the producers wanted from me, or what Ru wanted from me…I didn’t expect to win anything. I expected just to be safe and then go home eventually. Then, when I won, I think it made me start self-reflecting and going inwards.”
When the dreaded question echoed in the air—which queen should go home tonight, and why?– Ashley received two votes, alongside Bumpa, while Flor received three. She recalls the moment, admitting, “I honestly was so fine. I know that I didn’t do great this episode… I think I would have been fine with everybody saying my name.” Adding that she was more distressed that she had to say Flor’s name due to the deep bond they’d forged throughout the competition.
Facing off in a Hot N Cold LSFYL showdown with Bumpa Love, Ashley’s time on the show reached its crescendo. “I feel really good about the way the show ended. Bumpa gave me my start, so her ending that felt like a full circle moment,” she reveals. And while she contemplates whether she would approach the episode differently, her verdict is clear: “I don’t think so… I did everything that I thought I was gonna do.”
Now that she’s had some time to process her elimination, she reflects on what was going through her head when she was told to sashay away, stating, “honestly, it was such a weight off my shoulders.
Obviously, I was going through it mentally in this episode… I was questioning myself, I was questioning who I was, and I really just wanted to go home and start that journey and start thinking about me; about who I am in and out of drag.”
Amid the trials and tribulations, Ashley’s triumph in Snatch Game remains a pinnacle. “It kind of separates people in their abilities, and to hear Ru say, ‘you just understand Snatch Game. You just understood the assignment.’ That will always be in my memory. That was an amazing feeling.”
With time to reflect, Ashley sets her sights on the future. “I just want to take my drag out and continue doing what I’m doing, but to a higher standard.” Teasing an exciting array of ventures from tours to podcasts and even a potential one-woman show.
While Ashley Madison may have exited the Drag Race stage, her impact is indelible. Her legacy remains woven into the fabric of Drag Race history, a testament that even in the face of challenges, setbacks, and dramatic BMX bikes, the fire of a fierce queen remains unquenchable.