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Why Riverdale's KJ Apa Would Love To Join RuPaul's Drag Race

Archie having serious conversation on Riverdale
(Image credit: The CW)

Buckle up, RuPaul’s Drag Race fans: there’s a new queen in town, or at least a more newly surfaced queen who would love to move to town. KJ Apa, the New Zealand native who rose to fame playing Archie Andrews on The CW's Riverdale, has revealed his hidden desire to appear on RuPaul's landmark drag competition show

In a promotional interview for his new folk album Clocks, KJ Apa reflected on his journey from high school dropout to certifiable TV superstar. As his confidence has grown, KJ Apa has felt comfortable enough to share a new side of himself: a feminine alter ego named Fifi. While the character hasn’t adopted the stylized make-up, wigs, and costumes of many professional drag queens, Fifi definitely knows how to bust a move. In fact, KJ Apa even thinks she could have a future, albeit a limited one, on RuPaul’s Drag Race. He told NME

I love watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and I’ve told my agents I want to be on that show. But at the same time, RuPaul’s Drag Race and the characters on that show, they’re the real deal, they’re the most authentic. I don’t think I’d be allowed on that show because I’m not the real deal. But why did I share Fifi with the world? Because it’s not something that I feel like I need to hide. I am proud of Fifi. I really enjoy that [side of myself].

While KJ Apa may not view Fifi as ‘the real deal,’ his social media followers disagree. His TikTok account @fifiisqueen has amassed an impressive 3.2 million followers and over 24 million likes since its debut in 2020. While KJ Apa just seems to be having some expressive fun, it’s actually quite refreshing to see a male celebrity embrace his feminine side without feeling the need to defend his sexuality, and without it just being a controversy-starting punchline. KJ Apa simply views Fifi as an opportunity to express himself: 

I have quite literally known and messed with this character since I was eight, nine, ten years old. She allows me to express the feminine side of myself through moving and my physicality. My sisters would dress me up in drag as a kid – I’d put on lipstick and wear wigs and stuff – and I used to love exploring that part [of myself]. It was epic.

Even if Fifi never makes it to the mainstage of RuPaul’s Drag Race, her existence could convince other men to explore a side of themselves that would otherwise be stifled by societal norms and toxic masculinity. Although if KJ Apa has anything to say about it, she could soon be hitting a catwalk faster than RuPaul can say “Shantay, you stay.” 

The first five seasons of Riverdale are available to stream on The CW and on Hulu. The first episode of Season 6 will premiere on November 16 on The CW.  

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.