Kendra Pasker Interview: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked’ editor
“Luckily, you don’t really have to hunt for them,” says editor Kendra Pasker of the explosive moments from “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked” which frequently go viral. “They come inherent with the queens!” Those moments could form courtesy of a guest judge like the exuberant Leslie Jones, or because of a captivating, emotional breakdown. Pasker just earned her second consecutive Emmy nomination for Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program, thanks to the expert way she highlights the backstage drama that the queens of “Drag Race” provide. Watch the exclusive video interview above.
Since “Untucked” airs after the main series, Pasker doesn’t need to worry about telegraphing which queen gets eliminated. In fact, giving the ousted performer a spotlight becomes a focus of most episodes. “This is going to be the last time we get to see them,” explains Pasker, who describes “Untucked” as an odd space for the contestants. “You’re in this sort of anticipatory moment,’ says the editor, “a lot of emotions are running high.”
Those heightened feelings can send eliminated queens to the pit of despair. In Pasker’s Emmy nominated episode, “The Ball Ball,” Rock M. Sakura receives harsh critiques for her busy looking runway look. The disappointment she feels after she is sent home is palpable. “We want to show a lot of compassion,” states Pasker. Still, the editor thinks one of the goals of “Untucked” is to let the contestants “be honest with how they’re feeling.” If frustrations flare up with other players, Pasker adds that it’s “not our job to shy away from that.”
Pasker has been editing “Untucked” since 2013, before the show jumped networks from Logo to VH1. She calls the meteoric rise in the popularity of “Drag Race” in recent years “really exciting.” “I’m glad that it’s finally on the radar,” she admits. “People are seeing something special in it…and they are recognizing the hard work that goes behind it.”