Ivy Winters of Drag Race performs at Spin

Ivy Winters of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5

Ivy Winters of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5

Is Ivy Winters the George Harrison of RuPaul’s Drag Race?

They say you gotta watch out for the quiet ones…at least, when they’re talking about kids who grow up to be serial killers. In other contexts, being the quiet one has its advantages. You don’t get the limelight off the bat, but in the end you come out on top. Could this be the way Ivy Winters, currently one of the final seven contestants on the popular Logo TV show, becomes America’s Next Drag Superstar?

Winters made her Chicago debut at Spin Nightclub last weekend, bringing her girlish giggle, positive energy and circus tricks (literally) with her. “Iveeeeeeeee Winterrrrrrrrrs,” the crowd cheered in homage to the bizarre way RuPaul introduces her on every show. (Aside: We did some research, and apparently that drawn-out nasal name call is Ru parodying the way La Toya Jackson used to introduce Winters in Las Vegas…which, apparently, was Jackson’s way of parodying the way musician Edgar Winter used to be brought on stage back who-knows-when by who-knows-whom. You’re welcome.)

What do we know about Ivy? She’s elegant, kind and used to be a clown. She busted out some serious juggling chops in her second number at Spin, which had the crowd hooting. It can’t be easy to juggle-dance in heels. On stage she is sweet but demure; her voice needed to be louder when she took the mic, especially against the clarity and volume of hostess Jade, a Drag Race season 1 contestant.

But—and this is a big one—she’s not one of the bigger personalities in the current cast. There are some loud, angry bitches this season occupying a lot of the screen time. Ivy has been the anti-gossip, steering clear of the feuds that seem to propel the drama. Like the mysterious Beatle who sang the optimistic ditty “Here Comes the Sun,” Ivy stands back and smiles while the more dominant personalities hog all the focus.

“I’m a happy, bubbly, positive person. I’m not big into confrontation. I hate drama,” she said back stage last Saturday. But in the low-brow world of reality TV, will this maturity put her too much in the background and cost her the crown? Or will the no-shade quiet one be rewarded in the end for her consistently solid work, even if she didn’t give the most inflammatory quotes?

“I do drag to inspire people, and I just hate being around negativity,” Winters explains with a soft smile. “Some people do like to see negativity, but overall I think, for drag queens, they need it [to be] more positive, and that’s why I did [the show].”

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)