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Drag Race’s Kornbread ‘The Snack’ Jeté Didn’t Plan on Opening Her Chocolate Bar

Photo: VH1

Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté entered RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14 on a high. She made an impression from her first moments in the werkroom, throwing playful shade at Willow Pill’s look (“Comfy couture!”), and winning the first-episode talent show with the sort of high-production, catchy original song you’d expect from a seasoned drag queen. “I ain’t come to clown for the crown,” she rapped onstage, and she proved it. We had a front-runner!

This week, however, Kornbread’s season took an unfortunate turn. On the first morning of the challenge, Kornbread told the other queens via a video message that she wouldn’t be continuing in the competition after twisting her ankle while filming the previous episode’s supertease. She had just been in the bottom three for that challenge too, with the judges asking her to be more versatile in her comedy and performance.

But don’t for one second think Kornbread left the competition on a low. While speaking after her exit, she was in high spirits, excited about her short run on season 14 and already plotting her Drag Race return. “My time there was extremely life changing, and I can’t even complain about it,” she says. Vulture spoke to Kornbread about making her talent-show song, her Snatch Game plans, and why she never planned to open her chocolate bar.

We didn’t really see much of this injury when it happened last episode, so can you walk me through what happened and when you knew that this was a big deal?
The beginning of filming the supertease, I twisted my ankle. Body went one way, ankle went the other. And I ignored it, and I didn’t wanna talk to anybody about it because I didn’t want anyone to see any sign of weakness. I didn’t wanna put a damper on our group’s challenge, ’cause it was already a lot going on. I was doing so much physical activity throughout, the beginning of the day to the end of the day, that I was just putting more strain and more strain on my ankle, and I was ignoring the pain and finding ways to maneuver around it for no one to see that it was taking its toll. There are some moments on the runway where I’m kicking the garment up, trying to wake my ankle up, trying to get rid of the pain that was there. We finally got out of drag and we sat down, and my ankle was so swollen that I was wearing a Croc and I couldn’t get the shoe off. And one of the girls was like, “Yeah, love, you need to get this checked,” and I was like, “Yeah, no.” I was hoping it wasn’t as bad as it felt.

Have you been back to performing since then?
Oh, yeah. I’m physically healed, and obviously I have little moments where my ankle will feel, like, a weird tendency in it, but I’ve learned to take care of myself via physical therapy. So I’m a lot better now.

The first episode, you came out of the gate swinging, and in the talent show had this fully formed song. It was recorded; there was a dance. When did you put that together?
[Laughs] It was right before we went to go film the show. It took me 24 hours to get together with one of my friends and write, record, and edit with another. It literally was like a 24-, 36-hour process before everything was completely done. I’m pretty rapid when it comes to visuals of what I want to do and how I want to do them, and I’m not new to music and things like that. So that was definitely something that was on a whim and was just like, “Let’s do it, let’s go for it.”

In just these few episodes, you went on a roller coaster in terms of being at the top and getting that win, and then you were in the bottom last episode. How were you feeling about that after leaving the competition?
I’m not feeling bad at all. I think it’s all up for interpretation. I was in the bottom not for not doing a good job; I was in the bottom for me needing to push myself more. I was in the bottom three, not two, and it was more so a “Kornbread, we know you’re funny, you’re great, you’re phenomenal to work with, all this is phenomenal, but we want you to push yourself a lot harder.” So I didn’t feel bad about it at all because I didn’t feel like I left the competition like, “Oh, she’s less.” It’s more, “Oh, she needs to give us more variety. We love what you give and we know that you’re great at it, so let’s switch it up.” It’s just pushing me.

Were there any specific challenges coming up that you were looking forward to?
Definitely wanted to do a Rusical. I’ve studied musical theater since I was 8 years old, that was my original career choice, so I wanted to do that. And then honestly, I wanted to remix one of RuPaul’s songs too. Clearly songwriting and performing are things I love, from the first challenge, so I was so excited to get to that finale.

And I do have to ask, who were you planning to do for Snatch Game?
My Snatch Game, I was gonna do Leslie Jordan. Yeah, we physically look nothing like each other, but I had some prosthetics and some wig stuff I was gonna get together to be like him. Obviously, completely different skin tones, but I was so excited to do it.

You had messages for three of the queens in specific as you were leaving. First was Kerri, whom you knew from the Los Angeles scene. What do we have left to see from her?
Well, first off, the bitch won’t tell me nothin’, which drives me insane. I’ll say, “Oh, so what’d you wear for this, what’d you wear for this?” She won’t say shit. She’s very stingy with information. But Kerri is crazier than people actually see. So I’m hoping that maybe in these next episodes — I’ll continue to watch, ’cause I love the show — that she gets to show that crazy side. Like, Kerri is wilder than I am and people don’t even understand it.

And then Jasmine — you had a bit of a moment last episode, but then it seemed like by the end of it, having worked together, you were leaving on a good note with her.
Yeah, Jasmine and I weren’t on a bad note in the first place. It’s so weird how watching things on TV changes your perspective. Everybody has moments where they’re like, “No, me and this person aren’t meshing.” That is called human nature. We are drag queens; this is a heightened moment. She likes things about me, she dislikes things about me. Vice versa. It wasn’t even that big of a deal. I just wanted to make sure, ’cause she and I didn’t get to see each other after the challenge, that we were cool. We were cool in the challenge, we worked together very well, but I didn’t get to see her afterward. I just wanted to make sure that if she was competing in this competition, that her mind wasn’t like, Wow, I didn’t have more time with Kornbread, and the last thing we did was have a disagreement, which humans do. There was nothing wrong in the first place; I just think the internet heightens things in the wrong way and they’re just idiots most of the time. [Laughs]

And then you became really fast friends with Willow; it was cool to see you two supporting each other. Are you still in touch after the competition?
Oh, yeah, Willow and I talk basically every day. The conversations get crazier and crazier. But Willow teaches me a lot, through the art of drag and just through the art of friendship, and accepting myself, and just knowing that being weird and absolutely insane is okay.

I was really looking forward to seeing, as you were leaving, if you were going to get to open your chocolate bar. I’m glad that you did, that we get to know what happened there. What did you make of that twist now, being on the other side of things?
That twist is absolutely insane. Great in the best way possible for somebody who would’ve needed to be saved, but golden ticket or not, I didn’t plan on ever having to open up that chocolate shop in the first place, so it didn’t stress me out. When everybody was like, “Oh my God, this is crazy, this is nuts.” I giggled, ’cause, girl, in my head, I wasn’t openin’ no chocolate. ’Cause you weren’t about to beat me in the lip sync. And I didn’t plan on gettin’ in the bottom two, ever. So I was like, Oh, this is such a cool twist, maybe this could help somebody else. But if you think, Oh my God, I hope I get the golden ticket, then that’s a setup, honey. I don’t care. I don’t even want the chocolate bar, y’all can take it back, ’cause I’m not gettin’ out of here.

I love that. We’ve seen before, a few seasons ago, where Eureka left with an injury and came back the following season. If that opportunity arose, would you come back for season 15?
Absolutely Any opportunity to be on this show and to grow more, a hundred percent. I’m letting somebody from season 14 borrow my crown and scepter, so season 15, I need to go pick it up. Fingers crossed these people call me so I can get what’s mine.

Drag Race’s Kornbread Didn’t Plan to Open Her Chocolate Bar