Nightspots: When was Sofia born?
Sofia Saffire: Oh, my gosh, like nine years ago. I started at the Drag Race at Roscoe's. I had two drag mommies and they painted me, and then deserted me and moved to Kalamazoo, so I had to do it myself. It was a little rough at first, but I got the hang of it.
NS: So what kind of numbers did you start with?
SS: That one song from Romeo and Juliet, the movie. [sings] "Love me, love me, say that you love me." And I wore a little white outfit with red hearts all over it.
NS: Now you're the host of Windy City Gay Idol. You had seen a few of the events before you became host, right?
SS: Well, I started as a judge, like, five years ago because the owners of Crew did not want to judge, so they asked me. So then Amy Matheny, the then-host, just fell in love with me and she groomed me.
NS: What are you as Sofia Saffire bringing to the competition now that you are the new host?
SS: I think it's my little brand of humor. Drag queen, legs, heels. I have fans of mine that come and I know that a lot of the contestants come back every year, even if they don't compete, to see Sofia.
NS: If you were a contestant instead of host, what kind of song would you do?
SS: I'd probably sing a Counting Crows song, because that's my range. I made my husband go me a shirt when they were here at the Riviera.
NS: We're totally having a '90s-gasm right now! So what's next for Sofia?
SS: Everyone says I should do RuPaul's Drag Race, but I don't need to.
NS: So you're above the Ru?
SS: No, I'm not above her, I just don't need her. Plus, I'd have to learn how to sew.
NS: It's not easy.
SS: I could sew by hand.
NS: It would take a while, but you'd get it done!
See Sofia getting it done as the host of the Windy City Gay Idol 2012 finals at Sidetrack, Sat., June 16. Doors open at 2 pm, show begins at 3. See center spread for more details on the final 12 contestants and audience prizes.