Nina West Talks Politics, Music & More Following Her 'Drag Race' Elimination

Nina West
Courtesy of VH1

Nina West

On Thursday, the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race were tasked with taking six of their eliminated sisters and dragging them up into familial drag looks for this season’s makeover challenge.

On the runway, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo managed to wow the judges with her near-identical makeover of Ariel Versace, while Brooke Lynn Hytes took home her third win for creating a stunning sister in Plastique Tiara. But two queens, Silky Nutmeg Ganache and Nina West, found themselves in the bottom, lip syncing to TLC’s smash-hit “No Scrubs.” After what RuPaul deemed a “meh” performance from the girls, Silky was allowed to stay, while Nina packed her things.

Nina West spoke to Billboard the day after her elimination about her new music, the importance of being political & more.

How are you feeling after watching your elimination?

I’m feeling pretty good! Listen, what happened happened, and I’ve had some time away from it, and I’ve been trying to figure out what it all means. Waking up today and seeing the fan reaction has been very comforting, and oddly amazing, and I’m glad I got to connect with them.

As with a few of your sisters before you, fans seem upset that you were sent home last night. How does that kind of a response make you feel?

You have a couple of goals when you go on the show. Obviously, you go on wanting to win, and walking away with the title and that check for $100,000. But I think my goal, always, was to really try to make a connection. And while I can’t necessarily control how the fans react to what they’re seeing, I am grateful that they’re invested. There are very few people who get to walk away with this kind of reaction. I mean, I got everything I wanted out of the experience. Their crying foul is just a greater expression of appreciation.

You have become an activist and raised millions of dollars for LGBTQ causes long before Trump came along. Do you think that drag has become more political or less political in recent years? Should it be more or less political?

I think there have been people around the country that have held the torch, but there are more things we can do especially when there is someone spreading horrible rhetoric. But of course, be more political!

Who in the very crowded 2020 field are you supporting right now?

A lot of candidates are running, but I am keeping my eye on Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete, and of course Joe Biden, but you know I am interested in anyone running opposite of Donald Trump.

I see you’ve got not one, but two albums coming out soon! Tell me what went into making these new projects, John Goodman and Drag is Magic?

With Drag is Magic, I always wanted to do a kids album and have been writing it for the last ten years. This was really in my wheelhouse and I felt very connected and wanted to be a voice for children and family. I wanted to show that content created by a drag queen can be for anyone and consumed by everyone. With John Goodman, it’s a comedy album of five songs around themes of people around my size. Lol! Then it also has this idea of pop culture and celebrity. The first song is about Sarah Huckabee Sanders so I am using my drag scene to be political, but also having fun with it in the process.