Pride

'Drag Race' Star Olivia Lux Is Ready to 'Reclaim the Word Diva' With Her New Playlist

Olivia Lux
Courtesy of RuPaul's Drag Race

Olivia Lux

Olivia Lux still remembers this piece of wisdom RuPaul gave her and her fellow Drag Race contestants during season 13: "Ru said while we were there, 'You'll learn a lot more after the season is done and you're able to watch yourself on TV,'" she shares. "That was really right — I feel like I've learned so much watching it back."

Among those lessons, Lux says she was astounded by how deeply optimistic she came across on TV. "I was just texting my friends, like, 'Am I really that bubbly?'" she says with a laugh. "And they all said, 'Yeah, that's exactly how you are.' Like, I never knew that. That's just how I come off to people."

That positivity certainly helped in the episode "Henny, I Shrunk the Drag Queens!" (April 2), when Lux competed alongside her fellow competitors in an acting challenge where the stars made big acting choices as bite-sized people. Unfortunately, the judges didn't find her shrunken antics very amusing, putting her in the bottom alongside Kandy Muse. The pair lip synced to Cher's "Strong Enough," and Muse proved to be the stronger of the pair — the Brooklyn queen was granted a spot in the top four, while Lux was sent packing.

The drag star says that she doesn't regret a single moment of her time on the show — in fact, she's thrilled with her placement in the top five, which she attributes to that sunny disposition. "I honestly don't think I would've gotten to the top five if I didn't think the best in every situation," she says. "It's honestly been the greatest tool that I could have brought to Drag Race."

It wasn't always easy for Lux to stay positive on the show — both times that RuPaul posed the dreaded "who should go home tonight" question to the contestants, Lux was the top pick. But looking back, the drag star says she's taken it in stride. "I mean, that second time around, all the queens were saying, 'She's not, America's Next Drag Superstar now. Later on, I definitely see that for her,'" she recalls. "That is okay to me! I actually don't fault them at all for that."

Though Olivia was certainly noted for her positivity on the show, the other contestants on Drag Race did often refer to Olivia as a "diva" during her time on the show. Lux laughs it off, and agrees that she is a diva, just not a traditional one. "I definitely reclaimed the word diva, because I think a lot of people think that it needs to have a negative connotation," she says, laughing. "I want diva to mean someone who's very passionate about her artistry who knows that she wants, she goes out there and she performs and she plays the house down boots!"

In that spirit, Olivia created a special playlist for Billboard featuring some of her favorite divas, including Doja Cat, Janelle Monáe, Jessie J, Ciara and more. Take a look at the drag diva's selections for her playlist below.

Doja Cat ft. SZA, "Kiss Me More"

"OK, the vibe on this one is OUT OF THIS WORLD. The minute it dropped I screamed. THIS ON REPEAT ALL SUMMER BYE."

Jessie Ware, "Spotlight"

"We all love a good dramatic disco-esc jam glam moment. I lip sync this around my Brooklyn apartment at least twice a week."

Chloe x Halle, "Don't Make It Harder On Me"

"Chloe and Halle can do no wrong in my book. The entire album is LIT, and if I could add every song on the album to this list, I WOULD."

Ciara, "Thinkin Bout You"

"This is my go-to lip sync number because it's so adorable and makes me smile. I pretend like no one is watching me dance, I close my eyes and just think about that special someone!"

Shea Diamond, "I Am America"

"SUCH A GREAT, POWERFUL SONG. I fell in love with Shea Diamond when this came on a random Spotify Discover Weekly playlist (yes, you can find great songs on those playlists)."

Fleur East, "Easy To Love"

"Fleur East is so cool, and I want to be her when I grow up. I feel like between the hair and vibes, she is I and I is she."

Janelle Monae, "Come Alive (War of the Roses)"

"I have so much respect for Janelle Monae. She is a true musical genius and SO INSPIRING. I want to meet her one day."

Jessie J, "Play" 

"Who doesn't love a good sample! Love this throwback sample and Jessie J's voice is just SURREAL. C'mon, she is like one of the best singers of our time."

Check out Olivia Lux's full elimination playlist below: