Now more than ever, people around the world are turning their attention to the doctors and medical professionals leading the fight against the spread of COVID-19. And on last week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the medical profession also took center stage: the queens were challenged to act in the apparently long-running medical drama “Gay’s Anatomy,” and deliver a standout performance that was equal parts ridiculous and stirring.
Since-disqualified contestant Sherry Pie snatched her second win of the season, while Parisian princess Nicky Doll and Southern belle Heidi N. Closet found themselves lip syncing for their lives to Kim Petras’ 2018 hit “Heart to Break.” After “fighting” for her spot in the competition (in the words of guest judge Normani), Heidi N. Closet was declared the winner, and it was time for Nicky Doll to say “au revoir” to the Drag Race stage.
In honor of the show’s latest lip sync performance, here are a few things you might not have known about “Heart to Break.”
Its use as a lip sync song made Drag Race herstory.
While RuPaul’s Drag Race continues to face scrutiny for its lack of casting trans queens as competitors, the choice of “Heart to Break” as a lip sync song makes a Drag Race first: it’s the first song performed by a trans artist to be used for a lip sync battle between two queens. After years of featuring numbers by gender-bending artists like Sylvester, Pete Burns, Annie Lennox, and, of course, Mama Ru herself, Drag Race’s first lip sync song by a transgender artist is an overdue and welcome change.
The song remains Petras’ highest-charting solo single to date.
Kim Petras has built a sizable following around the world of LGBTQ+ fans and allies alike over the last few years, which drove her 2019 albums Clarity and Turn Off the Light to top 20 Billboard chart spots. To date, “Heart to Break” remains Petras’ highest-charting solo single, reaching number 52 on the Dance Club Songs chart.
Petras pulled inspiration from Blondie and The Cardigans when creating it.
“When I hear heartbreak songs, I always feel like ‘O.K., that’s exactly how I feel… I’m not the only person who fell in love like a stupid person,’” Petras told Billboard upon the song’s release. To help craft the theme of unbreakable love and not caring about the consequences, Petras says she found inspiration in songs like Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” and The Cardigans’ “Lovefool” to create her song’s unique take on romance.
The song was released on Valentine’s Day.
In the lead-up to the release of “Heart to Break” as Petras’ newest single in February 2018, she knew a song about love and heartbreak would be the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the month’s biggest holiday. She opened up a love hotline the day before the song’s release on Valentine’s Day for fans to vent about their love lives, and even provided a few lucky ones with a sneak peek of the music video months before it came out.
Petras wanted to be a trans Disney princess in the music video.
Disney has yet to create a story about a trans princess, but that didn’t stop Petras from creating her own and casting herself. “On the internet, there was talk about me as a trans Disney princess,” she told The New York Times of fans’ wishes at the time, “so we thought, ‘What would that look like?’” The result: Petras reigns over her own queendom filled with bright colors and vivid backdrops, and finds her Prince Charming in the end for her own version of “happily ever after.”