With each new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race comes the main challenge that some queens have been waiting all season for and that others have been dreading — the stand-up comedy routine.
On last week’s episode (aired Friday, March 10), the seven remaining contestants were tasked with performing in a Just For Laughs-style comedy festival. Grouped off into pairs (and one solo act), the girls came up with as many gut-busting bits as they could to wow the panel of judges and live to slay another day.
After expressing their respective desires to earn their second challenge wins of the season, Loosey LaDuca and Luxx Noir London rose to the occasion and put on a dueling comedy act to remember, taking home the top honor for this week’s challenge. Meanwhile, Anetra and Marcia Marcia Marcia found themselves flatlining on stage, landing them both in the bottom.
Performing in one of the most competitive lip syncs of the season, Anetra and Marcia (or “Anarcia” as the fans like to call them) pulled out every stunt they had for this high-octane performance to Doja Cat’s “Boss Bitch.” In the end, though, Anetra lived to walk that duck another day, sending Marcia packing.
Billboard caught up with Marcia following her elimination to talk about the queen earning the most consecutive “safe” placements in a single season, her reaction to the judges’ critiques about her makeup, and how she approached this episode’s climactic lip sync battle.
Before we get into it all, we have to talk about the near-constant critiques regarding your makeup — what did you think of the judges’ fixation on your face, which then led to a fixation from the fanbase?
Well, I am a theater kid — and in the theater industry, your entire job is basically being critiqued. Even when you have the job, you’re getting notes after every performance about what you could have done better. So, at the time, I was like, “This is just something for me to work on.” I always appreciated that, honestly, I’m always trying to improve myself. Even since we’ve wrapped, my drag and my makeup has changed so much. In the end, it helped me develop a more meaningful relationship with makeup. Before, it was always something where I was like, “Oh, whatever.” But now I see that it can make people very upset!
I don’t know if you know this, but you also broke a Drag Race record this season with the most consecutive “safe” placements in the show’s history. How do you feel about having that honor?
It’s like … the funniest award you could ever get for this show [laughs]. I will say, when you look at my track record with more detail, while I was safe the entire time, I excelled in a lot of the challenges, which is important to recognize. In a lot of ways, some of my accomplishments have been sort of eclipsed by my critiques. So while I am the “safe queen” of season 15, I think I had a lot of great high points. And hey, if I’m safe, I’m not in the bottom!
Yes, especially during a season where there have been a lot of on-air arguments about who got “second place” in a challenge, it’s worth pointing out that being safe is good.
Especially out of 16 people, it’s an exhale that you get to have. And, our cast is truly one of the most well-rounded, gifted groups that the show has had in a very long time.
Getting into this episode, you said in a confessional that this was the challenge you were dreading. What is it about the stand-up challenge that felt intimidating to you?
Well, I came into the competition being a gifted, comfortable seamstress. I also act, sing, dance, write, choreograph, and I’ve been doing that forever. This was sort of the one thing that I’ve kind of never done before. You hear comedians talk about their stand-up, or you watch shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and you learn that you usually bomb at least a few times before you can get your “tight 10.” I was apprehensive, because I was like, “I don’t know how this is going to go.”
Add onto that the fact that this is a duos challenge … in which you were the only solo performer.
Yeah … in a comedy challenge based on famous comedy pairs, to be alone is not the best starting point.
I love your runways, because I love a them, and you constantly bring out this sort of “injury chic” vibe with every look. How did that sort of “pretty-but-in-pain” idea become the staple of Marcia Marcia Marcia looks?
So, for Drag Race specifically, when I was approaching the looks, I made pretty much everything myself. I wanted to have a clear story, I wanted to do things that people weren’t going to think of and to approach it in a different way. I don’t know, I am personally very clumsy, and I think there’s something so funny about a really beautiful person with something like a cast on their arm. It’s just hilarious to me when people are really involved in their appearance and then have something go horribly wrong where they’re stuck with it for a long time. I just think it’s fun. So yes, I was always asking myself, “What’s the story? What are people not going to think of? How do I take something that may be simple or boring and twist it to make it a little weirder and funnier?”
I know it was controversial, but I was obsessed with your tie-dye look.
Thank you! I thought it was great — again, another thing that people simply did not agree with.
We get to this lip-sync — first of all, after watching all of these wild lip syncs she’s performed in, what was going through your mind when you found out it would be you against Anetra?
When it was me and Anetra, first of all, I was like, “Great, another thing we can do together, Anarcia to the end.” I love Anetra, and I knew that she was absolutely going to give everything. They call it a “Lip Sync For Your Life,” and in the moment, I was like, “Oh, I’m going to lip sync for my actual life, because I know she’s going to do the same thing.” And I knew at the end of the day it was going to be a great show, so it was mostly like, “Work, let’s just do it and have fun — if I’m going out, I’m gonna do a great job and push for the only double save of the season.”
I know that when you’re lip syncing, you’re completely focused on yourself and are largely unaware of what the other girl is doing — but you had to notice when Anetra literally leapt over your back-bent body, right?
I did not know that happened!
You didn’t? How?!
No, someone told me afterwards that she did that! I was like “What? You’re joking.” But it’s like you said, when you’re in there, it feels like you have horse blinders on — you are so focused on doing what you’ve been able to think of in the last however many minutes before actually standing on the stage that you kind of block out the other person.
That’s wild, but it goes to show what an excellent lip sync this was, you both absolutely turned it out.
Thank you so much! It was just so much fun, and I truly love Anetra, as you’ve seen me sob about in Untucked before. I love her so much, and it was one of those things where it was like, if I’m going to be in the bottom with anyone and get sent home by anyone, I’m glad it was Anetra.