On Thursday night, RuPaul’s Drag Race finally filled the Maury Povich-parody-shaped hole in our hearts with an improvised talk show called Bossy Rossy, hosted by regular judge Ross Matthews. The queens were split up into pairs by The Vixen, who won this week’s military-themed mini-challenge, and given scenarios that they would have to ad lib while on the stage of Matthews’ new show.
After some comedy gold and a few belly flops, the queens took it to the runway in their best denim drag, inspired by queen of country and one of Thursday night’s guest judges Shania Twain. In a poetic moment, Eureka O’Hara took home her first Drag Race win on the same episode she went home on in season 9, while Mayhem Miller and Monét X Change found themselves in the bottom. Lip-syncing to Twain’s classic country jam “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” Monét managed to stay in the competition for the second week in a row, sending Mayhem out of the competition.
Mayhem talked to Billboard the day after her elimination about helping Eureka and The Vixen bury the hatchet, her friendships with many of the Drag Race stars before making it onto the show and more.
I’m so sorry to be talking to you so soon! How are you feeling after the elimination last night?
I feel kind of … out of body [laughs]. I still can’t believe it, even though I knew it happened. I’m kind of relieved now that I can actually talk about it because I held on to it for so long since we left filming. I’m kind of relieved now that it’s off in the universe and everyone knows.
Well before we talk about the elimination, we should be calling you Mother Theresa, because you managed to help bridge the divide between The Vixen and Eureka. Why was that something you thought needed to be done?
The thing was, from day one, we all got ready in the same corner with each other. It was me, Aquaria, Vixen and Eureka. So everyday, we were used to getting ready with each other and chit-chatting. But with all of the bickering and fighting, our corner turned into the battleground! I didn’t want it to be that anymore. I wanted our group, I wanted all of us to get along, especially in our corner. I wanted them to bury the hatchet and realize that we are here for one reason: we’re all here to win $100,000. But we’re also here to build relationships with each other, because we’re forever bonded together with this experience.
Absolutely. Something I noticed was that unlike a lot of the other girls from this season and seasons past, you seemed very calm in Untucked before the lip sync. What was your thinking in that moment?
Well one of the things that came to mind was that I am huge country fan and a huge Shania Twain fan. My opening song to my show on Friday nights for the past ten years has been “Man! I Feel Like A Woman,” so I was very familiar with the song, and I knew that I was gonna slay it. So I wasn’t stressed about having to perform it, I was actually excited! But I also had to make peace with whatever decision the judges were going to make after the fact. So instead of being upset and stressing myself out, I wanted to just make sure that I was at peace with that, no matter what happened.
You spoke in the premiere episode about the pressure of showing what you had to offer after so many years of auditioning. Looking back, do you think you accomplished your goal?
I certainly do. I felt like I delivered every single week on the runway and showed my versatility in my art as an artist. I had a clear point of view of my drag, and I think that it was conveyed and everyone understands the type of drag queen that I am. I left with my dignity and integrity intact, I didn’t compromise myself, and I felt like I represented not only myself, but my community as a true professional!
I agree, and I wanted to talk to you about your community — you are the queen of California. Not only do you perform the house down, but you schedule and promote shows, you host, you do it all. What has that experience taught you?
It has definitely taught me to be responsible. It’s also really showed me how to be a leader, and how to value and respect the craft of drag. It’s been a great experience.
There’s this ongoing debate around the world of drag vs. the world of Drag Race. As someone who has been a huge figure in the local scene and has now also been on Drag Race, how do you think Drag Race changes the dynamics of being a modern drag queen?
Huh. Well, now the shoe’s on the other foot and I’ve experienced both sides of it. And I think my journey is very unique, because I have been a part of the Drag Race family for years without being on Drag Race. Finally getting that validation, and being a part of it officially, I no longer have to wonder about how it is. So it’s like … it’s … I don’t know! [laughs] I know Drag Race brings a lot of attention to a queen. It throws you on the map and helps you become a household name. It gives local girls and newer queens an opportunity to reach stardom without having to go through the traditional way of making it big. It’s really a fast pass, in a way.
That’s a good way of putting it. As you said, you have been a Drag Race girl before actually being a Drag Race girl — you’re very close with queens like Raja, Raven, Chad Michaels, Morgan McMichaels, etc. How did those relationships affect your drag?
It definitely encouraged me to push myself. As a drag artist, you have your niche, you know what you do, you know what you like. You can sort of get stuck in that, so having friends who have gone through Drag Race, which is a pressure cooker for drag … watching their journeys encouraged me to continue to push myself to this new level, to the next challenges, to more goals. I don’t want to be complacent with my drag.
And you know what, they all gave me great advice before I went on the show, and they all pretty much told me the same thing; everyone told me to be myself and to enjoy the moment instead of worrying all the time.
So of the girls who are still on the show, who are you rooting the hardest for?
None of them. [laughs] I’m joking. I would say … gosh … this is a tough one, because I like them all for different reasons. But I would probably say Miz Cracker. With our last challenge, I really got to work with her one on one, and I saw her passion for drag. I know that she’s talented, she’s a great makeup artist, hair stylist, and she has got a full package there. I think that she would do the brand a lot of justice.
I agree. Well, before I let you go, we’re asking all of the queens this season the same thing: Who is your favorite local queen in California?
Ooh girl, you’re gonna get me in trouble! [laughs] Let’s think … I would probably say Vicky Vox. Vicky has such a huge heart and a huge personality to match it, and she has a world of fucking talent within her. If she was booked on the show, that bitch would turn the party out.