On last week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the six remaining queens of season 12 were tasked with writing and performing their very own five-minute, one-woman shows, with some help from EGOT winner Whoopi Goldberg.
Missouri drag star Crystal Methyd earned her first challenge win with her “Phenomenal Phil” sketch, making the judges cackle with her over-the-top dance moves. For queens Heidi N. Closet and Jaida Essence Hall, though, the performances fell flat, forcing them to lip sync for their lives. Giving her all to Prince’s “1999,” Hall managed to save herself from elimination, leaving Heidi on the chopping block.
After watching her elimination air, the Ramseur, NC queen tells Billboard that she has no regrets about her time on the show. “I feel good and proud of what I showed and [I’m] determined to have a bright future,” she says.
Throughout her time on Drag Race, Heidi proved to be one of the best lip sync artists of the season, sending home fellow contestants Nicky Doll and Brita, and earning the season’s only “double shantay” thus far in her lip sync against Jackie Cox. When it comes to her lip sync skills, Heidi says the key to success is “embodying the words,” and making sure that the message of the song comes across. “You need to feel the emotion of what the song is telling you and sell it.”
While she is well known in the season for her killer lip syncs, the star is perhaps best known as the queen who RuPaul renamed constantly throughout the show’s run. From the first episode, the host let Heidi know that he didn’t like her name, and offered various alternatives throughout the competition, including Heidi Ho, Heidi Hydrates and Heidi Aphrodite.
As of now, Heidi has kept her original name intact on social media, but teases that it may still be subject to changing. “You might have to wait a little bit longer to find out because the story never ends and is always to be continued with me,” she says. “So you may just have to buckle up and wait and find out in a little bit.”
In honor of her time on the show, Heidi N. Closet curated a special playlist for Billboard Pride of her favorite songs, from her preferred lip sync tracks to some songs she associates with special memories. Check out Heidi’s playlist below, and see why she chose each song:
Laura Hunter, “Work Me Down”
I love performing this song because it starts off strong and keeps the pace throughout for me to dance and cut up to. Dancing is what I enjoy most about my performances and this is a good song to do it to.
Glee Cast, “I Know Where I’ve Been” [originally from the musical Hairspray]
This is a powerful song that digs deep into the roots of someone who’s struggled and given their all to get to where they’re at! I know this feeling all too well and this is a ballad I put my heart and soul into when I perform it.
Brainstorm, “Lovin’ is Really My Game”
I love disco — ’70s classic music. It’s my all time favorite and what I love to listen to and dance around the house to!
Ciara feat. Lil Jon, “That’s Right”
This was the song I warmed up to and partied to back in high school with the Catalyst Dance Company before practices and shows.
Whitney Houston, “Greatest Love of All”
This song is special to me as my drag mother, Sonja Simone, was performing at Greensboro, NC Pride and dedicated it to me! She’s a beautiful, talented staple in our community and this meant the world to me that she did something so special and it was for me. It’s when I truly started to feel accepted in our local drag community.