After watching the finale episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, fans were absolutely gagged when they learned that Shangela, the competition’s frontrunner for the crown, was not given a spot in the top two, with Kennedy Davenport and now-winner Trixie Mattel moving forward.
While the eliminated queens voted en masse for Trixie and Kennedy, Shangela only received a single vote from one queen — Thorgy Thor. The same Thorgy Thor who stirred up all of that controversy when she wrote a note to Trixie calling Shangela a “shady bitch.”
So what could have possibly possessed Thorgy to choose the person who fans thought was her enemy to go to the top two? “To me it was like, ‘Duh,’” she told Billboard. “It was my power to decide who I thought did the best, and she did the best, period.”
Thorgy talked to Billboard about the behind-the-scenes deliberations, what it’s like being a walking meme, and her now-infamous note to Trixie.
So we need to talk about the finale. I was shocked that you were the only queen who chose Shangela to go through to the top two. Why did you make that choice?
Well first of all, I was shocked. I know that people think that we all knew who each other picked, but we genuinely did not know. Everyone kind of kept it a secret. And then when it aired, I was like, “I was the only motherf—er to pick Shangela?! What?” [laughs] To me, it was like, “Duh.”
The thing is, everyone thought I held this big grudge against Shangela and hated her, but it was never like that. I actually thought that in the competition setting, she’s not the one who put me in the bottom two. She had to make a decision, and she eliminated me because … well I don’t know, but that was her decision! So at the end, it was my power to decide who I thought did the best in the competition, and she did the best, period. She was fun, she did amazing, and I thought she should have been in the top two. I was just like, “I’m the only one who sees this?”
I really don’t disagree with you. Why do you think the other queens chose Kennedy over Shangela?
Well, we all did have a little pow-wow backstage, like, to discuss who everyone was thinking about. And everyone really was persuaded by the fact that Kennedy really needed the win. Everyone kept on saying, “Oh, Shangela has a career already. Trixie has a career. But Kennedy could benefit the most from this.” And I thought, just from my perspective, that I’m not going to be persuaded about who needs it more. Because it’s my decision to make, and I don’t care who needed it, to me it was about who won. That was the power they gave me, so that’s how I made my decision!
Also, I f—ing wanted to win! [laughs] I needed to win, I needed this! At the end, I was like, “It’s not about who needs this, because we all need it. Just take a step back and be fair,” and I think that’s really important to remember. Like, we are all sisters, but once you gave me the power to be a judge, I was gonna be as altruistic and honest as possible. So I was able to step back, get out of myself, and just be a good judge, and I think I did that. I was just surprised that I was the only good judge.
You could have pulled a DeLa and just written your name on both lipsticks in white-out and said, “Bitch, I deserve to win.”
[laughs] Yeah, that would’ve been fun. I should’ve.
But the reason people were shocked by your pick was because of that note you wrote Trixie. What was going through your head when you were writing that?
Well I was already super bitter about leaving the show! I just hated everything. The thing is, when you’re on the show, you’re allowed to feel that way, and anyone who says that I’m not allowed to be like, “No, f–k everybody” is crazy, because they weren’t there. Everyone likes to have an opinion about how they would handle it. The way I handled it was super bitter. So I wrote a dumb note! I was just trying to be funny and cute.
To be honest, I wrote that note in private to Trixie, and I really do think that Trixie hung it up in her own station, and I don’t think it was Shangela’s business to be poking around and looking at her notes and calling her out. When I came back and found out that it was like this really big deal, I was like “Really? This is drama right now? This?” I was just mad! I was just like, “Ew, she voted me off, f–k her.” It was just that. Did I hate her? No. At the moment? She needed to suck it!
Me: *takes a nude*
The FBI agent in my phone pic.twitter.com/GKcTXL4XaS
— Michael (@MikeyJonJon) February 3, 2018
While you didn’t walk away with the crown, you did walk away with one of the greatest memes in the show’s history: “Oh Jesus, gross.” What has been your reaction to the meme going viral?
I know! I kind of love it! That’s the thing, everyone tries to create their own little catchphrases and force it. But I’m not a very contrived person, like, I just react, and that’s exactly how I felt. I always feel like the best memes come out of genuine reactions. So when I was standing up there, it was just my genuine reaction that flew out of me. I was like, “This is disgusting, I need to get out of here, you are all gross, bye, f–k you bitch.”
There’s so many of them, too! I literally get texts from people who I haven’t talked to in 20 years, saying “Look at this thing — ‘Oh Jesus, gross.'” I just love it so much.
Yeah, you said that people try to make memes on the show. You had a lot of really funny memorable moments this season — do you think you were more aware this time around of the audience when saying things?
Oh, absolutely not. We’re always aware that what we’re doing on the show is being filmed, and that everything is going to be used against us, but I just don’t care! Once I said yes to being there, I really let it all go, and I was myself. You know, I also always get asked about “You were so worried about everything the first season,” because I’m kind of a perfectionist and I get in my head.
And the second time around, everyone thought, “Did you prepare for that? Were you stepping back and saying that his season was gonna be so much better?” And my answer is always that I was worse the second time around! I was more inside my head, I was more anxious. And I just learned that in that setting, I get really anxious. And I have neither the time nor the energy to actually get out of my own head and be like, “Oh, let’s start this and say that.” Everything you see on the show is my genuine reaction in reality. So no, nothing was contrived because I couldn’t get out of my own head! [laughs]
You mentioned your interest in doing a one-woman show during your last interview with us. Is that starting to look like a reality?
People keep asking if I’m gonna do a show in P-Town, and I think I might start this summer in P-Town. I’m not totally sure. But for the show, I’m gonna revamp something called “Thorgy in Love” I did for Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago. It’s an hour and a half show about me finding love, and I get to feature string playing, I sing live, I lip sync, you know, it’s very, very cabaret style. But I just wanna do it in a small New York City theater first.
Also, I’m doing my first Thorchestra gig! It’s finally happening, it’ll be in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s in the works right now, so I don’t know all of the details, but it will happen in late June or early July. I’m nervous! It’s going to be very beautiful and next-level. Just something different where people can buy a ticket and really watch beautiful music, but also with me conducting! It’s gonna be great.