‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season 10, episode 8: The Vixen exit interview
Eight down, five to go.
After narrowly avoiding elimination during week six and week seven, the season’s most divisive queen finally got the axe when The Vixen sashayed away on Thursday night’s RuPaul’s Drag Race.
This week’s challenge (that of performing various incarnations of Cher throughout her six-decade career in Cher: The Rusical) proved a difficult task for just about everyone. Even the winner, Kameron Michaels (picking up her first win of the season) didn’t give a Cher anywhere on par with Chad Michaels or even Delta Work. But alas, a winner must be crowned.
In arguably one of the best lip syncs of the season, The Vixen faced off against Asia O’Hara in a truly neck-and-neck tête-à-tête of skillwomanship. Ultimately, O’Hara came out on top, and after fighting to stay in the comp, The Vixen finally met her demise.
Mic spoke with The Vixen about the elimination and what’s next for her drag career.
Gotta start by asking, how are you feeling this morning?
The Vixen: Oh I feel really good! It’s DragCon so I am pretty distracted and just excited for the day.
I imagine this week to be a particularly odd week to be kicked off, being that you are going to be face-to-face with so many fans at DragCon. What is your mood going into the convention today?
V: I’m very excited because it will keep me busy and keep me from being sad. I’m glad that my booth is a little private so if you’re coming to see me, it means that you like me, so I’m very excited to see anyone that comes in.
You’ve been consistently one of the most talked about queens this season. I wanted to ask specifically about the toll that fan feedback, particularly the negative kind, can have on you.
V: I’ve seen enough in the past 10 seasons of how the fandom acts, especially with the vocal and strong queens of color, so I knew what to expect with all of that. I was more so surprised and entertained by the positive response and the love that I got and that people related to me. That was more exciting for me to see.
It’s no secret: You got into a few fights this season. What has the experience been like of watching yourself on screen in a heated moment, months later with that distance?
V: It was like watching yourself out of a body, like a dream. The experiences on Drag Race are very unique. Stress is like an allergy, everyone reacts differently. I was very surprised even during the show seeing how I was reacting to everything and then to watch it back on tape it was like, “Who is this person?” But I was in a unique situation and had a unique reaction.
Let’s talk about the very pointed chat that happened last night between you and Asia. The entire bar I was at fell completely silent.
V: I was pulled in or affected by the fact that Asia took a second to talk to me and let me know that I was understood. That to me was the gag. At that point, in that episode, I felt really alone. So the fact that someone took a second to say that they got me was really ... I needed it.
This season feels particularly imbibed with black girl magic, not just in the number of black queens, but in some of the more nuanced discussions had in the workroom and later online. What has it been like watching these discussions play out on the show and subsequently throughout the fandom?
V: It makes me so happy. That’s what I hoped my presence on Drag Race could do. And then walking in the workroom and realizing that there were four other queens of color there I was just excited. By the time we got to Snatch Game it was four black queens and four white queens and you couldn’t avoid the conversation and I loved it.
You mentioned in last week’s episode that it’s hard to be a black man in America. It’s hard to be a gay black man in America. It’s hard to be a gay black male drag queen in America. Can you expound on this?
V: I think a lot of times in drag it’s escapism — you opt into a different personality. And I think for white queens, if you put on your rich white woman fantasy, it’s almost like opting up in a way. But for a black male to decide that he’s going to portray himself as a black female is almost like deciding to become a more disrespected person in America. Because honestly I think in the food chain of politics black women are really at the bottom and, as Malcolm X said, the most disrespected people in America. So to decide to become them is almost crazy. But if you’re like me, and have seen the strength of black women, it really is, for me, an homage to the women who raised me.
You’ve been dealing with a lot of heat online since episode two, when you and Aquaria had words with one another. Can you talk about the evolution of your relationship, which seems to have landed in a nice place?
V: The thing about Aquaria is, when I told her to leave me alone, she actually left me alone, which was what I needed. And so absence makes the heart grow fonder and her being on the other side of the work room gave me time to process what had happened between us; it allowed us to see each other from a distance and appreciate each other. I also think that’s why she felt comfortable coming back to the main area, because we had gotten over it and time had helped to heal the wounds.
Who are you rooting for this season now that you’re gone? I think I have an inkling of an idea.
V: [Laughs] My story that I’m sticking to is that I’m rooting for everybody black.
Let’s be shady for a second: Anyone you’re not rooting for?
V: No, honestly, it is the Hunger Games and you don’t want to see anyone take the bullet.
Looking back at this experience as a whole, both the filming and the airing of the episodes, what was the high and what was the low?
V: The high was definitely just being on stage, especially for the musicals, and performing for the world and letting them see me do what I like to do and what my passion is. The low is knowing that no matter what I do ... you can’t please everyone. I’d rather be divisive than indecisive. I’m glad I made an impact one way or another.
What’s next for The Vixen?
V: I have been writing music since I was a preteen and so there’s a lot of things that I’ve been waiting for the chance to release and I think when the time is right, sometime this year, I’m going to put out a big project. But I want it to be perfect so I’m going to take my time.
Check out Mic’s exit interviews with week one’s eliminated queen Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, week two’s eliminated queen Kalorie Karbdashian Williams, week three’s eliminated queen Yuhua Hamasaki, week four’s eliminated queen Dusty Ray Bottoms, week five’s eliminated queen Mayhem Miller, week six’s eliminated queen Blair St. Clair and week seven’s eliminated queen Monique Heart.