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Ongina Reveals She Was Cast on All Stars 1–Here's Why She Didn't Do It

Ongina Reveals She Was Cast on All Stars 1–Here's Why She Didn't Do It

Ongina
Logo TV / VH1

The RuPaul’s Drag Race OG was actually invited to compete, not just drive a van for the All Stars 1 finalists.

In the wise words of Tatianna: “What you see, isn’t always the truth.”

Ongina spent many years actively campaigning to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. But until she was finally cast on All Stars 5, Ongina only appeared as an out-of-drag driver at the grand finale of All Stars 1. The other car featured in the episode was driven by Delta Work.

In a new Very Delta interview, Ongina and Delta reminisced on their cameos as drivers for the All Stars 1 finalists. Then, despite popular belief that producers had overlooked her for many years, Ongina spilled some tea that a lot of fans might not know about:

“Did you know that, All Stars 1, I was actually supposed to be on? They had invited me to be on, and they really wanted me to be on it. [But] at the time, my work – my “boy” work, or whatever – was getting so busy that I was opening stores in Los Angeles and around Southern California. I was managing so many areas that my director at the time was like, ‘You have to make a choice. If you leave for All Stars, you can’t come back. Or you could stay here and not go to All Stars.’”

She added, “I became full-time drag queen in 2017, towards 2018. And at the time [of being invited to All Stars 1], that was in like 2013, maybe 2014. I really liked my salary, I really liked my 401k, I really liked my benefits, and I really liked my job. It was really hard for me to say, ‘I’m going to quit this job and do the other job.’ But as a consolation prize, they were like, ‘Do you want to drive a van? I was like, ‘Sure I’ll drive a van! I think I can take one day off instead of like the 30 days that they needed me to take off.”

Ongina then brought up the rumors she’s heard about which queen took up her spot on All Stars 1 after she turned it down. The Drag Race season 1 star said:

“Rumor has it… I don’t know the truth to this matter, but I’ve been told. The rumor is that because I said no, that’s why Mimi [Imfurst] got the spot. Rumor has it, I don’t know. Maybe somebody on Reddit will investigate.”

Many Drag Race viewers and queens were indeed confused by the choice of casting Mimi Imfurst on All Stars 1, which always felt like a last-minute replacement for a competitor who had dropped out of the season. Nonetheless, Ongina has now set the record straight for fans who might still be wondering.

This is also an interesting perspective to think about given that Ongina campaigned to be in all of the subsequent seasons of All Stars, but was only finally cast on All Stars 5 – literally eight years after All Stars 1.

We love ourselves some Ongina, and can only imagine how differently All Stars 1 might’ve played out if she had been a contestant!

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains the queer pop culture multiverse. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains the queer pop culture multiverse. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.