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Drag Race's Xunami Muse clarifies whether or not she was crushing on Plane Jane

Drag Race's Xunami Muse clarifies whether or not she was crushing on Plane Jane

Xunami Muse on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16
MTV

Xunami Muse reflected on her overall RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 experience in an exit interview with Out.

After experiencing a head-scratching six-week “safe” run in the competition, Xunami Muse fell in the bottom two on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 episode 8. To make matters worse, Xunami had to lip sync for her life against a close friend like Morphine Love Dion. Following their very cute and emotional lip sync to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston, Xunami was asked to sashay away.

Throughout Drag Race season 16, certain fans took issue with the so-called “ghost edit” that Xunami received — clearly not getting as much airtime as most of her other competitors. In any case, fans still fell in love with this New York queen due to her good vibes, adorable laughter, and great relationships with her costars. The jury is still out on who might win Miss Congeniality of season 16, but Xunami is definitely the frontrunner at this moment.

During her exit interview with Out, Xunami set the record straight (well…) on her alleged crush on Plane Jane (brought up by Morphine), talked about her choice to play a non-existent character in the Snatch Game, and teased what we should expect from her during the rest of 2024.

Scroll through to read Out’s exit interview with Xunami Muse, who you can follow on Instagram, X/Twitter, and TikTok. You can also support Xunami by buying her merch on DragQueenMerch, booking a personalized video via Cameo, and/or pre-saving her new song “It’s Giving (Cunt)” with Kandy Muse.

Out: I like starting these interviews with a big-picture question: how would you describe your overall drag race journey?

Xunami Muse: Oh, I mean… queen of the afters! [laughs]

The 'Xunami afters' are famous indeed! Fans pointed out that you were 'safe' in all of the episodes that you competed in. Looking back, does that strike you as surprising? How are you feeling about the fans' reactions?

I mean, listen… I'm kicking with it. One, [safe] is just a word, right? And two, to me, being safe meant that I got another week to slay. Another day, another show, and another look. I was talking earlier that if you look back on a lot of the challenges, it didn't mean that I was doing bad. There's just so many talented girls and not everyone can be at the top.

I felt like I was close to the top, but I kept landing as "safe." It was okay, though, because I felt like I was showcasing my drag in a positive way and in a fun way. I was having fun with a lot of the challenges and doing well. Unfortunately, it didn't land me in the top or a maxi challenge win, but I was still there looking beautiful and doing the thing. So I'm very proud of everything that I poured into season 16 of Drag Race.

You were a blast to watch this season, and your aesthetic was always on point! As a fellow Latino, your conversation with Geneva Karr about DACA also really impacted me. I spoke to Geneva about this in her exit interview because DACA had never come up in the werk room. It was awesome to see that being discussed. I have so many friends who are Dreamers. What kinds of reactions have you gotten from fans about that moment?

A lot of people who are of the same experience have been saying things like, 'Thank you. I feel seen.' For me, there was a fear of just even letting people know, right? There are so many people who are malicious. Although we are protected, we're not fully protected. So, certain things you want to keep private because you don't know what people can do with your own information.

But at that moment [in the werk room with Geneva], it just felt like, 'Yeah, this is what we go through.' It was really nothing other than that, you know what I mean? Sharing our reality in that moment and showing our humanity. Because we love the drag and we love the aesthetics and the glam and all of it, but who are these people?

It was just something that we had in common and I'm glad that fans are watching. Even people who didn't know, they're a little bit more educated now. I'm still hopeful for change because it's not like things have changed, but I think we can get there. Obviously, where we are now is because someone hoped [for it] and things changed. And I think they can change even more.

Now let's move on to a spicier question! Kandy Muse, who's a part of your drag family, had a crush on Joey Jay in season 13. Morphine, your sister—

[Xunami starts laughing out loud]

You already know where I'm going with this! Morphine, your season 16 sister, spilled some tea that you had a potential crush on Plane Jane. So, like, are the Muses the queens of crushes on Drag Race or something?

No, I don't have a crush on Plane. For me, it's nothing other than when you look at someone and you're like, 'Okay, yeah, this person is attractive, I would f*ck them.' It's really that.

So you're saying that Morphine misread the situation?

Yes, the girls love to project. They like to be dramatic. But it's nothing other than, 'Yeah, she's a pretty b*tch,' you know what I mean? But no, we're not snuggling or texting each other like, 'I love you babe.' No, nothing like that.

Okay. So I should tell the fans to stop the shipping and the fanfics?

I know fans love to ship that. They would love it for it to be something more than it is. But… sorry to burst your bubble!

Let's talk about this Snatch Game. Some people are saying, 'Oh, this isn't a real character' and whatever. But a lot of queens have done this in the past and were actually very successful. There were so many non-existent characters in the all-winners season, for example, and they did amazing.

EXACTLY! Period.

Walk me through that decision-making process. And when it wasn't well-received by the judges, how did you receive those critiques?

It was exactly what you just said! I was literally watching All Stars 7 before [going into season 16]. For me, the Snatch Game is one of the hardest challenges. Every time, [when] audition time would come, that was the one part that I would struggle with the most. I would [always] leave it to do last.

I'm not good at impersonations or whatnot. So I was like, 'What if, like Trinity [The Tuck] and Yvie [Oddly] did: a made-up character? That way, I can make up the accent, the mannerisms, and the isms. Baby, in theory, that sounded great. But in practice, that's why I flopped [laughs].

I didn't realize how hard it is to do that when you're in the moment. You get the questions and you have to be quick with your answer, but you have to answer as this character. It just like a bit more than I could chew.

When I got the critiques, I was like, 'You know what? I agree.' I got in my head a lot. The judges smelled the fear. They can smell that. So yeah, I mean, I'm very okay with saying that I flopped, because I did. I tried, but it wasn't my best. Now I know better. So when I go on All Stars, I'm going to do Celia Cruz.

And then, as a result of underperforming at the Snatch Game, you land in the bottom against Morphine, your best friend in the competition. How did that feel?

I always thought that when I would land in the bottom, this 'fear tactic' sort of energy of 'kill and survive' would come through… but lip syncing against Morphine just felt different. It felt like a celebration, in a way. I was like, 'Let's give them a show as opposed to me lip syncing to stay.'

If you think about it, in that moment, that's where my mind should have been: trying to survive another week. But I don't know, I was just like, 'Let's just give a great show.' I love to spread joy and to lip sync. I just wanted to give everyone a good show and I feel like it was innate for the two of us to just interact with each other because we've performed together before. That's where my mind was at. It wasn't so much like, 'I need to take her out.' It was more like… me and my friend performing together.

Yeah, that energy absolutely came through in the episode. I'm glad you're saying that. Sometimes we talk to other eliminated queens and they do all sorts of mental gymnastics as to why they were sent home. But when it came down to you and Morphine, your description is exactly what we saw on television. And it was beautiful.

Thank you. I have to be honest: that [lip sync for your life] moment felt so different than what I had perceived before I got there, if that makes sense?

Now that you have this huge Drag Race platform, what's next for Xunami Muse?

The main thing that I want to promote is my single with Kandy Muse. I am performing it live at The Love Ball with Shea Couleé and the other girls, and it'll be on streaming platforms later. I'm playing a lot with music.

There are also shows that we're talking about with Kandy, which would be later in the year. But yeah, Kandy and I are going on tour! We used to have this show in New York City at [Pieces Bar] called “Queen for Queen” on Mondays. Now we want to take that on the road. There's going to be a lot more of the Muses… we're here, baby, and people are calling! So we're going to answer.

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 airs every Friday on MTV.

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.