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Plasma is 'crawling tooth and nail' out of her Drag Race elimination

Plasma is 'crawling tooth and nail' out of her Drag Race elimination

Plasma on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16

“I felt like I didn’t even watch the lip sync happen because I was so in my head and so out of my body,” Plasma tells Out during her exit interview from RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16.

Plasma is a phenomenal, talented, and wonderful creative force that graced our screens during each and every episode that she was featured on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16.

Following the initial perception that this would be another “theater queen” that certain fans enjoy casting a spell on, Plasma managed to win two maxi challenges throughout the competition — establishing a strong track record that was unfortunately not enough to survive a high-energy lip sync to the TikTok remix of “Bloody Mary” by Lady Gaga against the Queen of Flips herself, Mhi’ya Iman Le’Paige. But Plasma isn’t sad, nor is she saying that she was “robbed.” Quite the opposite, actually.

During her exit interview with Out, Plasma opens up about how her Drag Race journey feels like destiny, explains how she “dissociated” while lip syncing against Mhi’ya, highlights the pride and joy she experienced after winning two maxi challenges on the show, and breaks down the true meaning behind her “Bloody Mary” music video on YouTube.

Scroll through to read Out’s exit interview with Plasma, who you can follow on Instagram, X/Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. You can also support Plasma by buying her merch on DragQueenMerch, and/or booking a personalized video via Cameo.

Out: How would you describe your overall RuPaul’s Drag Race journey in one sentence?

Plasma: Well, you know I'm not good at condensing my words! The experience of Drag Race is not always a positive one for all of its participants. However, I had a profoundly happy and wonderful time, and I would gladly live it all over again, exactly how it went down.

I'm assuming that you went into Drag Race knowing how other 'theater queens' had done on the show… but you right away won two maxi challenges in eight episodes! When you won your first challenge, 'RDR Live,' did that help your confidence in the competition?

Oh my god, yeah, absolutely! I walked into Drag Race hoping and praying that I wouldn't go home first. All love and respect to Hershii LiqCour-Jeté, one of my absolute favorite people on earth. But yeah, winning 'RDR Live'… I didn't think that I could win a challenge on RuPaul's Drag Race. Genuinely, I didn't know that that was possible in my body and my soul. So to be given the opportunity to win something that was also so close to my heart as Barbra Streisand, especially with all the Funny Girl references, it just felt so planned out in the universe and the cosmos.

I'll also tell you that I've had a very spiritual experience with the entire Drag Race process. I got my first call on my mom's birthday from a woman at World of Wonder named Sara, S-A-R-A, no H, which is how my sister and my family have spelled the name Sara for generations. I have felt very cosmically aligned through this whole process. So even when I went home, I was like, 'You know what? It was supposed to be like this. It was very much laid out for me by the universe.' I think I would be small-minded if I doubted what the universe had in store for me at this point, given every opportunity I've already been given thus far.

Before we get to the elimination, I also wanted to talk about the fact that not only did you win the Rusical, but you absolutely nailed it. I think everyone was just smiling watching you do your thing so well.

Thank you.

There was this smaller moment, I think in Untucked, when you thanked Adam Shankman for being very positive and not as judgmental as other people in musical theater happen to be, and it felt like something you've had to fight against in the past. Were you thinking about or even referring to an experience that you've been through before?

Not so much one blanket or one specific experience that I could pinpoint, but the theater and entertainment industries historically have struggled with uplifting people and encouraging people, as opposed to putting people down or taking advantage of people. Case in point, the 'Me Too' movement, and Scott Rudin, and all of these other situations that have put performers and creatives in jeopardy by simply trying to exist in spaces that bring them joy… in places that [are supposed to be professional].

I just feel as though the industry could largely benefit from a lot more generosity, empathy, and kindness. So when you see a megawatt star like Melissa McCarthy walk on the set and choose to be the most generous, effervescent human being alongside Adam Shankman, who of course is a career titan, and chose to be professional and direct and kind and smiley and lovable, and also incredibly efficient and good at his f*cking job… it was just so refreshing to me.

The whole process of Drag Race was entirely professional, and streamlined, and executed with such finesse. I'm just a fan. Call me a suck-up, call me a 'goody-two-shoes,' but I had the best time. I genuinely think the world of everyone at World of Wonder who made the process so smooth. And Adam Shankman was lovely and a joy to work with. I worked with him a lot in that Rusical because I was in a lot of the show, and I just felt very safe, very comfortable, very set up for success in every environment that Adam created on set and in rehearsal. It was fabulous.

And then we get to episode 9. You fall in the bottom two, and a lot of fans think this might be when Mhi'ya leaves. It's her third time lip syncing, and historically, that's when queens sashay away. It's not a rule, but it's how it usually goes. Mhi'ya also fell in the bottom with a queen who won two challenges in eight episodes, so it just all feels like a straightforward result. Before the lip sync started, how confident were you that you were going to stay?

Well, Bernardo, one of the things that makes Drag Race so exciting and that keeps us hungry for more and more of it, even in its 16th season and beyond, is that we've learned that we cannot make any expectation about anyone or anything that happens on the show. That's something that viewers crave and love to see.

Quite honestly, the first thing that Sapphira Cristál said to me when we spoke after the show had finished filming was, 'Plasma, I love you and you're a fantastic performer, but Mhi'ya ate your ass up in that lip sync.' And I fully believe it. I personally was disassociating. I felt like I didn't even watch the lip sync happen because I was so in my head and so out of my body. I just didn't have a pleasurable time lip syncing… and I'm a performer, so that really tells you where my headspace was at.

Mhi'ya Iman Le'Paige is one of the most incredible dancers and performers and lip syncers that the drag community has ever known. The deciding factor on RuPaul's Drag Race is a lip sync challenge, and up against Mhi'ya Iman Le'Paige, I think that anyone would be foolish to assume that they're safe, specifically me. I was in shoes I couldn't dance in, and I wasn't happy with my look, which also made me feel insecure about my body. I was wearing Plane Jane's wig too, for f*ck's sake. So I already had that looming over me!

I was not surprised at all that she stayed and that I didn't. And also, I have to say, I made such an impact that I never saw for myself… winning two challenges in eight episodes. I won 25% of the time I was on Drag Race, which is unheard of. I would be shortsighted and an idiot if I felt anything other than immense gratitude for the time I had on the show. And when it was my time to go, I knew in my soul that it was time for me to go. It's honestly an honor to just share the stage with Mhi'ya, and a lip sync, and to bear witness to her performance. So that's my pageant answer for you.

I do think, when we saw you in the Rusical, you were just shining through. We could see how happy you were and how confident you felt. And then, in the lip sync, I can see what you were just talking about. I could see that you were in your head. And the queen who goes viral for high-energy dances on TikTok is performing a high-energy TikTok remix song for the lip sync…

Oh my god, talk about it!

…so Mhi'ya was in her lane. She did exactly what needed to be done. And that's no shade on you at all.

Well, exactly. That's what she's known for. That's Mhi'ya at her best. And I am someone who resents social media impact, as an old-school diva. So not only was I struggling through a sewing challenge — I was exhausted from sewing all night — but I was totally out of my element, out of my depth, with Mhi'ya next to me [lip syncing that version of the song]. And then she starts taking off her shoes to buck and dance in a gown. And then she took off her wig.

I was like, 'Oh my god, this is getting really serious.' All I thought about was look at the judges, remember the words. Look at the judges, remember the words. There was a moment I remember lip syncing where I was looking up at the judges and I was crawling on the ground, or maybe I was in a backbend that I remember doing… I was making direct eye contact with the judges, and all four of them were just gobsmacked looking at Mhi'ya. All four of them! I went down the line and I was like: Michelle [Visage], Mhi'ya. Ru, Mhi'ya. Carson [Kressley], Mhi'ya. Kaia [Gerber], Mhi'ya. I was like, 'Oh, sh*t. This is the Mhi'ya show. And I am a privileged, wonderful, grateful, first alternate.' And that is fine!

What's next for Plasma? Is there anything you'd like to promote at this time?

Well, coming out with my elimination is another music video to an original remix of 'Bloody Mary' that I worked on with the same team from the 'Don't Rain On My Parade' video. The team is Michael McCrary (directing and choreography), Jake Primmerman (cinematography), and an original remix of 'Bloody Mary' by SOLRWAVE.

I'm not a TikTok girl, so I didn't want to use the TikTok version of the song. And now that this song holds a little bit of trauma for me, I didn't want to use it. But I'm not the kind of girl who's going to stay situated and miserable in a circumstance that put me down, so I'm reclaiming the narrative of 'Bloody Mary,' which is resilience and empowerment. Crawling tooth and nail out of a situation that puts you down.

This video is a lot more cerebral than my Barbra video. That one, of course, was a tribute to an icon that we've all loved and adored for generations. But this one is more of an interpretation of what the song now means to me, which is a song about… when you're gone, I'll still be Bloody Mary. I'm still around. There's no way you can get rid of me. I'm going to keep making art. I'm going to keep my head up, I'm going to keep performing, which is what I went on RuPaul's Drag Race to do. And quite frankly, I didn't leave any crumbs on the table for anyone else when it came to performances. My track record on the show, and my impact on the show, I hope will be remembered for my performing, which is why I do drag in the first place. I'm here to be a performer and to share my love of performing with other people.

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.