It’s come to the point in the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race that, no matter who goes home, it’s a painful goodbye. We’ve watched the remaining queens compete for weeks and have seen them rise to challenges and overcome struggles along the way.
This week’s episode paired the returning top six with social media influencers for the annual makeover challenge. Perennial lip sync assassin Monét X Change found herself pitted against Kameron Michaels in the bottom two, but Monét was unable to overcome the Drag Race curse of being in the bottom a third time and was told to sashay away.
OUT: You were definitely the queen who had the biggest roller coaster ride of the season with your ups and downs – how would you describe your overall experience on Drag Race?
Monét X Change : Overall it was a good experience. My journey on the show is like many people’s – someone is always riding high and someone is always riding low. I think what’s most important is the way I left: on a very high, very positive note. Even though I went home I feel like I did a great job and the fans think I was robbed, which is honestly a better edit than winning the show.
What was it like walking into the Werk Room that first week, seeing so many New York queens, and having some of them be with you throughout your entire journey on the show?
It was really cool. It’s not a secret that New York has some of the fiercest drag in the world and it’s because the city is comprised of people from all over. Look at the New York queens from this season – Cracker is from Washington, Aquaria is from Pennsylvania, Yuhua is from China, Dusty is from Kentucky. Even though we’re all NYC queens, we’re all represent very different styles of drag.
Are you close with any of the New York City queens from past seasons of the show? Did they give you any advice before you went to tape your season?
I know Bob [the Drag Queen] very well and he’s my best friend in the whole world. He said, Monét, go up there and be yourself. The reason RuPaul got you on the show is because everybody else was busy, but she liked Monét X Change. Go up there and be you – that is going to serve you well in this competition.
What was it like working with Tyler Oakley for the makeover challenge?
I loved working with Tyler, he was so open and so receptive and just honestly wanted to have a good time and I feel like he really enjoyed becoming Short Change. People are often scared to do drag and they think, ‘Oh, it’s weird. I don’t want people to think I’m weird with a wig and nails on.’ But I think that everyone should get into drag at least one time. The straight men, the pansexual men, the bi men – whoever you are, whatever your sexuality identity is, just try drag. Try it. It really helps you unlock this secret creature inside you. Look at Chester See, look at Tyler. They became these different people because they let themselves experience that side of life.
What part of the show challenged you most?
This isn’t going to sound good, and I know I went home, but I can’t think of anything I felt super challenged by. At first it was allowing myself to just let go and be unhinged. Being on TV you want to guard yourself a little bit and guard your heart, so you aren’t letting it all hang out. But being on Drag Race and being unapologetically you is the best thing you can do. I was a little nervous to do that in “Bossy Rossy,” then I realized you need to be full out. I think from that point on that’s what allowed me to do well in the challenges, because I wasn’t afraid to go balls to the wall and have fun.
What’s next for Monét X Change?
My Sibling Rivalry podcast with Bob the Drag Queen is getting a lot of attention – people really like it and we’re working on expanding our audience. Monique Heart and I are starting a WOW Presents show and we’re fleshing it out to get a really good product for people to watch. I also have this new YouTube series called “I Feel Skinny” where I do group workout classes like Bikram Yoga and Crossfit in full drag.
And obviously more music. “Soak It Up” has only been out for like 15 hours and is already at 35,000 views (much more now) and people are really liking the song and really liking the video so I definitely want to keep on that train. I have an EP coming out later in the year and what people don’t often do ON EPs is explore different genres. I’m doing five different genres, and not like pop and disco, but classical and more. There will be something on this album for everybody who listens to music.
RuPaul’s Drag Race returns with a new episode on Thursday, June 7 at 8pm ET/7c on VH1. There will be no new episode May 31.
This interview has been edited and condensed.