During her run on RuPaul's Drag Race, Pearl was criticized for sleepwalking her way through the competition — who can forget "Wake up Pearl!" — and generally seeming like she didn't want to be there. But according to Pearl, it was an encounter with RuPaul himself that left her feeling disenchanted before filming had even begun.
Speaking with Johnny McGovern and Lady Red Couture on Hey Qween, Pearl opened up about how competing on the reality show was different than she'd expected. “You think it’s gonna be all love and you’re gonna be taken care of. I thought it’d be more like that. It was foolish of me, I guess, to assume we were gonna have a relationship of some kind.”
Pearl recounted a story about filming a promo for the show before filming for season seven had begun where she tried to express her admiration and thanks to her idol and was met with a chilly response.
"We were filming a segment, just kind of chatting, bantering together. Then the camera went down for a moment, and I turned to RuPaul and said, ‘Oh my god, I just wanna say thank you so much, like, it’s such an honor to be here, such a pleasure to meet you,’ just giving her everything I ever wanted to say. She turned to me and said, ‘Nothing you say matters unless that camera is rolling.’ That broke my spirit, and that is the reason why I had one foot in, one foot out the entire time I was on that show. Maybe that was me being petty, maybe that was me thinking it should’ve been something I never should’ve expected it to be, but in that moment, it was so heartbreaking because I idolized her, I worshipped her, and I felt like it was so disrespectful… so Hollywood, rotted and gross. How could you say that to someone who’s just, like, obsessed with you?"
But despite the harsh words, Pearl doesn't hold a grudge against Ru. “She’s got a job to do,” added Pearl, “and that is nothing to take personally.”
Watch Pearl's Hey Qween interview below.