Season 10’s Miss Congeniality is now officially an All Star Hall of Fame-r. So it was written and so it was done on Friday night’s finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars season four, when both Monét X Change and Trinity the Tuck were crowned winners in a first-ever title split.
It’s a true redemptive moment for X Change, who many felt was eliminated prematurely on season 10. Monét also makes history as the the first black All Stars winner in addition to being the youngest All Stars winner. “I’ve been wrong, I’ve been right, but always 100% unapologetically me,” she wrote on Instagram with her crown on her lap, her scepter in her hands.
Monet won the season by elevating her runways and slaying competitions like the “Roast of Lady Bunny” in addition to lip syncs including Aretha Franklin’s “Jump To It.” But she also won viewer’s hearts with her overwhelming likeability. When she was on screen, whether competing or in her confessionals, you just wanted more.
Here, we talk to her about the elimination, rampant racism within the fandom and advice for her new season 11 sisters.
Hoo-girl. What’s this last twenty-four hours been like for you?
Oh girl it has been crazy. All the love and support and everything online. It’s very beautiful to see this outpouring from people who have really loved me and supported me all season has been so great. Still gagged. Still shocked. As Monique would say, still gooped.
Let’s talk about your Instagram caption that read: “Beyond honored to be representing RuPaul’s Drag Race as a reigning queen, but more so honored to be doing it as a QUEEN OF COLOR, and being your first Chocolate All Star.” What does that distinction in title mean to you?
Yes, in the regular season there have been quite a few queens of color to win but we all know that All Stars was lacking a little representation in that area. So I’m excited to walk into the Drag Race Hall of Fame and decorate it with a few kente cloths around the frame. I think that as it pertains to All Stars, a lot of the fans have been very, very thirsty for more representation and having this platform as a queen of color I took this last episode to really express the beauty of being a black queen. And that’s why my super queen was heavily inspired by Black Panther and the Dora Milaje Okoye and the look was me wearing a beautiful African gown with the beading and the stoning and the natural hair. Being a young kid, it took me a long time to fall in love with my skin color and what I saw in the mirror. And I know, I know, I know, I know that there are young kids at home watching the show and seeing themselves in myself. I wanted to show that a black queen could win All Stars and do it being unapologetically black themselves and not feel like you need to conform to a certain thing to win the show.
I want to ask you about an op-ed that appeared on our site on Saturday morning.
Yes, I hate Trinity!
[Laughs] The headline reads “Monet X Change Was Robbed of a Solo Win.” Is there any part of you that feels, in having this asterisk next to your title, that you have been short changed?
[Laughs] No pun intended. Looking at the win, it’s easy to look at your ego and think “I want to be the only one.” But the truth of the matter is that now that we’ve both won, we can both use the platform in whatever way we want to. I’m choosing not to look at it with my ego and look at it as a great opportunity and a great time for me, regardless of what my ego wants me to think.
What do you want to do with this title?
Drag queens and drag artists, yes we’ve been the gatekeepers of the queer community for a while, but I honestly think that we can be the gatekeepers of a generation. Because drag really has the power to affect change. I think a lot of us are afraid of the mainstreaming of drag because we don’t want drag to become less special, and I think the opposite; I’m all for using the power and magic that drag is to affect change.
Eight queens of color this season. Three queens of color in the top season. What did it mean to you to have such a melanin-infused line-up, both from the get-go and into the finale?
The truth of the matter is RuPaul’s Drag Race is the most culturally diverse competition reality show that has ever existed. Drag Race gives a voice to many queer people of color’s stories. And it’s nice to see the All Stars franchise reflecting the diversity that RuPaul’s Drag Race proper has.
Of all of your runway looks this season, which are you most proud of?
I’m the most proud of my angelic white look. I didn’t know it would be a runway, but from the description we all guessed. Actually a lot of people thought that funeral one would be a runway. But in my mind I was like “no, they’re not going to have a fuckin’ all black runway because black is so muted on TV, that would be so boring.” So I had a feeling angelic white would be a runway and I was obsessed with the idea of having a train the length of the runway and gagging the judges that way.
I loved watching you walk over your own train.
Listen girl, if World of Wonder ain’t going to give you a red carpet you make your own.
Favorite lip sync of the season?
My favorite was probably the Judy Garland. I got a lot of flack online with people saying “Oh Monet just handed that to Naomi; Monet threw that lip sync,” and I want to be very clear that I did not throw that lip sync and actually did try. In the past I’ve had the lip syncs were I’ve done the crazy stunts and the gags and the cartwheels and the splits, but Judy Garland is someone who is a personal icon of mine and I’ve seen many a Judy video of her in early years and later years. Judy was the queen of being understatedly bold and big. Yes she had big moments but when she would stand up and sing at Carnegie Hall, it was so amazing how she was able to capture the entire room by just standing there and not having to do a gimmick and a run and a flip and a dip. She just sang the song. And I think a lot of the younger fans miss that. They think the lip sync has to be this thing with stunts and roses and flowers and reveals. But a bitch that can just stand up there and give you a lip sync, just on her two feet without the stunts, is probably the best in the room and that’s just my opinion.
You have $100,000 that’s just been added to your bank account. Inquiring queers want to know, what are you going to be spending that on first?
Girl, I don’t know what I’m going to buy but I’ll tell you that i’m going to pay off my student loans. They have been the bane of my existence for a long time; $100,000 is not going to take care of all of it but it’s going to take care of a lot of it.
Advice for season your new season 11 sisters?
Listen, do not start your booking fee at a million fucking dollars cause you’ll never work in that city or that bar ever again. When you are taking tips from audience members, a dollar you don’t look. A five or a ten, you give them a little wink. A twenty, you look them right in the eyes. And don’t read the comments, except for when you’re really bored on a flight. And clap back. Let these bitches know what’s up.