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‘Drag Race’ Star Q Has Somber Message for Fans: ‘Try To Be More Kind’

By Emma Chance | TV | April 8, 2024 |

By Emma Chance | TV | April 8, 2024 |


Warning: Spoilers ahead for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 16.

This season of Drag Race had clear frontrunners from the beginning: Sapphira Cristál, Plane Jane, Nymphia Wind, and Q. The first three of those queens are in the finale, but Q was eliminated last week, a break from convention; recent seasons of the show had a final four.

I struggled with Q. She was undoubtedly the fashion queen of the season—honestly, she probably should have been on Project Runway rather than Drag Race—but her performing and comedy chops were not always up to par, and her sore loser attitude rubbed me the wrong way. That said, I was shocked that she was eliminated before the finale instead of Plane Jane. Both queens struggled in the final memoir challenge, in which, inspired by RuPaul’s recent memoir The House of Hidden Meanings, they were tasked with “writing” their story, designing and posing for a cover with a clever title, and promoting it on a “podcast” with Matt Rogers. The judges didn’t love either Plane or Q’s covers, but they vastly preferred Q’s podcast interview to Plane’s. Plane may have had a better report card for the season, as far as wins go, but Q pulled it out and showed her vulnerability—RuPaul’s favorite thing—when it mattered most. I thought that was going to be enough.

Q was just as shocked by her elimination as I was, and her response since has been somber.

“I hold myself to a high standard, and if I’m not meeting that standard, I feel disappointed in myself,” Q told Entertainment Weekly. “Most of the time, that’s a reflection of how I was feeling instead of being upset with anybody other than myself. When you think about how much money and time we put into all of this, for a lot of people this is just 90 minutes of entertainment on a Friday night, but for us this is our career and our future. It’s higher stakes than it is for people watching.”

She said finding out the hard way that this season there would be a top three instead of a top four was “definitely a bummer.” But did she feel robbed?

“Honestly, I don’t know if staying longer in the competition has benefitted me more [as it might’ve if I left] earlier. It’s always that kind of toss-up with how you’re perceived by the audience. Who knows if me even staying this long was good. I’m at peace with it,” she said.

“I underestimated how much being in the public eye would take an effect on myself in general. I think being out of that space for a longer period, I might’ve been happier how things turned out.”

As for her losing memoir cover look, which the judges criticized, she said “At that point, I was running out of outfits. That outfit, I made the night before in my hotel room. It’s not something that we prepared for; you just have to pull from what you have left.”

She talked about the response she’s been getting online, which led her to delete her X account.

“I’d see comments about me all day, and finally I was like, I’m going to set a personal boundary. I got off of it. It helped a lot. I still have moments where it’s been harder, and toward the end, as there are less people, I’ve become a conduit for a lot of negative energy, but it happens that way and you have to deal with it.”

She had this message for the fans:

“Try to be more kind. We’re all out here trying to make a living and make our dreams happen. We finally achieved this huge thing, and we invest thousands of dollars and hours just for it to be scrutinized. Just try to be kinder to people on the show.”