Fans of RuPaul's Drag Race rejoiced when contestant Trixie Mattel, who was considered to be eliminated before her time, was brought back onto the show by RuPaul for a second bite at the apple.
But alas, the apple is once again off the table for Trixie, who was eliminated again this week. Some might say the elimination was again unfair, since the judges made a decision to not evaluate contestants individually, but rather by teams.
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And since Trixie's partner Ginger Minj struggled the most in the main challenge, which involved a Dancing With the Stars-esque performance of robot moves meshed with do-si-do in half-woman, half-man drag, Trixie was forced to lip-synch for her life. She lost, and sashayed away, most likely for the last time.
The Advocate spoke again with Trixie to discuss this cruel twist of fate and how different she thought the outcome of the challenge would be. She also talked about her recent tour in Europe, reactions from fans, and marriage plans.
The Advocate: How did it feel when you and Pearl won the conjoined twins competition, which gave you a second chance at Drag Race?
Trixie Mattel: Thank God! Pearl and I created an amazing runway look together and delivered a fleshed-out, magical runway story. I couldn't wait to show more on the race!
Do you think being a previously eliminated queen put you at a disadvantage, or as Violet said, under the magnifying glass?
I don't feel like Drag Race would have actually put a previously eliminated queen in the Top 3. I don't think audiences would have accepted that.
What were the challenges of performing a dance with Ginger?
The only challenge of dancing with Ginger was trying to support someone who had already decided they "were not a dancer." It wasn't shown, but I gave her materials and helped her with her costume, ran the choreography with her a million times, and was happy to be working with her the entire challenge. But sometimes you can't pull someone out of that hole.
Is there another contestant you would have preferred as a dance partner?
No way! It was a performance challenge, ultimately. I totally believed in Ginger, and I think she could have pulled through as an amazing performer if she hadn't cornered herself into thinking she couldn't win a dance/sewing challenge.
If you could go back in time, is there anything else you would have changed about your look or performance to avoid elimination?
Honestly, what else could I have done? In the moment of filming, I really did receive the best critiques for my dancing and my runway. So I was confident the whole time. I actually thought I would win the challenge based on critiques, until suddenly we were conveniently being judged as pairs.
How did it feel to be eliminated a second time?
After having to suddenly lip-synch after delivering a well-constructed runway and shining performance, I was very over it. I just wasn't who they wanted.
Who are you rooting for to win the crown?
Which contestant would slay the competition on the real Dancing With the Stars?
I've actually never seen it. I only watch competition shows with drag queens!
If you could be on another reality show, what would it be, and why?
Right now I'm in the PTSD stage of reality TV, but I want to be Ben De La Creme's partner on All Stars!
What outfit and accessories would a Trixie Mattel Barbie doll come with? It would come with a RuPaul doll, and if you pulled the string on her back, the Ru doll would say "Tracy. Sashay away." Also, it would come with a rhinestoned rubber chicken.
You mentioned that your father used to call you Trixie as an insult, and you turned into an empowering name. What has been the feedback from fans since you opened up about your home life?
People meet me all the time and tell me how they've recovered from a difficult childhood. Trixie Mattel was my way of bouncing back, and it's great to hear how other people bounced back too.
Should the LGBT community use the same approach with slurs?
Absolutely! I mean, I hated being eliminated twice, but now I love making jokes about it. You have to assert yourself with negative situations and laugh, laugh, laugh.
What has been your family's reaction to your television debut on RuPaul's Drag Race?
My older brother -- a married, war-veteran, conservative lawyer -- has made time to [go to] gay bars on Mondays with his wife to attend viewing parties. I can't even tell you how that feels.
What was it like meeting John Waters, and what lessons can we learn from him and his films?
John Waters's work shows the importance of uniqueness and personal style in your art. He and I both have very heavy-handed, bold choices in our work, and that's why even if someone hates what you do, you've at least impacted them.
What lessons have you learned from your time on RPDR?
Keep your enemies close, but keep their reality TV storylines closer. Just kidding. I know more about who Trixie is now than I did before doing Drag Race. I'm grateful for that.
The Supreme Court oral arguments on marriage equality were last week! How do you think the justices will rule?
As we saw with my return to the race this season, justice always prevails.
Is marriage one of your life goals?
I love being in love! And I want all the bells and whistles of marriage -- rights, tax breaks, recognition, etc. -- but the word "marriage" doesn't matter to me.
We heard you were recently in Europe. What was the most memorable moment from your tour there?
They don't tip drag queens there because their smallest paper money is like the equivalent of $7 in America. But I'm like, "Girl, then throw coins at my head, it's still money." They also love weird drag there, so I felt like I had landed on my home planet.
I'm working on my own comedy show where I get to sing, play my guitar, tap dance, do improv ... it's going to be amazing, stupid, and overpriced.
We can't wait! In case you missed Untucked, watch it below to see how different Trixie and the remaining queens thought the outcome of this week's episode would be.