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It was not the prettiest episode of RuPaul's Drag Race. This week, contestants divided into three teams, in order to create skits that spoof dating apps: Madam Buttrface, for those with more beautiful bodies than faces; EndOfDays, for doomsday believers; and Fibstr, for liars.
While EndOf Days killed it, the other skits did not connect with the judges. As a result, Mayhem Miller -- who did not make much of a blip in her Fibstr skit -- lipsynched against Yuhua Hamasaki -- whose face was still too pretty for Madam Buttrface. Mayhem delivered a powerhouse performance to Hole's "Celebrity Skin," which sent Yuhua packing.
The Advocate spoke with Yuhua about her elimination, dating apps, and the power of drag to make a political difference.
The Advocate: How did it feel to walk into that workroom for the first time -- and into the Drag Race family?
Yuhua Hamasaki: It feels fantastic! I've wanted it for so long, and to be one of the 14 girls of the thousands and thousands to audition it feels amazing.
What surprised you about the experience of filming the show, that you hadn't expected from watching it?
How intense it is.
In the dating app, Madam Buttrface challenge, your face was critiqued for not being ugly enough. How would you have made it uglier, if you could go back in time?
I could have made it uglier if I used the prosthetics, but I wanted to be a good team player and listen to my teammates.
What was the hardest part of doing this group challenge?
The hardest part of doing the group challenge was everyone has strong personalities, and I think that's what was trouble for our team.
Have you used dating apps? If so, which is your favorite?
I'm simple and only use Grindr!
What advice would you give a "Buttrface" looking for love?
Plastic surgery, haha!
Can you talk more about your feathered runway outfit, and why you chose the colors you did?
I wanted to be symbolic of crows and death found in traditional Asian culture.
What is the drag scene like in China, compared to the United States?
United States is more out there, and in China it's a little more subtle. It's a little more secretive and underground. That's the major difference.
Do you see your role as a drag performer differently, in a political climate that is anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant?
Yes, I would say so. Because drag has always been a political statement, and with the different people in office that are less in favor of LGBT or immigration issues. We have to be more vocal about it, and use it as a platform to voice out those issues, or poke fun of it, or make a statement out of it.
Why are drag queens afraid of spiders?
We're girls on the inside! I think everyone is afraid of spiders.
Thanks, Yuhua! RuPaul's Drag Race airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on VH1.