Last week, RuPaul's Drag Race featured the Snatch Game, in which contestants impersonated celebrities and vied to solicit laughs from the judges.
There were several strong contenders in the panel, but Gottmik won the day with a pitch-perfect Paris Hilton. Unfortunately, Elliott with 2 Ts sashayed away after her Rue McClanahan failed to impress Golden Girls superfan RuPaul.
Of course, Elliott has risen from the ashes before. She was technically eliminated twice at the beginning of the season after the surprise lighting round of lipsynchs, but her resilience kept her a strong contender in the VH1 drag competition.
Below, the Las Vegas-based performer discusses the hill she had to climb, her message to Golden Girls fans, and the importance of broadcasting drag as a trans-inclusive world.
Hi, Elliott! Where are you right now?
I'm in Vegas. It's not super exciting because we're still kind of slow. But things are opening up. ... I'm lucky to have my own huge viewing party every Friday. I have this massive venue called Area15. It's like 300,000 square feet, and I get to put on a halftime show every Friday for my viewing party, so it's pretty magical.
How are you feeling after the elimination?
I'm good. I feel more accomplished than anything and because so many people told me, 'You have to have a big following to get on Drag Race. You have to have half a million followers to get our Drag Race.' And I really was the least-known person on this season. And so [when] I came into the season, no one knew who I was. I feel so accomplished because I did the impossible in so many people's eyes. Everybody thought I was going to go home so early and I stuck around for a very long time. I feel accomplished more than anything.
Technically, you were eliminated at twice the beginning of the season.
They've tried to eliminate me I think five times! I think the fifth was the kicker.
You stuck in there! I'm curious how you felt about the format of the season where it began with the lipsynch winners and losers and whether you think that created an uneven playing field for you.
For me, personally, because I was deemed the "Porkchop queen,"... I don't want to say [that] put me at a disadvantage, but I think that it kind of made me the redheaded stepchild of the season. Because I was in one group, and they voted me out. And then the other group was like, "No, we're the winners, you didn't win." And so it kind of made me feel very isolated. But that just helped me I think through the competition because I was able to just focus on competing instead of trying to be a part of a clique.
This episode was the Snatch Game. How do you feel about your Rue McClanahan impersonation now that the episode was filmed?
I thought I was fabulous. I don't know on what planet people didn't hear a Southern accent because I have a natural Southern accent that I suppress. So, I don't know on what planet I wasn't Southern. I really had control of the room. ... I thought I did an incredible job, not being delusional. I truly feel as though I did a good job. But you know, at this point in the competition, everybody does a good job, so I can understand. It's just the way that the cookie crumbles.
You're brave to take on such a beloved figure in the queer community. Do you have a message for Golden Girls fans who are watching your performance?
Oh my gosh, Golden Girls fans, do not forget to be a friend, do not forget to eat so much cheesecake. Do not forget to picture it, Drag Race 2021. Like, I am obsessed with The Golden Girls. It's something that me and my fiance when we first met, we would watch every night before bed. And to this day I can't go to sleep without watching The Golden Girls. Even whenever I travel I play it on my phone on the nightstand of the hotel room. So it's something that's so important and special to me. And so I really wanted to play a character that I was very familiar with, and really had a close connection to and so I don't regret it at all because no one else had the balls to do such an iconic character. I'm glad I did it and failed instead of never doing it at all.
Why do you love The Golden Girls?
In a time period that everybody was very politically correct, they talked about things like HIV. They talked about gays, they talked about multiracial couples, they talked about artificial insemination. They talked about things that were so taboo in the time period. But then you look and see who's talking about these out-of-the-box topics and it's a bunch of older women. It's so hard to wrap your head around these cute old ladies talking about the craziest things, and I think it's just so relevant even now, to go back and watch the show.... I think it has such a special message.
Speaking of blazing trails, you're in a historic season of Drag Race yourself. Your fellow contestant Gottmik, who did so well as Paris Hilton this episode, is transgender and blazing a trail in that regard. What was it like for you to be part of a season that is showcasing a more trans-inclusive vision of drag?
I think it's about time. I grew up in the drag community in Dallas, Texas, where you have legends like Krystal Summers, Erica Andrews. ... Every show I was a part of always had a trans performer, and I just think that it's something that was always so normal and always so included with everyone in drag, because in my head, that was drag. You had a variety of different girls, you had the campy girl, you had the dancy girl, and then you had the gorgeous goddess. That was the way the casts are made up in the South. And so I think that it's about time that we start bringing more trans queens into Drag Race because the world, when they go to a drag show, they see these trans girls. And so I think it's about time that we're now putting that on television, because they're there and they're incredible and they're talented and they're beautiful.
Amen. And what's next for you?
I am hoping that the world opens back up, so I can travel more. I want to work. ... My dream is to work with fashion designers. I've always wanted to do high-end fashion stuff. So tell Jeremy Scott I've lost weight in quarantine. I'm ready whenever he is!
RuPaul's Drag Race airs Fridays on VH1. Revisit the Snatch Game below.