Despite earning her way back into the competition for RuVenge, Alyssa Edwards was forced to sashay away once again on Thursday’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. After her first elimination, Edwards and fellow cut contestant Tatianna lip-synced for their legacy, prompting Mama Ru to give both queens their RuDemption. However, the final five proved to be fierce competition, especially with Detox as this week’s winner, forced to choose who to cut between four-time challenge winner Alaska, her BFF Roxxxy Andrews, or returning fighter Edwards.
Her final goodbye came off a challenge which brought the contestants’ family members in for a drag makeover. EW caught up with the dancing queen to talk about her departure from the reality competition series, what it was like having her family with her on the final shoot, and her thoughts on Phi Phi O’Hara’s recent interview accusing the show of being rigged.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you know going into elimination that you were more of a fan favorite than Roxxxy? Did that help you feel safer?
ALYSSA EDWARDS: I think I was very realistic going into it. I was fearful because I knew that they were friends and that that would probably eventually play a role in this elimination process. I think Ru was really clever with giving us an opportunity to kind of do Survivor meets Big Brother. [Laughs.] It kind of rejuvenated the show and the series and got people more involved and invested in it.
If you were in Detox’s heels, who would you have sent home?
I 100% would have played the game like I’ve always said, and that was based off consistency. That would have been Roxxxy going home. And if it was Laganja I would have said, “Girl, I’m gonna help you pack. If I win I’ll meet you at the Mexican buffet when I see you at home.” We would have high-fived, hugged it out, and had a good time.
What was it like making your sister part of the Edwards drag family?
That was the highlight of the episode for me. When she walked through I was like, “Oh my gosh.” I was a ball of emotion, as you can see. Sometimes you don’t get to show that vulnerable side of us, but that’s the raw and the real human in us. Underneath all the wigs and the makeup and all that, there is the real us. This show is so much more than just what you all see on TV; it’s a movement. Then, me being a part of that and getting to share that with my sister, it was just magical.
How do you feel about Phi Phi’s exit interview with Vulture where she blamed the “editing” for her portrayal on the show?
I didn’t read that interview, but I try to stay away from negativity. This show has changed my life and so many others’ in such a positive way. I have such respect for RuPaul. He’s a pioneer and he paved this way for us, so there’s nothing I can take away from this than a huge Texas-sized thank you. This is a produced reality series and we all know that going into it. These are actual events. Now, sometimes some things are said in the heat of the moment and we think that’s not totally us looking back. It is the Hunger Games of drag, but in a fun way. You have to make it fun.
Were there any queens who you got closer to, or gained more respect for, through doing All Stars?
Working with Alaska was truly rewarding. Getting to recognize his focus one-on-one showed that he’s determined, and I enjoy that as a coach. Every day I work with children and I think that’s a huge part of one being successful — how focused, determined, driven — and he’s all of those things. I think if Ru crowned him then he would reign supreme.
What’s next for Alyssa Edwards?
I say this in every interview, and I really believe it: I believe that my book of life has already been written and it’s now being read out loud. I’m enjoying this chapter that I’m in, I’m thankful for the one’s that have come before, and I’m looking forward for the one’s after. I’m very excited — you all should stay tuned for some exciting news. Hopefully Beyond Belief Dance Company will be on your television. Like I said, this definitely isn’t the last of me. I think this is really just the beginning.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 2 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Logo.