By Tanner Stransky
Updated April 09, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT

In last night’s shocking episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, one of the season’s most beloved queens went home, in a sad — and truly unexpected — elimination. (It goes without saying that it was not Phi Phi O’Hara.) The queen that RuPaul told to “sashay away” was…

Mathu Andersen

…Latrice Royale. The correct sentiment to feel at this point is: It should have been Phi Phi O’Hara.

Yes, Phi Phi has been a fierce competitor throughout the season, but as Sharon Needles (who won the challenge again) pointed out on the runway, she’s sort of a pill to handle. It’s my opinion that America’s Next Drag Superstar should have both looks that kill and a personality that kills, too. Phi Phi is just hard to swallow on the personality front.

But anyway, back to Latrice. RuPaul’s goodbye to her was one of the most heartfelt the show has ever seen. “Latrice Royale, my queen,” RuPaul said with the appropriate level of drama in her voice, with news that seemed painful for her to deliver. “I bow to you. And I have one thing to say: Bitches better beware.” That whole thing is so genius. Can “bitches better beware” please be written on my tombstone? Or my business card? Tattooed to my butt?

However, it was what Latrice did next — give a teary little speech on the runway — that really got my waterworks going. “You have changed my life forever,” Latrice announced to RuPaul, in front of judges Santino Rice, Michelle Visage, Wynonna Judd, and Rose McGowan and surviving queens Phi Phi, Sharon Needles, and Chad Michaels. “You have changed the world of drag forever. I love you and respect you so much, and thank you for seeing something special in me. Thank you.”

And then, just before sashaying off the stage for the final time, she announced: “She is large, in charge, chunky, yet funky. The bold and beautiful, I am Latrice Royale!” You can scrape me up off the floor right over there.

Lastly, in her final interview commentary, about the time the camera showed her signing off with lipstick on the workroom mirror, Latrice kept serving her realness — all of which made me love the big gal that much more. “Dream and dream big,” she said straight into the camera, “It doesn’t matter where you come from, what color you are, what shape you are, be the best that you can be.”

Could you love Latrice anymore at this point?

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

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