Latrice Royale was shockingly eliminated from RuPaul’s Drag Race in last week’s new episode, which whittled the field down from four to three. (Sharon Needles, Phi Phi O’Hara, and Chad Michaels are still standing.) At the time of her departure, Ms. Royale was nowhere to be found for a patented EW exit interview, but we caught up with the beloved big queen for a few minutes today. Latrice is a pleasure: She gamely talked to EW about her elimination, that touching speech she made to RuPaul, the contestant she’s rooting for now (thankfully, it’s not Phi Phi!), whether a big girl will ever win the Race, and what her next move is. Read on for all the dish from Latrice Royale.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did it feel when you were eliminated? Sad?
LATRICE ROYALE: I had such an amazing experience, and I had grown and gotten so much more out of the competition than I expected, so it was really a rush of emotions overtaking me. I had come to the realization that I had really, really made a mark and a difference on the show. It was so emotional for me. I didn’t want to leave the girls. RuPaul has really changed my life. I really feel that. I’ll never be the same.
How have you changed?
For me, personally, I had a lot of healing to do and I didn’t realize that coming on the show was going to give me the opportunity to do that, to close some chapters and open up some new ones, you know? It was just amazing. Of course I was with other contestants, but I was there by myself — no distractions — so you kind of have to face your dark days, you know?
With the challenge that eliminated you, did you think the judging was fair? Should someone else have gone home?
I mean, it coulda went either way. For me, we were all trying to create and make things fresh and new. And then some people just grabbed their dirty laundry out of their suitcase and walk it down the runway and win? I’m bitter! I still can’t swallow that pill.
On the runway, they made you pick who you thought was the weakest in the group, and you picked Sharon, who you just discussed. Any fallout from that?
Not at all! I love Sharon. I’m actually Team Needles right now. It’s just the fact that she knew she was wrong. She knew she was wrong! I didn’t say anything that I wouldn’t say to her face. I am who I am. [Laughs with crazy abandon]
So you’re rooting for Sharon to take home the crown?
I actually am, because Sharon does bring something way outside the box, something that has not been seen. I learned a lot from Sharon Needles. Her soul is so pure and there are so many layers to her. She really deserves it. She’s had some hard knocks. I can get behind that.
You seem to be friendly with Phi Phi O’Hara. The show makes her look not very pleasant to be around. What are her redeeming qualities?
Phi Phi is really, really a loving, caring person. The thing of it is that Phi Phi is very passionate, and people confuse passion with being a b—-. You know what I’m saying? The thing of it is that she’s only doing what she’s supposed to do. We’re put in a situation where you’re supposed to say what’s on your mind. She has no problem doing that. I love her. I love her for it. Sometimes — and I told her this at the end — but you have to pick your battles and decide what’s worth fighting and what’s not worth fighting for. So she’s young, and she’s learning that.
That speech you made on the runway was so touching. Did you have it in your head that you were going to deliver that when you got eliminated?
Everything was in the moment. I felt like it was my last opportunity to let RuPaul and the world know how I felt about the situation, and so I said, “Can I say a few words?” And she granted me permission, so I had to pour my heart out to her and let her now how appreciative I was of what she’s done for the world of drag. That was all in the moment. I had to go out with a bang!
You made it pretty far, coming in fourth. Do you think a big queen will eventually win RuPaul’s Drag Race?
I’m telling you, I really hope that a big girl does win eventually. I don’t know if it will happen next season. There are some big shoes to fill — that’s all I can say! There’s not many Latrice Royales in the world, so I don’t know.
Do you feel like the judging is fair to big queens?
To an extent, I feel like they’re kind of fair. But also, look at the fact that in certain situations, they’re not big-girl-equipped for the show, especially when we got to the top 4. It got a little bit more difficult to get supplies and things like that. I understand, they haven’t had a big girl go that far, but if we’re gonna play this game, we all have to have the same things. That was my only bitch toward the end.
Do you have a favorite moment on the show?
I loved the boat challenge. The wrestling challenge was my absolute favorite challenge, and I felt that we should have won that challenge, but you know.
Of course, they’re keeping the Willam secret under wraps until the reunion. Is the payoff going to be worth it when it all finally comes out?
I think people are going to go, “Really? That’s all?” That’s what I really think is going to happen. It is so many factors that are in it, so what finally happened was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was building up.
Do you think there is hope of you being on All Stars: RuPaul’s Drag Race this fall? How are you feeling about your chances?
I hope so! I’m not opposed to being a part of it, you know. They did the voting, and I was really surprised to see that Sharon and I were the only girls in the top 10 or 15 from my season. It was good to make it that high up. The fans are making a statement and saying they want to see me there, so I’m sure that it might pay off. I hope it does. I’d absolutely go back! I’d have a lot of work to do and get a whole new wardrobe, but anything is possible!
What is next for you?
Now I’m just touring and going city to city to city, and I’m so busy trying to fit in other little projects. I’m trying to release a new track for the clubs for the kids, and then I have some other projects that I’m working on that are TV oriented, and I’m just hoping that it all pans out. Nothing is set for sure, but I’m definitely working on some other things. I want to stay working and I want to stay relevant, and I want to continue to help people and inspire people and do what I do, you know? I’m gonna do what I do.
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky