Naomi Smalls and Monique Heart dish on THAT shocking RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 4 thrilla for Manila
Monique Heart, Naomi Smalls, and Manila Luzon were so excellent and deliciously chaotic on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 4 that they burned the house down — almost literally, as the queens reveal in an exclusive interview on EW's BINGE podcast.
Fans will recall the season opening with an epic lip-sync between challenge winners Heart and Trinity The Tuck, which ended as the former threw her wig into the air — though it never returned to earth, as it got stuck in the rafters of the studio. It's a move "which almost set the building on fire, ya'll forget that fact!" Heart recalls with a laugh, adding that she decided to pull the accidental stunt when she felt her "lace slipping" during the high-energy performance. "They said, 'Get it! It's synthetic!'"
The show then briefly cut to a stage hand reaching a giant stick toward the ceiling to get the hairpiece down: "Baby, it was like a giant rod that they unscrewed and got up on a ladder," Heart remembers. "He [tried] two or three times and couldn't get it. He got it and everybody cheered!"
Another moment that had a less joyous impact on the fandom, however, was the moment Smalls — after her first challenge win — decided to eliminate Luzon, a front-running contender, from the competition. Smalls still receives vicious comments from the fans to this day, but, like the icon she is, she stands by her decision.
"We worked together on Jersey Justice, Manila and I, and we had a really good time doing it.... I thought we both kind of killed it. We talked about it off-camera, all that jazz, and she was like, 'I think you're going to win,' [but] when we went to the judges [they said], 'Manila ate you,' and she was like, 'Yeah, I did kind of eat you.' If we're not going to have a trustworthy back-and-forth, we're clearly not friends," Smalls says. "Maybe that was also a factor of going into making the decision for myself and not really looking at track record."
Later, Luzon joins the podcast for a solo interview to discuss the big moment.
"Miss Naomi Smalls, I knew she would send me home. I knew if I was ever in the bottom, they'd send me home. I'm not stupid!" Luzon says, stressing that she felt a "huge target" on her back after she slayed both the Snatch Game of Love challenge and the Lady Bunny roast — a move that put her on "a different level" than the other queens. "I kind of threw away the singing challenge even though everyone knows I have 10 years' worth of music. I kind of kept it simple, tried to play it a little bit cool, and when it was time for me to go, I went."
She goes on to say that there are no hard feelings against Smalls, whom has since starred in Luzon's "Go Fish" music video that was released on the day of the shocking elimination back in 2019.
"I thought that people had figured out that this was just a game, but people did take it seriously and they sent her a lot of hate, and I felt really bad. I felt a little grossed out. This is not what the show is about," she says, adding that she'd happily perform with Smalls on tour if given the opportunity. "Ultimately, we all put ourselves out there when we go on the show, and we all know what can happen if you do something crazy on the show. It will stick with you forever! That's probably one of the reasons why I didn't send home Valentina, because I don't need to get hate from Valentina fans!"
Other highlights from our AS4 recap episode include:
- The chaos of Jasmine Masters preparing for her stand-up comedy routine
- A hilarious moment where Valentina was late to the set and milked it for all it was worth
- Heart stepping in to break up that iconic fight between Gia Gunn and Farrah Moan on episode 2
- Smalls and Heart watching the other teams do the Snatch Game of Love — and Smalls' preparation work with Bob the Drag Queen (including a reveal of the props she would've used if the challenge had been conducted in its traditional format)
- Smalls' thoughts on how her shocking vote to eliminate Luzon changed the All Stars game forever
- Heart and Smalls painfully watching the final lip-sync between Monét X Change and Trinity The Tuck after they'd been eliminated
- How the pair feels about AS4 ending in a tie
- Luzon recalling the time the show reunited her with Latrice Royale backstage before they made their joint re-entry into the competition
- Luzon's real thoughts on Monét's lip-sync skills (spoiler: It gets shady)
- Luzon gives an exclusive preview of her new Filipino drag competition series Drag Den
Listen to the full AS4 recap episode with Naomi Smalls, Monique Heart, and Manila Luzon above, and tune in next week for a special recap of All Stars 5 featuring Jujubee, Blair St. Clair, and Shea Couleé!
Subscribe to EW's BINGE podcast for full recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race, including our new season diving into all five All Stars seasons, featuring exclusive interviews with Jujubee, Alexis Mateo, Shea Couleé, Alaska, Detox, BenDeLaCreme, Kennedy Davenport, and more. And be sure to catch up on our BINGE recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race seasons 1-13 with Symone, Jaida Essence Hall, Trixie Mattel, Katya, Peppermint, Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen, Sasha Velour, and more!
RuPaul — as host, mentor, and creative inspiration — decides who's in and who's out.
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