Warning! The following article contains major spoilers regarding the most recent episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Read ahead at your own risk!
Dusty Ray Bottoms had the performative skills, Broadway sensibility, and avant-garde intuition to rise to the top of the season 10 pack, but the latest Drag Race eliminee might be the first contestant in her-story whose untimely demise resulted from the nefarious plot of a demonic glue gun from hell.
That’s right, Drag Race fans: Miss Bottoms met her match during the perennial ball challenge, which saw the queens crafting three distinct lewks — inspired by the RuPocalypse, of course — from scratch. And Bottoms’ skills as a seamstress weren’t exactly up to par with those of her season 10 sisters: In pursuit of her end-of-days eleganza, she bled, she recoiled, and ultimately, she got burned — in more ways than one — as the devilish crafting device turned up the heat on her unsuspecting fingers. The New York City-based queen mostly held it together on the runway, however, but and it was her failure to create a cohesive narrative (and overtake Monét X Change during an epic lip sync to Nicki Minaj’s “Pound the Alarm”) that ultimately sent her packing.
EW caught up with the ousted lady shortly after her Drag Race swan song, during which she discussed who she would have played during Snatch Game, offers an update on her family life (her parents sent her to a gay conversion session), and reveals why she didn’t go through with shaving her head during the lip sync — even though she really wanted to. Read on for the full interview.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Hey Dusty! How are you? You holding up ok?
DUSTY RAY BOTTOMS: We’re holding up just fine! I haven’t been able to stop watching my music video and my single has been on repeat. I’ve just been jumping around the house and waving my fingers.
I checked that out last night. Your lipstick message on the mirror that was nice promo for the song. I see what you did, there.
Doing it the smart way! But, on the other hand, the theme of this episode for you was really, like, girl, you got burned. The glue gun had it out for you. The judges had it out for you. What the hell is up with that?
Going through it, I felt very confused. Going through it I was like, I don’t think I should be in the bottom right now. Watching it again, I was like, yeah, why am I in the bottom? I don’t think my looks were the worst.
I agree, but I think the glue gun was trying to tell you something, girl! It was trying to warn you! You should have listened.
It was! It was foreshadowing.
I have to ask: Do you know how to use a glue gun yet? Have you taken lessons since the show?
Absolutely not. I was very busy that day!
Owning up to your mistakes! I love it.
That was probably the problem. I should have sewn things on instead of gluing them!
In all seriousness though, you stood out for so many good reasons on the show. I absolutely didn’t think you were the worst this week, and it looks to me like the judges read you for things that the other safe queens — specifically Monique — did as well.
I don’t want to throw my sisters under the bus or anything, but Monique’s look didn’t look like a Martian. And maybe Blair St. Clair’s was very well put together, but I wouldn’t say it was something to write home to mom about. And her bikini look was less than mine. And then she came out in a fur coat. Are you kidding me? I was a f—g ice goddess! I don’t know what more I could have done.
That frozen heart was such a wonderful touch.
Come on, frozen heart! It is what it is. I was lucky I was able to shine and I’m glad I was able to go out with people scratching their heads as to why I left.
You also have that amazing picture of you with Oprah from the mini challenge as an amazing parting gift.
I need to get a copy of that. I need to blow it up and put it on my walls. That gagged me!
It belongs in the Louvre. I’m going on the record to advocate for that.
[Laughs] Work! Please do.
Speaking of the Louvre, you really suffered for your art this episode. You were bleeding from those metal grates in your gown!
I didn’t need stitches or anything, but those grates were super sharp. My armpits, underarms, and neck were all cut up. My fingers were burnt and purple from poking myself so much while trying to sew the grates to the corset. I was just abusing myself. I picked all the worst materials to try to move and dance in. That’s why I had to take it off before the lip sync, because I literally would have hurt myself.
Maybe that would have kept you in the game, if you gave them a nice little bloodbath.
Right, that’s what I should have done! I planned on shaving my head for the lip sync, but I didn’t get there.
I was just so shook and trying to get it together that I forgot to grab the razor and stick it in my dress. And the song was over and I was like, ugh…. I had to change my outfit so I was worried about getting changed in time while listening to the lyrics, and I forgot the razor in my bag!
Maybe you can do it in a live show or something.
I will do it for sure. Maybe on All-Stars 4!
Yes, save it! Looking back, now that you’ve had time to reflect on it, do you think Drag Race was the best arena for you to display your talents?
Drag Race pushed me to expand my boundaries and in doing that it has strengthened what I do that is so unique from the other girls, if that makes sense. I was shook because I sat in the Werk Room looking around at the other girls, and they were all painting the same, but I didn’t paint that way. After getting critiques, I did feel a certain pressure to try to be like them because they were getting the great critiques and I was being myself and getting harsh critiques…. I did feel like the oddball out.
I know it might be a sensitive topic, but I thought it was beautiful when you opened up about your struggles with your family not accepting you for being gay and sending you to conversion therapy. Since the show, have you mended things with them at all?
I don’t know if my family has seen the episode or not. I do talk to my mom. My mom and I have been talking once a week. We’re working on things and we’re sorting them out and I think things will be on the up and up!
I’m glad things are a bit better on that front.
You can’t tell my whole story in a 90-minute episode of Drag Race. You can only show 30 seconds of it. There was a lot said that you didn’t get to see. Since that day, my mom and dad have apologized for having me go through that. That was something I said that didn’t get to air…. they know it was wrong. However, my family’s stances on homosexuality are still the same. They think it’s a choice and not something that happens from birth, and that’s something we’re still working on and something that does drive a wedge between us. They love me so much and I love them so much. I think we’re willing to work on things.
What made you want to open up about that on the show?
I needed someone when I was younger to tell that story for me. My mantra growing up was, “This is just for now, this can’t last forever. It’s just for today.” And that’s what got me through tomorrow…. I just hope that I could reach out to someone who’s been told the things that I’ve been told and let them know that tomorrow is a better day and you’re going to be ok. If I can be that voice, it’d mean the world.
What’s the response from viewers been like so far?
I’m not even kidding; I get hundreds of messages a day since that episode. I haven’t been able to respond to them all! I’ve been so touched and heartbroken by the stories that have gone back many years ago or stories from people that are experiencing it and right now don’t know what to do and are asking for help.
I’m proud of you! It’s a great thing you did. Not to yank the wheel too far left, but I have to know who you were you going to do for Snatch Game!
The one that I was going to fight on doing, [but producers told me I] couldn’t do it, was Dot Goddard from MadTV? She’s the 8-year-old girl that has the fairy wings…. Since I wasn’t able to do her, I was going to do comedian Deven Green. She’s very me.
Without spoiling too much, have we seen the last of you on season 10 of Drag Race?
What do you think?
I don’t think so!
Well, buckle up!
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 airs Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET on VH1.