RuPaul's Drag Race champ Trinity The Tuck on playing with 'integrity' and 'bitter' queens
Drag superstar Trinity The Tuck might revel in the plastic lifestyle (and the silicone fantasy that gives her body its signature sculpt), but the RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4 co-champion has upped her game in pure paper after earning a $100,000 check from Mama Ru at the end of Friday night’s season finale. But Trinity isn’t the only All-Stars 4 competitor joining Chad Michaels, Alaska, and Trixie Mattel in the Drag Race Hall of Fame; In a shocking move, RuPaul crowned Trinity and Monét X Change, putting a jaw-dropping cap on an already contentious season that rubbed some fans — and show alums — the wrong way. EW had a chat with Trinity shortly after her shared fate was revealed, during which the season 9 showgirl discussed her feelings on Manila Luzon’s suggestion that talent no longer factored into the competition after her exit and what’s next for her as she sashays into the world as a winner, baby.
All-Stars 4 might be over, but RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 premieres Thursday, Feb. 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET on VH1. Until then, read on for EW’s full interview with All-Stars 4 winner Trinity.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I think it might be appropriate to offer our prayers and thanks to Sister Mary Koont. She obviously blessed you this season.
TRINITY THE TUCK: Yes! We have to pray to Saint Sister Mary Koont. She really came through with those blessings, let me tell you.
You had to get on your knees and pray!
Trust me, I’m really good about getting down on my knees and praying.
Are you satisfied with the way All-Stars 4 repositioned you with the fanbase? Do you think people see you differently now because you did say on this episode that All-Stars is a bigger emotional challenge than season 9?
I wasn’t emotionally there on season 9. I had these walls built up, and there were so many unresolved things in my life. Since season 9, so much has happened that’s let me let go and understand things from my past. Emotions are still a struggle for me, but I have been able to deal with it a little bit. All-Stars is an emotional roller coaster, and even for someone who doesn’t have emotions, you’re in control of the destiny of your friends. That’s emotional. To have their fate in your hands, it’s scary and it’s sad. But it’s a part of the job.
That emotional balance must be strange because All-Stars isn’t as much of a straightforward competition as a regular season is. Manila told me when she was eliminated that she felt like it wasn’t the best of the best anymore, but rather the best of who’s left. Do you see winning the All-Stars crown differently after hearing someone say something like that?
Absolutely not. Look, I love Manila. Please put this on the record: Manila is extremely talented, and I do believe with all my heart that Manila deserved to be in the top four. But, you can’t say that she was the best of the best because when she was eliminated, my track record was better than hers because she had a bottom placement and I didn’t. Just as much as she was a frontrunner, so was I. Monét also had three wins. She can’t say she was a clear winner. That’s unfair for her to say that now that she’s gone, the best of the best is no longer valid…. it sounds a little bitter to me.
The girls who made the top four are very deserving, and part of the job of All-Stars is strategy, and that’s a talent. You have to have strategy. It’s part of the show! She knew what she was signing up for, and her saying that sounds bitter to me. That being said, Manila is amazing and has amazing things coming for her. I think she’s gotten what she needed out of All-Stars whether she won or not.
This finale is very different than All-Stars 3 — minus the strategic element of bringing back a jury. Do you think if the queens had been brought back like a jury, you’d still be the winner?
I was scared of that scenario. I was prepared either way, because coming into All-Stars, you have to know that this is not just a regular season. You have to accept that you could go home at any minute, and I was prepared for that. I had two years to prepare mentally for what I was expecting out of All-Stars. I do think that the way they played out the finale was the right way to do it.
Did you feel secure in enough in your relationship that you still would have made the top two if there was a jury?
I think so because I played the game with integrity. I hope the girls saw that. I tried to make the best decisions based off of who I thought was doing the best and who deserved to stay. I was really good friends with Valentina, but I pulled her lipstick. It wasn’t because I was vindictive with her; it was the fair decision and it was the right choice.
That was a surprising exchange for me between you and Valentina when she said she’d send you home over Latrice. Do you guys keep those clashes in the context of the show or does it change actual relationships?
I can’t speak for these other girls, but I know what I’m getting myself into. I don’t hold any grudges for anything that happened on All-Stars. It’s a game and a competition, and we know what we’re signing up for. Like Latrice said, if this affects your friendships outside of the show, you were never friends to begin with.
I’m glad that’s your experience. I’m sure you’re also aware of the discussion going on in the fandom about the recurring theme of white or white-presenting winners on this show, and now you mark the fifth white winner since season 9.
Of course, that’s been brought to everyone’s attention, and it should be a topic of conversation because it’s important that we have more people of color represented. It’s important that we have trans representation. We need to be a very diverse, inclusive community because we’re already outsiders, and we need to welcome all.
[But] look at the show. Even though I do think that Shangela would’ve been the All-Stars 3 winner had she made top two, out of the top two that were there that all the other girls chose — it wasn’t the show that chose them, that was the girls — Trixie had the best track record. She deserved to win. If you look at All-Stars 2, Alaska deserved to win, and in All-Stars 1, Chad deserved to win. With my track record, I had the most wins and the least bottoms. I get what they’re saying, but how can you overlook someone’s overall performance? It should never be about race; it should be about each individual talent and what they brought.
RuPaul’s Drag Race is also one of the most inclusive shows for people of color. Look at the cast this season. There were two white girls; the rest were people of color. That’s amazing, and we need more of that. Look at the cast of season 11! It’s the same thing. No one can say the formulation is white, skinny, and blonde. That’s not true. It just so happens that the entertainers who’ve made it the furthest the past couple of seasons have been that. It doesn’t mean that’s on the show.
There’s a vocal sector of people who had issues with two things you did this season, too: The old lady outfit and your Caitlyn Jenner impression. Some people called those things offensive. How do you respond to that?
How did I portray Caitlyn in an offensive way? I didn’t speak to anything other than her character and how she acts as a person and amped that up for comedy. I didn’t speak on her religious beliefs, I didn’t speak on how she identifies on anything. I was very respectful for that reason, and I had fun with Caitlyn. I know for a fact that if Gia would’ve done Caitlyn — and she is a trans woman as well — she would’ve portrayed her the same way. It was a characterization of a person. What was the other thing?
The old lady!
So, look, I’m not always the most politically correct queen. I’m a drag queen. I come from old-school nightclub drag where I entertain adults. I do understand that this show has all types of audiences, but I was allowed to do it. I thought it was funny, and I still stand by it. It’s part of my sense of humor. I feel like certain fans pick and choose what they get offended by. They’re ok with us talking about vagina, penis, and anal sex, but they’re not ok with us picking on other things. It’s a very pick-and-choose fandom. It’s ok if people don’t like that. My type of entertainment is not for everybody, but I appreciate the fans who get it.
What’s next for you?
I want to continue building my brand. This is a business for me. I want to do more stuff with acting. I’d love to be a correspondent for red carpets. Being a host is something I’m good at and something I’d love to do.
Anything else on the music front?
Oh yes, girl! The content is not stopping. My music video for a song called “I Call Shade” featuring Peppermint is out now out. The video features Phi Phi O’Hara, Yuhua Hamasaki, Blair St. Clair, Thorgy Thor, and a whole bunch of other people. It’s so funny. My album is called Plastic…. I’d describe it as a comedy dance album. It’s going to be fun. I have Aja and Alaska on songs! People are going to love it.
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