Warning! This post contains major spoilers regarding the most recent episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11. Read at your own risk!
A star was born (and a runway legend was robbed) on last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
While pageant beauty A’Keria Chanel Davenport finally rose to the top of the pack with her first challenge win after her high-energy Draglympics set, resident lewk-turner Scarlet Envy got the chop in the most shocking Drag Race elimination since Valentina sashayed away from season 9.
Read by guest judge Adam Rippon for her “basic” runway look (and by Michelle Visage for her Draglympics gig), the New York City by way of Louisville, Ky., queen fought for her spot in the competition against resident bottom two finisher Ra’Jah O’Hara, and turned it out with one of the flashiest lip-syncs (Glitter bomb! Death drops! Shredding her gown with a pair of golden scissors! Us is shaking!) of the season thus far. Still, RuPaul saved three-time lip-syncer Ra’Jah in a move that shocked fans, Scarlet, and — judging by their faces upon hearing Ru’s decision — the rest of the season 11 cast.
Shortly after her elimination, Scarlet — who, during her exit confessional at the end of the episode, appeared to be seriously baffled by her own exit — had a chat with EW about her rhythmic skills, painting for her (thick) beard, stitching royal fashions for the runway, and how she really feels about Rippon’s read.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 returns next Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on VH1. Read on for our full exit interview with Scarlet.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Hello, Scarlet! How are you? Are you holding up okay after reliving this clearly very shocking and unexpected moment?
SCARLET ENVY: One of your worst fears come true, and it’s honestly not so bad.
When an elimination is this unexpected, is it possible to truly make peace with it or is it something that will always be an unsettled bother to you?
Just because I’m okay with it doesn’t mean I agree with it. I respect the decision. This happens to be my path. I’ve never been very good with directions.
Did you have an inkling that your path would lead here? Was being in the bottom a possibility in your mind?
It was very much a possibility in my mind. From the very beginning of the challenge when she said we’d be doing death drops, fanography, and twerking, I knew I wasn’t going to be in my own universe. That being said, watching it back I was proud of myself for exiting that universe and doing better than I thought I could.
It wasn’t a disaster. And the fans didn’t think so, either. What is it like to you to see all the fans getting outraged about it on Twitter? I don’t think I’ve seen a response like this in a really long time.
I can’t say I disagree with my fans! But, at the same time, we have to respect the decision for what it is.
Do you get a validation, though, because people are so outraged beyond what they feel for a normal elimination?
Sure! It definitely helps. People always ask if I’m as delusional as I come across on television. I always say, yes, I am. So, it helps to know that maybe it’s not just me.
That’s so not a delusional answer, to say that you’re delusional!
The most shocking thing to me, though, was Adam Rippon calling your look “basic”! How did you feel about that specific, very shady critique?
I’ve always said that I like more details in my critiques. As long as there’s something constructive in a constructive critique. A critique without the details is a hard thing to hear, because you don’t really know where to go from there. I enjoyed what I wore. I came into Drag Race saying I’m more subtle than some of the girls. So, maybe that was just more of a subtle look, comparatively. But once again, I’m standing next to the shiniest, most beautiful angels in the drag world.
Only in the context of Drag Race could your look have been considered subtle.
Right! When you’re standing next to such extravagance… I certainly would turn heads walking down Sixth Avenue in that look. Maybe not so much on the Drag Race stage.
We have to forgive him for hating your clashing silver and gold; he’s just used to bronze.
Ooh! That is tea, I guess! [Laughs] Yeah, I don’t know. He is supposed to be my date for the [Kentucky Derby]. So, I’m still going to hold him to it, but I’m not going to wear that dress, I guess.
I personally think most of your looks deserved to be in the top each week, but you weren’t, especially for the Monster Ball. But you were still read by some of the other girls for quote-unquote “delusions” about your work. In hindsight, do you think you were delusional about your looks or do you think you were being realistic about yourself and it was just the judges that weren’t giving your output the proper credit?
It’s been my entire world to watch the fans respond. As confident as I come across sometimes, we’re all just trying our best. I don’t think anybody wants to be called delusional. I definitely felt discounted by the entire cast the whole time. The judges are a different story, but that’s what you sign up for. You sign up for opinions and to be judged. Hopefully, they see eye-to-eye, but when your boobs look that good, how can they be looking you in the eye?
Why did you feel that way with the girls?
It’s just kind of a general feeling. I feel like I was in a different universe. When they said I was living in my own world, maybe I was. But it’s so good there. They’re welcome to join me any time.
If that world looks like everything you brought to the runway, I want to go there!
Come on in, girl! The water’s great! Take a dip!
Travis Wall said you were the most difficult person he’s ever worked with. How do you respond?
[Laughs] I mean, once again, I don’t know how you respond to something like that. I always try to be a good student, but I guess not always. I’m a stranger to the dance world. So, I guess for me to move at all for him was… I guess also that’s what he signed up for, too, to be a teacher.
He had to accept any student!
To accept a new student where they are is something a teacher shouldn’t complain about!
Did hearing things like that and going through this experience change your approach to drag at all?
No, it hasn’t! I guess, for some girls, that might be the takeaway, but for me, my takeaway has been to elevate and continue to push it, but I am validated in the direction that I’m going with it. I don’t feel the need to tear it apart and restart.
But Love Connie also read your beard and your costumes for having holes. Have you since corrected painting your beard properly and plugging the holes?
I have! She definitely has color-corrected. I think it was actually Vanessa who walked me through step-by-step color correction for the beard, so shout-out to my sis! As for the holes: absolutely not. She still loves a hole.
I figured that answer was coming. I walked right into that. Did you walk into the Mercedes/Ariel/Plastique/Silky/A’Keria wig drama at all? Do you have any of the tea on the wig situation?
So, as for that drama, girl, I have no idea.
Did you hear Plastique say she thought the other girls needed the wigs more than she did, or should we call the FBI to investigate?
I feel like that would probably be a better use of the FBI’s time than what they’ve been having to do lately. We should get the FBI on that case because a lost wig is a lost wig. Your wigs are your babies; you can’t just walk away from them.
But you didn’t hear Plastique say that the other girls need the wigs more than she did?
I didn’t, no.
I’m just doing my part and getting to the bottom of the case!
Absolutely! You get to the bottom of that! I’m trying to get to the top of something, but you go ahead, you get to the bottom of it.
Soju did tell me she thought you were a top, so I expected that.
I’m whatever you want me to be!
Lovely. The lip-sync showed that you were committed to making a show of the whole thing even though you can’t really dance. And Ru seemed to be really enjoying it in the moment. Were you watching his face throughout the performance and did that seem to communicate to you that you had it in the bag?
Yes. To be honest, I felt a connection to Ru the entire time, especially when I was lip-syncing for mother. I was very confident in the fact that I was going to stay that day. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, but I was very confident in the moment. Watching it back, I was validated in that, in my own personal opinion and in the opinion of what I’ve heard from most of the fans. It’s out of my hands, but I think I gave a great show and I was very proud to watch it back. I don’t think everyone can say that. But I’m glad I can.
What more could you have done in that lip-sync?
I really couldn’t have done anything else. I did everything in my power and, once again, even if I disagree with the outcome, even if I agree with the fandom, I can still be content in knowing that I did everything in my power and that we all have a path, we all have a journey and this happens to be mine, so, I’m going to stay plugged in.
If you stayed, who would you have done for Snatch Game? I feel like you would’ve given us something really great.
I was leaning mostly towards Miss Lana Del Rey, which I think a lot of people expected and asked for. I’m sorry I couldn’t give that to them. Of course, a good queen has to bring two so my backup was Miss Lucille Ball.
It would have been a dark Lucille in your hands!
It would be! A ’60s, aged, a fine wine Lucille Ball! I can’t give away my secrets, but I think it would’ve been fun.
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