Dahlia Sin opens up about her stormy RuPaul's Drag Race exit: 'I was going to scream'
EW chats with season 12's first eliminated queen after she stormed off set.
No one likes broccoli. No one. (Not even when Sasha Velour and Shea Couleé mix it with chocolate). Seriously, not a single soul. Especially not Dahlia Sin after Friday's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race, which saw the sensual goddess sashay away from the competition after a painful, sweaty bout with an unwieldy costume modeled after the cruciferous vegetable she wore during this week's comedy improv challenge. Though her time on the show was brief, Dahlia made quite an impression after Mama Ru eliminated her from the competition following lackluster performances during both the sketch and her subsequent lip-synch against French beauty Nicky Doll, storming past her sympathetic sisters as she blew up backstage in the wake of what she felt to be an unjust ousting.
Following her heated elimination, EW had a chat with Dahlia about her two-episode run on the show, her frustration over being sent home first (despite her drag mother Aja's advice not to be season 12's inaugural sashay-awayer), how gooped she was when rapper Doja Cat showed up at one of her recent gigs, why she'll never be able to look at broccoli the same way again, and how the coronavirus is impacting her local drag scene in New York City. Read on for the full interview, and tune in to the next new episode of RuPaul's Drag Race Friday at 8:00 p.m. on VH1.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Hey, Dahlia! It’s great to talk with you, I just wish it was under better circumstances, both in the world and in terms of Drag Race.
DAHLIA SIN: I mean, we could pretend like I made it to the end, and I can call you back later?
Ok, talk to you in two months! Bye!
[Laughs] I was fine until today, now I have to relive it, I guess, but it’s fine because I’m trying to not think about it as much.
Well, we have to think about it for the next 10 minutes! The first order of business being: After last week, do you now know who Bob Fosse is?
No, I don’t. [Laughs] I mean, I knew what, like, Chicago was, I just didn’t know who he, she, they, or even it, was! I just thought it was a type of dance.
That’s like a performance art piece in itself, you going through the challenge without knowing who Bob Fosse is. Last week was such an interesting one for you, I loved your runway, but Ross read your makeup and told you nothing should be subtle in drag. How did you feel about that?
I thought it was crazy because he told Jan and Rock that they should tone it down with their makeup…. I’m not trying to look like a clown, no shade, even though I love extreme drag, I do more of a female-presenting form drag.
She’s a woman!
I was confused by that. That’s why my answer was just, “Okay!”
Drag Race might be the only show where there’s an expectation to do something iconic when you’re the first one out, given that Vanjie became a star for the way she exited and Soju with her cyst, did you feel a pressure to live up to those expectations now that you’re their successor?
I wasn’t even thinking I was going home first. I was gagged that I was even in the bottom, especially since I thought I did really well in the first episode. I know my acting isn’t the best, but my runway should’ve saved me. Crystal was read for filth for her look and her performance…. I didn’t think there was something to live up to because I didn’t think I was going home, but I think my exit was iconic enough!
You definitely weren’t happy. You just wanted to get the hell out of there. What was going through your mind?
Basically, I’m not too happy with what they said about me being eliminated, so I was kind of dramatic with my exit.... I was going to scream as soon as RuPaul said it.... the very next thing was just black, I wasn’t even thinking about what I was doing. I didn’t even care!
I want to talk a little about what put you there. I get the sense that the queen of sex appeal isn’t out there performing in Brooklyn with a big broccoli on her head. You didn’t look comfortable. Did that throw you off?
I’m not the best at improv, but I had this big ass broccoli helmet on my head for like 15 hours. It was super heavy; my shoulders were killing me…. taking it off, it would scrape the bottom of my chin and wipe my makeup off! I was also sweating profusely underneath it, so my makeup was coming off, my eyelashes were drenched in sweat, and by the time I got to the second scene, I had to try and keep composure and be funny while looking crazy as hell, and I hate looking crazy! Sweat was literally going into my eye and into my contacts.
Do you think it’s at all possible, in any world, for broccoli to be sexy? Or is there another sexier vegetable you would’ve chosen if you could?
I chose the broccoli because, when the headpiece was sitting on the floor, it looked like a cute outfit! I wasn’t even going with sexy to begin with, that’s just what the character was giving, so I thought it would work.
Have you eaten broccoli since this or are you avoiding it?
No, I haven’t. [We’re staying away from it] even though I love broccoli!
You told me a few months ago that Aja’s advice to you was to not go home first. What did they say when they found out that was the case?
She was really gagged, she was like, “How the hell is that even possible?” She was probably feeling the same way I felt, she was like, “Girl, it’s ok, you’ll still be liked, you have a good presence about you and your personality is amazing. People will love you no matter what!” My whole entire house was gagged.
The thing about this show is, as Vanjie and Soju proved, everybody is pretty much a superstar in the community regardless of where they placed.
Yeah, that’s true. I was depressed for a good two months, but at least I got to show seven looks when, normally, people who go home first only get to show what they walk in with. I lasted until the third episode and I got to show more of myself than most people who leave first!
You did have beautiful looks, just with a broccoli sandwiched between.
I guess I’m going to be known as a broccoli forever.
Make a t-shirt, do some broccoli merch!
Oh, girl, it couldn’t have been c—t, like a strawberry. Is that a fruit or a vegetable? [Laughs]. I’m just joking. A c—t strawberry, that would’ve been cute merch!
Outside of the show, it’s been great watching people like Doja Cat enjoying your show and performing with you on stage. What was that like?
I was getting ready for the gig and doing last-minute shopping…. I was already planning to do a Doja Cat number, and the outfit was literally a look that she did…. [my drag sister] Kandy Muse tells me two hours before the show, “Guess who’s coming? Doja Cat!” Her assistant is one of our friends and texted [Kandy]. I was so nervous because she’s been my favorite artist since 2014.
Have you stayed in contact?
No, but right after, she invited us out all night and we went to another bar!
Being based in New York amid the coronavirus, I’m seeing a lot of queens canceling events and their income is taking a hit. You have a national platform, but what would you say to people who don’t realize how bad this is for local queens?
It sucks because we wanted to have the same momentum as all the other seasons with traveling and getting to see fans, but everything has started to close and people don’t want to travel anymore, and DragCon is shut down, so we don’t have that experience of meeting our fans! I was booked for Coachella, and we can’t do that anymore because they closed it down. We’re all losing money, back-to-back. That’s what we do: nightlife, and people don’t want to go to bars or clubs anymore because they’re scared they’ll get the virus. We’re out of money and jobs. It’s also impacted my merch, because my merch is made in China, so I can’t really make money off of merch, either!
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