RuPaul's Drag Race sweetie Olivia Lux is ready to fit the world into her tiny purse
It takes two Oscar-nominated actresses, a Hollywood-sized production of a massive short film spectacle, and a mother-tucking Cher lip-sync to appropriately send off one of the most lovable divas in RuPaul's Drag Race herstory. That's the kind of fanfare the reality competition series trotted out Friday night for the elimination of Olivia Lux, an evening that will go down as the day the sun dimmed, the day joy died, and the day purses around the world returned to the normal, boring, absolutely repulsive size of "regular."
In the wake of her Drag Race swan song, the self-proclaimed "polite diva" chatted with EW about what went wrong during this week's green-screen acting challenge, a runway mixup that forced her to switch outfits at the last minute, who she was originally supposed to play for Snatch Game, and reveals the status of Utica's invitation to take her on a date.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I'm sad to see you go, but you could've been eliminated in a hideous outfit like some of the other queens. At least you were eliminated on an episode where you looked amazing and where two Oscar-nominated actresses made guest appearances. They sent you out with fanfare.
OLIVIA LUX: [Laughs] It's funny that you mention the outfit because that wasn't my intended outfit for the runway.
What were you planning to do?
It was similar to another girl's runway, so I took a risk [and switched to] something that I felt stunning in. That was actually my intended daytime runway look, that purple ostrich feather thing was a backup for something else. I wore that for the daytime, then I had this [diamond] costume that I had made before the show that signified a lot of my brand, being strong and tough-as-a-diamond. I love what diamonds stand for, so I wore it for this! It had pockets on it, right?
You definitely made the pockets work. Whose was similar?
I had a black-and-white outfit that was mod inspired that was similar to Rosé's!
Before we get into this week's episode, we have to go back to last week when, in Untucked, Utica revealed that she asked you on a date? Did you go on the date and are you guys a thing?
We, uh, so… it's funny that everyone is bringing it up now! We were partners for challenges early on, we got very close early on, and I think that moment where, in Snatch Game's Untucked, there was a little bit of friction amongst us getting to know each other really well…. It was definitely a journey with her, and I will say that we're very close now, we talk often, she's great, she's a sweet bean. I'm her sweet bean! We love being beans and goobers in the world!
What a way to avoid the question! Did you ever go on the date?
[Laughs] We did not go on the official date, but, maybe, in the future, when the world opens back up, there will be a moment for Ulivia, Olitica, yes!
Back when we first talked, you told me you had a significant weight loss journey. After the roast, the conversation centered on Utica's jokes about people's weight. How'd you feel about her jokes?
It's difficult. I might not be the best one to ask because comedy isn't my strong suit. I don't know where the line is, there! I think the biggest thing to note is where the origin comes from and the person's intent. I know Utica didn't intend on hurting anyone's feelings, so I can take this a little bit lighter. Hearing it in person, I was not offended, but I can't speak on the people she was directing the jokes toward. Everyone was laughing and having a good time, and the energy was right in the room. The jokes didn't land, but I don't think it's fair to look, after the fact, and say that we feel a type of way. We were in the room, it was directed toward the room, we just felt it didn't land. There was no ill intent there. She did go on Twitter and talk about that and apologized. That's all that really matters. We're all there to have fun and laugh!
In addition to Utica, fans also fell in love with your charm, but that sweet, smiley attitude actually became a recurring critique. A lot of people called it an "apologetic" persona. Was that a barrier you put up, or is that your true nature?
It's difficult when part of your brand is an identity that you have. I like to see the best in people, be confident and smile through things. That trickled into Olivia Lux. I used that light as an advantage throughout the competition. Later on, I realized they wanted to see that switched up, but it was part of my identity, and it was difficult. If I didn't have this positive light and I didn't smile every day in the Werk Room as someone who was eager and ready to learn, I might not have gotten as far as I did.
Miss Tina Burner had some opinions about it this season, too! She kept calling you a secret diva. Do you know why she had that idea?
I have no idea! Roll back the tapes, I said walking into the Werk Room that "Olivia Lux is the diva!" There's no secret when you walk into the Werk Room saying your character is a diva! I'm reclaiming the word "diva!" Maybe there's a bit of a negative connotation with the word…. It's weird to be this sweet as a person, but also be a diva. That's why I coined the term "polite diva." I'm taking it back for us, because everyone deserves to be a diva! We can do it nicely with a smile on our face and still be a fierce, passionate diva that slays.
A big diva with a teeny, tiny little purse!
With the teeniest of purses and the biggest of hairs.
The tiny purse stuff gave me so much pleasure.
Honestly, I didn't expect it to be as big as it was. Before the show, I collected these purses, just as a person! I threw them into my luggage at the last minute and then I put it on my little shelf in the Werk Room and started to grab them early on. It became a thing!
Let's get into this week's episode: The acting challenge was cute, but the dreaded question about who should go home came up, and everyone said you were the one who should go home again. How did that feel, having that happen for a second time?
It's definitely frustrating, because at this point in the competition, it's splitting hairs…. It's frustrating when other people don't see it for you, but it's not my job and obligation to do [convince them]. That's where my conflict was, like, I feel so confident in being able to bring it and deliver, and you guys don't see that as my sisters, and I love you! If we were basing it off of that particular challenge, my vote probably would've been myself the first time around, however, I would never vote for myself, so I looked at the entire competition.
You struggled to answer the question. It took you a while. When queens take a long time to answer or push back on that, it doesn't look like Ru likes that. Why did you hesitate, and what was going through your mind while you were considering?
There are only a few options that you have, and I love and respect every single girl on that stage. Although it was just an answer and an opinion, I truly felt like I was just going through the rolodex. As soon as I thought I had an answer, it was like, wait, no, this girl has achieved! I could see every one of us on that stage as America's Next Drag Superstar. That's why it was so difficult. I saw myself up as well. That's why it was frustrating when the other girls easily said my name, because they didn't see that for me, but I did!
When it came to the challenge, I don't think you did poorly! It cracked me up when you had to scream obscenities at Kandy's character. They were all bleeped. What exactly were you saying?
Oh, the most obscene, outrageous comments! Basically, I was just saying what Kandy Muse says regularly [Laughs]. I drew from Kandy. I was doing some method acting! I remember that vividly. They just said, "Go for it!" In the script, there were no specifics, it just said "obscenities." I remember pretending to tell somebody off with all that bottled-up emotion. I just had to go for it! It was therapeutic.
I also heard that your original choice for Snatch Game was Rachel Dolezaal?
It was! Hence the hair was similar, because I brought the hair for both characters. We didn't end up finding our way there because of some unforeseen decisions; however, I do not see that as an excuse [for my performance]. Improv and comedy are areas of opportunity, I'll say. It was challenging! Who knows, maybe I'll get the opportunity to do Rachel at another time.
Knowing that we almost had Harriet Tubman and Rachel Dolezaal on the same stage…
I'll have to bring back Symone when I do it!
I also have to ask you the one thing everyone talked about after the ball: Your lace line! What happened!?
I love this moment! It proves that there are definitely areas for me to improve on. It also further signifies the fact that Kandy and I both brought the same style of wig, and not the same wig! Kandy's lace didn't look like that. Rookie mistake! I didn't cut the lace far enough. I should've cut it back. Later on, I posted a little snippet of me after I cut the lace further, and it looked great. I just tagged Utica and said "edges!"
As long as people are talking, even at the expense of your wig line…
[Laughs]. Who knows, maybe I'll come out with a line of hair lace!
Also, let's be real: Your grandma and your mom, after seeing them in Untucked, I think they deserve their own talk show. Is that in the works?
Absolutely. We're pitching to all the major networks [Laughs]. They are so amazing, and I hope that people can see that this definitely was an inspiration for Olivia Lux. These are strong, powerful Black women in my life that have raised me and been so supportive of my artistry and my growth as a person.
You were open about your struggles with your grandma. Has watching the show allowed her to better understand your art?
It definitely has. I never thought I'd live in a world where I was on RuPaul's Drag Race, but after every single episode, my grandma would give her full review on everyone and everything. I never thought in a million years my grandmother would tune in. It's a great moment, and I finally get to be fully, authentically myself. I got to quit my full-time job, I'm a full-time artist, and now I get to share my drag with my family. Who could ask for more?
I know you're leaving earlier than you wanted, but what do you want people to remember about Olivia Lux?
I definitely left earlier than I wanted, but I made it further than I thought I would. Take the opportunities as they come, remember to spread love and light, and, maybe, if you smile the whole way through and continue to be strong and look at your journey and path to success, you'll come out on the other side very happy and proud. I'm excited for people see the polite diva on the keys! RuPaul's Drag Race didn't have a grand piano on the main stage…. So I'm excited for people to tune in for my original music that's coming out. It's great, groovy, funky, Jackson Five-esque music…. I might possibly go back on stage! I've done a lot of musical theater in my life, so maybe I'll come to a stage near you.
"Tony Award Winner Olivia Lux" has a lovely ring to it.
… or Olivia's Drag Race, as Trixie Mattel says on The Pit Stop!
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