Scarlet Envy's shocking RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6 elimination is the villain AND the drama
The latest eliminated queen tells EW about the aftermath of her shocking exit, her thoughts on the judges' critiques, the contents of her grandparents' love letters, and Katy Perry's support.
We've been here before with Scarlet Envy, as the New York City-based queen once again sashays away from RuPaul's Drag Race far before her time. And the feeling among her fellow queens that she was ready to sashay away from All Stars 6 is NOT mutual.
"I'll always respect this choice. It's a Rumocracy. This is the way it goes. I'm not here to blame anyone other than myself for shortcomings that might've put me here," the season 11 queen tells EW of the judges' shocking decision to place her in the bottom after a seemingly lovely performance — inspired by both of her mothers, who married last year — in this week's talk show-style challenge. "But, I'm a Pisces. I already said I'm emotional and sensitive and messy, so I'm also going to be true to myself here. It's hard. I can respect someone's choice and still have my emotions about it!"
Below, EW speaks truth to justice for Envy's unexpected exit from AS6 at the hands of lip-sync winner Ginger Minj, the inspiration behind her runway dress (covered in real love letters from her late grandparents), whether she harbors hard feelings for her sisters who voted to eliminate her, and even shares an excerpt from her upcoming book of poetry. Read the full interview below, and tune in to the next new episode of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6 Thursdays on Paramount+.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I'm shocked, I can't believe we're sitting here on episode 5 talking about your elimination. You know I think you're such a talented person and I'm so sorry about the circumstances.
SCARLET ENVY: Thank you, I feel the same way. I don't know. It's not good!
We'll get into it! I can tell from your facial expressions throughout this episode that you weren't pleased. It's interesting because you suggested early in this episode that everyone needed to "respect everybody's choice," but in Untucked you said that there might be hard feelings if you left. So, do you respect this choice and are there hard feelings?
[Laughs] Of course I respect this choice! I'll always respect this choice. It's a Rumocracy. This is the way it goes. I'm not here to blame anyone other than myself for shortcomings that might've put me here. But, I'm a Pisces! I already said I'm emotional and sensitive and messy, so I'm also going to be true to myself here. It's hard. I can respect someone's choice and still have my emotions about it!
Did Ginger's vote surprise you, then?
What gave you that indication?
I think she wanted to get rid of me! I think she was very close with Jan. I think the girls were given a fairly impossible choice between three lipsticks, I was surprised my lipstick was up for debate to begin with, but I wasn't surprised when it was the one everyone picked.
You headed into All Stars with that "robbed" narrative we hear so much about — but some of your season 11 sisters have said that if we could have seen what really happened with those damn golden scissors, we'd know the truth. Can you please tell me exactly what went down with those scissors because I'm very confused, it looked like a seamless stunt in the lip-sync to me?
Yeah, it was. They were all behind me, so they can all go f--- themselves, how about that? [Laughs] My performance in that lip-sync, I really do think got me on All Stars. I think I did a great job. No shade to Ra'Jah, who also did a great job. Sometimes things are out of your hands. But, I stand by that "Last Dance" lip-sync. It made a lasting impression.
Let's go back to this episode: You started the episode off with an interesting discussion with Jan about voting, because she said she felt pressured to not go against the group, and Silky said something similar to me in her exit interview about feeling pressure to vote with the group and to not go against it. Were there open discussions about who you'd all vote for that led to these feelings or perceptions of groupthink, or where do you think that anxiety came from for them?
I don't remember there being a "You all have to vote this way, or else." Probably it came down to someone not wanting to explain themselves to a group that obviously didn't agree with them. I don't think it's anything deeper than that. Generally, when the girls did explain themselves, the group didn't lash out at her, as far as I remember. In a group setting, no one wants to be an outlier, but that doesn't mean that she's more than welcome to be.
Yes, you said that she can "do whatever the f--- you want," and you guys wouldn't judge her.
Well, I can't speak for the fandom, but inside the Werk Room, you know?
Far from anxiety-inducing was your relationship with Ra'Jah once again. And you were paired with her for the challenge, which was nice to see you two working together. I'm curious as to how this approach to the challenge came together, because it went to some emotional places when Ra'Jah opened up about her past with her mother. Did you know she was going to go there and the content of what she was going to say, like, was it scripted or did the depth of what she talked about surprise you?
It surprised me in the moment. We obviously have a little time to rehearse and chat about a structure of how we want things to go, but everything in Drag Race happens at the speed of light, so there's not a whole lot of time to get into stuff like that. The magic about that is it does unfold in front of you. We don't have the time to say "I'm going to say this or do this here;" it just organically unfolds. I was a little surprised at how vulnerable, specifically, our conversation got.
I didn't think you did poorly in the challenge at all. I thought you were actually a lovely balance of theatrical — because you are doing this in drag — and emotional and genuine. And you looked defeated on the runway while you were getting the critiques, especially when Ross Mathews and Aisha Tyler told you that you weren't balancing that vulnerability and theatricality. Is that something you've heard before about yourself, and why did that particular critique get to you so badly?
I've never had that critique before. Maybe that's why. I was hearing it for the first time. As delusional I've been painted in the past, I think I'm fairly self-aware, question mark? Maybe three question marks. But I've never heard that before. I'm always going to respect it, right? You don't have to agree with something to fully respect someone's opinion. I fully take accountability. I'm just very confused, you know? It's a hard question to answer…. I was feeling like I was opening up about something fairly vulnerable, and I think drag is a character that I put on and has become a safety net, in a way, especially if I'm talking about something like that. Maybe I wasn't balancing that the right way that day.
Later in the Werk Room, you did say that you didn't get the worst critiques, but Jan pointed out that RuPaul did say you made her feel uncomfortable — I know we don't see everything that's filmed and I am not asking this critically, but genuinely wondering: Were you deliberately trying to fudge the truth to win the group's favor or do you genuinely believe you didn't get the worst critiques of the bottom?
Absolutely I was not lying. We all see the TV show. We all watch it. Even if they're not there in the moment, we're all going to watch it and it will come out. I didn't get the worst critiques. I definitely wouldn't say I got the best critiques from the bottom, but I definitely didn't have the worst…. It's pretty crushing to hear that from RuPaul and the panel. You never want to make a panel uncomfortable. Even with that critique, I still feel that, especially with my runway, people have different queer experiences. We live in a world where we're coming out of the closet earlier and earlier. That's not everyone's journey, and sometimes people get overlooked from other generations and experiences in queerness. Especially lesbians. Gay women are fabulous and deserve recognition as well. I think it's important to use the platform to do that. I feel like my conversations were more meaningful in the Pink Table Talk, and my runway was stronger.
Your runway tied nicely into the theme of the week for you. I want to make sure we talk about that because it was so cute. The letters from your grandparents, what is in the content of the notes? What do they say to each other and why was that significant enough to wear on the runway for you?
My grandparents passed in the last few years. We found this big box of back-and-forth — hundreds — they'd saved. No one knew they had them until we went through their belongings. I was able to digitize them, and my mom gave my mom a Christmas gift one year of the letters, framed. I was able to take a couple and turn them into fabric. I don't know how much detail you can see, but he has his U.S. Navy seal on the paper; she writes him back love letters. They talk about what he did on the ship and wishing they were there with each other. They got married, he left immediately for WWII, he was a gunner on a Navy ship in the Strait of Gibraltar. At 18 years old, he left her yellow roses, and for the rest of her life she hated yellow roses because it made her think about that. They've been a huge inspiration to me. I got to watch them say goodbye to each other a few years ago in their mid-90s. It was true love. It's a crazy thing to introduce something like that to this reality TV program where nothing seems real, but there are real things in this world and that's one of the major influences on my drag…. It tied in beautifully on the same episode. I felt that telling my moms' story with my grandparents' letters would be a winning combination, but I guess quite the opposite!
It sounds like they had long, full lives. They created an incredible legacy and you paid appropriate tribute to them. That dress will speak to so many people. There's no artful way to transition from that to this, but, let's talk about this Katy Perry comment after the shark costume last week. Girl, is she in your DMs too?
No, there haven't been. I worked with her in the past, we did SNL together in 2017. We had conversations in the past. She's been so kind. I was a local queen at the time, and she offered me that, and treated me like a superstar. She was so nice to every person on the cast, and I picked her for that reason. I'm a huge fan of her music. There haven't been any DMs yet, but if Katy is reading, my DMs are open for her!
What's next for you?
We have so many things going on. I'm working on my Bubblesque tour. We'll tour that around from the variety show. I'm working on a book of drag queen poetry. I can share one if you want. Would you like to hear a poem?
Okay! So, this one is titled "Laundry." And it's a haiku, by the way:
Tucking panties need
to be cleaned, but another
show is starting now
Maya Angelou is shaking.
[Laughs] We're working on it. It'll be out sometime this year. I'm also working on a music video shooting in L.A. We have an EP coming out… we've got a U.K. tour in the works, things are happening!
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