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Drag Race’s Latrice Royale on Her Shocking All Stars 4 Exit: ‘I Won’t Join the Buffoonery’

Latrice Royale. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Latrice Royale. Any RuPaul’s Drag Race fan either bows their damn head or throws up their damn hands at the mere mention of her name. One of the most revered competitors in Drag Race herstory, this queen made hearts flutter when she emerged handcuffed to bestie Manila Luzon in the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 4. And all those hearts? Broken last Friday when she was eliminated by another fan favorite, Monique Heart. We checked in with the iconic queen to see how she’s feeling about her startlingly early elimination, how the All Stars game gets played, and what life as a newlywed is like.

First of all, thank you for exposing “Excuse the Beauty” to the mainstream audiences, it has made everyone’s life better.
[Laughs.] Good. Good!

Walking in to the workroom, how did you feel? You are a drag legend and have done this so many times, so there’s the experience, but I would also imagine there’s a ton of pressure.
You know, there is that little pressure, but I came there to have a good time. And I was there with Manila. We were home-team sisters trying to make it to the top. The plan was to make it all the way to the top with my sister Manila. That was the plan. We were going to run that shit.

Was it overall a positive experience? Was it fun?
It was! Whereas I did not have so much fun that first go-round [in All Stars 1], I felt like the experience was totally different. They were prepared. It was thought out and everything made sense, so it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. It didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, but, you know.

When you compare what Drag Race was in season four and All Stars 1 and what it has become now, how is it different for you?
Ha, night and day! It has come so far. And kudos! That’s what made it more enjoyable because it seems like they found the rhythm. They got it. We were the crash-test dummies. [Laughs.] And we made it look good! But you learn the error of your ways and you get better. And Drag Race has definitely gotten better. That’s why they won the Emmy! Snatching trophies.

So, girl, this episode doesn’t end well for you.
It does not fare well for me. Ugh, I just can’t go stupid! I can’t! I won’t. I can’t. I won’t join into the stupidity and the buffoonery and the loud chaos.

Challenges like Jersey Justice and the Snatch Game seem to be difficult for you.
I’m not the “look at me, look at me, look at me” kind of person. My work stands for itself. I don’t know. I know comedic timing. I know I’m funny. And I know how to be funny and when to be funny. And I know how to let other people be funny so that I can be more funny! But I can’t say that all of the girls have that quality or skill. They don’t. They just know what they know: loud and more loud. I am not about to fight. I am not about to scream over you. I’m not doing it.

You might say it becomes a competition of who can be the loudest and stand out the most. When you don’t do that, you’re penalized for it.
Yes! Words out my mouth. That’s exactly it. And it’s like, somebody’s gotta play it straight, dude. Somebody’s gotta be the voice of reason here, or else it’s going to be a whole big mess.

Do you think being in a group of three instead of a group of two might have hurt you?
Oh, absolutely. It’s more difficult. Because you don’t just have two personalities and the judge. You have three personalities and the judge. When it boils down to my skit, the root of it, it wasn’t even about me. It was about my daughter and her best friend. And I wasn’t involved in that conflict, so what do you want me to do?

Yeah, maybe this challenge would have been better for six people instead of seven. It was a little strange.
Uh huh! But, yeah, whatever.

Do you think Monique’s decision was justified?
No, no, no. But whether it was justified or not is not the issue for me. Let me tell you what I have the issue with. Don’t make me feel like you’re listening to me or that you have some kind of consideration of ever keeping me when you know full well in your heart of hearts that you’re about to send me home. Because she was not paying attention when I was pleading my case to her. I’m just, like, talking at her. I just knew if Manila did not win that lip sync that I was done. Monique never had any intention of keeping me. I could have respected her if she had looked me in my face and said, “Bitch, you know what? I love you. But you know if I win this, you’re going home, right?”

Are there any hard feelings there?
No hard feelings! I know it’s part of the game. So I can laugh at it and kiki about it. But the fact still remains, game or no game, I would respect you more for being a real bitch. Grab your nuts and tell me, for real. I know it’s hard! But at the same time … be real! I can take it!

What are you most proud of when you watch this season compared to when your last time on the show?
The runways wouldn’t show the evolution of Latrice, but the bitch got her teeth done. The makeup is right now. She got a little wardrobe budget. I just wanted to show people my little elevated self. But I definitely didn’t have anything to prove to anybody. I wanted to have a good time and talk about real stuff. Real topics.

Everyone’s so thrilled to see that you got married! Tell us about it!
Oh my God! So much love and beauty. We had the best band. We had Brian Nash, who’s the pianist to the stars. We had the best singers ever. It just was the party. We got to see Bianca Del Rio and Shangela do a little choreographed moment on the dance floor. [Laughs.]

Who are you rooting for? I know Manila is your girl, but based on what’s going down on the screen, who should win?
Manila is my heart, but if I can’t pick her, then Monét is my champion. I love Monét. Because she reminds me of me. A younger me. She’s smart and calculated and people sleep on her too. And don’t sleep. Don’t take a nap, bitch, because when you wake up shit is gonna happen. She is one to watch.

Drag Race’s Latrice Royale on ‘Buffoonery’ in All Stars 4 https://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/vulture/2019/01/07/07-latrice-royale-chat-room-silo.png