The fourth-place queen opens up about her elimination.
RuPaul’s Drag Race’s fifth season is winding up, and we find ourselves with three drastically different queens still in contention: the kooky Jinkx Monsoon, the droll Alaska, and the splashy Roxxxy Andrews. Left in fourth place after Monday’s excellent candy-themed challenge (featuring an unforgettable moment of hardhat-adorned “executive realness” from Alaska) was the side-eye empress Detox, a.k.a. Matthew Sanderson of Los Angeles, who lost in a heated lip-sync against Jinkx.
We caught up with Detox to discuss the competition, lip-syncing, and the way everyone seemed to gang up on Jinkx in front of the judges.
TheBackLot: I’ll start on a petty note — did you think you should’ve been the first member of Rolaskatox to be eliminated?
Detox: No. [Laughs] I take it you want more than that?
D: Well, we definitely wanted all three members of Ralaskatox to get to top three. But whatever happened happened, you know? It is what it is.
TBL: I think you’ve seemed like one of the funnest and smartest queens on the show since day 1. How did you get to be the way you are?
D: A lot of people ask me that question! I honestly don’t even really know. I think it’s mainly that I stopped giving a f*ck about what anyone thought of me a long time ago. I’ve been through so much in my life, so many heartaches, bullying, persevering — and when I stopped giving a f*ck aboutwhat other people have to say, and I know it’s cliche, but I’m not going to allow fear to hold me back in any way. I have a lot of amazing friends in my life who are very influential. I’m only 27, I’ve been doing drag for 10 years, and a lot of my influences are quite a bit older than I am. They’ve influenced my sarcasm and my dry sense of humor.
TBL: Last episode, RuPaul confronted you in the workroom and said you hadn’t been measuring up. Was that depressing?
D: It was depressing to an extent. I knew what they were saying, and I knew where they were coming from. I agreed to an extent that I wasn’t performing to the best of my capabilities yesterday. A lot of people look at that I think I was thinking too highly of myself, and that was never the case. My head was in another place during the competition, and I wasn’t as focused on the competition as much I would’ve liked to have been. On top of that, they’ve known who I am, and they have this preconceived notion of how I was going to do and how I should’ve performed, and they put me on this high pedestal. When I wasn’t necessarily doing as well as I should’ve, they would nitpick me whereas some of the other girls they wouldn’t be as aware of, they’d coast by. They’d be safer. The judges didn’t know what their full potential was going into it.
TBL: You, Roxxxy, and Alaska all said Jinkx should be sent home. Are you surprised to see that she basically has the biggest fanbase of the Top 3?
D: I knew she was going to be the viewer favorite. Jinkx is amazing. I didn’t expect the backlash I received — and I know they made Roxxxy look evil — but they made me look a lot more evil than I was. They made me look like such a villain when really I had Jinkx’s back the whole time and was very supportive of her. I defended her to the other girls when they thought she was a weak link. But I don’t care what the fans think about me because I know what my relationship with Jinkx is, and we’ve never had an issue. They can believe what they want to believe and see what they want to see, but at least I know — and Jinkx knows — what the real T is. But keep sending me death threats — I love the death threats! They’re fun for me!
TBL: There was a lot of caustic workroom drama this year. The Coco/Alyssa business? Was that a nuisance?
D: It was definitely distracting. I’ve known Coco for years too, and there were points where I’d look her and I thought, “This is not the Coco I know. What is wrong with you?” I don’t know if it was just for the TV or the cameras, but it was distracting, to the say the least. The workroom was so focused on the Coco/Alyssa drama. Anyone else who had an opinion on anything else was pushed to the side. It was always that drama, that was what we were focusing on, every f*cking day. It did become distracting.
TBL: Were there any challenges you would’ve attacked differently in retrospect?
D: Looking back on everything, definitely. But it’s always things you think of after the fact — even sometimes the day after certain challenges, I’d be like, “Oh my God. What if I’d done it this way?” There’s always different things you’d like to change. There’s no point second-guessing yourself after the fact. It’s already over and done with. You think, “I’ll take that, I’ll learn, I’ll go to All Stars, and I’ll kill ’em.”
TBL: I wondered if you really thought Jinkx deserved to go home in fourth.
D: At the moment I did think she didn’t deserved to be in the top three because of course I wanted to be in the top three. It sounds evil, but at the time, I don’t actually remember it feeling that evil. I did feel uncomfortable watching it back on Monday, though, I’ll tell you that. Maybe that’s the magic of the cut-and-paste process.
I want to say that Jinkx never sat back and let anyone attack her. She was always very upfront about sticking up for herself and representing herself in a good light. The fact that they didn’t show any of that is shocking to me. It makes her look weak, and she never was. She was always self-assured and headstrong, and I love that about Jinkx.
TBL: One of my favorite moments of the season — and I believe we saw it on Untucked — was before your lip-sync against Lineysha in which you announced, “It’s a Cher song, so I’m going to win.” And then you did. Had you prepared specifically for that song?
D: No. Honestly, I would learn the songs, but I never went into them knowing what I was going to do. Especially with the Cher one, I didn’t expect to be in the bottom two, but I’m a performer and it’s what I do. Yes I’m weird. Yes I’m wacky. But we all have our own different aesthetics, and I made it work!
TBL: If you could only throw your support behind one of the remaining queens, who would you pick?
D: Me. I don’t know! I love each of the girls so much that hasn’t been brought to the table. It’s hard to throw my support to just one. Roxxy is my sister, but they all have points of view and drag that need to be showcased! The glory of Jinkx, Alaska, and Roxxxy needs to be seen!