There have been double eliminations and disqualifications, but there has almost never been a “lip synch for your life” as there was when Valentina went up against Nina Bonina Brown and attempted to leave on a partial face covering during the performance. After a stern talking to from RuPaul, this fan favorite was sent home in a shocking elimination.
I sat down with this Latin diva to chat about the surprising way she was eliminated, what she thinks went wrong during the performance, and what she wants to do with the platform she has now been given.
Valentina, the social media world is still shook about your elimination. Let’s get right to it. What happened?
Valentina: It was unheard of to have your mouth covered during the lip sync. It was simple; I just didn’t know the song. I was not delivering and they did not have any other choice but to send me home.
Was the moment as surreal to you as it was to the viewers watching at home?
V: You know, I think the whole time I was just shocked, in a state of shock really. The only time I came out of that was when Ru raised his voice, it was shocking it was actually happening.
Your elimination from RuPaul’s Drag Race was arguably one of the most shocking eliminations to have ever occurred on the show. How does it feel for you now?
V: Right now, in this moment, I am very happy with my life and I am so very blessed with the opportunity to have been on Drag Race. It happened a long time ago and I have not seen the episode yet. Right now, I feel fine, but I think when I finally watch the show it will bring out a very dark time in my life. I was eliminated from the show and was definitely in a state of shock. I feel very happy right now though, to have this platform.
What I have learned is simple; I just need to push through, since it is about what I believe in and what I love, at all costs. In this moment I was not in control. I need to realize what is in front of me and live in the moment I am in.
When you entered the workroom, you mentioned that you had not been doing drag that long. How does it feel to have accomplished all you have in such a short period of time?
V: I was not difficult, but it was definitely such a thrilling challenge! I am very equipped with the years of experience that I have though. I have studied the performing arts since I was eleven years old, and have been on a stage since then as well. I have been use to the lights, the cameras, and the attention for a long time. I think that and my experience helped shape me into a good drag queen from the start. I really think I always had it in me to have a real love for the arts and I think it shows.
Are you happy with how you came across as a whole on the show? Some of your winning runway looks were visually and conceptually amazing.
V: I appreciate that! You know, I really am so happy with how I came across, and I am very proud of my self with my progress. On all of the episodes leading up to this one, I was thriving and I was excelling, and I had some fabulous runway experiences. I am thrilled to have gotten to have been on the show this long, but to also now have this platform to build a career off of.
Do you think that doing drag and Drag Race as a whole is a political statement, and that you have a responsibility now to be a leader in your community?
V: You know, I do. I think I have a responsibility to represent my culture in the best way possible. I also think I have the ability now, with such a large platform, to really be able to succeed by having a long career. I want to be able to be a great example to people because my ultimate goal is to be a superstar. In order to do that, you have to carry yourself in a way that a star would. It is a personal choice of mine, but ultimately how I want to carry myself in my life.
Is it hard being on the inside of the Drag Race bubble while everyone has his or her own opinions? Your elimination definitely garnered some strong opinions!
V: You know, it’s actually not hard. I don’t listen to the opinions; I just do me and focus on myself. I focus on people that love me, and my career, and my successes. The thing is, I have a really strong community of friends, and a really great family. I am luckily mature for my age and I have this ability to see the bigger picture, and I know what is and what is not going to work for me. I don’t want to exhaust my heart or my emotions on any negativity at all, because that is energy that I could be putting into other things.
What do you want people to know about Valentina?
V: I would love people to reflect on my time on the show before my elimination. I had a very pleasurable experience before my elimination. And the bottom line is, I had a moment where I lost control; I fucked up. We have all had that moment. This is the experience that is going to catapult me to what will be the next part of my career. My ultimate goal is to become the face of drag in Latin America.