Being underestimated, feeling validated, and the New York sensibilities of Scarlet Envy
If there is any queen on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race that has been truly underestimated, it’s Scarlet Envy. This seasoned queen had the acting and runways down to a science. She quickly rose to the top of the pack, snagging an actor challenge win. Sadly, a dance challenge took her out, leading to her “Last Dance” reveal laden exit. RuPaul said that would “not be Scarlet’s last dance” and I couldn’t agree more.
I caught up with Scarlet to talk about her elimination, being underestimated throughout the season, and why the fans response to her is all the validation that she needs.
Last week’s elimination interview: New Jersey’s life-sized Bratz Doll Ariel Versace eliminated
While you may not have snagged the crown, you certainly won the love of the fans on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. How does that feel?
Scarlet Envy: It feels great. I was very validated by the voice of the fans, which is something that I don’t think I was expecting. You really just want to put yourself out there and just do your very best. For people to see that, that is definitely validating.
Looking in the rearview mirror, what is your favorite part of the whole Drag Race experience?
SE: Winning a challenge on the main stage, that is definitely a takeaway, and my favorite part. Hearing RuPaul say “you are the winner of this week’s challenge” is something that is just incredible. A lot of girls get the opportunity. But not every girl gets to hear that. So that was very special, and will forever be my favorite part of the experience.
On Untucked you said something that was extremely powerful, you said you “went into this experience thinking you were a complete package, and now you see that you are not.” What do you think the Drag Race experience has taught you that you think you could be more seasoned on?
SE: I think my story was pretty cut and dry, unfortunately she can’t do an eight count. That does not invalidate everything else though. Sure, we can always work on being a little more flexible and being a better dance student, but that has never been what my drag has been. I can serve you an experience. And I can give you a show without being the dance extraordinaire. If I had to take anything away, maybe it would be to take an extra dance lesson or two — when I was thirteen (laughs).
To be fair, Bianca Del Rio and Saha Velour are two of the most prolific winners of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and neither one of them are “dancing queens.”
SE: Absolutely. I think that is one of the special things about New York City drag, it serves a lot of things. New York City drag also goes back to the bare bones of drag, but to each their own. For some that is their drag.
You were definitely the dark horse of the season, and some of your sisters definitely underestimated you. What about you do you think made your fellow competitors underestimate you?
SE: You know, I still don’t quite know why I was so underestimated. But I will stand by the fact that I was definitely underestimated by the entire cast of my season. That is still a mystery to me, and I guess we will have to watch it all play out. It’s really a dichotomy to me. With 15 divas in one room; of course you are going to have to make your own. I would prefer to not be quite understood by fellow queens, versus being too understood.
There are some very talented ladies left on your cast; who do you think could really take it all the way?
SE: I really connected with Yvie, we won that challenge together. She was the one who got closest to my universe, whichever one I am floating around in. I would like to see her take it. Once again though, I love my New York City sister Shuga Cain. She also has a great chance. Of course, we all love a Canadian (Brooke Lynn Hytes). We will have to see; I certainly will be watching!
The internet has agreed on at least one thing; the majority of viewers feel you should not have gone home at the conclusion of last week’s episode.
SE: I am so overwhelmed with the response today. I have, and I have not seen what the viewers have been saying. I want to show love to everyone. And I do try to DM with my fans and try to really connect with people. The social platforms we have should not be overlooked in terms of connecting with a global audience. I am trying to get through all of it, and it is really a validation. When you are called “delusional” your entire season, to see that the fan base actually sees you, it is just overwhelming and wonderful.
New York City always has a fantastic representation on RuPaul’s Drag Race; who do you think from Brooklyn N.Y. could really make an impact on Drag Race?
SE: One of my mentors and an absolute legend is Mocha Lite. I think that she would absolutely murder the competition and not look back. Shout out to Mocha Lite!
What’s next for Scarlet Envy?
SE: Well, I am the actress of Season 11. And I would definitely love to keep acting. I have been on stage just to keep the lights on, so to be on stage and know that the lights are going to be on for a little bit is a breath of relief from a New York City drag queens perspective. I love a cabaret and I am going to be touring with my one woman show Reflections & Other Shiny Things. So, I am really excited about that. It’s some original music, some covers; anything from Patsy Cline to Lana Del Rey. I am writing music with James Wilson in New York, DragCon, and touring! The world wants me and the feeling is mutual, girl!
What inspires Scarlet Envy not just on stage, but as a person?
SE: You know, my mom is the hardest worker that I know, and she also happens to be beauty queen. She is a huge inspiration to me. I am always doing it for her. And I also have four younger sisters who are just so beautiful, so to keep moving forward and stay inspired, I pull from strong women. I look to them. I am just a copycat. If they can do it, I can do it. And they wear good shoes. Might as well right?