On last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, favorite Valentina was sent home packing after an extremely depressing and shocking lip sync.
All season long, we were rooting for the young, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Latina sensation. Week after week, Valentina turned out stunning looks on the runway and some stand-out performances in the maxi challenges.
But during last night’s episode, the clout she achieved quickly fell apart. We knew she was doomed when she was paired with Nina Bonina Brown, whose piss poor attitude has long overshadowed her accomplishments in the workroom.
Rumors had been circulating all week that a queen with a mask was going to lip sync, causing some extra drama on Ru’s stage. When we saw Valentina take the runway in a club kid look with a mask, we saw the writing on the wall. And it wasn’t Destiny’s Child.
— RuPaul’s Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) May 20, 2017
After the lip sync between Valentina and Nina began, Tina started sidestepping with her mask still on, with no intention of taking it off. The judges began to confusingly kibitz, and the audience at my viewing party screamed, “Take if off!”
As if Ru heard the drunk gays of Hell’s Kitchen, she stopped the music and asked Valentina to remove the mask.
“This is a lip sync for your life,” RuPaul said. “We need to see your lips. Take that thing off your mouth.”
Sweet lord, Jesus, I have never clutched my chest hair so hard!
Valentina responded, “I would like to keep it on, please.”
Ru insists, “It’s a lip sync, what part of that do you not understand?”
Valentina finally submits to Momma Ru and takes off her mask. Next, she shows she doesn’t know the words to Ariana Grande’s “Greedy.” As one Twitter user points out, it’s interesting to learn that Ariana Grande songs actually do have words.
Before Valentina sashayed away, Ru reminded us all — channeling her inner Tyra Banks — “I thought you had the stuff to go all the way.”
So while we’re really upset that Valentina was sent home, it was one of the best moments on Drag Race this season, showing that no matter how high you may be flying all competition long, anyone is one mistake away from being eliminated.
Valentina’s emotions after getting cut also raised the stakes. So many queens aren’t overwhelmingly upset when they are sent home because their goal was just to get on the show. Not this queen. She wanted that crown. Watching her intense breakdown after her loss reminds us all that this is a competition.
Since Valentina’s loss, Twitter has been screaming at RuPaul and Drag Race producers — how can Valentina be sent home when other queens (Alexis, Peppermint and Nina) have been given so many second chances?
— armando (@arnnando) May 20, 2017
Lets face it: Valentina’s lip sync sucked. Even if you don’t know the words, move, dance, strip — do something! This was one step up from Charlie Hides’s clapping choreo, which isn’t saying much.
Valentina very clearly shut down, and a very calculated contestant lost all her strategy. While she’d been fearless all season long, in this instance she let her fear overtake her at the most important moment. It was a reminder why RuPaul’s Drag Race makes such great TV.
But like a true star, Valentina is not blaming anyone but herself.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Valentina said:
I can only move forward learning from this experience. It’s almost as if I’m going to self-sabotage myself to take myself back to a moment that happened many months ago and to doubt myself and say I should have done this and should have done that. No, I’m living this experience now, and I can learn so much from that. It’s part of the human experience. Everybody’s had that moment in their life when they’ve had everything they ever wanted in front of them, and all they have to do is go get it, but they just fucked up, and I fucked it up.
We know this is just the beginning for Valentina. See you on All Stars 3, kitty girl!