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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 16: Mirage On Representation Pressure, That Cher Lip-Sync And Her Improv Decisions

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 16: Mirage On Representation Pressure, That Cher Lip-Sync And Her Improv Decisions

Mirage, the second eliminated queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race is no less of a star in our eyes!

The dancing queen from Las Vegas talked with Blavity’s Shadow and Act in an elimination interview about her time on the competition show, what it was like getting to know the queens, and her decisions during this week’s challenge. As far as what it felt like to be on the show, Mirage said everything went by so fast.

“I would say it was a flash. It was so fun, but I feel like it kind of flew by,” Mirage said, adding that before she could realize what was happening, it was over.

“I mean, obviously I was having a great time. I loved it. I would do it again. I highly recommend, but yeah, it was just such a there and back before I even realized my head was spinning,” she said, adding that walking into the werkroom was more than she could expect.

“It was so much more than I expected in a good way,” she said. “Everything that you think it’s going to be, but on steroids.”

Mirage was one of the five Latina queens competing this season, a history-making moment for the U.S. franchise. Mirage is also the only Apache queen this season. Mirage opened up about what it felt like to realize she was one of the queens Latinx and Native American fans would see as as representative of their communities.

“You know what? Initially, I had not even considered it. I just, you know, it’s a part of my life, of course, and it’s not something that I think about every single day,” she said. “So, in my head, I’m like, yeah, that’s what I am, that’s what I do. And then, when they [other fans] were saying we haven’t really had this before…I don’t want to say making a big deal, but like, it was kind of like there was a little bit of pressure after that, after they brought it up…It’s like saying, ‘Oh, you have brown eyes, how do you feel representing all the brown-eyed community?’ And you’re like, ‘Oh, what? Oh, I didn’t know I was doing all that,’ you know what I mean? So, it was it was a little bit of pressure that I kind of put that on my back, but in a good way. I wear it proudly, but it kind of made me nervous a little bit to be honest.”

Mirage thought she could squeak by this week’s challenge, a Saturday Night Live-esque acting/improv challenge, by taking on the hosting duties. She said she knew there would be “some pressure” because she was going to be by herself, but she felt like it was the best role to take as someone who isn’t an actor.

“The reason I wanted the role that I wanted is because I knew I was not an actress. So I thought I’m gonna let them take those roles and I really wanted the host because that’s the only one that doesn’t really require acting; you get to just like kind of be yourself and be fun and be a drag queen, like what we do every time, what we do every weekend,” she said. “So I thought that that was the best role for me…It clearly did not work out, but I stick by that and I would pick that role again.”

The lip sync wasn’t a comfort either, since Mirage already knew she didn’t know the words. She said she knew she would be packing her bags.

“I knew once I was in the bottom that I was leaving and I just wanted to go out with a fight,” she said. “Because I know I didn’t know the words, but I said, ‘I’m not just gonna stand here,’ you know what I mean? …I kind of just blacked out. I really don’t remember what I did, but I just knew that I wasn’t going to go out without a fight. I’m not just going to stand there. So that was my only thought.”

At the time of this interview, Mirage hadn’t seen her lip-sync on television yet. She said she was nervous about watching it with others because she didn’t know what to expect.

“I’m so dreading watching it in front of everybody and all that kind of stuff because I know I’m going to cry, but I at least, as long as I feel like–or as long as people feel like–I gave an effort and I didn’t just give up. That’s what means the most, I feel like, to me,” she said.

However, despite the sad ending, Mirage said that she was happy to find sisterhood with the queens, something she wasn’t expecting when she walked in for the first time.

“It was fun,” she said of her time on the show. “It was way, way better than I was expecting, honestly because I went in there with the guard up a little bit, and [I] immediately clicked with the other girls, which I was not expecting.”

“The way we just got so comfortable with each other on the very first day, [I was] pleasantly surprised and I actually genuinely liked them,” she continued.” I was not expecting that either. I thought I was ready to go in there and be mean. I thought the Queen of Mean, I was ready to be that girl. And then, I was like, ‘Oh wait, they’re kind of fun.’ I dropped that right away. I dropped the Queen of Mean title and gave it to Plane Jane [laughs].”

RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Fridays at 8/7c on MTV and streams the next day on Paramount+.

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