There are spoilers below. Read no further unless you want to know who goes home.
We here at San Diego Gay and Lesbian News never want to spoil the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9 for any of our readers (we give you about a week), so If you don’t know who went home last week, don’t read any further.
Speaking of, last week on Drag Race there was a lot going on. Contestants had to team up and come up with a sizzle reel for Mama Ru showing off their acting chops for an imaginary TV pilot.
The one eliminated was a bit shocking because she seemed to have so much going for her, in fact, her showstopping look for the bridal challenge on episode two won the challenge; no easy feat among veterans.
Although there are no official polls, she might be considered a fan favorite this season and that’s really no surprise given her background growing up in the the entertainment capital of the world: Hollywood.
But even Valentina couldn’t sustain the amount of pressure it takes to progress in Drag Race and given her quotidian pilot sketch with Nina Bo'Nina Brown she found that being in the bottom-two having to lip sync for her life was an unpleasant surprise.
Not only for her but her huge fan base.
Yet, Valentina made another choice that probably sealed her fate worse than anything else. Just having come off the runway for her "club kid" look in which she wore a solid red veil that covered her mouth.
Questionably, she decided to leave it on over her mouth for the lip sync challenge against Nina, causing Mama Ru to stop the show mid-sync and ask her to take it off.
“I’d like to keep it on please,” she clapped back to Ru from stage, but eventually removed it and continued on with the lip sync to Ariana Grande’s Greedy.
Valentina talked to SDGLN about that episode and her decision to keep her mask on.
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News: Hi Valentina!
Valentina (laughing): Hi it’s me!
SDGLN: You are relatively young compared to the other contestants, also you're new to the field. What was it like going in as a newbie?
Valentina: Uh, it was definitely some thing I knew was an advantage. I knew I was going to be doubted for my lack of experience, and I had the opportunity to prove myself from the very beginning as a strong contender for the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
I’ve been studying the performing arts since I was eleven so I’ve been studying dance and stage and choir and improv--everything! And I’ve done a lot of things with the arts, and that’s all been preparation for me to be a drag queen.
So I may lack experience in the drag community or with other drag queens, but I was born for the stage.
You're from from Los Angeles born and raised. Yes?
I’m a true Angelino. I went to school in Hollywood, in middle school and high school so I’ve always been surrounded by the entertainment industry.
How was it working with Nina on the pilot challenge last week?
Working with Nina was a pleasure. I love Nina Bo'Nina Brown. It was a challenge to put together the pilot. It was. But along the way, we had so much fun even filming it, even just sitting there asking, ‘what do you think about this? Or ‘what do you think about that?’
It was actually really fun. We are two very creative people.
You know maybe we didn’t excel in this challenge, but give us something else and put Nina Bo'Nina Brown and me together and we will be very powerful.
Who took on the role as the leader in your group for that challenge?
There was no leader. We were both working together. We were both throwing out ideas.
Uh, if anything we just kind of worked together the whole time. I tried to make sure I was listening to her ideas and she was listening to mine.
We were just trying to do the very best we could in that moment. We worked together as hard as we could.
Unfortunately, you had to lip sync for your life in the end: The big question is why did you keep the veil on your face, over your mouth. Were you planning on doing that through the whole lip sync challenge had you not been interrupted by Mama Ru?
What do you want to know?
Well, why would you make that choice?
Because I was not prepared, and I did not know the lip sync. I was also in a state of shock to be honest. Um, I was just floating in La-La Land.
How did it feel to tell Mama Ru that you wanted to keep it on after she interrupted the lip sync challenge to tell you to remove it?
It’s hard for me to remember because it happened so long ago, I was in a state of shock. But when Mama Ru started speaking to me I was still in this state of shock until she raised her voice a little bit. It was only that moment that I actually remember feeling anything because I remember feeling like, ‘oh crap’ what’s going on?
It was very difficult and challenging to stand up there for that long.
Ending on a positve note, you did slay the bridal runway look on episode two. How did that feel to win that?
It felt very self-rewarding to get that validation so early on from Mama Ru Paul and the judges, and I felt like it was the perfect way to prove my point that I was there to win. My ultimate goal there was to win.
What’s next for you?
My ultimate goal is to become the face of drag and all of that in America.
Are you coming to San Diego soon?
I do a gig at Rich’s. So I’m not sure when I’m booked again, but hopefully I’ll be there very soon.
Thank you Valentina, see you soon.
Thank you so much it was a pleasure.
Don't forget to tune in to Episode ten, "Makeovers: Crew Better Work," airs Friday, May 26 at 8 pm ET/PT on VH1.
The queens makeover members of the Drag Race crew. Singer Kesha and RuPaul’s gown designer Zaldy guest judge.
Social: @RuPaulsDragRace / #DragRace