Baby has issued a statement on her unexpected Drag Race UK exit.
On last week’s episode, the performer opened up about her struggles with anxiety to the judging panel – including guest star Hannah Waddingham – and subsequently lip-synced for her life against Dakota Schiffer to Six: The Musical’s No Way.
After delivering one of the best smackdowns Drag Race UK has ever seen, Baby prevented RuPaul from announcing a winner as she told the host: “I’m extremely grateful for being here, but I think I need to go home and take care of myself.”
In response, Ru told the star: “I respect that. Baby, I love you. We all love you. Take care of yourself and remember what I told you. Now, sashay away.”
Baby’s decision to withdraw from the competition to focus on her mental health was met with praise from viewers.
In an Instagram Story posted on Monday (24 October), Baby broke her silence on her elimination and thanked those “who have reached out and sent love to me” after the episode.
“I was genuinely dreading being so vulnerable on national television but, after hearing how many of you identified with my journey. I’ve now realised how important it was to have that conversation on a platform as big as drag race and I want to thank you all for teaching me that lesson,” she started.
“The emotions that came out on episode five were a very small window into what was actually going on for me, and the reality is, I was really unwell. A lot of what you saw on camera was me “switching it on” and I’d gotten to a point where that was no longer sustainable for me and my well-being.”
Baby revealed that she experienced “aggressive and frequent panic attacks” throughout her duration on the series, but acted like “NOTHING had happened” when she entered the werkroom and participated in the challenges.
“The morning of the improv challenge, Sminty [Drop] hugged me because she could tell how unhappy I was and I burst into tears before wiping my face and getting in front of cameras like “right, girlies, let’s get into these improv characters 9″ even though that was the last thing on my mind,” she continued.
“That same episode, Cheddar held me in their arms as I had a panic attack right before we went into untucked and I sat there trying my best to hold my shit together, more worried about how my actions may be perceived by those watching at home than thinking about what was good for me.”
Although Baby “knew” she wanted to exit the series after filming Lairy Poppins: The Rusical – saying she was “doubled-over in crippling pain from anxiety” – she chose to remain in the competition “out of respect” for her season four sisters.
“I didn’t want to let them down after I saw how much effort they had put into rehearsals,” she wrote.
“Backstage just before we walked the runway in our musical looks I remember looking over at LeFil and covering my mic to tell them “I can’t be here any more, I need to go home” feeling like the importance of my well-being was a dirty secret that needed to be hidden in order for us to make this show.
“For those of you saying “I hope, Baby finds her confidence” please understand that confidence is one of the few issues I don’t struggle with ha.
“I’m more than aware of how loving, talented and hardworking I am and value those things about myself beyond anything else. I genuinely enjoyed the challenges on the show and felt the most “myself” when I was able to express my creativity in those mediums on one of the biggest platforms in the world right now.”
However, Baby further explained that the “psychological requirements” of being on a show such as Drag Race “meant that I wasn’t able to do my job to the best of my ability. So, rather than stay and misrepresent my skill level and artistic capabilities, I decided to go home and take care of myself.”
Baby added: “A lot of you are messaging me saying “I hope you’re better now” which is a lovely sentiment but it also implies that there’s a magical switch that just “fixes” your mental health issues and people need to understand that this is something that will affect me (at least to some degree) for the rest of my life.
“I’m learning the best ways to make it as manageable as possible for myself so I can continue to be a bad-ass performer, not just for you guys, but for me. Don’t worry about me, I’m booked and my bills are paid.”
Baby concluded her statement by referring fans to her new single, Theatre, which also discusses her anxiety and mental health and is now available on iTunes and streaming services.
Listen to Theatre now and read Baby’s statement in full below.