Denali has responded to claims that she was “sabotaged” by one of her Drag Race competitors.
For their latest maxi-challenge, the queens were tasked with transforming one of their season 13 sisters into their drag doppelgängers.
After receiving a psychic reading from medium Char Margolis, the contestants were paired with a queen that they can learn the most from, with one duo consisting of Denali and Olivia Lux.
On the runway, Olivia embraced Denali’s signature ice skater aesthetic, while Denali channelled her competitor’s inner diva with a luxurious gown.
Ultimately, the two were forced to compete in the lip-sync showdown to Mary Mary’s gospel classic, Shackles (Praise You), before Denali was told by RuPaul to sashay away.
The reaction to Denali’s elimination was… chaotic. Earlier in the season, the fan-favourite gagged fans with one of the most entertaining lip-syncs in herstory when she booted her Chicago sister, Kahmora Hall, out of the competition.
Due to her formidable lip-sync skills, viewers accused Olivia of dressing Denali in an ensemble that she wouldn’t be able to perform in. What a conspiracy!
Following her elimination, Denali put these bonkers rumours to rest.
“There was no sabotage. I made the decision to not drop down to a bodysuit, buck and kick and stunt and flip to a gospel/worship song,” she told her Twitter followers. “I remember saying to myself, you’ve shown them that already.”
Denali then referenced Latrice Royale and Kenya Michaels’ iconic season four lip-sync to You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman), which showcased two polar opposite performances to the soulful Aretha Franklin tune.
Latrice proved that sometimes less is more as she stood still and embodied the song’s lyrics, while Kenya stomped around the stage in a ballet-esque routine.
“Wanna be Latrice or Kenya? Olivia slayed and won the lipsync,” added Denali.
Later, Denali shared her original look for the makeover challenge, which depicts her and Olivia as the ghoulish twins from The Shining. In her caption, she clarified: “I don’t blame anyone for my makeover but me and although the cards fell where they did, I left getting to bond with one of my closest sisters from the show.”
Speaking with GAY TIMES after her elimination, Denali said the positive feedback from viewers has been the “most healing part” of her experience.
“It has been a tumultuous year and I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to do in the show. That left a lot of wounds so to see how they have received me has been so healing, and rewarding,” she told us.
“I am so proud of everything I did and to see the fans attaching to my authenticity. There was obviously a lot of disappointment considering how competitive I am and how bad I wanted to make it to the end.”
You can read Denali’s exit interview with GAY TIMES in full here.
There was no sabotage. I made the decision to not drop down to a bodysuit, buck and kick and stunt and flip to a gospel/worship song. I remember saying to myself, you’ve shown them that already- wanna be Latrice or Kenya? Olivia slayed and won the lipsync. https://t.co/iDCYHaKXAx
— ❄️Denali❄️ (@denalifox) March 13, 2021
Come play with us🩸🪓
Original look for the makeover challenge! I want to clarify that I don’t blame anyone for my makeover but me and although the cards fell where they did, I left getting to bond with one of my closest sisters from the show. Happy birthday @theolivialux! pic.twitter.com/DGQoRehLcr
— ❄️Denali❄️ (@denalifox) March 15, 2021
On next week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the seven remaining contestants will create and brand their own versions of soft drinks, while our reigning queen, Jaida Essence Hall, makes a virtual werkroom appearance.