Amanda Tori Meating has spoken out about her much-talked about exit from Drag Race season 16 and how her “inner spirit of c**t” took over when interacting with Plane Jane.
In the latest episode of Drag Race, the queens performed girl group remixes to songs from RuPaul’s album Black Butta, before sashaying down the runway in pussycat wigs.
Going into the runway, Amanda told Entertainment Weekly that she thought she was “winning this episode. I was like, this is my first win … I felt like I was murdering it completely — until the runway.”
Despite Michelle Visage stating that her performance was “top-notch”, Amanda found herself in the bottom two with Q, who received strong critiques for her look.
“I felt like it was because they didn’t like my runway. They had some comments about my padding and my hair getting in my face. So, nit-picky things. The finer details,” she explained. Even at this point she felt she “could still win” the episode.
Amanda’s first idea for the runway theme ‘Faster Pussycat! Wig! Wig!’ had been to “come out in a fully rhinestoned, nude catsuit with a red pussycat wig, I’d be a match, and the wig would be smoking somehow. Scientifically, that didn’t work out.”
Instead, she came down the runway with a bird nest framing her face. Within the nest, Amanda had two styrofoam heads with matching blue pussycat wigs.
The final look, however, was in fact “incomplete” when she received it from the designer and she had to “finish it in my hotel room”: “I showed up with the nest. All I had was the nest and the shoes, and everything else, I put together in the room. The skirt underneath, the rhinestones, the twigs, that was all Amanda Tori Meating.”
Amanda’s final lip sync against Q received a passionate response from fans after many felt like she was in fact the winner.
One fan commented: “What even is the point of a lip sync for your life anymore … Amanda Tori Meating won that wtf.”
Another said: “I think we can all agree that based on the lip sync, Q, would be going home.
Amanda Tori Meating ate her up! However, Q has shown a better quality of work overall and thus I agree she deserved to stay… but if it was just down to the lip sync.”
Amanda “cried a lot” and “was spiralling” once she was back in the hotel post elimination. “My story producer, before I left set, he looked at me, like, ‘Be kind to yourself tonight.’ Such a sweet guy. I thought I blew it.
“Before that night, before I got sent the f**k home, I was like, I’m top-four, easily … I don’t care that I had a rough go at the beginning, there have been tons of girls who’ve fallen on their face and become a beautiful butterfly by the end of the season.
“I was like, that’s absolutely going to be my tea. I was a bit devastated to have that not be my fantasy, but, I think I’ve butterflied in my own way.”
Plane Jane and Amanda memorably came into conflict throughout the season. In the latest episode, the former continued to shade Amanda, leading to a heated confrontation: “That was the moment that I was fed up, that was the moment the her emerged, my inner spirit of c**t to tell her to leave me the f**k alone!”
Since the show, their interactions have been “cordial and respectful”: “I saw her when I did Roscoe’s, she came out to support me and [Mirage], so we had some chats backstage in the dressing room. It’s cordial and respectful. It’s moving in a positive direction compared to what it was.”
Despite the drama, Amanda is keen to not “tie my entire Drag Race experience to Plane.”
Amanda recently announced that she is trans and is embracing the “process of transitioning” post filming Drag Race season 16.
The New-York based queen has candidly shared her “gender exploration journey” and how she has “arrived to a point where I feel like I’m transitioning” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly’s, Quick Drag podcast.
In the interview she revealed that she considered herself to be non-binary for roughly four years prior to her stint competing on Drag Race. However, she was “figuring out where exactly I sat on the trans spectrum.”
She later explained to Entertainment Weekly that it was a “crazy feeling” to have everyone finally know about her gender identity: “It’s been a cool moment for me. I had a gig that night, and everyone was talking about it. It was sweet and special … It’s this crazy feeling of, the interactions are more full and complete because they see the real me.”
On the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race the queens will be tackling the infamous design challenge.