A new book about RuPaul’s Drag Race has dropped some major tea regarding Valentina’s unforgettable season nine appearance.

Since its debut in 2009, Drag Race has ruled the pop culture sphere with an iron fist.

Over the course of 14 years, the franchise has released 15 mainstay seasons, numerous spinoffs – including All Stars and Celebrity Drag Race – and various international iterations.

Drag Race has also introduced fans to an array of diverse and talented drag queens, some of whom have made herstory due to their wild shenanigans.

One queen that made significant waves in the franchise is season nine Miss Congeniality winner Valentina.

After just a few episodes, the California-based talented garnered one of the most loyal and dedicated fanbases of any queen from the Emmy Award-winning series – thanks to her polished high-fashion runways, quirky sense of humour and unique perspective on drag.

However, during the ninth episode of her inargural season, Valentina shocked the judges and the Drag Race fandom when she refused to remove her mask while lip-syncing against Nina Bonina Brown.

“This is a lip-sync for your life. We need to see your lips,” Ru informed Valentina, which resulted in her saying the iconic phrase: “I’d like to keep it on, please.”

Since that fateful day, fans have been clamouring for more information about the controversial and viral moment.

Fortunately in Maria Elena Fernandez and World of Wonder’s new book, And Don’t F&%k It Up: An Oral History of RuPaul’s Drag Race (The First Ten Years), Valentina’s season nine cast mate and All Stars 7 star Shea Couleé revealed new behind the scenes tea about the iconic scene.

“I remember the music starting, and about 30 seconds in, I felt everyone started looking side to side at one another,” she recalled (per People).

“Is she gonna leave that on? Or is she gonna take that off? Then I could see Michelle turning to Ru, and I felt like I could see people in the crew looking at each other.”

Producer Randy Barbato echoed similar sentiments, describing the performance as a “what the f**k moment.”

“The producer in me was happy for it to play out a little, but we’re going to have to stop this, and Ru is going to know how,” he explained.

“It was bittersweet because we love Valentina. I thought it was a stunt. But there were indications backstage that maybe she wasn’t prepared.”

In addition to Valentina’s lip-sync fiasco, And Don’t F&%k It Up also takes a deeper look into Ongina’s emotional and herstory-making HIV status announcement, Willam’s season four disqualification, Jinx Monsoon’s “played up” narcolepsy moments and more.

And Don’t F&%k It Up: An Oral History of RuPaul’s Drag Race (The First Ten Years) is now available on Amazon.


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