“I’m always going to make a memorable TV moment,” laughs Mayhem Miller. The party came to an abrupt end for the Drag Race veteran during the UK vs the World premiere after she botched her talent show number; a “guided meditation” that blended words of affirmation with a warning to “never trust a fart” (really important). While most queens would have a breakdown after fumbling on the main stage, Mayhem finds the f**k-up “hilarious”: “It’s just one of those things where you have to roll with the punches. I never take drag seriously, ever.”
Although Mayhem was confident the top two queens would be seduced by her proposal of an alliance, Philippines runner-up Marina Summers ended her British vacation when she revealed her lipstick. “I was like, ‘Dang, they tricked me!’ I got got, I really did,” Mayhem tells GAY TIMES. “I thought it was the smartest thing to do. […] If it was me, I would get rid of the threat. I don’t care what kind of deal I made.”
Following her exit, we caught up with Mayhem to discuss her short-lived experience on UK vs the World. Additionally, the legend reflects on her pre-show tweet, in which she called out “unnecessary hate” from toxic Drag Race ‘fans’, failing to make it to Snatch Game (for the third time) and why she wants eliminations to permanently sashay away from the franchise.
Mayhem Miller, I’m sad to be speaking with you this early?!
How are you feeling after your elimination, now you’ve had a few months to let it simmer?
I’m still heartbroken. I’m still in therapy. No, I’m fine. I think a lot of people really expect queens to be disturbed by it, but I’ve been through this so many times now. For me, it’s nothing but another day at work and that’s how I treat it. I got picked to do a job. I did my job and then I got let go from my job. Now, I go and seek work elsewhere! So, it’s fun. It’s all for the entertainment value of what Drag Race is, which is celebrating drag and having a good time with it.
Let’s talk about that talent show performance. You started laughing during the middle of it and even said, “Ahh fuck.” Why do you think you stumbled through the routine?
I started laughing because I got the giggles. Once I started laughing I was like, ‘Oh well.’ It’s just one of those things where you have to roll with the punches. I never take drag seriously, ever. For most people, they would have a meltdown and it would be the end of the world for them, but for me, this happens everyday when you go on stage as an entertainer. You have great days, bad days. You get up and dust yourself off and keep pushing.
At least it was memorable, right?
Look, I’m always going to make a memorable TV moment – especially when it comes to the talent show. It’s always going to be a Mayhem situation. I love it. Looking back on it, it’s hilarious to me because… I mean, who goes back on Drag Race twice and fumbles the talent show?
@gaytimes We spoke to the latest queen to be eliminated from #dragraceukvstheworld season 2, Mayhem Miller 👀 #dragrace #dragraceuk #dragqueen ♬ original sound – GAY TIMES
I was cackling because of your delivery of the line, “You’re beautiful, don’t let no one tell you different. Namaste.” That was pure comedy.
Thank you. I end every show that I do, every night of the week, with that saying because I do truly believe it. You’re beautiful, and you better not let nobody tell you different. I grew up in a world where people always told me different. Once I realised my beauty and talent and abilities as a human being, just being who I am: you’re beautiful. Know your value and your worth, always.
And never trust a fart.
And never trust a fart, because it might be shitty.
What was the full routine supposed to look like, and what was your point of view with it?
For me, the full length was supposed to be a mixture of, ‘Let’s have fun and a laugh, but let’s also be serious.’ That’s just what life is. It has ups and downs. Not everything is always great and bad. So, I thought it would be important to show vulnerability and range and that you’re human. It’s not about being perfect, and messing up during it made it even more perfect.
When people pay to see Mayhem Miller, they’ll want to see the messed up routine, surely?
No seriously though. I was like, ‘I wonder how this is going to be received?’ because I’m pretty sure people will want me to mess up all the time! Oh gosh, I love it.
You also made me laugh this episode because, for the second season in a row, you were shamelessly willing to play the game when you proposed an alliance.
I mean, if we’re going to play the game, let’s play the game! I think the viewers want to see someone who’s unapologetically willing to say, ‘I’m not afraid of what people are going to say, let’s give you some good TV and make some drama.’
When you had those conversations with Marina and La Grande Dame, did you come away from either of them thinking they would save you?
Oh no, I for real thought they were going to save me. I was gagged! ‘How dare you?’
How did you feel then when Marina revealed your lipstick?
At first I was like, ‘Dang, they tricked me!’ I got got, I really did. I was like, ‘They’re going to keep me for sure.’ But no, it didn’t work. I thought it was the smartest thing to do. At the end of the day, knowing that maybe I would be successful in other challenges, I would be a threat, possibly. So, I would get rid of the threat. If it was me, I would get rid of the threat. I don’t care what kind of deal I made.
I can’t believe you’ve competed in three seasons of Drag Race now, and you’ve not made it to a single Snatch Game.
Technically fourth season, because I consider the Holi-Slay Spectacular a season as well.
Four! Bloody hell.
Yeah, I have not been able to do Snatch Game.
So Mayhem, tell me, who were you going to impersonate? I’m dying to know.
I feel like I shouldn’t say because maybe I’ll get asked back to another season of Drag Race. I don’t want to give other girls the opportunity to snatch what I was going to do.
So we’ll see it when you compete on Drag Race a fifth time? Okay, fine.
Not only will I get to Snatch Game, but I will win Snatch Game.
A lot of fans, including me, think the first episode of any Drag Race season should be a non-elimination. What are your thoughts?
I agree. I think it would also change the narrative of the first-out [queen], the negativity of it all. If the first episode was an episode where we got to see everyone, let them shine, then we get deeper into the competition and start eliminating, then fine. I actually don’t even want eliminations anymore. I’d rather see a whole season of a cast and see what happens. I wish we didn’t have eliminations this time around, but that’s what the game was this time.
Again, you made me laugh in this episode when you admitted that you didn’t know any of the queens…
Look, it’s not my fault! I admit, I’m terrible at watching some of the other franchises, but that’s only because I work a lot. I don’t get a lot of TV time but when I do get TV time, I try to limit my drag consumption because that’s my life and I do like to have a personal life outside of my persona of Mayhem. So, when I’m watching TV it’s either football or 90 Day Fiancé.
When the promo was announced, you thanked fans for the love online but also mentioned there’d been some hate. Was that because this is your third time competing? I couldn’t make sense of it.
It baffles me every time I receive hate because I’m never a villain on the show. I don’t understand. If I did terrible things and was a mean person, I could understand why I would receive negativity. But, I get it out of nowhere and I hate to say it, but it’s usually racially charged. It’s terrible and disgusting when a person wakes up first thing in the morning, opens up their mail and sees something so horrific. Why are we, in today’s world, thinking that bullying is okay? Especially within our own community, you would think that people who are marginalised, made to feel less than, would understand that being a disgusting vile person is not acceptable. It just seems to be within the Drag Race community that it’s a problem, still, even though we address it year after year.
Being a queen of colour, having to have to deal with that, is fucking terrible. No one should have to deal with that. It happens to me, and I’m sure it’s going to continue to happen to me because there are people out there who are just terrible human beings. But, I’m constantly showered with praise and love and positivity by people who do celebrate what I do and see my value and contributions to the drag world. Their voices get dwarfed by the love, definitely. To the people out there who are not kind, you are missing the whole message of Drag Race.
The whole ethos of the show is love and acceptance? Like?
That’s the show! Everybody say love. But apparently, not everyone can say love.
These trolls make up a very small minority of the fandom. Also, you’re a legend. They’re not. So, who’s winning?
It’s funny because when I do clap back, I always have to constantly remind them: ‘Most people don’t talk to people they don’t like or let them know they don’t like them. It’s kind of weird what you’re doing but, hey, the attention is still making the algorithm work in my favour!’ My resume really does speak for itself. It speaks volumes. So at the end of the day, it does not matter. I still have TV credits and a legacy behind me that is unrivalled. So, I win!
On the show, you opened up about having long COVID. How are you feeling now?
I am in better shape now. My lung capacity has gotten a lot better. Yeah, she’s feeling good now. Not 100%, but she’s there.
You will be fully recovered by the time you compete on Drag Race for the fifth time, yeah?
I will definitely pack my inhaler with me when I do get the call again.
What is next for Mayhem Miller?
Oh my god, a nap! What’s next is always the same thing I tell everyone: just to continue what I’ve been doing. I’m an active participant in my communities. I work every night, every day, doing shows and producing shows, hiring other queens and kings. I do a lot of work and I just want to continue doing that.
Drag Race UK vs the World is streaming in the UK on BBC iPlayer.
You can watch our interview with Mayhem Miller here or below.