Turing says her body “shut down” on the latest episode of Drag Race Philippines.
For their fourth maxi-challenge, the nine remaining contestants paid homage to the female icons of Original Filipino Music (OPM) in their first-ever Rusical.
While Turing cemented her status as a frontrunner for the crown in the previous episode as she demolished the “Pop Off Ate” girl group performance, the star received harsh critiques from the panel for her tribute to Sharon Cuneta and her runway; with KaladKaren saying she looked like a “godmother at a wedding”.
From one body-positive queen to another, Jiggly Caliente also commented on how Turing’s dress didn’t “hug” her body or “compliment” her shape.
Shortly after, Turing almost fainted on the main stage and had to be escorted to a chair by a member of production, with Vinãs Deluxe jokingly stating in her confessional that she did so for “airtime”.
Speaking with GAY TIMES, the Cainta-born performer says she remembers “nothing” and her mind went “completely blank” during the incident.
“It may be that there was too much emotions, too much thoughts to process that my body just had to shut down,” she explains, before revealing she was “initially offended” at Vinãs’ comment.
“But when I realised where she was coming from,” she continues, “I understood her better and we’re good now.”
On whether she felt pressure as the only plus-sized queen in the competition, Turing adds: “Yes, but not just because Jiggly said it but because I know I represent a deeply scrutinised demographic. I wanted to do them good and represent them well to the best of my ability.”
Although she has no “regrets” about her time on Drag Race, Turing felt “terrible” after her exit because “I know that I could give more.”
“I respect the judges’ decision but I know I did my best that day. I value other people’s opinion of me but I also know that sometimes it can be really subjective,” she states.
Turing’s elimination was met with backlash online, with one viewer expressing how Drag Race Philippines will “never be the same” without her.
Another fan tweeted: “I have never cried at a Drag Race elimination before but Turing just has me in tears! I love her so much and I want her back immediately.”
Turing calls the outpouring of support “humbling but at the same time flattering, because growing up an insecure plus-sized gay boy, I never thought I would have that magnitude of impact to a lot of people.”
If she advanced further in the competition, Turing would’ve delivered “better looks” and an “amazing” performance for Snatch Game, where she planned to impersonate the legendary actress Jaclyn Jose.
“I have been impersonating her since high school, and got a really good grasp on her personality and nuances,” she says. “Also, she’s iconic as the first Filipino to win Best Actress at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.”
The first season of Drag Race Philippines, hosted by Paolo Ballesteros, has received universal acclaim from fans and critics for the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of its contestants and celebration of Filipino culture.
Describing the talent as “world class”, Turing says the series focuses heavier on “delivering fierce performances” when compared to other iterations in the franchise.
“We know who our audience are and how to capture their hearts,” she says. “Also, locally, there’s a culture we call “Bayanihan” where we help each other when needed. I think we all brought that to the show.”
Drag Race Philippines continues every Wednesday at 12pm BST exclusively on the streamer of all things drag, WOW Presents Plus. Subscribe via https://uk.wowpresentsplus.com/.
For fans wishing to meet Drag Race alum and host Jiggly Caliente, tickets are now on sale for RuPaul’s DragCon UK 2023 at https://uk.rupaulsdragcon.com/.