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While Sminty Drop sashayed away much sooner than she – or fans – anticipated, the Lancashire queen can take comfort in the fact that she blessed viewers with the most iconic exit since – say it with us now – “Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjie, Miss… Vaaanjie.” Referencing her performance in the episode’s maxi-challenge, where the queens starred on Alan Carr’s brand new show Catty Man, Sminty sad-twerked her way off the series and became a viral sensation in the process. “I literally turned around, saw Ru and my knees started bending and my bum just started relatively moving – more or less!” Sminty tells GAY TIMES. “It all happened so quickly, it was another blackout moment. I walked off like, ‘What was that all about?!’” 

With her “stern” paint and fashion-forward presentations on the runway, Sminty says it was important for her to show viewers that she isn’t a “horrible” person and can “get down with the girls”. Suffice to say, she completed this task with flying colours; the queen’s optimism, innovative aesthetic and endearing confessionals have won her legions of fans across the world. “If there’s one thing I can say about myself, it’s that I’ve shown my personality and some sickening looks,” she explains. “That’s all I can take away from it.”

Read ahead for our full interview with Sminty, where she breaks down her time on Drag Race UK including her legendary exit and fierce lip-sync smackdown against Baby, as well as her planned impersonation for Snatch Game. “I’m doing it on All Stars! Okay?” she warns the cast of season five. “Don’t do it!”

Sminty, babes, how are you doing?

I’m doing so good! I’m honestly so overwhelmed with all of the outpouring of love and support that I’ve just had thrown my way all of a sudden. I went from crying to trending on Twitter and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m fine now!’

Let’s talk about that exit. You’ve gone viral. I was cackling at my screen. Talk to me about that…

So, the method behind the madness was… I was basically in too much of a hysterical fit. I was stood there on the stage like, ‘Okay, so this is happening. I don’t really know what to do.’ Then I was just like, ‘Thank you so much for having me,’ and then I got to the back of the stage with nothing prepared. I wasn’t expecting to go this early, so I hadn’t thought of anything! I literally turned around, saw Ru and my knees started bending and my bum just started relatively moving – more or less! Tears were falling off my face so I was just like… It all happened so quickly, it was another blackout moment. I walked off like, ‘What was that all about?!’

Sminty, it was pure comedy, one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on Drag Race. Fans are even comparing it to Vanjie’s exit – does it get any better than that?

How wild is that?! I was literally up until half five this morning, just reading through tweets. I’ve had two hours sleep because all I was doing was reading tweets of everyone like, ‘This is the best exit since Vanjie!’ I was like, ‘Guys, calm down,’ but also… It was pretty hilarious. Do you know what I should’ve done? I should’ve just turned around and started doing the Renegade or something, the TikTok dance. For a future queen, if you want to go viral, turn around and just do a TikTok dance and walk off.

How did you feel after your elimination?

I was so upset. I was just so overcome with emotions. The first thing that was going through my head was… No one wants to go early, we’ve all got the fantasy of making top three so there is a massive stigma around going home early. The main thing that was going through my head was, ‘Oh my god, am I gonna have the career that I wanted? I’ve just done all of this and had such high hopes and expectations for myself, am I even gonna be able to achieve this now?’ Everything was just coming down on me at once. I was being my own worst enemy again, I was coming down on myself like a ton of fucking bricks. Yeah, there was a lot of emotions going on. It was also knowing that I’m not gonna be back on the bus back to the hotel with all the girls. I’m not gonna be able to see them or be in this experience anymore and I think that ripped my heart out of my chest. But I was also like, ‘I get to go and see my family now and all my girls.’ That was the only thing that got me through that long car journey back home!

It’s funny that you mentioned placement because I feel like Drag Race is one of the only shows where placement really, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t matter. There’s queens who have been ninth, tenth, eleventh place who have gone on to do such great things. I mean, look at Nicky Doll…

Nicky Doll was literally second or third out and now she’s hosting Drag Race France, like, hello?

So would you be up for hosting…

Maybe I’ll start hosting Drag Race Lancashire?!

I was just about to say!

[Laughs] I’m just gonna have to say that I’m from somewhere like, ‘Guys, I am actually a little bit Swedish. I’m from Sweden!’ I’m obviously not Swedish.

Knowing that Baby is a skilled dancer and very comfortable on the stage, how did you feel going into that lip-sync?

In my head I wasn’t expecting it to be Baby. That’s why in Untucked I was like, ‘I’m gonna motherfucking fight if I have to do this! I’m gonna fight til the death!’ blah blah blah. I thought if it was me and Le Fil, I might have… I wasn’t sure of Le Fil’s performing history. I know Le Fil does Sink the Pink but I wasn’t sure on their full performing history and how well they’d do in a lip-sync. But I knew Baby was a phenomenal dancer, I’ve seen that girl move at brunches and oh my god… I did not wanna be up against that! So I was like, ‘Okay, if I’m up against Le Fil I might actually stand a chance.’ When it was announced that Le Fil was safe and it was me and Baby, I literally turned around and looked directly at Danny’s eyes and I was like, ‘I’m going home.’ I’m sure Ru was like, ‘Is she gonna look at us again?’ I was crying before the lip-sync even started! ‘I’m going home, this is my time!’

Sminty, you were so much fun to watch in that lip-sync though. Your personality really shone – shone? You shined.

‘You shooned!’

You shooned. How did you feel in the lip-sync?

When I was competing on the stage I was like, ‘I hope they’re looking at me. They seem to be evenly looking between us.’ At the same time, all that was going through my head was, ‘I’m doing such a bad job, Baby is turning it out. I can see her taking her clothes off.’ I thought I was doing awful. I thought I did the worst lip-sync ever. Watching it back I was like, ‘That was a fair fucking fight!’ Considering I was in nine-inch heels, I was cinched to 19 inches and that hair was ginormous, and Baby was naked… All things said and done, that was a fair ass fight.

How could you think it was one of the worst?! How could you think it was in the same league as Pearl vs Fame?

You know what I’m like. I was literally stood there like, ‘I’m the worst here.’

Although you left sooner than anticipated, surely you take comfort in knowing that you’ve given viewers some of the best looks on the Drag Race UK stage?

If there’s one thing I can say about myself, it’s that I’ve shown my personality and some sickening looks. That’s all I can take away from it. I can take away some amazing sisters and knowing that I’ve put my best foot forward. Well, not my best foot forward, it would’ve been better if I was not panicking on stage and not saying anything! If I remembered the lyrics and stuff… I’ve shown my personality and that’s all I really wanted to do. I wanted to show my looks and my personality and for people to see that I’m not just this stern, painted horrible person that you might think I am from an Instagram picture. I can get down with the girls! I can be as fierce and chaotic as you want me to be.

And Sminty, you left looking like that. That was a crowning look.

Come on, give it up for the dress! Give it up for the gown. Give it up for the hair. If there’s one thing, again, I get to know that I went home in that look. I get to watch my exit knowing that I was in that look. I get to see myself crying, knowing that I was in that look. It could’ve been a lot worse.

You cannot fault that exit.

I’m a hot mess and I’m living up to the reputation.

Is there anything you didn’t show on the series that you would’ve liked to?

The rest of my looks. I just wanted to show all of them. Everyone needs to keep an eye out for my Instagram. These looks are so amazing and I’m upset that people aren’t going to see the vision of them walking down the runway and seeing them in movement. I’m really excited for people to see them on the gram.

If that was your episode four look, I’m dying to find out what your actual crowning look would’ve been. You’re gonna have to Instagram it to me, I don’t think I can wait.

I’ll email it you via Dark Web so no one can find it.

I’m intrigued to find out who you would’ve impersonated on Snatch Game…

Ooh. I was going to do – drum roll please – the famous Diana Vickers. I was going to be barefoot with some muddy feet on the table. My hair was going to be a huge bush with twigs and everything in it. It was going to be a full set of cursive language talking about spirituality. People are gonna be listening to this like, ‘Bloody good job she didn’t make it to Snatch Game!’

I assume you would’ve sang every response in Diana Vickers’ classic tone?

Sang the responses, but also like… In my audition when I did it, I had some funny one-liners in there. I’ve completely forgotten what I said now because it’s been so long, but there was some funny bits in there – that I can’t remember, meaning they couldn’t have been that funny if I can’t remember them.

There’s always All Stars or Vs the World.

If there’s a queen listening to this that’s going on season five…

Don’t fucking do it!

I’m doing it on All Stars! Okay? Don’t do it!

Is there anything you would’ve done differently?

I don’t wanna say I’ve got regrets – I’m really proud of myself and I can watch it back and be proud of the development that I showed on the show. I’m so proud of how far I came and I’m so proud of getting on the show and what I put out there. I don’t want to sit and wallow in regret, but part of me wonders what would’ve happened if I didn’t try and reinvent my wheel and I went for what I found comfortable. Where would I have been in the competition, had I done that? Prior to the show, I felt like I was going to be really good at Drag Race because I consider myself a well-rounded person – as much as people on Twitter love to drag me for. They don’t think I am, but I am! Hello?! I focused so much on trying to be good at Drag Race and trying to be this perfect person that I completely pushed to one side, ‘Oh my god, how am I gonna cope with my anxiety?’ I’ve got so much anxiety and that was definitely shown in the girl group challenge. It wasn’t that I didn’t know my words. I knew my words off-by-heart. I was literally repeating them and everyone else was like, ‘Will you stop saying those lines?!’ I was like, ‘It’s a good verse, I’m not gonna stop saying it. Get it into your head!’ It wasn’t that I forgot my words. I instantly knew like, ‘It’s your turn. You can see the lights in front of you. You can see RuPaul looking at you.’ And that was exactly what happened in the improv challenge as well. I took the veil off, saw the lights and everyone staring at me. I just started shaking and freaking out. It was a complete blackout moment. Every time that happened I was disassociating from my body. I woke up at the end of it and I was still on the stage in the dark like, ‘What am I doing? Why am I still here? Why am I still on stage?’ I think I needed to stop focusing on trying to be so perfect at everything and focus on what matters, to mentally check in.

What’s next for Sminty Drop?

Hopefully I’ll be dropping onto a runway soon! I wanna go from one runway to the next. I wanna be at Fashion Week. I wanna be on magazine covers. Get me an editorial! This is not the end of the road, it’s only the beginning. I’ve been eliminated early but that means I’ve got more time to succeed…

I know you’re a big Charli XCX fan, so when is the collab coming? Has she tweeted or mentioned you? Anything?

Everybody who knows me knows how much I go hard for Charli XCX. She’s my ride or die gal. If I had a child and she was like, ‘Your daughter is so beautiful!’ I’d be like, ‘Here, you can have her.’ I think I put a video out like, ‘By the way, my entrance line was inspired by Charli XCX for the people who didn’t get it. For the girls who know, they know! For the girls who don’t, get to know!’ and then I tagged her in it and she liked it. She didn’t respond to it. I’m still waiting. Maybe she’ll go back to it and be like, ‘Sorry I forgot about this, you’re the most famous person in the world so obviously I’m going to respond to it now.’ But, she liked it so she’s seen it. I’ll be on stage with her next!

We really missed out on seeing Sminty Drop lip-sync to Vroom Vroom…

Put your hands up, this is a robbery.

The latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 4 is now available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

You can watch Sminty Drop’s interview in full on Snatched! below or by clicking here.