Q has addressed the controversial twist from the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. 

For their semi-final challenge, the top four contestants of season 16 – Nymphia Wind, Plane Jane, Sapphira Cristál and Q – wrote their memoirs, posed for a cover shoot and participated in a podcast interview with Matt Rogers.

Plane and Q respectively received mixed reviews for their shady interview and whelming book concept, landing in the bottom two. The latter ultimately sashayed away from the series in fourth place.

The return of the top three format, which RuPaul hasn’t enforced since season eight (season 12 had three finalists as a result of Sherry Pie’s disqualification), proved controversial with fans.

In her exit interview with Entertainment WeeklyQ described the format change as a “bummer”: “Honestly, I don’t know if staying longer in the competition has benefitted me more [as it might’ve if I left] earlier.

“It’s always that kind of toss-up with how you’re perceived by the audience. Who knows if me even staying this long was good. I’m at peace with it.”

Q denied that she would have rather left in the season to have a “robbed narrative” like her sister Plasma, explaining that she “underestimated” how much impact the “public eye” would have on her mental health.


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“I think being out of that space for a longer period, I might’ve been happier with how things turned out,” she said.

Although Q won two design challenges, she often lamented that she should’ve conquered more. When she failed to win for the drag awareness employee seminar, the same episode she disclosed her HIV status with her competitors and the panel of judges, she went viral for her less-than-impressed reaction.

“I hold myself to a high standard, and if I’m not meeting that standard, I feel disappointed in myself,” she told EW.

“Most of the time, that’s a reflection of how I was feeling instead of being upset with anybody else other than myself.

“When you think about how much money and time we put into all of this, for a lot of people this is just 90 minutes of entertainment on a Friday night, but for us this is our career and future.

“It’s higher stakes than it is for people watching.”

Sadly, over the course of the season, Q has been inundated with vile comments from so-called Drag Race ‘fans’, which led to her parting ways with X (formerly known as Twitter).


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“I’d see comments about me all day, and finally I was like, I’m going to set a personal boundary. I got off of it. It helped a lot,” she said.

“I still have moments where it’s been harder, and toward the end, as there are less people, I’ve become a conduit for a lot of the negative energy, but it happens that way and you have to deal with it.”

Despite this, Q revealed that she’s received “very positive” feedback from fans about opening up about her HIV status: “You get some people who want to be negative or say something nasty, but just saying that and the people who’ve come up to me and told me that it’s helped them, that made all the difference and made it worth it to me.”

You can read Q’s exit interview with Entertainment Weekly in full here.

Next week, the eliminated contestants of season 16 – including Q – will compete in a lip-sync smackdown, with the champion taking home a cash prize of $50,000.