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As the Drag Race UK vs the World contestant whose drag is, according to her sisters, in the most “need”, Arantxa Castilla-La Mancha had one thought when episode two was revealed to be the ball: ‘Well, it’s over.’ This week, the queens served three looks for the ‘Happy Ending Ball’ with the last category, ‘Drags to Riches Eleganza’, requiring them to construct a gown fit for a princess from scraps of used fabric. Arantxa, who is “self-aware” about her so-called lack of fashion sense, bottomed with her Spanish bestie Choriza May, and was subsequently eliminated from the competition by two-time challenge winner La Grande Dame.

The Drag Race Espana star tells GAY TIMES that she doesn’t hold any feelings of resentment towards the French fashionista because, in just two episodes, she achieved her “one goal”: to showcase her authentic trans self to viewers for the first time. With her bonkers, orgasmic tutorial on how to pronounce her name, hilarious confessionals and one-liners, Arantxa radiated joy on-screen and added some much-needed – in the words of Kerri Colby – “trantasy” to the UK vs the World werkroom.

Here, Arantxa Castilla-La Mancha discusses her time on the series, why she doesn’t want the queens to “play fair” moving forward and how her choice for Snatch Game would’ve “redeemed” her appearance on Drag Race Espana. She also reveals which famous pop diva is in her Burn Book…

Arantxa Castilla-La Mancha, how are you?

Wait, I’m the eliminated one this week?

Apparently, yeah.

I didn’t know that!

I’m sad you’ve got the chop, because you made me laugh with your one-liners this episode, especially when Michelle Visage asked where your fashion sense comes from.

I mean, you have to be self-aware. I know that, for me, that’s the narrative that’s been written in the stars. I don’t have a fashion sense, so now I just pay people who have it. Who are my inspirations? No one.

Now a few months have gone by, how do you feel about your elimination?

I feel like it’s right, like it’s correct. No, I’m kidding. Of course, it hurts. I wanted to be there because every single person in this cast has such a big heart and is such a beautiful person that I wanted to spend more [time] with them. But, I came into this season with one goal only. It was not to win the crown or the money – I had no idea we were getting money – it was to have fun and enjoy being on TV for the first time, because I did not the first time I was on Drag Race.

Sewing, design and fashion is not your strongest skill, so how did you feel heading into the challenge?

‘Well, it’s over.’ That’s the first thing that came into my mind when I heard it was the ball. No, actually, I wanted to have fun so I took a risk. I’m proud that I was able to sew a dress, because it was a dress. It could be more simple, more ugly, but it was a dress at least! I was trying to portray the feeling I had. I was like, ‘I don’t want to do a ball, so I’m gonna make a character that doesn’t want to go to the ball.’ That’s her.

I liked how you brought some pop culture references into it with the David Bowie and Mean Girls homages.

Thank you. You got the reference of Mean Girls, right?

@gaytimes RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs the World’s @Arantxa Castilla-La Mancha discusses coming out as trans ahead of the latest season 🏳️‍⚧️ #dragrace #rupaulsdragrace #dragraceuk #rupaulsdragraceuk #dragraceukvstheworld #dragqueen #transition #trans #drag #dragqueensoftiktok ♬ original sound – GAY TIMES

Of course.

Apparently people didn’t get it and I’m like, ‘What is wrong with you gays?’

We all know what the Burn Book looks like, right? How do people not get it?

I don’t know. People are dumb.

Who’s in your Burn Book then, Arantxa?

Oh my god, that is the million pounds question. There are a couple of my Drag Race Espana sisters, I’m not gonna lie. A couple of them actually earned being taken out of the Burn Book. But, you know who is there, right in the centre: Taylor Swift. She keeps getting money out of me! I’m like, ‘Stop it.’ Don’t drop another album. I don’t wanna buy three hundred bundles anymore! Bitch, stop being a capitalist Barbie. I cannot be your fan and poor! I love you Taylor Swift.

I was not expecting Taylor Swift to come out of your mouth. I thought you were going to say La Grande Dame for giving you the chop…

That did not surprise me at all. You know the history between Spain and France, of course that happened. I mean, am I saying that La Grande Dame is the reincarnation of Napoleon? Yes.

Did you actually expect La Grande Dame or Keta Minaj to save you?

I did have faith in Keta because it was a very divided episode. Keta and I helped each other, and then La Grande Dame and Choriza helped each other, so I was like, ‘This is 50/50.’ Of course, Keta could have tried to eliminate me but I think she’s a nice person. So, I think she might have saved me.

Keta is hard to read though, I’m not sure how she’s going to vote…

Well, you will have to wait to find out. I cannot wait to see what name shows up in that lipstick, lemme tell you that.

At the moment, it feels a lot like RuPaul’s Best Friend’s Race. Are you expecting it to stay that way?

Since the heart of the season left, I don’t think they’ll keep being friends. No, I’m kidding. I mean, they’re nice people. There’s a couple of them who are a little bit rotten, but I think they might keep up the [nice] energy. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We saw some claws come out this episode, and I do think they’ll keep coming out. But they’ll be like kitty paws, it won’t be like tigers trying to kill each other.

It feels like Scarlet and Keta aren’t going to play the game like La Grande Dame, who seemingly voted on track record.

The name of the game is that, if you win the lip-sync, you decide who goes home. I support them. F these bitches, chop them all! I don’t care. I’m not there anymore. Don’t play fair! If they had not played it fair, I would be saved.

How would you have played it? Would you eliminate the strongest competition?

I wanna say that I would’ve been the biggest bitch in the world and would have chopped anyone, but at the end of the day, I’m such a pussy. I don’t know, I love them all so much that I would’ve probably been like, ‘You have the worst track record so you’re going home.’

You didn’t get to do an acting challenge or the Snatch Game, which I’m sad about because you would’ve been so much fun. Are you willing to reveal who you would’ve impersonated?

I think you’re gonna have to wait until the episode to see what I post. People who saw my original season, you know how bad I did? And you know how bad I did on the runway? Let’s just say that my character for Snatch Game is a very famous trans woman from Spain who would have helped me have a redemption. Who is it? If you PayPal me £5 I’ll tell you.

Done. We’ll sort that after this call. I have to say, I loved your talent show performance. I honestly thought you were going to be in the top three. What was going through your mind when you created that?

Well, do you wanna know the truth?

Go on.

That was not the original talent show idea I had. There was a full performance planned around the idea of a reverse burlesque show, where I started naked and ended up fully dressed. When we rehearsed it on set the day before filming, it did not work at all. I went to bed that night and was like, ‘We’re filming tomorrow and you’re not sure about this. What would you do?’ In that moment, Tatianna came into my mind when she thought about the ‘Same Parts’ number the night before. I created this stupid idea of me having a dream that people didn’t know how to say my name, and then… orgasm.

Obviously, I was nervous as hell doing that on the main stage. What people don’t know is that, when you’re doing live music or whatever, you wear in-ears, so you don’t hear people laughing or clapping or saying your name back. I was pretending to be asleep so I had my eyes closed and my ears didn’t listen to anything. I had to perform like, ‘RuPaul is dying for this, and when you open your eyes, you will see her laughing.’ And that’s what happened, thank god.

Personally, I think you just wanted to snuggle up to the Brit Crew.

When we filmed this season I came out of a rough breakup, so you could say I was a little bit desperate… Was my number the best? I’m not the judge to say it, but was I the most clever one, because I got to snuggle up to the Pit Crew?

There you go. I don’t blame you.

I come to the UK for the sausage, and then I’m leaving.

On the show, you opened up about being more comfortable in your skin as a trans woman. What was it like to come back to the competition, feeling 100% Arantxa?

I don’t want to get emotional about this, but the first time I did Drag Race I wasn’t comfortable at all with myself. I had anxiety, depression and I did not know what the hell was going on with me. I didn’t understand. One day filming I broke down in tears in Killer Queen’s lap. That was the moment I realised I’m a woman, and that I needed to [transition]. Coming back into the werkroom, obviously it’s a different set and people, but it is the same essence so I got really emotional. Last time I was on a TV set, I was crying every single day because I did not feel good about myself. Right now, I’m happy, I’m laughing, I’m enjoying this, I’m feeling comfortable with myself. I’m just so happy that it gets across through the camera, that you’re seeing how happy I am, because I was.

You were still fun and amazing on your original season, but this time around your joy radiated on screen.

Thank you, that means the world to me.

What’s next for Arantxa Castilla-La Mancha?

Well, I am very happy to announce that I’m quitting drag. No sadly, I’m not! Sadly, you’ll have to see me for a couple more years, I think. I’m actually working on a lot of new projects that I hope you get to see this year. We’re working on music, a book, a comedy tour. Also, I do have a very special project coming out with my bestie Choriza May, in Spanish for our Spanish audience. I just love to work, so you’ll see me around every corner and pub and stage performing and making you laugh.

Drag Race UK vs the World is streaming in the UK on BBC iPlayer.

You can watch our interview with Arantxa Castilla-La Mancha here or below.