Elliott may only have two Ts, but she has had multiple lives.
The Las Vegas-based queen will go down in RuPaul’s Drag Race herstory as being the queen to come dangerously close to elimination the most times without being sent home — that is, until last week’s episode.
Elliott With 2 Ts was always an underdog, but she proved her worth again and again, surprising the queens and the judges with her fashion and funny moments. She made it all the way to Snatch Game, but her impersonation of Rue McClanahan was anything but golden, and her flamingo runway look wasn’t enough to save her from being in the bottom. Elliott went up against Utica for a lip-sync to “Fascinated” by Company B, and after Utica whipped out some surprising leggy moves, Elliott was asked to sashay away. Still, it was a pretty good run for someone who was voted out of the Pork Chop Loading Dock all the way back on the season premiere!
Elliott spoke with NewNowNext about her Snatch Game performance, her battle with depression, the latest on her wedding, and why she wishes she had brought a cheesecake.
Is Blanche your favorite Golden Girl?
I love them all for different reasons. I love Dorothy because of her one-liners and her look. Her whole entire line can be just a look at one of the other girls. I love Rose because she just makes you giggle, and she just says the dumbest things. And Sophia has those zingers that just jab you in the side. But Blanche, there’s just something so funny about her. Every time she has a big dramatic monologue, it just kills me.
Did you know RuPaul was such a Golden Girls super-fan?
I did know that.
So were you feeling the pressure about that?
I mean, I was very confident with what I did, and I’m still very confident with what I did, but it’s one of those things when you take somebody that’s so iconic and so familiar. You pretty much have to do a character study. I mean, it makes me think of the new Netflix show, Selena. The fans were like, “She doesn’t sound exactly like her, she doesn’t look exactly like her.” I’m working to tell her story, not to do a carbon copy. I wasn’t super nervous knowing how much he loved this, but I wanted to take a risk and do something that wasn’t safe. And it was either going to pay off really well or it wasn’t.
Did you have a backup character for Snatch Game, or was it always Rue?
I honestly had my heart and soul set on Rue because when I first started dating my fiancé, we watched The Golden Girls every night before bed. And even now, when I travel, I can’t go to sleep without watching it. So I play it on my phone and set it on the nightstand in the hotel. She was always my number one choice, and I’m also from Texas. I have a Southern accent that I suppress naturally. I was just ready to play a Southern belle.
Snatch Game is one of those challenges that you know is coming, but it has to be different when you actually get on set. Were you nervous? Take me back to what was going through your mind sitting there at that panel.
When you’re on Drag Race in general, it is absolutely impossible not to compare yourself with the other girls. And so, especially with a challenge like Snatch Game, you are just sitting there thinking, “Oh, Ru giggled at this person. Now I have to make him not only giggle, but I need to make them laugh.” And so it’s so stressful trying to think of responses in real time, right then and there on the spot, to make him laugh because you try to prepare, but then in the moment, it’s raw and organic. It’s one of those things where it’s nearly impossible to actually prepare for it because you can have all the material prepared and lined up, but if none of those [ideas] come into a response, then you have nothing.
I noticed a lot of the girls using props. You had the makeup brush and mirror, but do you wish you had used more props?
It’s so difficult to have props for someone like Blanche because her prop was her body. I wanted to have a cheesecake, but because of COVID-19, I couldn’t really have brought one.
Do you think sitting next to Utica hurt or helped your performance?
I was trying to play it up with Utica. Her character was a man, so I was trying to, like, sex up Bob Ross. What I remember specifically was anytime Bob Ross was doing a response I would try to respond to what Bob Ross was saying.
You’re known as the dancing queen. Were you surprised when Utica started pulling out all those moves once you had to lip-sync against her?
It was funny because when you lip-sync, you kind of blackout, but in this specific lip-sync I would just catch flashes of Utica flying over this way and rolling over this way. She was everywhere. And for me personally, during that lip-sync, I started to kind of feel my body give out.
My energy and my spirit and everything had been depleted at that point in the competition because it’s so strenuous emotionally and physically. I just kind of — I don’t want to say I got to a breaking point, but I am a dancer and I am a performer, so I kind of was depleted. So my body, I guess, just said girl, you’re done. It was really bizarre. Drag Race takes its toll on you emotionally. And being able to talk about my depression was a really big deal for me. I was so fortunate to be on the show for so long, but on the flip side of that, I was on the show for so long.
Have you heard from fans who reached out to you saying thank you for talking about depression?
I’ve had so much love from fans for that. It was something that was super important to me to talk about because I feel like so many people just take it as, “Oh, she’s fine. She’s just in a mood today.” And I don’t think people really understand that it is a chemical imbalance. It was super important for me to talk it because I think so many people just don’t understand what it is.
If you’re not going through it, it’s hard to comprehend.
You’re engaged. Are there any wedding plans? What’s going on with that?
Well, we had plans for last October, but you know, but with COVID-19 and everything, I would have felt guilty trying to fly my family out from Dallas. I pretty much feel like we are married. I’m not one of those people that thinks, “Oh, I have to be married. I have to have that.” I already feel like we’re married. His dogs are my children now. It’s set in stone, but I really want to have a big wedding where we can have everyone together. So I’m willing to wait to be able to have my family come out.
Can you still watch Golden Girls after Snatch Game?
I can’t go to sleep without watching it at this point, so it will always have such a special place in my heart. And like I said, I feel like I did a great job. I still stand behind what I did. I know for a fact that I had a Southern accent. I know that I did wonderful. At that point in the competition, everybody does wonderful, so you kind of have to start picking apart each girl for the tiniest little detail because we’ve all done so well at that point. So I’m not bitter. I’m not upset. I’m so proud of myself. I feel so accomplished. And I lasted 10 times longer than anyone ever expected me to! So I’m just thrilled and very accomplished.
You will not Rue-pologize.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 airs Fridays at 8/7c on VH1.