In what will no doubt become one of the most infamous lip sync moments of all time, Valentina was eliminated from RuPaul's Drag Race on Friday night during a nerve-wracking Lip Sync For Your Life performance. Facing off against Nina Bo'Nina Brown during a performance of Ariana Grande's "Greedy," the panel of judges looked on in shock and confusion as Valentina inexplicably wore a mask over her mouth while lip syncing. While fellow contestant Shea Couleé commented in a confessional during the show that Valentina "doesn't know the words," there's only one person that knows the truth about what happened, and that's Valentina. In an email interview with Bustle, the runway stunner came clean about what exactly went wrong during the elimination battle.
"I wasn’t prepared, and I did not know the song," Valentina explained, "I was also in a state of shock and froze... I don’t remember much in that moment."
Her struggle was evident following her removal of the mask. Looking scared and uncharacteristically awkward on stage, it was a heartbreaking moment to witness from the Latin American drag superstar, who has continually wowed the judges with her confident and flawless aesthetic this season.
Having only done drag for 10 months when she started Season 9, it felt as though Valentina wasn't immediately taken seriously by some of her fellow contestants. However, her positive mindset, resilience, and gallant runway looks made her an immediate fan-favorite and hit with a judges. "I just needed to prove myself and I did," Valentina muses.
Which is what made it so disappointing to see the superstar leave on such a low note during this past episode. Throughout the competition, Valentina remained consistently strong and proved she had the potential to win Drag Race, despite her comparative inexperience. Her stupendous costumes and personality, which were bubbling with Latin American pride, also made her a delight to watch — especially during what is undoubtedly a tough time for how the Latin American community is represented in U.S politics.
"I feel that my passion for my culture and the times makes it political, but I’m genuinely referencing what I love," she divulges, "The look and spirit of Valentina is referenced by my mom, María Félix, Telenovelas, Miss Universe, and glamour... For the future, I want to become the face of drag in Latin America and will continue to work hard to become that."
Though she might not have managed to have got as far in the competition as fans may have hoped, there's still no denying that Valentina will live on in RuPaul's Drag Race herstory, and continue to make her mark as a drag superstar to reckoned with. I, for one, will never be able to hear "Greedy" in quite the same way ever again.