If one queen from Season 10 embodies the infamous Drake lyric, "Started from the bottom, now we're here," it's definitely Monét X Change. Not to say she started from nothing, but she did find herself in the bottom of the competition multiple times in the beginning of the season, which lit a fire beneath her that rocketed her to the top six. Unfortunately, only one queen can win the crown, though, and at the end of themost recent episode, she had to leave. But Monét X Change has no regrets about her RuPaul's Drag Race time — she always stayed true to herself. In an interview with Bustle, she shares how her ups and downs in the competition shaped her, and what her future in drag will bring.
Monét's drag style is one that is instantly recognizable. It's a risky, signature look that is uniquely hers, and unfortunately, there were times on Drag Race when the judges and other queens misunderstood it as something less. (Asia O'Hara even referred to it as "peculiar" in last Thursday's episode.) Time and time again, she was ragged on by the judges for wearing what they called "pussycat wigs," which were short-haired caps, as opposed to big, voluminous more "fishy" or feminine hair, and her runway looks never seemed glamorous enough to appease them. Thankfully, fans at home have seen past those expectations and truly stan her for her originality. Although riding the emotional rollercoaster the competition took her on was difficult, she's glad it happened the way it did.
"I think that it was necessary," she says. "My journey is one that went up and down, and I feel like that’s how most people’s life is ... I’m happy that I was authentic to myself the entire time because that’s what people latch onto ... people learned who Monét X Change was, and above all, that’s what’s important."
She says she doesn't really understand the slack she was given for her looks, especially the short wigs, because althouth they're her signature look, she didn't wear them throughout the entire competition. "They just wanted big hair and a high heel on," she says. "And it’s like well, first of all, this notion that short hair cannot be glamorous is such a weird thing, because lots of people in my family have short hair, and they’re stunning." She says the tip of the iceberg there for her was the criticism she received for her look in last week's challenge, where she dressed up to reflect how she thinks she would look in 50 years. The look obviously did not include big, voluminous hair — it included a receding hairline and house slippers, no less. "I am a comedy queen, I’m someone who goes for comedy a lot," she says. "So I did a really comedic take on me in 50 years because that’s who I am."
Although she may have not cleared the top five, she fought hard to make it as far as she did, and she's glad to say that she made her family proud. "My family helped me go to school, they co-signed my loans … and when I strayed away from that, they were really concerned," she says. As she mentioned on the show, she has a degree in opera and once wanted to be a music teacher. "So the fact that I got to RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the fact that I did a good job, and they saw that yeah, drag is a real career thing and I’m really good at it, it was really cool for me," she says. She says that after the episode aired, she got a text from her mom that expressed how proud she was of what she saw on TV. "On top of everything else, [that] was the icing on the cake," she says.
It's been a while, but you might remember Monét's notable dollar store sponge dress from the "Drag on a Dime" challenge in Episode 1. It was infamously degraded as weird and unsightly, but that doesn't mean it wasn't memorable. In Thursday night's episode, she reminisced as she went to pack the sponge dress away, and in true Monét fashion, she decided to embrace what others saw as a flaw, as her strength. The same night her elimination aired, she released a music video with Bob the Drag Queen called "Soak It Up," starring none other than the sponge dress itself.
"The sponge became like the fifteenth cast member of the season," Monét says. "People and fans really enjoyed it." So, she gave it a meaning — "Soak It Up" tells fans to soak up all the negative comments and give them a positive spin. "They may not like it sometimes," she says. "But they’re still talking about it, so soak it up. Soak up the positives, the negatives, all the negative sh*t, turn it into a positive."
For more Monét, you can listen to her podcast in collaboration with Bob The Drag Queen called "Sibling Rivalry," subscribe to her YouTube channel, and be on the lookout for more exciting projects of hers. "Drag is about having fun while also being entertained," she says. "And that’s what I wanna do with my platform." She says she's inspired by all-things Chelsea Handler, and would love to have her own streamable talk show with a drag queen's spin on it. Picture this: Monét interviewing Chris Hemsworth on a padded leather couch, laughing over the funniest line from his most recent box office blaster. And of course, she's wearing a pussycat wig.
Reminder: There's no RuPaul's Drag Race episode on this week (May 31), but the queens will be back on June 7 at 8 p.m. ET on VH1