Drag Race UK vs the World’s first eliminated queen on her shock exit and ‘messy agenda’

The cast of RuPaul's Drag Race UK vs. The World season 2.

The first eliminated queen of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK: UK vs. The World season two gives PinkNews her reaction to her unexpectedly early exit from the series in episode one.

Warning: Spoilers for Drag Race UK vs the World season two, episode one follow.

As the first queen to sashay away from season two of Drag Race UK: UK vs. The World, Mayhem Miller reflects on “living the dream of a Drag Race contestant”, what she thought of fellow US contestant Scarlet Envy and, of course, that talent show moment.

In an exclusive interview with PinkNews, the queen of the party, who originally appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 before returning for Shea Coulée’s victory lap All Stars 5, dished on the difference between being behind the scenes and in front of the camera competing for Drag Race UK‘s first ever cash prize – and being the Mayhem Miller.

PinkNews: Entering the competition, you got the biggest reaction from all the girls walking in – what was that like?

Mayhem Miller: It’s really nice! It reminded me of when I walked in on season 10, it’s just one of those validating feelings where it’s like, you do know who, I am the Mayhem.

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Mayhem Miller in her RuPaul's Drag Race UK vs the World season two promo shot
Mayhem Miller. (BBC)

Who did you pick out as the biggest competitor in the cast?

Any of them! As I looked at everyone as they came in, I was just blown away because I was like, gosh, everyone looks good. And normally that doesn’t happen.

What did you think about Scarlett Envy being the only other US queen? Did you see her as a competitor or an ally?

Definitely an ally. We’ve never really worked with each other or hung out, but I did know who she was. I was like: ‘We’re gonna have the team up.’ Because obviously, we’re against the world, literally. So let’s go ahead and join forces and unite under the American flag.

One of the moments I loved from the premiere was Raven [OG Drag Race competitor turned Ru’s makeup artist] walking the stage. Did you think she was going to compete, even for a second?

Oh no, I knew for a fact she would not – because how are you going to compete and still be doing everything that you do with Ru?! But I knew exactly who it was; Raven and I have been friends for 25 years, I was like: ‘That’s my sister’.

I don’t get to see her often, because she’s always busy with Drag Race. The only times I do see her now is because I started working behind the scenes on Drag Race as a makeup artist, so I see her at work.

But it was like, ‘Now I’m back in front of the cameras, so we can’t kiki like we normally would.’ It was bittersweet; that’s my friend, but we’re in different zones now. It’s such a different world jumping back and forth [in front of and behind of the camera].

So you did season 10, then All Stars 5, then became a makeup artist on set, then went back for UK vs The World season 2? How did that help you prepare for your third time around?

There actually wasn’t really a difference, but of course you look at it through a different lens. For me, the preparation of it all was still the same, it was still stressful, not easy. It was just the transition of communicating with Ru and Michelle differently, because you go from seeing them walking around, saying ‘Hi’, but [as a competitor] it’s like … It’s definitely different because you have to put on a different hat, and it has to be a fair game across the board. 

Let’s talk about the talent show. It started off so strong – what happened?

Oh, my god, so much was going on. I felt like I looked amazing. My whole setup was great. Everything was good. And then I started laughing. And I just caught the giggles and I think everyone can relate to that. Like, you just start laughing and you can’t stop it. So I start laughing, and then I’m like: ‘Oh, shit. This is on TV!’

And how did you feel coming out of the talent show?

Honestly, I was like: ‘This is going to be an iconic TV moment’. But knew I was going to go home first and get ripped apart by ‘the fans’.

I knew it was either going to be an endearing, fun moment for everyone watching, or it’s going to be another moment where people try to tear me apart and reduce me to my placement. And I’ve been torn with that for this past year. I hope it’s received well, so it’s just been a back and forth feeling.

You’ve spoken about negative fan reception online, particularly when it comes to fans of Drag Race. What’s your take on viewers of the show reducing queens to their placements?

The disconnect for me is baffling for me, because they’re missing the whole point of the show, which is about love and acceptance and celebrating people… I know that people get passionate about their favourite drag queens, but at the same time, you can champion someone without being rude to someone else.

I wish more people would… just be thankful that we have Drag Race. I’m from a different generation, when drag was an unspoken thing that you had to search for – and now you can see it on your television? It’s wild for a lot of us in my generation to even comprehend that this is a legitimised mainstream art form that’s respected around the world.

Stop with the nonsense and just celebrate drag for what it is. It’s a special magical world that shouldn’t be tainted by negativity and hatred. [Current viewers] don’t know how good they’ve got it. 

Let’s get back to the episode – you mention the possibility of a sneaky little alliance with both Marina and La Grande Dame. What was the thought process behind that?

My whole agenda was to just be messy. My favourite part of my Drag Race journey was when I sat there [on AS5] with India being messy – so I wanted to do it again, because we have to spice it up. I didn’t know any of my cast mates, I didn’t know what their personalities were, I didn’t know their Drag Race journey. So I didn’t know if they were girls who were afraid of competition or controversy or playing the actual game. So I was like: ‘I think I’m gonna have to be that girl.’

Were you surprised that Marina didn’t go for it?

No! Not at all! I mean, I did think it was gonna go in my favour – I was like, ‘I’m fine! I’m totally fine!’ And then when my name got pulled, I was like, ‘Oh shit. That backfired again!’ I really thought I was good – but she’s smart. I would take me out, too. I would totally take me out.

To get a bit shady, some of the queens implied that Gothy Kendoll should have been saved because she didn’t have as much of a chance on her first go round? Do you think that was a fair reason?

Honestly? Yes. I have really lived the dream of a Drag Race contestant. It doesn’t happen for everyone! I know the feeling of going home sooner than you wanted, and wanting the world to get another opportunity to see what you can do, so I looked at the situation fully understanding why they’d pick [Gothy].

I want the world to see what she has to offer because I know she’s a good queen, and she’s a nice person, and she deserves to have another opportunity. I’m going to be fine. I’m cool. I just came here just to have a good time. And I had a great time. It was never another thought in my mind of anything other than ‘This is great for her.’ And I can’t wait to see the world see more of her.

​​I have everything I’ve ever wanted from my Drag Race experience. I’m just happy that another sister gets an opportunity for the world to see her shine.

And what would your Snatch Game have been?

Here’s some tea. Way back in season 10, I was told I was picked specifically because of my Snatch Game – and no one has seen it yet! And it’s really good.

Who was it?

I have an arsenal of Snatch Game characters – and I was really looking forward to that because that’s the one thing I’ve not been able to do. But I’m going to keep it a secret, still. I’ll save it for the next All Stars I’m on.

Last question – who is your pick for the crown?

I don’t want to upset any of my sisters! So I don’t want to say – it’s like the Mean Girls scene where we’re just going to break the crown into pieces and we’re all going to be a winner. Put it this way – everyone has a great shot. I didn’t see a weak link.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World continues on Fridays ay 9pm on BBC Three and will be available on iPlayer.

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