Drag Race finalist addresses auditioning for the show 11 times

Drag Race season 16 Sapphira Cristal

Sapphira Cristál has made it to the final of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 with one of the best track records of the season. But it took a long time before she was even given the go-ahead to compete.

While the crown could go to any of the top three – Plane Jane and Nymphia Wind are the others vying for glory – it’s probably be fair to say that Sapphira is the front-runner.

She has stormed the competition, triumphing in four challenges as well as notching up five high placements, three safe weeks and one lip-sync for her life. On track record, Sapphira is the one to beat.

Which begs the question: why haven’t Drag Race audiences seen her before now.

Speaking to co-judge Michelle Visage on Drag Race companion interview series Watcha Packin’, Sapphira revealed that it wasn’t for a lack of trying, She auditioned for Drag Race an astonishing 11 times before being successful.

“Never give up,” Sapphira said after being prompted on the topic by newly-appointed Drag Race Down Under host Visage.

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“At some points, I prayed to get on this show. But I [didn’t] want to get on until I [was] ready to win.”

That means that at some point in RuPaul’s Drag Race history, Magnolia Crawford was cast ahead of Sapphira. We’ll let you sit with that.

But she “jumped for joy” when she was finally given the nod to enter the werk room.

She was adamant that she would just enjoy herself. “Just be present. This is what you have been waiting for,” was her own advice.

The three finalists will battle it out in the RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 finale on Friday (19 April) on MTV in the US and WOW Presents Plus internationally.