Amethyst is first Connecticut queen to sashay away from ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” lost some of its sparkle on Friday night when Amethyst was eliminated from the popular drag queen competition.
She was the first of the three Connecticut-based contestants this season to be asked to “sashay away” from the show. Besides being one of the first Connecticut drag queens to be on the show, Amethyst also represented a younger generation of queens who’ve established themselves as much through social media as through live shows in clubs. Locally, Amethyst has appeared at such top state drag venues as Hartford’s Chez Est, Troop 429 in Norwalk, Trevi Lounge in Fairfield and the “Lipstick Lashes & Lies” series at Mohegan Sun Resort Casino.
One could have suspected Amethyst’s days on the show were numbered. For three of the first five episodes of the season, Amethyst found herself competing in the dreaded final lip-synch bout which determines which of the two contestants who’d done poorly in that week’s other challenges gets sent home. The determination is made by the show’s host RuPaul in consultation with the show’s regular and guest judges.
In her final episode, Amethyst had to square off against Salina EsTitties, lip-synching to Janelle Monáe’s “Q.U.E.E.N.” in front of none other than Janelle Monáe, who was a celebrity judge on the show that week. Amethyst was sent away by RuPaul with this message: “You will always be a jewel in my crown. Now sashay away.”
Earlier in Friday’s program, Amethyst confessed to the camera, “I feel so lost in this moment,” while engrossed in a fashion challenge that she felt ill-equipped for since she didn’t know how to sew. “I’ve been in the bottom twice already, and I feel like the Grim Reaper is just knocking on my drag race door. How the hell am I going to get this done?”
In a phone interview with the Courant on Jan. 12, Amethyst said, “I’ll tell you, it’s one thing to watch it on your TV, the drama and the music and the lights, but it’s so different in real life. When it’s happening to you, it’s terrifying. It’s about centering yourself and remembering who you are and why you’re on the show, to begin with.”
It’s traditional on “Drag Race” for the departing contestants to make the most of their last few moments on the stage. Amethyst, who uses a lot of comedy in her drag act, made the other contestants laugh with her extended, deadpan departure: “Thank you so much, Ru. Thank you everybody. I really appreciate it,” she said graciously, then in a much louder voice announced “I’m gonna go now! Okay.”
Another tradition is for contestants leaving the show to write a farewell message on a large mirror with lipstick. Amethyst wrote, “Don’t forget about your favorite gem.”
RuPaul’s main critique of Amethyst was “this week, you got your panties in a ruffle.” It was a reference to judge Michelle Visage’s earlier critiques that a ruffle on Amethyst’s exposed leopard-print underwear “stuck out,” with judge Carson Kressley adding that her fur stole was “dead on arrival.”
In the previous episode, Amethyst showed off her comedy skills as “Tan Mom” in the show’s recurring “Snatch Game” segment and was seen commenting that some of the other contestant’s conduct in the celebrity game show parody was “unprofessional.” That fourth episode was the only one in which Amethyst was deemed “safe” and didn’t have to take part in the lip-synch.
Connecticut references have abounded in recent episodes. On the fifth episode, another contestant, Jax, revealed that he grew up in Connecticut, “one of only three people of color in my high school. I was adopted from Puerto Rico by amazing white parents, and it was definitely a bit of a struggle. I went into every situation always feeling like I had to immediately defend myself and why I was there.” Jax said he moved to New York for college, “and that was definitely a huge, huge eye-opener. Once I moved from Connecticut to New York was when I was finally just able to be like ‘I am a person in this massive sea of different shapes and colors.’”
On the fourth episode, Loosey LaDuca recalled the first time she’d been called a certain anti-gay slur as a sixth-grader in Ansonia. “I remember exactly who it was. I heard teachers in my school join in on making fun of me.” She said that she just got to a point after high school where she was like, “I need to start actually living my life.”
“I still live in the town [where] I went to elementary and high school,” she said. “I’ll be walking around my hometown and I’ll be looked at like I don’t belong there.” She said she developed her comedy skills partly as a defense mechanism from being bullied.
This is the first season in the show’s history where any Connecticut residents have competed, let alone three. Loosey DaLuca has won several major and minor challenges on the show thus far, and Hartford’s Robin Fierce, has easily earned the coveted “safe” designation in every one of the first five episodes.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs Friday nights on MTV and can be found on demand on numerous subscription-based streaming networks.
Reach reporter Christopher Arnott at email@example.com.