'RuPaul's Drag Race': Plastique Tiara Is the Asian Role Model She Didn't Have Growing Up (Exclusive)
By Meredith B. Kile
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Thursday's all-new RuPaul's Drag Race took the queens from the library to the streets and ended up with two fan favorites lip-syncing for their lives!
Spirits were high in the werk room after last week's "double shantay." "We gotta give credit where credit is due," Plastique Tiara said of the iconic showdown between Brooke Lynn Hytes and Yvie Oddly, "They did slay the s**t out of that lip sync." But the celebration didn't last long as Mama Ru arrived for the mini challenge and declared the library was open.
Brooke Lynn and A'Keria C. Davenport got in some of the best digs, with Brooke Lynn quipping about her rumored showmance with Vanessa Vanjie Mateo -- "The real reason I keep kissing you is because it's the only way to get you to shut the f**k up!" -- and ultimately winning the challenge.
It was a good thing that the queens got a chance to warm up their comedy muscles, because immediately after Mama Ru declared the library closed and "condemned," she announced the maxi challenge, which would require them to channel their best improv skills as they fought the law on "TV's newest guilty pleasure," LADP: Los Angeles Drag Patrol.
As the mini winner, Brooke Lynn got to pair up the queens as they acted out various Cops-inspired scenes. She picked Nina West as her own partner, playing a trailer park sunbather who squares off against her prudish neighbor. The other pairings included Vanjie and Plastique as two queens in a literal catfight, A'Keria and Yvie as two "twerking girls" caught in the act, and Silky Nutmeg Ganache and Shuga Cain as the buyer and seller of back-alley butt pads.
The LADP cops were played by two of the week's guest judges, American Horror Story star Cheyenne Jackson and comedian Fortune Feimster, while Mama Ru manned the call center, a la Connie Britton on 9-1-1. Despite their respective insecurities (and squabbling over who would play which part), Brooke Lynn and Nina got big laughs, as did Silky and A'Keria in their respective scenes.
Then it was time for the runway, where the judges were joined by Russian Doll star Natasha Lyonne. The category was "Facekini Fantasy," and the queens were tasked with coming up with a sickening look that concealed most of their face, save for eyes and lips. Despite Silky's confidence in her performance (so much so that she didn't even bother to put on a face under her black leather "fly" mask), it was actually Brooke Lynn and A'Keria who ended up on top, impressing the judges with both their LADP performances and stunning runway looks.
Ultimately, it was A'Keria who won her second challenge, as the judges were wowed by her plastic surgery-inspired "unikini" and her performance as an aging "twerking girl," praising her composure and improv skills, especially as a pageant queen who isn't used to pushing herself in bigger comedy performances. “Working with you was one of the highlights,” Jackson told her.
On the other side of things, scene partners Vanjie and Plastique ended up on the bottom. For both queens, it was more of the same from the judges. Vanjie was criticized for starting her catfight scene at an emotional high, which left her "nowhere to go," and Michelle Visage critiqued her runway "silhouette" once again, pointing out the ill-fitting pants on her cherry-red latex bodysuit (though Lyonne was enamored with her "sexy robot" look).
Plastique was also criticized for the acting challenge as Jackson noticed that she seemed uncomfortable, and Visage dinged her for slipping back into her "Asian voice," which she had utilized in previous comedy challenges. Her runway look, while fairly stunning, took a big hit for not being a full facekini and showing too much skin.
Ultimately, the two were left to lip sync for their lives, to Fantasia Barrino's "Hood Boy."
And the eighth queen to sashay away from season 11 was...
Despite turning out a sickening lip sync, Plastique Tiara had to pack her crown this week, after failing to impress in her acting challenge or deliver on the runway assignment. "I've grown so much from my time being here," she tearyfully told Mama Ru after her elimination. "You showed me how to be myself, and for that, I thank you."
ET's Brice Sander spoke with the queens before season 11's premiere, where Plastique opened up about staying true to herself and the close bond she formed with her fellow season 11 queens.
ET: If you had to boil down your Drag Race experience into just a few words, how would you sum it up?
A dream come true.
When this season is all said and done, what do you hope the fans walk away thinking about you?
Aside from the materialistic things -- like, the makeup, the hair, the outfits -- coming into this show, I wanted to represent something that growing up, I didn't have. I wanted to represent an Asian minority immigrant, who immigrated here at a young age and who didn't know any better and still, I stayed true to myself and I made my way to the top. So, I want them to know that being themselves is OK. As long as you believe in yourself, others will believe in you too.
What did it mean to you to be a part of the most diverse season of Drag Race yet?
I feel very blessed and very grateful. Two Asians in one season, that's a record. And to see my culture and my ethnicity being represented, I'm just so lucky we're moving into mainstream and it's just going to get bigger and better.
Did you walk away with any friends for life out of this game?
For sure, for sure. I made a connection with every single girl, and I honestly can say that most of the girls, like, I talk to on a daily basis. We'll always be like, "Hey girl, how you doing? What do you need?" It's not just like, "Oh, hey! How are you?" once in a while kind of thing. We really do take care for each other. It's a special bond we get to share throughout this crazy whirlwind, so I really treasure everything that we've had.
RuPaul's Drag Race airs Thursdays at 6 p.m. ET/PT on VH1.