Monét X Change gave us the business all season long on this winners season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.
While the former “twinner” became a runner-up for the lip sync smackdown for the title of Queen of All Queens, she’s still a winner in the eyes of the franchise and the fans for how she showcased all sides of her drag personality and talent. X Change talked to Shadow and Act about what it’s been like to come back to the Drag Race werkroom and compete.
“It’s been really good, you know? It’s never a bad thing to be on TV [for the] visibility and to introduce yourself to new fans and I’ve definitely done that,” she said. “I’ve a really good time doing the best me [I can], I’ve shown some really great stuff and I’m just really happy to be a part of it. It was really a fulfilling experience for me.”
X Change impressed fans around the world with her stellar opera performance during the variety show challenge. X Change said that she heard a lot of people believe she was lip synching her performance, but, she said, that would never happen.
“A lot of people thought, ‘girl, she’s lip synching,’ and I was like, ‘Girl, are you crazy?'” she said. “First of all, if I was a lip-synching opera singer, the community would not be here for it, they would disown me. I would not be welcomed in the classical community,” she said, adding that if she recorded her singing and lip-sync to it, she “would not be able to look at myself.”
“So I was very proud to present that,” she added. “And I’m that it’s allowing some really great opportunity to come my way classically, [and] there are no other queens from the show doing that.”
The opera performance was just one of the many ways X Change and the other queens showcased all facets of their personality and range of talent. X Change said that she thought it was “great” that she was able to show sides of herself that fans–new and old–hadn’t seen before. She especially thought it was a good way to introduce viewers to the wider scope of drag than what they might see on Drag Race.
“You know, I think with drag, there’s sometimes a narrow view of what drag queens are and what they do, especially people who are only fans of Drag Race, not fans of drag, because if you go to any of your local bars or if you enjoy drag in its forms in your local cities, you’ll see what truly multi-hyphenate beings a lot of drag queens are,” she said. “We have to be a writer, producer, costumer, wig stylist–you gotta do all these things. And I think that Drag Race sometimes limits the full scop of drag. So it’s nice having done the show three times, [you know] what you want to present to fans and that [there are talents fans have] not seen before that you want to do. So I think that I really reveled that. I didn’t come here with anything to prove, I came here to be Monet, and that’s what I did.”
A great example of X Change showing the world who she is was during the final lip sync between Jinkx Monsoon for the crown. During the lip sync, X Change brought together theatrics, performance ability, and ballroom culture to create a well-rounded lip sync–so much so that people online believe she won the lip sync, despite Monsoon winning the crown and title.
“I was so unbelievably proud of my lip sync,” she said. “…In the moment, it was fierce in the room, like, everyone comes to watch the lip sync at the end of the night and it was fierce in the room, but to watch it back, it’s now my most favorite lip-sync I’ve ever done on this show. I just really enjoyed what I did, all the little tricks and gags with the lipstick [which had ‘Jinkx’ written on it in white-out], the money bit, and doing the catwalk and going back to ballroom culture, I reveled in myself and I’m very proud of what I did.”
X Change, like every queen we talked to this season, said the best part of the season was meeting the rest of the queens and developing a lifelong sisterhood.
“Jada was [a queen] I had never met before this season. I’d never worked with her, and to meet Jaida and to get to work with her, I realize why people love Jaida so much,” she said. “She really is a great source of energy and she has such a good time. And Shea, she and I have worked together before, but this experience allows us to get much closer. And Trinity too–I really, really, really [bonded with]. I love her a lot. She’s a really good friend and I definitely cemented some friendships with some queens that I did not know that I would have,” she said.
“Maybe [the friendships] would have happened eventually,” she continued, “but Drag Race is such a stressful thing and it’s a unique experience filming [that] only–well, I used to say only 20 people, but now it’s about 500 people in the world, all seasons [and] franchises. So yeah, Drag Race definitely helped cement some friendships.”
Her closest sister, of course, is her drag sister Bob the Drag Queen. Bob has supported their sister throughout the season (hello, The Pit Stop!) and now, the two are getting back together on their joint podcast, Sibling Rivalry and its spinoff, Sibling Watchery.
“The podcast is something that is near and dear to me. And we did a live reaction to the [Drag Race All Stars] episode last night, which was fun, and we did a little special thing for our Patreon, and now that season is done, we do a show called Sibling Watchery where we review all the episodes of Drag Race,” she said. The new season of Sibling Watchery is available now where you listen to podcasts and on YouTube. X Change said that she and Bob will be reviewing All Stars season seven.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “It’s going to be a very fun time…and maybe we’ll have some interesting guests, [people] who were there.”
All episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars are now streaming on Paramount+.