Amanda Tori Meating might have been the third queen to leave from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16, but she’s leaving as the drag queen of the people.
Meating quickly gained the hearts of the fans with her good nature, quirky drag and her ability to read down her biggest enemy on the show, Plane Jane. Shadow and Act spoke with Meating last week to see how she was doing. She said, “To quote my bestie Dawn, I would say that ‘I feel so p***y right now!'”
Meating, who recently came out as trans, said coming out is the next chapter in her evolution.
“It was big. It felt like a big step into my authentic self, my life, my journey,” she said.
She also talked about how she felt she had more to show the audience. Many fans think that Meating may have won the lip sync following the girl group challenge. It was arguably very close, but in the end, RuPaul chose Q to stay over Meating.
“I think the way I’ve been looking at it recently is like, obviously if it was really my time to [not] stay longer on the show than I would have, I think I went in there and I was able to at least show people who I am,” she said. “Maybe my execution of my vision wasn’t quite [what it should have been]; the vision and the execution might not have matched all the time in terms of the drag, but I think at least I got to come in and show a point of view and something that people can connect with. And now that I’m off the show, I’m still glowing up and I’m working on bringing new levels of my drag to everyone.”
Much of Meating’s time on the show was defined by her interactions with Plane Jane, the most polarizing queen of the season who has often critiqued her drag. Meating admitted that the moments she shared with Plane were “definitely a lot” to deal with.
“This might not sound totally correct, but I think looking back on it, I think I probably was at capacity with how much of her bulls**t I could have handled at the time,” she said. “So as devastated as I was to go home when I did, I think, had I stayed, I think that [the situation with Plane Jane] probably would’ve only continued and I think it could have gotten me to an even more mentally upset place.”
She also said that hearing how others have resonated with her resilience against Plane has been “really validating.”
“I’m like, OK, yeah, then it wasn’t just in my head,” she said. “Like, other people are seeing this too. And I think it’s one of those things where I had definitely had a lot moments before Drag Race where I felt like people were bullying me and talking to me crazy. And I think in the before times, the fight-or-flight response [would] sort of take over. It’s like fight, flight or freeze. And I think I was a freezer. I guess I just got into this situation where I was like, I will not allow that to happen again.”
Still, Meating called being on Drag Race “a dream come true,” especially when it came to finding drag family, something she didn’t have before Drag Race.
“I sort of got into drag on my own, so I never really had a drag mother,” she said. “I had some really great sisters that I befriended when I moved to L.A., but largely I was kind of craving a drag family. It’s kind of cheesy, but I feel like the Plane Jane drama aside, I really do feel like the Season 16 cast has become my drag family now. I have some very special relationships with a lot of the girls.”
That newfound family, especially the queens who jumpstarted the season with Meating on the first episode of the split premiere, stood by her and defended her from Plane’s bullying.
“There was a moment where those girls who took time to be like, ‘Hey, we love her and this is our sister. You don’t need to be doing all that.’ I really felt like, OK, wow, I do have sisters like this, this is crazy. I’ve always wanted drag sisters because I’m an only child–I don’t have real brothers or sisters or anything.”
What’s on the horizon for Meating is tons of content, some of which you might have already seen on her YouTube channel.
“I have a lot of video content that’s still gonna be coming out [after] every single episode,” she said. “A lot of it’s sort of sketch comedy vibes with a little variety mixed in there. I want to do more music, I want to do more acting. I want to do more touring and performing on stage in front of an audience. I just want to take over the world.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Fridays on 8/7c on MTV.