The fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars were faced with an upsetting elimination last Friday when fan-favorite LaLa Ri was sent home by Alexis Michelle, despite Michelle promising to save her.
LaLa Ri told Shadow and Act last week how surprised she was at her elimination in the moment.
“Yeah, that was a lot…I mean, honestly, I never really put my trust [in a drag queen], I said this early in the season. I do not trust a drag queen,” she said. “But I had, I had held out a little hope that maybe this one time, a drag queen will come through on her word and, you know, it help a sister out because me and Kahanna [Montrese] were actually really, really close. So it was really heartbreaking for me to send her home even though I knew the right thing was to keep Alexis.”
The week prior, LaLa Ri sent home Montrese after Montrese had several weeks in the bottom, making Michelle safe from elimination. Michelle said how grateful she was to LaLa Ri for her decision and intimated that she would keep LaLa Ri around if she ended up in the bottom, leading LaLa Ri and the audience to assume that Michelle would actually return the favor. Michelle’s later decision caused fans to rise up in dismay as Michelle revealed LaLa Ri’s lipstick after Friday’s design challenge.
I’m big on competition ’cause I wanna be the best of the best, no shade So that’s another reason why I kept Alexis around,” LaLa Ri continued. “But for Alexis to continue to say that she was going to save me–and she kept saying it over and over and over and over–and for her to just basically say, ‘Girl, get somebody else to do it,’ that was like a shocker and a gag. And it was just like, wow. Like, I honestly think it took a lot of time for me to process it. I initially did not believe it. Like, did she really say my name? Like, did they, did they say that right? Did she pronounce Kandy Muse [who was also in the bottom two] correctly? But no, I was, I really, really shocked. I had held out a little hope, you know, that she was gonna stand on her word, but obviously, she didn’t. So here we are.
Despite the shock, LaLa Ri urged fans not to send hate to Michelle or any other contestants.
“Never send hate to any other girls,” she said. “At the end of the day, it is a competition show. You’re gonna say what you need to say to…get to where you need to be. Never send hate to any of the girls. At the end of the day, we’re all family. We’re all sisters. It’s the name of the game. We know what we signed up for. I still love Alexis. I still love all the girls. I have no bad blood [for] no one.”
“But,” she joked, “I do have the police coming to [Michelle’s] house right now.”
Throughout the season, LaLa Ri was able to showcase the full “LaLa Ri Experience” from talent to fashion, giving fans more iconic moments than her Season 13 bag look.
“The first time around, I feel like of course, people knew who I was a little bit, but the most thing they knew about me was the bag look. And I made it my mission coming back into all stars to showcase who I truly am as an artist,” she said. “I wanted to show people that I’m more than just this, this bag meme…even though it’s iconic [but] that’s more so for the fans. That wasn’t for me. I wanted to showcase who I truly am as an artist to the fans and I feel like I did that. So they talked more about my talents and my artistry than the bag [look]. Of course, that’s just legendary forever, but now they talk more about who LaLa Ri is as an artist and the LaLa Ri experience. So that is, um, a beautiful thing.”
One of LaLa Ri’s biggest moments this season was the challenge she won, the improv challenge. Her security guard character was highly praised among the judges and the fans, with fans on social media saying it was the best character since Latrice Royale’s prison guard. One fan even said that LaLa Ri’s character was worthy of being on Saturday Night Live.
“That was amazing,” she said about her improv win. “So listen, I have been creating characters since I was a child. Like, people don’t know this about me. I have been creating like different characters since I was a child. Acting is is always been something that has really interested me. And in Season 13, I didn’t really get a chance to showcase that ’cause I went home actually on an improv challenge. So to be able to finally showcase what I am as an actor, that was a lovely thing and for people to talk about it the way that they are talking about it in a good light and comparing it to the iconic Latrice and [call it] one of the best improv characters ever, that means a lot to me. That means like, okay, I came here and I did my job. You know, even though I went home today, I still feel like a winner because at the end of the day, I came and I did the job that I set out to do for myself.”
As for the folks at Saturday Night Live, LaLa Ri said, “I’m waiting by the phone.”
Overall, LaLa Ri said that she had the “best time of my life” during this season of All Stars.
“I truly, truly had fun this entire time that I was there,” she said. “I was doing well after Season 13, however Season 13 was during the height of Covid. So I didn’t really get a chance to do a lot of things that I wanted to do, and All Stars had given me the opportunity to do those things plus more.”
“I have completely booked up for a very long time. God is good, and I’m seeing more of the world and meeting more of the beautiful fans,” she continued. “It’s more opportunities. Like, people are actually like booking me just to talk about their product because of my confessionals…so just things like that. All Stars has definitely changed my life. RuPaul’s Drag Race has definitely changed my life again, so I’m truly grateful for all of that.”
What fans can expect next from LaLa Ri is to see her tour the country and become even more of an actor.
“The next chapter for LaLa Ri is to finish out these bookings, and I want to evolve, transition more into doing music and become LaLa Ri the artist versus LaLa Ri the drag queen. And I also wanna get into more acting, so I am now taking acting classes so I can take acting more seriously. [I’m] going auditions and things because the security guard actually just opened my eyes to like, okay, I really, really want to get into more TV and film. I would like to be on more reality TV ’cause I love confessionals. I love the little talking head moments. So if you wanna get me on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I’m available, Bravo…I can kind of come and turn it up a little bit for the girls.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars airs weekly on Fridays on Paramount+.