The most recent instalment of the drag-based reality show saw Valentina go head-to-head with Nina Bo’nina Brown in a lip sync to Ariana Grande’s ‘Greedy’, only to be admonished by RuPaul for attempting to do the whole thing with her face covered in a mask.
Speaking to HuffPost UK on ‘BUILD’, Michelle opened up about Valentina’s exit, admitting it was just as tense in the studio as it appeared on screen.
Michelle said: “I couldn’t fathom it... she knew this was a lip sync, and I was really honestly genuinely confused. That’s why I said to Ru, ‘is she going to take that off?’ And Ru was like… ‘I don’t know’.
“We literally couldn’t think that she would stand up there and do that. And that’s why Ru was like ‘hold it, hold it.’ And I was like… ‘oh shhhh…’”
On Ru’s telling off to Valentina, Michelle continued: “Wouldn’t you be [pissed off]?
“Here’s the thing, when you come on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, you know a few things. There’s going to be a ‘Snatch Game’. You’re going to have to sew. You’re going to have to perform… acting, whatever it is.
“But the most important, glaring thing is you’re going to have to lip sync at some point, because even if you make it to the final, you still have to do it in the Ru music video. One way or another, you’re going to have to lip sync.
“So the fact she knew that and thought, ‘hmm… I don’t need to know this [song], I’m good, they love me, I’m pretty’. That spoke volumes.”
Some ‘Drag Race’ fans have suggested that Valentina should have been given a second chance, as she’d been such a strong player in the series until that point, though Michelle was less convinced.
“Wah, wah, the wahmbulance is coming to pick you up,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s a competition, somebody has to go. You misstep, and you’re going home.
“This [misstep] was unfortunate with Valentina, she has been amazing, yes indeed. But the [acting challenge, earlier in the episode], you saw, I directed it, and I was literally like, ‘what… is happening?’
“To me, I couldn’t believe we were at this point. It was crazier [in real life], World Of Wonder made it look better than what actually happened.
“She looked gorgeous, she always looks gorgeous, you can’t ever fault her for what she looks like. But at the end of the day, when you combine the main challenge, which is what I’m judging, and then not knowing the lyrics. Why? Why would we go ‘OK, you can stay because you’re pretty’?
“We say this a lot on ‘Drag Race’, looks are not everything, honey. That’s the last thing that I look for in a queen. To me, confidence, talent, all the things that make me engaged and engrossed in a human, are what I look for in a drag queen. Pretty is icing on the cake, but pretty ain’t everything, honey. Welcome to the world.”
Valentina herself recently spoke out about her lip sync fail, telling Entertainment Weekly: “I fucked it up… In that moment, I did deserve to be in the bottom. I remember feeling in a state of shock and it was something that I undoubtedly could not get myself out of.”
But Valentina’s wasn’t the only controversial lip sync of the series so far, with Charlie Hides stunning fans with her lacklustre efforts earlier in the series.
Find out Michelle’s thoughts on that, as well as working with Lady Gaga, her thoughts on Farrah Moan’s roast and her message for the LGBT+ community in her ‘BUILD’ interview, which you can watch in full below: