Nobody wants to be the first person sent home from any reality show, but maybe especially “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — but every season, somebody has to bite that bullet. Last week’s premiere was unique, as not only was no one sent home, there was no lip-sync battle. Nina Bonina Osama Bin-Ladin Brown won the maxi challenge, and then viewers were left hanging at the end to figure out the identity of a new, 14th contestant who’d be permanently joining the competition.
We have to say, we didn’t see this surprise coming!
Ladies and gentleman, that mystery queen is none other than Miss Cynthia Lee Fontaine! The Royal Cucu herself and Season 8 fan favorite! In fact, Fontaine was so memorable, she earned the Miss Congeniality crown that year — a rare feat for someone who didn’t make it to the Top 3.
Shortly after that season, the beloved queen was diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer of the liver. She nearly lost her life, feared even catching cold, and went through brutal rounds of chemotherapy treatment. But thankfully, this story has a happy ending — Miss Fontaine is now in remission, and RuPaul is celebrating her winning fight against cancer with another shot at the title of America’s Best Drag Superstar.
It’s amazing that she’s healthy, and we love having her infectious energy back on the runway, but she must be careful not to overuse her self-coined “Cucu.” It was cute two seasons ago — but if homegirl continues to say it as much as she did on Friday night’s (March 31) episode, her “Cucu” will soon be getting its marching orders. And that would be a shame, because after kicking cancer’s butt, she’s got the drive, passion and focus to clean up on the runway in Season 9.
Friday’s episode also had “Drag Race” returning to normal order. After a cheerleading team maxi challenge, in which this week’s winner is dark horse 10-month old baby drag star Valentina. Not faring as well: Kimora Blacc and Jaymes Mansfield — these two queens landing on the bottom was a surprise to no one… And Jaymes Masfield is the first to sashay away this year.
We got speak with Jaymes about her time on the competition — and she opened up about the big moment she wished made it on air.
How would you rate your experience?
Jaymes Mansfield: It’s nothing you could’ve anticipated. Any planning you would’ve done goes out the window the minute you get there. It looks so fluffy and easy on TV — but when you get there, you’re really racing. There’s no time to do anything!
Did you agree with the judges’ critiques?
Being from an artist’s background, the ego plays a part in it — I’m always in the mindset where it’s like, They’re all wrong. I’m great. You can’t hurt me! I was just far too talented, and someone had to go home! They had to keep it fair!
How’s watching the show on TV?
It’s a little nerve-wracking. That ‘s a real horror movie, seeing yourself on the big screen projected in HD. That’s something you can’t prepare yourself for. I was like Oh my god, I look like Leatherface! I hosted a viewing party at my home bar — which I suggest every queen do! Because you are surrounded by a wealth of friends, telling you how great you are! Which is what you need in a moment like that.
How crazy was it when Cynthia Lee Fontaine returned?
Honestly, I didn’t recognize her at first. She had done herself up so differently — plus, I’m blind as a bat, so it took me a bit. But it’s not like she won her season, so it’s not like she had an edge over any of us. I love my sister Cynthia! I can’t have that attitude either — it’s not like I won!
Was there anything you wish the cameras had shown?
We all had a really long conversation with Lady Gaga, a lot of which was trimmed down for time. I was kinda on the fence with her, going into it, but she made a Monster out of me. They didn’t show that she had really complimented my dress, the way I had constructed it. And I got to say that I worked for days on end, until 4 a.m. in order to make it, until I had to leave… And she said it was really well done.
Afterwards, we were all on the runway dancing with Lady Gaga, and she looked at me, with all seriousness in her eyes, and said, I love you. And I was like — Okay! I wasn’t expecting that out of her — like, I believed her. And that’s a nice little moment I will cherish.
Who were you going to be for Snatch Game?
Yes! I was going to be Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy from “Pitch Perfect”!
Since you’re now out of the running, who do you want to win Season 9?
None of them. Just kidding — I’m rooting for my girls Nina, Charlie [Hides] and Peppermint.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on VH1.