Saying farewell to a queen on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under is always a mix of emotions. In episode one, 27-year-old Sydney-based queen Amyl faced the unfortunate fate of being the first elimination of season three. Despite putting up a fierce fight in the LSFYL against her close friend, Ivory Glaze, Amyl couldn’t secure her spot for the following week.
MGG caught up with Amyl for an insightful chat about her experiences as the only black drag queen in Sydney for so long, diversity on down under, and her thoughts on her elimination.
When recalling the moment leading up to her somewhat flustered entrance into the werk room, Amyl laughs with a touch of nervousness in her voice, saying, “I was so overwhelmed. There were lights everywhere, I was sweating in my PVC, I turned the corner, I saw everybody, and in my brain, was like, ‘oh my god, I really want to say hello to everyone’, but I couldn’t … I was thinking every possible thought in the world at the same time.”
Upon entering the werk room, and seeing fellow Sydney queen Hollywould, Amyl reveals how she felt about seeing another black queen amongst the cast, proclaiming, “Oh my God, my heart was so full, she is beautiful. So, that was something all of its own.
“But what it meant was so special as well. For so long it was just me—because Holly only started drag recently—so to have someone else there sharing that experience was so exciting. It means leaps and bounds for drag in Australia… I’m really excited to see her slay the competition because out of all the ones, she’s the one. She’s everything.”
Amyl delves into what life was like before Hollywould showed up on the Sydney scene, a time during which she was the only black queen in the city, saying, “it’s been really tough. [When] something racially motivated happens, for example, I can explain it [to someone who’s not black] and say this is bad, and it makes me feel upset blah, blah, blah, but at the end of the day, I think it’s something that people don’t necessarily understand unless they’re also experiencing it. So, sometimes things would happen and I wouldn’t really have anybody to talk to about it with who would get it.”
She adds, “So, having Holly there as well. It means that I have solidarity and support that I didn’t really have before. So it’s really nice. It also means that as well as getting to commiserate together when bad things happen, we get to celebrate together as well. And I think that’s brought us really close, which is very special to me, and hopefully her as well.”
Amidst a series of racial controversies and a notable lack of diversity during the past two seasons, season three has taken a positive step forward by casting six queens of colour.
Amyl candidly shares her elation at being part of the most diverse cast ever seen in DRDU history, exclaiming, “it’s insane. I remember sitting there and every single person that walked in was another person of colour, and it was so exciting. We were like, ‘is it gonna be another black girl that we haven’t heard about?’ It was fantastic. And especially considering the last two seasons of Down Under, it’s such a positive step … even though this trend of sending queen of colour home first has continued,” she laughs.
Amyl, who found herself lip-syncing for her life at the end of episode one, confesses that the night before her elimination, she arrived at the hotel feeling anxious about her standing in the competition. However, after practicing her routine tirelessly until 3 AM, and as she began to fall asleep, she reassured herself, thinking, this should be okay.
After her elimination, Amyl was left confounded. She talks about what was going through her head in that moment, saying, “no one wants to be the first one to go home, it’s really devastating, because there was so much more that I wanted to show and so many things that I’m good at that are not dancing that I really wanted to present to the world. So it was really upsetting that I didn’t get to do that.”
As the show aired live, Amyl admits that, “watching the episode back was a lot harder than I thought it would be, because it made sense. And in my mind, it didn’t really make sense at the time. I didn’t really feel that nervous. Or at least I didn’t think I did. I thought I did okay. But watching it back I was like ‘ohhh shit.’”
Now, that she’s had time to process being the first girl out, “I think I kind of made peace with it, as much as I ever will. People always say that it’s just the beginning. And I think that’s true. I feel like there’s so many different paths that I can go down, and I guess the door has been opened. At least I got there, which not many people can say, so I’m very pleased. I’m very grateful for the experience.”