Drag Race legends rally around queens ‘cut’ from Celebrity spin-off as franchise tries to ‘backpedal on the drama’
After Celebrity Drag Race “cut” three returning queens from its first episode, producers have rushed to “backpedal on the drama” by releasing unseen footage amid mounting criticism from fans and queens alike.
The new spin-off series debuted on April 24, with RuPaul welcoming Bob the Drag Queen, Monét X Change and Trixie Mattel back to the werk room to make over three famous contestants.
After the episode aired, it emerged that the transformations were actually the handiwork of three other queens – Shannel, Mayhem Miller and Laila McQueen.
All three were credited as “creative consultants” but were not seen on-screen, prompting a backlash from fans.
Shannel confirmed that she had been “cut” from the show on Instagram. She wrote: “For whatever reason, my appearance on Celebrity Drag Race was cut.
“And although, I am unsure as to why, I was fortunate enough to work amongst amazing talented people and my Drag Race sisters as a makeup artist on the full season of Celebrity Drag Race.”
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Showbusiness is a funny business. I started my career as a makeup artist and a performer and have been blessed to have a wild ride so far. For whatever reason, my appearance on Celebrity Drag Race was cut. And although, I am unsure as to why, I was fortunate enough to work amongst amazing talented people and my Drag Race sisters as a makeup artist on the full season of Celebrity Drag Race. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed being apart of it. Much love. -Shannel
Drag Race royalty slam treatment of ‘cut’ queens.
Ongina, who appeared on season one with Shannel and is heavily rumoured to be part of the All Stars 5 cast, shared her frustrations.
“I wish they would have just used the queens they hired for back of camera to front of camera also,” she wrote.
“There’s room for everyone… I would have loved you, Mayhem and Laila on TV as much as I love Bob, Monét and Trixie on my TV.
“Like share the pie. But not that pie.”
Delta Work, a season three queen who worked on later seasons as RuPaul’s wig stylist, revealed that this isn’t the first time the franchise has hidden queens’ involvement.
She confirmed that both she and Shannel had worked on the since-cancelled Drag Race spin-off, Drag U.
“You put a s**t-ton of those contestants in drag,” she said.
Such a shame, this business. You deserve to be celebrated for lifting this craft.
“The fan base deserved to see you back on the screen as one of the founding faces of this franchise, still going strong and as one whose talent was REQUESTED to work on this show. Mad respect for you always.”
As criticism mounted, the official RuPaul’s Drag Race Twitter account shared a video of Shannel in the werk room, confirming that the “cut” queens were filmed for the series.
tryna backpedal on the drama huh
— juliet (@emotantes) April 27, 2020
“Tryna backpedal on the drama huh,” one fan wrote.
Two of the queens who were featured on the show, Trixie Mattel and Monét X Change, have acknowledged the hard work of the other queens publically.
Monét celebrated Shannel’s “stunning” work on Nico Tortorella.
— Monét X Change (@monetxchange) April 25, 2020
Trixie told followers that she’d only done “a little bit” of eventual winner Jordan Connor’s make-up, explaining that Laila “did the most”.
I did a little bit of it but @LailaMcQueen did the most
— Trixie Mattel (@trixiemattel) April 25, 2020
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Shea Coulée also praised Laila’s work, adding: “I know that makeup when I see it.”
@LailaMcQueen did SUCH a great paint on Babykins LaRoux. I know that makeup when I see it…
— Shea Couleé (@SheaCoulee) April 25, 2020