My Celebrity Life

Drag Race UK: Asttina Mandella hits back at ‘contradictory’ criticism from judges

Asttina Mandella, the latest contestant to be eliminated from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, has addressed the feedback she received from the judges about her runway look in last night’s episode, calling out the ‘contradictory’ nature of the comments.

During the latest instalment of the new series, Asttina ended up in the bottom two with Tia Kofi after the judges expressed their disappointment in her anime-inspired look, which featured a blue mini dress and thigh-length pigtails.

When the time came for the panel to tell Asttina what they thought of her sartorial creation, RuPaul said: ‘When you have broad shoulders, you have to trick the eye, and I was taken out of the illusion,’ while Michelle Visage admitted the dress gave her ‘ice skater vibes’ and Graham Norton described it as ‘plain’.

Later on when speaking to her fellow judges in private, Ru added: ‘There was a lot of man shining through. I have broad shoulders. You see, I’ve done an asymmetrical storyline here to trick the customer.’

During an earlier scene of the episode, Ginny Lemon and Bimini Bon-Boulash were captured speaking about identifying as non-binary in a heart-to-heart that has received high praise for raising awareness and sparking further conversations about gender identity.

In light of this moment, Asttina questioned why ‘little restrictions’ are being added to drag queens when they are being appraised, she told and other press after her elimination.

‘That’s the weird thing that I find quite interesting about this show,’ the performer said.

‘What we speak about on the show, like representation, non-binary and gender and understanding who people are, and we shouldn’t label and say these things and try and create this umbrella and this bubble – and then yet you go on the runway and they put you in a bubble.’

Asttina called out the fact that in the world of drag, ‘we have these rules of “cover this, wear this, hip pad, be sexy, blah blah blah”’, when if you look back ‘through history’, there were lots of things that women and men weren’t allowed to do.

‘Boys weren’t allowed to wear heels, boys weren’t allowed to dance, women couldn’t drive buses. Why are we now adding all these little restrictions onto drag when drag is meant to push the boundaries out of all of them? It contradicts so much and I’m just like… mmm? That makes no sense to me,’ she said.

Asttina noted that while she does understand the judges’ ‘points of view of what they were saying’ about her outfit, ‘you can’t really judge drag anyway because drag comes from a personal being, it comes from personal opinions, it comes from personal expression’.

‘It’s a show, it’s entertainment. It’s all about growth and evolving us as people. So I completely agree with their statements… but also I don’t agree with their statements,’ she said.

Although she may feel conflicted about what the judges had to say about her ensemble, the East Londoner believes that this is ‘what makes the show so wonderful’.

‘I think that’s what makes the show so wonderful, I think that’s what makes the show questionable, I think what makes the show relevant is that the show is allowed to question itself,’ she explained.

‘When a show can question itself, it can last very long because it allows everyone to start questioning it too, hence why we’re on season 20 million and All Stars 78.’

In the first week of the competition, Asttina paid homage to supermodel Naomi Campbell for a runway look inspired by her chosen gay icon, recreating the black sheer Valentino gown Naomi wore at the Italian label’s Spring 2019 couture show.

While Naomi has yet to reach out to Asttina, the drag queen revealed that Valentino has been in contact.

‘Maison Valentino has reached out to me which is really fabulous and wonderful because that was the dress that she wore,’ she said.

If Naomi were to reach out to Asttina, the Drag Race UK star said that she ‘might die’ with excitement.

Watch out for the Naomi Campbell/Asttina Mandella magazine spread, hopefully coming our way soon.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is available to watch on BBC iPlayer, with new episodes every Thursday at 7pm.


Credit: Original article published here.

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