By Christopher Rudolph
On this week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the queens took us to church when they were divided into teams of televangelists and asked to worship at the altar of a pop diva. One team chose Britney Spears, and the other went with Mariah Carey. But after proving they weren’t part of the lambily, RuPaul made all six queens from the Mariah team lip sync against each other, ultimately sending Honey Davenport home.
After her elimination, MTV News chatted with Honey about her time on the show, what that herstoric lip sync was like, and how she went from being homeless to working the Drag Race runway.
Hey Honey! I saw you had a viewing party in New York last night with Ginger Minj and Dusty Ray Bottoms. What was it like hosting the party knowing you were going to be sent home?
It was actually great! I was surrounded by a lot of family and friends. Ginger Minj was there, and she’s been eliminated twice so she knows how it feels. I had been dreading watching this episode since I returned from filming the season. [At the time] I felt embarrassed and not very proud of myself, but then watching it last night I thought, “Oh, I’m actually not upset about that.” I gave it all, and I did my best. I showed the whole world my heart. That wasn’t enough to get me further in the season, but it was actually a really good experience.
On Untucked, you collapsed on the floor backstage after RuPaul eliminated you. You were really upset. What was going through your mind at that moment?
Valentina’s not the only one who gets a telenovela! [Laughs] I was super crushed because I felt all of the big dreams I had for my career were ending right then, only to realize that it was only the beginning.
During the challenge when you were asked to pick a diva to worship, did you ever think to choose a different diva, since no one of your team was a big fan of Mariah?
My teammates seemed to be all on board with Mariah, and I kept saying, “Who is the Mariah Carey superfan?” [I was] thinking that since we chose her, someone was, but it turned out to be just a bad decision.
RuPaul was pretty harsh with her critiques. What was it like being up on stage and hearing her tell your team you “stunk?”
In that immediate moment, I felt like such a failure, which is something I just don’t feel today. Honestly, I’m so proud of what I accomplished. I went on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I looked great, I presented myself well. Maybe I could have spoken up more, but I did my absolute best. Even in that lip sync, I gave it 110%. The narrative didn’t play out where I won, but I feel like a winner.
This is still early in the season so there are a lot of queens. Did you feel like you didn’t get enough screen time?
Before I even left for Drag Race, I was dealing with a lot. One of my mentors went into a coma, I was homeless, and I had to crash on friends’ couches. Then I got the call from Drag Race, and you don’t say no to mama when she calls. I just wasn’t in a real spot to compete at my greatest level. So I’m actually really thrilled with my airtime, and the way I was shown. I was going through a lot when I was there, and I was just trying to push through it.
RuPaul made your entire team lip sync against each other. What was that like going up against five other queens at once? You jumped off the stage!
It was a full-on moment! I did a death drop in a gown, I didn’t just jump on the floor! The whole experience, was a blur. I thought I would be so hurt when I watched the episode, but I’m just really proud of everything I did there, and really thankful for the opportunity.
Lastly, can we talk about your new song, “The Hive?” It’s a bop!
“The Hive” is part of my new visual album, featuring what I would have worn on each week’s runway. It’s not just fierce music, it’s a social commentary on what it’s like being a queer person of color in America today. I’ve been making music as long as I’ve been doing drag, so for 10 years. Now after Drag Race I’m ready to just keep on going and keep creating.
RuPaul's Drag Race airs Thursdays at 9/8c on VH1.