The queens of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 11 reunited on Thursday ahead of next week’s finale, and the reunion special saw them airing out some of the season’s biggest feuds and giving an update on the first on-screen love affair in “Drag Race” “her-story!”
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo was first up in the hot seat for Mama Ru’s line of questioning, as the last queen to be eliminated before the final four. While she expressed her frustration at just barely missing out on the finale, she also joked, “If I didn’t get the crown, at least I got some d**k! Shout out to Brooke Lynn!”
Vanjie and Brooke Lynn Hytes struck up a showmance during the season, sharing kisses in the werk room and raising eyebrows among their fellow competitors. However, when some of the other queens admitted that they had concerns about the veracity of the pair’s relationship, wondering if it was a maneuver to get more screen time or “clout,” Brooke shot that down, noting that the pair tried their best to keep things off camera for that reason. “Quite honestly, I didn’t feel like I needed any help in the competition,” she added.
For her part, Brooke said she didn’t come on to the show looking for romance, “but then he started flirting with me and I was like, ‘OK, well!'”
“We couldn’t really do anything, ’cause we’re on set,” she added. “So it was this nice little schoolboy romance.”
However, when the time came to talk about their relationship in the present tense, the pair admitted they were no longer together.
“We’re not,” Brooke answered when Mama Ru asked if they were still a couple. “We dated for about four months after the show, and we tried to make it work, but our schedules were just very different. He was traveling all the time, I wasn’t traveling at all, so we never really saw each other, and it was scary for me.”
“The number one thing that’s always been really important to me is my freedom,” she continued. “So, to factor somebody else into my life and plans and just have that feeling like I could never look at somebody else and find them attractive, or never flirt with somebody else, was really scary for me, and I was starting to feel really stifled.”
Brooke admitted that the split was “really hard, because I really do care for Vanjie a lot, and I still have a lot of love for him.”
From Vanjie’s side, however, she wasn’t ready to settle for less than a Nicholas Sparks-level love story. “I’m a romantic at heart,” she admitted, which Brooke chimed in to say she “loves” about her. “I wanted ‘The Notebook’ experience and I was getting a Post-It.”
The pair said that they’re still friendly, post-split, and enjoyed watching their romance play out as this season of “Drag Race” aired.
“It’s a great memory to have,” Brooke said. “I’ll always love him… and I’m really happy we can still be friends.”
“It’s OK,” Vanjie agreed. “That’s why we’re on good terms, ’cause we recognized it early. It is what it is. We had different views.”
But the real tea came when Mama Ru asked point blank if they wanted to get back together. “I’m not gonna say never. I still have feelings for you, and I know you still have feelings for me,” Brooke admitted, as Vanjie nodded in agreement. “Just as long as we have love for each other, anything is possible in the future.”
ET’s Brice Sander spoke with Vanjie and the “Drag Race” judges about the romance as season 11 aired, and they opened up about the surprising first for the reality series.
“I mean, listen — first of all, I’m very authentic,” Vanjie admitted. “What you see is what you get, it is what it is. And you know, when you trapped up and there’s somebody you see, you see a piece of trade coming in and you’re not gonna make a move? S**t! Maybe we can get a little bit of d**k and a little bit of crown.”
See more on the pair in the video below.