‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Finalist Plane Jane Would Like to Remind You That Drag Should Be ‘Fun and Dumb’

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Regardless of where she placed, there’s no question that Plane Jane left an impact on season 16 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

As one of the two most winning queens of the season, Plane entered the finale (which aired Friday, Apr. 19) with plenty of well-earned confidence. She showed off her performance skills with a solo number titled “Bodysuit” (featuring pop singer and TikTok star Chrissy Chlapecka on vocals), making fun of the judges’ critique on her fashion choices. But only two queens could advance to the final lip sync, and the Boston drag star’s time on the show came to an end.

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Plane’s run on the show was certainly impressive — she nabbed a whopping four challenge wins, including in the iconic Snatch Game, and earned constant praise from the judges panel for her sharp wit and killer performer’s instinct. But the queen also earned a reputation — both among her competitors and the fans — for her catty behavior. Whether it was in the work room, during Untucked or even on the main stage, the queen reveled in taking almost every opportunity to throw shade and read her competitors for filth.

Below, Plane Jane catches up with Billboard after the finale to talk about fans calling her “self-produced,” the viral meme of her comforting her cast mate, and why she’s proud of showing every part of herself on the show — or as she puts it, “the good, the bad, the gorgeous, the ugly and the nasty.”

The season is officially over, and you made it to the top three! How are you feeling after watching the finale?

It was a very exhausting, physically straining and draining weekend. But I actually feel really great. I’m so happy for my sister Nymphia for winning the crown, it was so well-deserved. She undeniably won … even if she didn’t do “the best” throughout the competition, she definitely brought it home during the finale. Her performances were absolutely fantastic, so I couldn’t be happier for her.

That being said, I’m happy for myself as well. I did a great job throughout the entire season, and I think I had a pretty good showing through the finale as well! There can only be one winner, so, all I can say is I did my absolute best, and I’m very proud of myself.

Your song “Bodysuit” was so different from the other top three numbers — it felt a little like hyperpop, and it had that Plane Jane blend of “fierce drag performance meets something that is at least a little bit stupid.” 

Yes, exactly! Personally, it is my favorite song of the top three solo numbers. Not going to lie, I have been listening to “Bodysuit” all weekend. But yes, why take ourselves so seriously? Drag is supposed to be fun and dumb!

Every year we crown a winner, and we crown a Miss Congeniality, but I genuinely think there should be an award for the queen who brought us the best TV of the season, which you would have handily won. What was it like to watch yourself back as you created these heightened, dramatic moments on the show?

Well, it’s interesting because it feels like two completely different realities, living through those moments and watching them back. Honestly, there were some parts of the season where I would watch it and go, “Oh, God, I fully forgot that I said that, whoa girl.” And then there were moments that I thought would be so much more dramatic and intense, and they came across as tame! It was definitely interesting, I found myself cringing at some of the stuff I said and laughing at everything else.

Part of that process means contending with what fans had to say about your performance as well. Fans had a lot to say, both good and bad — what did you make of their reactions to you?

Throughout the season, there were a gaggle of people online who were accusing me of being very self-produced, very calculated — I actually think it was pretty much the opposite. I was quite unhinged! If there was any element of self-production to what I was doing on the show, it was just me reminding myself to not hold anything back. Like, “this is your moment, and it’s time for you to show the world everything that you are.” I wanted to be unapologetic and unhinged, and I think that is what makes for great reality television at the end of the day. So, to those people, I would say that I acted the way that I did because that’s who the f–k I am, and I’m a star! That’s what got me ahead, babe.

As the season went on, fans also watched you get vulnerable with the other queens and the audience, which in some cases required you to disengage the more cutting parts of your persona. What helped you get to that place while filming?

Being on reality television for the first time, for anybody, is a learning curve. I came into the competition being very hyper aware of my environment, and I realized quickly that I was being a little too intense with the shade and the reading. So, like I said, I had the thought about wanting to show all of the parts of myself, and that there was much more to me than just being a shady, c–ty, bitchy drag queen. I mean, there was a lot of negativity that I was … I don’t know, I guess “spewing,” if you will? So when I realized it was getting a little out of hand, I just had to remind myself that I was supposed to be having fun, and so were the other girls. That’s what got me to reel it in a little bit.

That vulnerability also gave us one of the most out-of-control memes of the season with “Mama, kudos for saying that, for spilling.” What has that been like, to watch this heartfelt moment between you and Q get spun out into a meme?

Apparently, I have a very unique way of showing vulnerability! [laughs] I think it’s so funny. What’s weird is it did show this culturally relevant thing about how a lot of gay people speak nowadays. We’ve developed such a particular lingo within our community, to that point where, even when we’re comforting each other, it’s so wildly different than how the boring straights do it. It’s special!

Looking back, you had a lot of big standout moments throughout the season — is there one in particular that stands out as the Plane Jane moment on Drag Race?

It is hard to pinpoint one moment, because all of those memories are special. But honestly, I would say the moment where I thought, “Oh, she’s taking it,” was definitely Snatch Game. It was a situation where, as we were in it, I knew that both Sapphira and I were killing it up there. Like, we were both doing so well that I genuinely didn’t know which one of us would take the win. So, when Ru said my name, that gave me such a huge boost of self-confidence. It’s such an iconic challenge to win, so it really felt like I was leaving my mark on the show with that performance.

Even Jelena Karleuša herself reposted the clip and said that she loved your impression of her. 

That was so awesome. I feel like the winners of Snatch Game end up getting immortalized in the universe and lore of Drag Race, and it was such an honor to portray somebody who I am truly such a big fan of. To see her living for it and to know that it would be a huge part of Drag Race history was so cool.

As you’ve been watching the show, are there any particular songs you’ve found yourself listening to a lot?

I don’t want to say this is “old school,” because we don’t want to offend the oldies out there, but I’ve been re-listening to the Pussycat Dolls’ PCD album a lot lately. I mean, that album was genuine pop perfection. “Don’t Cha,” “Beep,” “Buttons,” it’s just hits. It feels like such a sexy, early-to-mid 2000s pop class.

With Drag Race over, what can fans expect to see next from Plane Jane?

More tomfoolery, buffoonery and shenanigans. I’m somebody who wants to do it all, as you saw on the show — I’m a jack of all trades. And I’m actually kind of happy now that the season’s over, because it means that I can move on to do literally whatever I want from here.

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