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RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7 star Raja 'loved every minute' of getting booted by Violet and Gottmik

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No one can keep a good eye-con like Raja down — not even a pair of powerful boots on Fashion Photo RuView.

The RuPaul's Drag Race season 3 winner — and latest queen to win an All Stars 7 challenge — tells EW she actually enjoyed "a big spoonful of my own medicine being shoved down my throat" when season 7 champion Violet Chachki and season 13 finalist Gottmik gave her runway look a dreaded "boot" on the popular recap series — which Raja herself fronted for years alongside season 2 alum Raven. Fans might've rallied in support of Raja after the perceived slight against one of the franchise's OG fashion icons, but Raja takes it all in (fashionable) stride.

"Fashion Photo RuView isn't real, it's just the opinions of two people," Raja explains. "I know that for a fact that, when it's Raven and I, usually I'm pretty stoned and just kind of rambling. It doesn't matter, it's just two people and we are not the law, nothing is carved in stone, it's all lighthearted and fun."

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7 continues Friday on Paramount +. Read on for Raja's full Q&A on episode 5, including a tease on who she might gift with a Legendary Legend Star, her thoughts on Violet Chachki booting her on Fashion Photo RuView, and how she really feels about the strategery of it all as the competition charges on.

RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race

Paramount+/World of Wonder Raja on 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7'

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I was so happy to see you get your first star of the season. It looked like you got emotional on the stage. Why were those emotions so strong for you?

RAJA: I'll quote RuPaul and say I blame it on the edit — in a good way. There's frustration that builds up in reality TV, there's a bit of sensory deprivation that adds to the angst and frustration that inevitably creates drama. It was a bit evident there. [Laughs] It starts to feel like, I'm at the halfway point, I knew I'd done well based on comments from the judges and my fellow competitors. I started to hit a wall. I'm at a different age and energy than the group and it was like, oh my God, I'm exhausted, I want to go home. Why am I trying so hard, and it's not being recognized the way I — or others — see it? It makes for great television. Yes, I was frustrated at that point, but my efforts were suddenly recognized, and it felt good, like, finally the hard work and preparation I put into this is finally being seen.

Thinking back to that moment last week where you asked RuPaul if she was sure she wanted to declare you as one of the safe queens, it was difficult for you to hide your emotions?

Yeah, and I'm not one to hide my emotions in that way. If I know that I'm doing something great that's not being recognized, I'm going to call it out. Yeah, I was frustrated. [Laughs]

RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race

Paramount+/World of Wonder Raja finally wins a challenge on 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7'

The fans have rallied in support of you, especially after you got booted on Fashion Photo RuView. After fronting that show, how did you react to being on the other end, getting booted by Violet and Gottmik?

I loved every minute of it. I loved it! You're getting an entire fandom on my side? Absolutely. I loved having a big spoonful of my own medicine being shoved down my throat. Raven and I pretty much created Fashion Photo RuView — the terms "toot" and "boot" were something that we made up, and now it's global. It's household. I was glad to be on the other end of it…. Because I spent eight years doing Fashion Photo RuView as a way to keep my visibility and relevance, and now, here I am on the other end of it. It was my great honor and pleasure to get booted by both Violet and Gottmik. If I was going to take it from anybody else, I probably wouldn't. I realize they're a bunch of silly little assholes anyway, and so am I.

Have you spoken to them about it?

I passive-aggressively tagged Gottmik in one of my posts on Violet's pictures, like, you little s---ty bitches talking about me! I did text Kade, Gottmik, a personal thank you. I was like, please let Violet know I'm totally loving what you guys are doing…. whatever you're doing, keep it going because everyone is rooting for me right now and I couldn't be more appreciative.

This season has also been so fun. I loved watching Monét change her approach after getting blocked this week. What was that shift like in the Werk Room? Could you feel a significant shift in the way she was navigating the rest of the queens after getting blocked?

Nothing we ever did was spiteful or harmful. We all played a game, and the game was fun because we didn't have that tension of someone kicking off another person and eliminating them from the entire process, which we know costs a lot of f---ing money…. it loosened it all up and allowed us to have fun with the game itself. There was tension, but it was lighthearted and fun game-playing, like playing Monopoly or Uno with your family.

There is, though, alliance work and strategizing going on. Did anyone ever approach you to be in an alliance?

No! I think they realized I didn't care or was maybe unaware. I was trying to survive the day, the week, or the challenge. I wasn't caring so much about the alliances, although there might be coming up ahead a Smokers Alliance that we joked a lot about…. The Vivienne, myself, Yvie Oddly, and, occasionally, Jaida, the four of us took a lot of smoke breaks [so] we joked about having a Smokers Alliance.

RuPaul's Drag Race digital cover
RuPaul's Drag Race digital cover

Vijat M for EW Raja for EW

Monét told me about the suspected Smokers Alliance last week. That's a real thing?

It's a real thing. We would split off. Viv and I would run off first, and everyone would call us out, like, there they go again, the Smokers Alliance. We were like, what are you talking about? We're going to go have a cigarette, blow off some steam, and talk about the challenge.

Was it an actual strategic alliance?

If it was [strategic], I was completely unaware. I live in a bubble, I'm a total space case. I have no idea what's going on most of the time.

Then let me ask you about Shea's secret of the Platinum Plunger. Did that seem real to you, or did you see right through it?

I believed it. She got me, she got most of us. Seeing it now on the episodes and having her admit to the fact that she made it up, it goes to show the brilliance of Shea and how hysterically funny she is. We all believed it, full-heartedly, like, there's something else going on, because as we know on Drag Race there's always a twist or some scheme happening.

I also remember in our cover story interview, everyone said how much they loved your approach to dancing, and this episode was the first time we've seen it since episode 1. Please walk me through your approach to this lip-sync.

To be very honest, I didn't know the song [Lizzo's "Better in Color"] as well as Jinkx did. Thank you, editors, for making it seem like I did. I didn't think I was going to place because I'd gone for several episodes and done very well and been ignored, so I was like, f--- it, I'm not going to learn the song because I won't be up there, which was a mistake. For me, it was more about owning the star over the $10,000 prize or blocking anybody, I was just happy to have one star. I was unprepared, and I'm sure if I would've known the lyrics or even realized [performing] was a possibility, I would've done better. What you saw is just me bopping to the song and having a fun time, like I would in my apartment.

You then had to decide who would receive your second star. Why did you end up choosing who you did, and was your decision a strategic one or were you just trying to be fair?

Mostly it was me wanting to be fair. My whole strategy in the game was to be fair. If somebody hadn't been plunged, it's your turn next, so I went with what everybody else was going with. There were discussions and individual talk between each of us. We all talked about it together, but, ultimately, the decision I made was just to be fair and keep myself in favor. I didn't want to be the bitchy queen to start s---. I wanted to keep it cute and keep moving.

Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to RuPaul is available online or wherever magazines are sold. 

Subscribe to EW's BINGE podcast for full recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race, including weekly All Stars 7 recaps and reactions with the cast, special guests, and more.

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