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EXCLUSIVE! Alexis Mateo on Drag Pageants, “Vanjie” and Not Punching Manila Luzon

Alexis Mateo is one of the most beloved drag queens to have ever competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She stormed through season 3 and made it all the way to the end alongside runner up Manila Luzon and eventual winner Raja. A short while later she competed on the first season of All Stars with fellow s3 competitor Yara Sofia, where they both made it very far.

Alexis is also a true pageant queen who has made a name for herself in that circuit way before entering the werk room on the Emmy-winning reality competition series. She struck gold in 2018 by winning Miss Gay Florida, something she has attempted to do for over a decade.

She also has a legion of new fans thanks to her drag daughter Vanessa Vanjie Mateo being on season 10 of RPDR, where she made the biggest impression out of pretty much the entire cast even though she was the first one to be eliminated.  

Alexis chatted about what she’s doing to win Miss Gay Florida once again, as well as what it’s been like for her and Vanessa over the past couple of months and if she regrets never punching Manila while on RPDR. Check it out.

How often do people still come up to you and say “BAM!” 

"BAM!" Every day I get people coming up to me and saying “Bam!” I say “Bam!” when I need to feel pretty and amazing. Is like a boost of energy. So, every time someone says that to me...I get excited again!

What did it feel like to win Miss Gay Florida 2018? 

Winning Miss Gay Florida America was a great moment for me. I have been trying to win since 2007 and finally it was my time. After my 39th birthday, I was having a hard time in my personal life, and winning the title helped me stay focused and has given me a new opportunity in my career.

Do you think pageant queens still get a “stigmatism” (quoting Trinity Taylor) in the drag world? 

Yes, pageant queens are the most prepared and competent drag queens in our community, but for some kind of reason the TV show uses the term "pageant queen" as a negative thing. Rupaul was never a pageant queen, so I guess they try to put us down. But, season after season, the pageant queens finish on top because we really know how to compete and how to do drag correctly.

What are you doing to Miss Gay Florida 2019? 

To win Miss Gay America I’m trying to be ME.  I want to show them who I am and what makes me unique. I will show my heart and I will be ready to present a mature Alexis Mateo.

Are you shocked at how the RPDR audience was so galvanized by your drag daughter Vanessa Vanjie Mateo? 

To be honest, no. I knew when I met her that she was a star. I was just very happy that the world saw what I saw in her. I’m very proud of Vanessa and now the word “vanjie” will always be part of our culture.

Will you two ever collaborate on some music together? 

There will be many surprises very soon with Vanjie... 

Did you regret not punching Manila Luzon in either season 3 or All Stars 1? 

No, I don’t regret it. There is still plenty of time to still do it! Noooo, I love Manila and I’m a big fan of hers, now, so I never would.

What else is coming up for Alexis Mateo?  

Planning to tour very soon and continue to work on some TV shows, music and even a YouTube series for Latin America. So, stay tuned and wish me good luck this October 3 to 6 in St. Louis, MO as I compete to become Miss Gay America.

You can follow Alexis on Instagram here and YouTube here.