Every reality show gets its appointed villain eventually, but “RuPaul’s Drag Race” isn’t like any other competition show out there — in an environment built around reading, shade and infinite levels of joking hostility, it takes a lot to step out in front of the pack.
Which is why we think that if we somehow got a fan vote going to kick out Phi Phi O’Hara, whose offstage name is Jaremi Carey, it might succeed. She’s selfish, calculating and all-around unlikable. When she speaks, it’s either something unnecessarily cutting — and more importantly, unfunny — toward another queen, or just a narcissistic plug of her own talent.
While it’s a type that can be highly entertaining on reality TV, Phi Phi is not the drag queen that you love to hate. She’s not the Omarosa of “The Apprentice,” or more recently, “The Chad” of “Bachelor in Paradise.” Phi Phi is just a drag. She proclaims to have come to “All Stars” to rehabilitate her image from “the bitch” she was back in Season 4 — but henny, it ain’t working.
On Thursday’s (Sept. 15) episode, Phi Phi is more than miffed at Alyssa Edwards, who went against the group’s previous decision to vote off the queen who got the worst critiques that night. Alyssa ultimately decided to send home Ginger Minj packing over Katya, because she couldn’t ignore all the elements and competitions leading up to the final vote.
It’s something Alyssa is free to do. And let’s be honest, It’s something Phi Phi would totally do, too.
But Phi Phi is riding this “higher than thou” attitude hard. Not just towards Alyssa, who unfortunately was sent packing this week, but toward all her fellow contestants. And according to The BitBag, she’s managed to make the show’s producers mad as well.
At a viewing party at Roscoe’s in Chicago, Phi Phi scoffed at the show’s skewed editing. She claims in last week’s episode, producers made it seem that fashion designer Jeremy Scott commended Alyssa’s runway look, when that’s not what happened. She also says judge Carson Kressley’s critiques of Ginger Minj were actually said to Alyssa.
Phi Phi then posted a photo on her Instagram with a t-shirt that reads, “F*ck Yo Edit.” These are some serious allegations, and Logo was quick to respond. Quashing these rumors, the very next day producers posted the unedited clips of the judging session in question. In the video, the full critiques of Alyssa are heard, and they mirror exactly what the episode premiered in the first place. Phi Phi is not only ungrateful and a brat, apparently she’s a liar too.
There are so many beautiful creative souls who compete on “All Stars,” and Phi Phi isn’t the only queen to have a troubled past. Last year, she spoke to Radar Online about her past, which includes a DUI and stint in jail. She admits to being on “a lot of drugs” during this time, and says the 30 days she spent in jail were, understandably, one of the darkest times of her life. There are definitely demons in Phi Phi’s past, and a great deal of pain — but that’s not a license to treat everyone this badly, this consistently.
There is a point where nastiness is not a joke anymore, where it’s just nastiness — and that point is different for everybody, probably — but at what point does the toxicity overrule the entertainment? Phi Phi is spoiling the special camaraderie and fun competition between queens that makes this series so great.
It’s hard to get excited for her when she places at the top, it’s hard to care about her mistakes when something goes wrong — there’s probably nothing she could’ve done, while lip-syncing for her legacy, that would’ve made audiences choose her over Alaska. That’s the bottom line, and it’s a warning. Phi Phi needs to either eat a big slice of humble pie, or sashay away from “RuPaul”s’ runway as soon as possible. Or watching “Drag Race” will be nothing but a drag.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Logo and VH1.