Willam’s mysterious disqualification from Drag Race: a publicity stunt to get reunion ratings

RuPaul’s Drag Race disqualified contestant Willam last night, shortly after she puked off the runway, but did not explain why except for her telling us, “I broke the rules.”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Willam keeps up the ruse after making a joke: “Here’s the thing: I had an abortion. The anesthesia just made me sick. I will say this: I wasn’t caught doing anything. Everything that I did, I admitted and I brought to everyone’s attention.” That suggests something outside of the competition; on Twitter, she denied one suggestion, that she had a cell phone during filming.

So what happened? We don’t know, but we do know why we don’t know. Asked why it’s such a secret, Willam said, “We don’t have to be cryptic. It’s my choice. I want people to keep tuning in. Maybe watch me at the reunion.” Asked explicitly if it was a publicity stunt, she plays dumb: “I don’t know! It seemed like my schedule was quite jam-packed, like I was in New York doing an off-Broadway show the next week. I have no idea. Like, I’m going to leave all these answers up to wiser men than I at the network. I do like the fact that they didn’t make it seem like I got caught doing something, like my hand was in the cookie jar.”

In case it wasn’t eminently clear what’s going on here, in a statement, Logo said,

“During the filming of the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, it was brought to the producers attention that Willam had not complied with the rules as set forth in his competition contract. As a result, and in fairness to the other contestants, Willam was forced to leave the show. This issue will be addressed in the upcoming reunion special.”

So it’s clear: They’re using this for publicity and ratings. That shows a lot of respect for your fans and audience, assholes.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.