Wright State grad eliminated on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’



Amanda Tori Meating, a drag queen with Dayton roots, is the latest contestant to sashay away from Season 16 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

On the Feb. 2 episode, Amanda, the drag persona of Wright State University graduate Philip Stock, landed in the bottom two. She was praised in the main challenge centered on girl groups but fell short during the runway portion spotlighting pussycat wigs. Decked out in blue makeup and a kooky robin’s nest headpiece, Amanda overstepped in her desire to stand out.

“I wanted to incorporate the pussycat wigs in an unexpected way,” Amanda said. “In my head, when I was putting it together, I was like, ‘How can I use the pussycat to sort of like tell a story?’ and I think it just got lost in translation.”

“It just doesn’t really make sense as far as pussycat wigs,” said judge Michelle Visage.

“You have trouble with some of the drag aesthetic,” RuPaul echoed. “This idea is great — it’s just a little bit off.”

Having placed in the bottom, Amanda had to lip sync for RuPaul in order to stay. In a fantastic duel, she faced off against Q, a phenomenal designer who showed a weakness for dancing in the girl group challenge. Ready to attack with every morsel of confidence and professionalism she could muster, especially as a former cast member of the national tour of “Kinky Boots,” Amanda let loose to “Elevator” by Icona Pop, who served as guest judges.

Watch Amanda Tori Meating lip sync to “Elevator” by Icona Pop:

In the end, Amanda’s wonderfully energetic performance wasn’t enough to sway RuPaul.

“Amanda, my queen, meeting you wasn’t just mandatory — it has been a joy,” RuPaul said.

“I just want to say thank you so much and I’m just really grateful,” she replied.

During the post-show “Untucked” series, Amanda offered final thoughts.

“I’m very disappointed with myself. I feel like I am a lot better than the way I showed myself and that’s really gutting. I’m feeling sad. I was definitely thinking I was going to be here for longer but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Coming in, I think I had an inflated sense of how I was going to do. I did sort of clock my level of polish being a lot lower than most of the other girls. The highlight of this experience has been the friends I’ve made — that has been really special.”

It was a topsy turvy season for Amanda, who was constantly ridiculed by mean girl Plane Jane. Her strongest episode aired Jan. 26 showcasing her comedic skills in a clever Weekend Update “Saturday Night Live” parody and her glamorous appearance on the runway in tribute to Cher. Above all, the experience proved empowering (Amanda came out as trans last week), and the future seems bright.

“My plan moving forward is (to) be myself, have fun and slay,” Amanda said. “I want to show the world that I’m actually good at these things. The general consensus is Amanda is fierce.”

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