Amanda Tori Meating Chats Her ‘Drag Race’ Run & Wicked Plans For The Future

Amanda Tori. Credit: World of Wonder/MTV.

Season 16 of “RuPaul's Drag Race” has delivered us some of the most polarizing and talked-about casing in recent memory, and Amanda Tori Meating has emerged one of the most buzzed about-and meme'd about queens this season.

Meating (who recently came out as a trans woman), has emerged as a fan favorite this season, and while she has left the competition, the fans are eagerly anticipating watching Meating flourish in her post-“Drag Race” life. I sat down to chat with Meating post-elimination and we chatted extensively about her “Drag Race” journey, her interactions with fellow Season 16 doll Plane Jane, and the Broadway role that Meating is currently manifesting.

Michael Cook Before we go any further, I had absolutely no idea that you toured with Kinky Boots!?

Amanda Tori Meating: Yes that’s sort of how I got my start with drag!

MC: Whats your favorite song from the Kinky Boots Soundtrack?

ATM: “Sex is in the Heel”! That and “Land of Lola”. That was one of my favorite numbers to do because it’s the most similar to an actual drag show. Where you are being seen, engaging the audience and being giggly and sexy!

MC: Your "RuPaul’s Drag Race“ journey was like no other this season, and you are continuing to be the name on everyones lips. Tell me about your experience from your perspective.

ATM: Honestly, my experience was crazy. I sort of went in and just wanted to be myself, have a good time and do what I do best. To an extent, I think that I accomplished that. At the same time, there were a lot of things that were going wrong for me that seemed to be completely out of my control at the time. It was a frustrating, stressful situation. I made great friends and had a lot of fun though, so you take the good with the bad.

MC: You are the type of queen who is cast on "RuPaul’s Drag Race“ and people see a facet of themselves within you. Have you received that type of feedback from the audience?

ATM: I don’t know if it's that they see themselves, but people are like, “I know this girl.” In terms of, this is a girl that is like a girl that they know, and they like that girl. She’s silly, fun, she’s just trying to have a good time. She’s able to laugh at herself when things go wrong.

MC: It was refreshing to see that you had absolutely zero intention of letting other cast members, particularly Plane Jane, attack you and you had no problem responding to her. Was that difficult?

ATM: I don’t know if difficult is the word that I would use, but it was annoying, irritating, frustrating … It was one of those things where I could tell that this girl has chosen me as her vehicle to make television and to get screen time. I was mad; I would rather my story be about me, how good I am, and how I can grow; just me.

I think at the moment I was like, “Dammit.” It’s turning into this Amanda vs. Plane story that I didn’t really want to be involved in to be honest. It kind of felt like something that kind of kept getting reignited when I would have rather just focused on myself. I showed up and had a very rough first episode and a clear list of things to work on. It was like, can you let me just focus on myself and be the best version of me and now have to worry about dealing with this (laughs)?

MC: This week you officially came out as a trans woman and you deserve a massive amount of congratulations in standing in your own truth. Even Plane Jane came out and offered their own congratulations. What has it been like taking this journey while under the lights of "RuPaul’s Drag Race“?

ATM: It’s interesting because I think, I know, that the experience of filming "RuPaul’s Drag Race“ was the thing that cracked the egg open. I had been thinking about where I sit on the trans spectrum for a really long time and thinking that I would probably feel more comfortable living as a woman. I was not in a situation in my life where I thought that I could start that; I felt very stifled. I needed to get out of my marriage before I could explore that corner of my brain so to speak. I got a divorce, then I got the call forDrag Race” and I couldn’t really focus on what my gender was because had to get ready to film the show.

I showed up to film and everyone was just calling me Amanda, whereas in Los Angeles I had some drag sisters that called me Amanda, but everyone else was just using my government name. I was put into this very unique situation, and I was isolated from anyone that would call me anything else but Amanda. I realized how correct that felt in my spirit. Just little things like I got acrylic nails before I left, and I was like, “Wait a minute, I can never live without nails, it feels correct on me!” Having some conversations on set with some of the girls about it and what it might potentially mean for me ... Then after I got eliminated, I was back in the real world and people were using my government name even though I didn't want that. I was like, “Oh this is really not it for me.”

It was a rough couple of months after filming of coming to terms with my transness and the fact that I did not feel comfortable … Obviously presentation is very subjective, but I was presenting in a way that was more non-binary. People could even see a very effeminate gay man if that's how they perceived the world, and I just realized that I don't really feel comparable being perceived in that way.

MC: Your referencing to the egg crackingwas also clever just now. Your final runway, execution notwithstanding, but wisely thought through.

ATM: My thought process behind that was that I never wear a pussycat wig. For me, part of the feminine fantasy is wearing some hair to toss around. When we had that category, I thought, how could I use a pussycat wig to visually tell a story? That is how I landed on this bird's nest thing. Like, if the bangs are jagged, that is the top of the cracked egg and I could draw the bottom half of my face, and then I would have two more on either side of me.

MC: We will get to watch the next chapter of Amanda Tori Meeting in real time, and it will be wonderful for the fans to watch you completely blossom. What do you have planned next?

ATM: I really want to do the tours and the “Drag Race” shows. I think what I really want is to play Elphaba in “Wicked” on Broadway so bad. Every chance I get, I'm like “'Wicked’ casting people, if you’re out there, call me!” It would only be a limited engagement, only eight to 12 weeks. I think an eight to 12 week run I could do.

MC: Could we maybe see Plane Jane as Glinda? Talk about brilliant casting!

ATM: If she can sing it ... cause I know I can (laughs)!

Follow Amanda Tori Meating on Instagram @amandatorimeating

RuPaul’s memoir “The House of Hidden Meanings” will be released on March 5. You can pre-order it at


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