Mhi'ya Iman Le’Paige Dishes On The Reason She Almost Didn’t Make It To ‘Drag Race’ & That Shocking Final Lip Sync

Courtesy of World of Wonder/MTV.

Miami Beach is known to be a vacation destination, but as Mhi'ya Iman Le’Paige puts it, Miami has “the best entertainers.”

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 16 showcased two dynamic Sunshine State performers, and Le’Paige rose to become the unquestionable lip sync assassin of the season! Following one of the most buzzed about lip syncs of the season, I caught up with Mhi'ya to chat about her “Drag Race” experience, the last minute moments that stressed her out and where she stands with her Season 16 sisters now.

Michael Cook: Tell me about your “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 16 experience.

Mhi'ya Iman Le’Paige: I had fun the whole ride and wouldn’t change anything about it, besides the designers that I used. Overall, I had fun and I had an amazing time. I am happy that did this with these girls. I have real bonds and we are a real sisterhood; that is what I am really thankful for.

MC: It’s interesting to hear that you would change some of your designers after such a strong showing on the season.

MILP: Oh absolutely. I would change every last one of them.

MC: Ok, now I’m curious: why would you want to switch up all of your designers?

MILP: Okay so here’s the thing. It was Friday night going into Saturday morning and I am calling one of the seamstresses that had five of my runway looks and got no call, no response, no nothing. Then the other two that had looks, I got the looks back at three or four a.m. in the morning before I had to get up at six a.m. to go to the airport. The one seamstress that didn’t give me my looks, I just laid down and I said, “I’m not going tomorrow.” I was literally not going to go to “Drag Race” anymore because I didn’t have the looks for the categories. It clicked and something said, “God put you in this position for a reason. Go in your room, put something in the suitcase and go to the airport.” And that is what I did.

MC: As it turns out, you were a standout on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 16! I think it goes without saying; you are the lip sync assassin of the season, don’t you think it’s fair to say?

MILP: Yes (laughs)!

MC: What does it feel like to be going down in herstory as a lip sync assassin?

MILP: It feels good. It has it’s good and bad, you don’t want to be in the bottom lip-syncing almost every episode. At the same time, it’s good because people are definitely going to remember the lip syncs that I did.

MC: Your performances at The Palace in Miami Beach are absolutely that of legend. Speaking of Florida, what was it like lip syncing against your Miami Beach sister Morphine Love Dion during the most recent episode’s lip sync?

MILP: Lip syncing against Morphine, I knew that we were going to battle. We already have the Florida rivalry that is R House vs The Palace, but it was a fun lip sync! The cat claws were out but we put on a show; we had to.

MC: What do you think your rose and thorn are of your “Drag Race” experience?

MILP: My worst would definitely be the challenge that we just did, I remember it like it was yesterday! I was horrified, I was just going through so many emotions. That challenge really took me through it.

MC: When you are competing on “Drag Race” and emotions are running high during an experience like this last challenge, how do you get through it?

MILP: I don’t know for me, I kind of just roll with the punches and let everything play out how it is supposed to and going to play out. You really don’t have any scapegoat. You kind of just have to deal with it until you get over it.

My favorite part of the experience would definitely be making new sisters. I love each and every one of my Season 16 sisters and have a relationship with every one. I am happy that I did “Drag Race” and that I am on this journey with these girls. This was an amazing cast and I wouldn’t change anything about any of it.

MC: What do you think it is about drag in the state of Florida that truly sets it apart from so much of the rest of the country?

MILP: When I think of drag and performing, when anyone thinks about it really, I think they automatically think of Miami, Miami has the best entertainers. I don’t think there is one other city or state that can compare to the performance level or the skills that we bring to the stage. Even for the girls that do ballads, they are still entertaining. They are not just standing in one place, you have girls that do strong ballads that will wake up the crowd with a ballad. I think for the Miami girls, we are able to perform to anything and give a show. And of course, we are going to come with the looks also. I think that is really what sets us apart from the rest of the country.

MC: You have the entire world at your feet and a global platform so what do you think you want to do now?

MILP: Right now, I am touring and once the tour is over or slowed down I want to get into music, people have been asking about it. I can't get into the studio right now because I am gone every week, but I definitely want to do music. I want to do my own shoe line, I love heels! I am going to do my own lipstick line too.

MC: What do you think is the highest heel you have ever worn?

MILP: Probably an eight inch; probably higher. Back then I was crazy, I would be in the craziest heels!

MC: Okay, I have been wanting to ask you this question since you first flip on the “Drag Race” runway: What is the most about of flips you have ever done in one performance?

MILP: (Laughs) There is a video I posted a few days ago. I think the most is in that video. I think it was 13!

Follow Mhi'ya Iman Le’Paige on Instagram @queenofflipss


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