Culture

Alexis Mateo on Representing Boricuas on ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race’ & More

Lead Photo: Courtesy of VH1
Courtesy of VH1

“Representation of my Latin roots was always there,” said Puerto Rican drag queen Alexis Mateo of her time on season five of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars. “I was super fierce about that.” On a Monday night IG live, Mateo revealed her history with reggaetón music, talked about serving Boricua realness, and spilled the tea that ongoing drama with fellow drag queen and contestant India Ferrah.

Mateo first sashayed into RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2011 as part of the season three cast and finished in third place. The following year, she came back for the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, finishing in 5th/6th place with her teammate Yara Sofia, another Puerto Rican drag queen. Nearly a decade later, Mateo returned for All-Stars season five and competed for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” a third time.

“Boricua in the house to take the crown,” Mateo said as she walked into the workroom of All-Stars 5 in a Puerto Rican flag bodysuit. “Sickening, no?”

In the first episode, guest judge Ricky Martin moved to her dance routine. In the “I’m in Love!” girl group challenge, Mateo took a moment to shout out “papi” Daddy Yankee and reggaetón music—a first in Drag Race herstory. She then did Puerto Rico proud in the Snatch Game episode with a hilarious impersonation of late astrology icon Walter Mercado.

While Mateo was seen as one of the frontrunners of All-Stars 5, her run was marred by Ferrah, who accused her of campaigning to vote out eventual winner Shea Couleé. The rest of the drag queens lost trust in Mateo and she was voted off in fifth place. Most of Mateo’s Instagram live was pointed to Ferrah, who she felt “cheated” by. In a rare moment, she also touched on growing up with reggaetón. Read the highlights from Alexis’ tea time below.

On India Ferrah's husband DM'ing her about the All-Stars 5 drama:

“You cheated me out of $100,000, b**ch. We ain’t friends no more. Especially when I have just been polite and quiet about the whole situation. Enough is enough. Just like how your husband feels like he has the right to come in my inbox and say whatever he feels like about me. Then he goes live on his page and literally rips the f**k out of me. Then he deletes the video for whatever reason. You did it. I got the videos. You know people are messy… I’m going to continue being bitter at home that I got eliminated for your dumbass lie.”

On her history with reggaetón music:

“Reggaetón is my music, baby. I grew up in Puerto Rico so when I was like 11 or 12, reggaetón was born. It was not called reggaetón. It was called ‘underground.’ I remember when I was 13 or 14, reggaetón was banned from homes and cars and things like that in Puerto Rico, so it was literally underground music. From there it has evolved so much. To see big, multi-platinum stars joining reggaetón is like a part of me because that’s how I grew up. Ivy Queen was one of the first ones. I remember The Noise. Oh sh*t, this is my age showing. The first record I owned, it was a cassette tape and it was Playero 38. Oh my God. Anyone in Puerto Rico knows those were not clean lyrics, but we loved it.”

On impersonating Walter Mercado in All-Stars 5:

“I was very proud of the representation of being a fan of reggaetón, of being Puerto Rican, and walking into my workroom with my Puerto Rican flag. Walter Mercado was one of my biggest idols when I was growing up. It was fascinating to look at him. Just to follow him and how big of an impact he has on the Latin community was amazing… I watched the documentary [Mucho Mucho Amor] before it aired on Netflix and it was amazing.”

On Ricky Martin and Bad Bunny:

“I almost forgot that I met Ricky Martin in person. Oh my God! Ricky Martin was amazing. I could not stop shaking because I grew up watching Menudo, you know. It was like [makes a light bulb ding sound].”

“I love Bad Bunny! I love everything that has to do with reggaetón and Bad Bunny is just everything to me.”

On what's next:

“I knew who I was on [All-Stars 5], I still know who I am, and I know where I’m going. Drama is not welcome. Sometimes you have to read (read: callout) a b**ch. You know it.”