Trixie Mattel Doesn’t Pull Punches on ‘The Pit Stop’ Because ‘Drag Race’ Fans Know When Something Is Bad: ‘We’re All on the Same Page’

The “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” winner tells TheWrap about once again representing the Emmy-winning reality TV juggernaut

Trixie Mattel, "The Pit Stop"
Trixie Mattel on "The Pit Stop" (Credit: World of Wonder)

Now that “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” is all about raising money for charity, the judges have been noticeably reticent to offer much mainstage criticism, constructive or otherwise.

But luckily for fans of messy drama, Trixie Mattel is back as the host of companion recap series “The Pit Stop” — and she’s not pulling any punches for the Season 9 queens.

“On ‘The Pit Stop,’ we always try to critique fairly, but on All Star seasons, I think me and my guests don’t really give a lot of benefit of the doubt [because] y’all are stars. Y’all have traveled the world,” Mattel told TheWrap. “You know better.”

The host explained that she holds “All Stars” competitors “to a higher standard” than first-time queens on regular seasons “because you’ve been on television; you’re all rich and famous; you all have thousands of dollars to buy costumes with; you’re connected to hair people and costume people; you’ve seen yourself on TV in drag, which is invaluable. It teaches you so much,” she said, adding, “Oh, my God. Remember what I looked like on Season 7?”

“Real drag queens are people of extremes, right? A lot of times, girls will come and pull punches and I tell everyone we would never edit it to make you look horrible or make you look mean,” Mattel continued. “Even if you do give a particularly pointed critique, we’ll balance it out with a comedy moment. We don’t and we never want the girls on ‘Drag Race’ to watch ‘The Pit Stop’ and feel targeted or made fun of. We’re all on the same page. So I tell the girls, if you love it, scream it from the mountaintops. If you hate it, tell me exactly why.”

So far this season, Mattel has been joined by Season 7 sister Violet Chachki, fellow “All Stars” winner Shea Couleé, fan-favorite finalists Kim Chi, Jujubee and Mistress Isabelle Brooks and celebrity guest judge Ali Wong. So what exactly makes the ideal “Pit Stop” cohost?

Trixie Mattel, "The Pit Stop"
Trixie Mattel on “The Pit Stop” (Credit: World of Wonder)

“The best guest is just somebody really opinionated who is willing to give credit where it’s due and call things out when it’s not good,” Mattel explained. “We’ve all seen stuff this season where, if we were on ‘The Pit Stop’ and we’re like, ‘Isn’t it amazing?’ the viewers would be like, ‘No, it isn’t.’ So we have to live in reality. I hate when we have guests who are wishy-washy, because then the viewers are like, ‘Why aren’t they telling the truth? That wasn’t good.’”

In addition to hosting “The Pit Stop” for the fifth time (sixth if you count “Canada’s Drag Race”), Mattel is booked and busy as a touring artist and DJ. However, the entertainer just revealed plans to take a temporary, summer hiatus following her busy Pride Month, something her mom somewhat encouraged her to do.

“She told me that she can tell I need to work less, because she said she can tell how tired I look and that my skin looks worn out,” Mattel admitted. “My family is more Native American than me. So they’re all ageless and timeless, and I’m like the white raisin.”

Still, Mattel boasts perhaps the most impressive résumé of her “RPDR” peers — including “UNHhhh” with Katya, “Trixie Motel: Drag Me Home” on Max and “Queen of the Universe” on Paramount+, to name a few. And yet, she always makes sure to show respect for the queen of all queens who started it all: RuPaul Charles.

Trixie Mattel and Katya perform onstage during "Trixie & Katya Live" at Radio City Music Hall
Trixie Mattel and Katya perform onstage during “Trixie & Katya Live” at Radio City Music Hall (Credit: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

“”I’m obsessed with RuPaul,” Mattel said. “‘Drag Race’ would be nothing without RuPaul. When you really think about it, we all watch for her. If she left, there would be no ‘Drag Race,’ but there’s new queens every month. The show makes you think it’s about the drag queens, but it’s really about RuPaul, and that’s why I watch it.

“I’m just so honored because all I ever wanted when I auditioned for ‘Drag Race’ back in Season 7 was to do good by the name of ‘Drag Race,’ if I got the privilege of being associated with it. I just wanted to do good and do good outside of ‘Drag Race,’ do good in the world.”

So what’s next? While “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has become an Emmys mainstay, “The Pit Stop With Trixie Mattel” is hoping to take home a win of its own at this year’s 76th Primetime Emmy Awards having submitted in the Outstanding Talk Series category.

“The Pit Stop” airs Saturdays on YouTube following all-new episodes of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” Season 9 Fridays on Paramount+.

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