The All Star also explains how she's achieved renewed fame as a result.
Alexis Mateo is no stranger to memes. GIFs of her twirling and exclaiming "bam!" have been in circulation on social media for years. The RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag U, and RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars cast member has since become ensnared in a meme of even bigger proportions: clips of her drag daughter Vanessa Vanjie Mateo slowly walking backwards saying, "miss Vanjie, miss Vanjie, miss... Vannnnnjie." We caught up with her at RuPaul's DragCon LA 2018 to discuss this and more at her first ever DragCon.
She notices glitter on our faces and clothing.
Alexis Mateo: All this glitter, I love it. I’m digging this.
Derek: Someone glitter bombed us, they were like, "come here and try our glitter."
AM: Poof! Not even asking. Poof! "There’s some glitter for you." I love it.
We share a laugh.
D: I have got to get it out of the way, your drag daughter has become an icon.
AM: I know.
D: How do you feel about the “Miss Vanjie” meme?
AM: “Miss Vanjie” was something out of this world, let me tell you. I knew she was special when I sent her, and I knew she got that potentia,l but I never knew. I knew she went home first; I never knew she was going to this popular and a big phenomenon. The “Miss Vanjie” thing took over the meme world, the internet, the videos, like everything - it went crazy. I’m so excited for her, she’s working so hard and I’m so excited for her. She was so down when she went back home. She was like, “oh no guys, I didn’t do it,” but it was amazing. The whole situation was amazing, I’m so proud of her.
D: And for [the cast and judges] to mention it in every Season 10 episode afterward, not even knowing it would become a meme.
AM: To see RuPaul mention it all the time on the show - and he went to the red carpet with her necklace and her name on it - it’s so incredible. Vanessa is very special, I knew she was a special girl coming in here and seeing how popular she is; it is just amazing. I get to relive my Season 3 fame through her again.
D: Has it reignited people checking out your season, getting in touch with you, becoming new fans?
AM: Yes. I was very lucky, my fan base was amazing from Season 3 to after All Stars 1. To see her bringing them all together, because a lot of people were rooting for her because she was a Mateo... it was like, “oh my God,” people still remember me. It has been 10 seasons and a lot of amazing queens. For me to see her, and to see the backing of everybody, it’s amazing. It helps me to have a little bit of fame again and the opportunity to perform with her has been amazing.
D: What does DragCon mean to you?
AM: DragCon is a collectible edition of the best of the best. It is what it is. It’s art, dreams, it’s magic all in one place. It’s all I can tell you. It’s my first DragCon experience ever. It has been amazing and I can’t wait for tomorrow. It’s only going to be an amazing weekend. It looks to be a magnificent event. I’m going to remember it for years to come; it’s going to get bigger and better all the time.
Special thank you to RuPaul's DragCon and World of Wonder for giving us the opportunity to cover their Los Angeles 2018 convention. Buy tickets to RuPaul's DragCon NYC 2018 here.
Send your best "Miss Vanjie" memes to @DerekPlease on any social platform!