“RuPaul's Drag Race” winner Nymphia Wind wants Asian kids to see hope in her victory: 'Bad days aren't forever'

Nymphia exclusively talks with EW about being the first East Asian winner — and reveals she has a call lined up with her "Snatch Game" celebrity, Jane Gooddall.

Nymphia Wind, the banana queen of RuPaul's Drag Race season 16, has peeled herself to reveal a winner, baby.

Taking her first steps as America's Next Drag Superstar on Friday night at the Emmy-winning show's crowning event inside a skyscraper nearly 1,100 feet above Manhattan, the Taiwan-raised, New York City-based drag performer literally gazes down upon the land she now rules as season 16's reigning champion — and the first thing she does is push her crotch into the window overlooking the city while (fittingly) dancing to Lady Gaga's "Marry the Night."

It's a coronation performance that showcases the kind of bold lip-syncing talent (and penchant for zaniness) she's possessed all season — but, having never landed in the bottom two, didn't get a chance to flaunt until now. The live number came moments after the world watched as RuPaul crowned her at the end of the final episode, following Nymphia's debut competitive Drag Race lip-sync against eventual runner-up Sapphira Cristál. Clad in a bubble tea-patterned coat (which she opened to unleash a horde of balloons representing boba pearls), Nymphia's set might've registered as visual camp, but there's a deeper significance that, as she exclusively tells Entertainment Weekly's Quick Drag podcast (above) in her first interview as a winner — the U.S. show's first East Asian champion — combines her showgirl attitude with a cultural through line that binds her aesthetic together.

<p>Mettie Ostrowski</p> 'RuPaul's Drag Race' winner Nymphia Wind

Mettie Ostrowski

'RuPaul's Drag Race' winner Nymphia Wind

Read on for Nymphia's full interview with EW, in which she discusses the significance of representing for Taiwan, her relationship with third-place-finisher Plane Jane, and teases an upcoming meeting with her Snatch Game celebrity, Jane Goodall.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Being the first East Asian winner on the show, you got emotional talking about representing your country while talking with your mother on the finale. What does this moment mean to you?

NYMPHIA WIND: East Asians, or Asians in general in Western media, aren't represented that much. Think of an Asian pop star in western culture. You can't really name one. There are so few of them. It meant a lot to hold that representation and space in this competition. Being on the Main Stage and seeing my mother there, I got emotional because she doesn't live in America and she had to travel from Taiwan. At that time, she was physically sick. It was a lot for her to travel, and she still made it. You see how supportive she is and how much love she has for her child.

You spoke a couple of episodes ago about being bombarded with Western beauty standards that led you to you not feel confident in your own appearance. What do you want to say to kids who feel that way now, and what does it feel like to have the validation of winning after going through that experience?

As an Asian kid brought up in Asia, we're not taught to be vocal or voice ourselves. We're taught to be subtle, quiet, and keep to ourselves. I'm not one to boast about being good at this or that. I'm a wallflower. Self-confidence has always been a thing throughout my life. Even after winning, you wake up some days and you're not feeling yourself, and other days you wake up super confident. You have to remember to acknowledge the good and the bad and see it as a whole. When you have those bad days, remember the good days are going to come. The bad days aren't forever. Be graceful, and know that people are out there just like you, even if they may seem confident in themselves. There are things in them you have to find time to see. Winning and this validation is beyond. I always wanted to be the first East Asian queen to win and now I've achieved that.

This episode featured your first competitive lip-sync on the show, and you did it as boba tea! Can you explain mapping out your approach to this lip-sync, and what connection boba tea has to “Padam Padam” by Kylie Minogue?

I obviously came here to represent my country, and I'm not going to do it by putting a flag on my dress. Boba tea is the national drink of Taiwan. We invented boba tea. Put that in your brain! That was my way of being camp and still representing my country and finding a fun way to do this lip-sync, because I knew I was going up against Sapphira and Plane. I knew I had to be a pride float and bring something because this is my first time lip-syncing.

<p>Mettie Ostrowski</p> 'RuPaul's Drag Race' winner Nymphia Wind

Mettie Ostrowski

'RuPaul's Drag Race' winner Nymphia Wind

Did you have issues keeping the balloons in the coat before the reveal?

Mama, did you see the waddle? [Laughs] I had helium in there, so they didn't fall from the bottom, like they were floating. I had to blow them up twice before the lip-sync. It was stressful. The cape was heavy enough to hold everything up. Inside, my hands were shutting it tight so it didn't leak, and there were f---ing stairs behind that stage, so that was a hurdle.

Seeing the pile of things you left around the stage, was that strategy? Little banana peels for Sapphira to slip on?

That was strategy so Sapphira could potentially slip. No. [Laughs] Banana peels, peels, peels! I was peeling a lot.

The solo number, what was the inspiration there with the mask and the flags?

For that song, "Queen of Wind," I was thinking of being weighed down by weights, and eventually unburdened and inspired to be free like the wind. The tiger mask and costume is traditional Peking opera general outfit, and that mask is a fantasy character inspired by rich Peking opera [in] Asian culture. It was a tiger general, she was shot by a lot of arrows and worn down, battling, tearing away to become the Queen of Wind. It's a metaphor for shedding your self-doubt.

Your relationship with Plane had many fans talking. Dawn told EW in her exit interview that she started a rumor that you two were "f---ing." Plane also told me that wasn't true. What did you think of that rumor, and were you aware that Dawn started it?

Mama, before [the season was] announced, Plane came to Taiwan, and when we got together, Dawn was like, "Did you guys f---?" I was like, "What are you talking about? No, we didn't!" Dawn is just going to be a little evil elf. Let her be, let her have her moment. I'll keep the audience guessing if me and Plane are a thing. Stay tuned!

<p>MTV</p> 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 16 winner Nymphia Wind


'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 16 winner Nymphia Wind

When did you find out that Plane voted you low on Rate-a-Queen?

That was mid-season! I didn't even realize when I was talking to her. She kind of came clean, and I was like, bitch! But, I'm kind of glad, because I didn't have to lip-sync [in the premiere]. So, it was a mystery package, no one saw my lip-sync abilities. Maybe it worked in my favor.

Who did you vote for in the Miss Congeniality ballot?

I voted for Hershii first, and then Plane walked up to me and said, "Vote Xunami," so I put Hershii second.

Who would you have voted for if the Golden Boot was given out this year?

A few. Can I only say one? So many to pick from! [Laughs] I'd have to give it to Hershii, I'm sorry. Actually, no. Hershii had a character. Okay, she's going to hate me for this. Geneva, I'll make clothes for you. [Laughs]

<p>MTV</p> Nymphia Wind winning 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 16


Nymphia Wind winning 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 16

What do you want to do with this title? Where does Nymphia go from here?

I just want to be Jane Goodall's friend. I'm going to make this world more yellow and bananas. I really want to venture out into performance art. Maybe an FKA Twigs collaboration, maybe a Marina Abramović collaboration. This is such a good platform for me to collaborate.

Is it weird to ask if Jane Goodall has reached out to you?

I'm going to be on a call with her tomorrow, after Good Morning America. No tea, no shade, I was excited for that. She knows my existence. I'm gagged!

Subscribe to EW's Quick Drag podcast for recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race, including reactions from the cast, special guests, and more.

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Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.