Vanessa Vanjie Mateo is the stage name of Jose Cancel, a drag queen, performer and one the Season 10 contestants of RuPaul's Drag Race (placed 14th) as well as one of the Season 11 contestants, where she placed 5th.
Vanjie comes back to appear in RuPaul's Drag Race Vegas Revue, where she's followed as she prepares to lead the "RuPaul's Drag Rave Live!" residency show among other queens.
- 1 Name Origin
- 2 Drag Family
- 3 RuPaul's Drag Race
- 4 AJ and the Queen Appearances (1/10)
- 5 Entrance Quotes
- 6 Memorable Quotes
- 7 Farewell Message
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Drag Family
- 10 Gallery
- 11 Videos
- 12 Discography
- 13 External Links
- 14 References
- 15 Navigation
"Vanessa" was the name given by Vanjie's drag mother, Alexis Mateo, because Alexis thinks she looks like "Vanessa", the human form of "Ursula" from Disney's "The Little Mermaid" movie.
Because she has a "banjee attitude", Vanessa received "Banjee" as her middle name, but since Alexis couldn't pronounce it, this became "Vanjie". Also because of her drag mother, she got "Mateo" as her surname.
Vanessa is the drag daughter of Alexis Mateo and her husband Jeffrey Kelley. This makes Vanessa a member of the "Mateo Empire," alongside her drag sisters Jenavive and Victoria Mateo.
RuPaul's Drag Race
|Season Competed||Season 10||Season 11|
|Ranking:||14th Place||5th Place|
|Mini-Challenges Won:||0||1 (Ep. 10)|
|Times as Team Captain:||0||0|
|Times Placed High||0||3 (Eps. 1, 3, 11)|
|Main Challenges Won:||0||0|
|Times Placed Low||0||2 (Eps. 4, 8)|
|Times in Bottom Two:||1 (Ep. 1)||3 (Eps. 9, 10, 12)|
|Episode Eliminated:||Episode 1||Episode 12|
For the 1st maxi challenge, the contestants were tasked with creating a runway outfit from miscellaneous items found at a variety store (inspired by the first challenge on Season 1). On stage, Vanjie was criticized by the judges for her look. Although she was praised for her energy and charisma, she landed in the Bottom 2 with Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams. They lip-synced against each other to "Ain't No Other Man" by Christina Aguilera, Kalorie won, and Vanessa was eliminated.
As Vanessa exited the stage, she backed away and said her name 3 times in different tempos: "Miss Vanjie... Miss Vanjie...Miss...Vaaanjie!". This clip from her elimination lead to the creation of a popular Internet meme.
Opinions were divided between whether Vanessa or Kalorie should have gone home 1st. While some fans claimed that Vanessa deserved to stay as she was a contestant of great charm, many others considered her performance less entertaining than her opponent during the lip-sync.
"Miss Vanjie. Miss Vaanjie. Miss...Vaaanjie!". Never have more iconic words been uttered by a departing queen. Despite being 1st eliminated from Season 10, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo's mesmerizing backwards exit inspired memes, tweets and celebrity shout-outs, and an overwhelming demand to see more of this charismatic alumna.
Vanjie delivered an exceptionally strong start to the competition, in part due to her legendary charisma and sense of humour, but her limited wardrobe of 'swimsuits' soon became the subject of numerous critiques from Michelle Visage in particular. Despite delivering hilarious performances in Week 2 and Week 3's acting challenges, she soon started to place low in various performance challenges (including Snatch Game). She managed to stay out of the bottom 2 until Week 9, where she eliminated Plastique Tiara with her energetic lip-sync. The week after, she delivered an emotional lip-sync to 'No More Drama' by Mary J. Blige and eliminated Shuga Cain.
In Week 11, she finally redeemed herself in the makeover challenge, where she was challenged to make eliminated contestant Ariel Versace look like her drag sister. She received exceptional praise and was expected to win this challenge by her fellow contestants (which would have been her first win), but her boyfriend Brooke Lynn Hytes instead snatched her third challenge win; much to both Vanjie and Brooke's shock. Nevertheless, Vanjie made the final 5 of the season, but was sadly eliminated in the next episode - the week before the final - after a jaw-dropping lip-sync against Brooke.
AJ and the Queen Appearances (1/10)
She appeared in New York City , the series premiere of this Netflix Original in a cameo as an unnamed Queen working at The Box, a drag club in the city that never sleeps. Her memorable line being, "And that’s why she’s named Ruby Red, ‘Cause when she reads you, you've been read" after Ruby Red puts Tony in his place.
"10s. 10s. 10s. Across. The board!"
"Miss Vanjie. Miss Vanjie. Miss... Vanjie... Bitch, I'm back."
Secret Celebrity Drag Race (Episode 4)
"A ten, hut! Y'all bitches ready!?"
- "Like a hooker on Rodeo Drive: she's kinda Ghetto but still like, you know, eloquent." (referring to herself)
- "I got the call, bitch, I got the call!"
- "Get these cookies, baby!"
- "Bitch. RuPaul walks into the werkroom. I was gagged. It's like seeing the Loch Ness Monster. You hear a lot about it, but you never see it. So when you see it, bitch, you done."
- "Bitch, are we on big brother."
- "I'm not Project Runway ready, but I got my patterns in my clutch so if you want me to make you a swimsuit, holla at ya girl."
- "Stop the press! Xtina is in the building, baby!"
- "Miss Vanjie. Miss Vanjie. Miss... Vanjie." (upon being eliminated on Season 10)
- "What, bitch?" (to Kalorie Karbdashian during Season 10's reunion)
- "I'm glad I have a catchphrase. Who are you again?" (to Kalorie Karbdashian during Season 10's reunion)
- "I was humilita-humilated...I was embarrassed."
- "Get those cookies, get those cookies."
- "The circus is in town Mary!" (to Yvie Oddly, during her entrance)
- "Don’t tell me you're coming to fight!" (to Soju, during her entrance.)
- "Miss Scarlet is looking pressed like a panini."
- "WORK BERTHA!"
- "Kahanna's flipping and I'm ducking and diving. Bitch, don't hit me, whore!"
- "Soficsta-, sofic-, solicam-, soficmicaleted."
- "Thank you Miss Vanjie! I thank myself!" (on Episode 3's Diva Workship maxi challenge)
- "Who dat? Oh, from Devil Wears Prada?"
- "Don't get the divorce papers," (to Brooke Lynn Hytes)
- "Burn the wigs! Burn those fucking wigs!" (During an Untucked! fight about the wigs Ariel left in the Werkroom)
- "Miss Vanjie Vanjie Vanjie, bitch! Drop it down low to the floor and spin! Fish Latina, really nice to meet ya, cause I save the room, they give me 10's, they see her. I whip my hair side to side. Category closed, bitch I'm fly. Slip n slide, thigh highs, blah ga ga ga ga ga, buh-bye." (verse in Queens Everywhere)
- “Now, I'm gonna go ahead and get my little stance. Miss Vanessa Vanjie Mother-fucking Mateo, thank you. Love ya. *comes back on stage* I might come back, don’t turn off the spotlight yet! I might come back baby… I could come back again, be like HEEEY, I’m at the finale, too!! Y’all never know bitch, they might spin the wheel, land on me again bitch! AaaAAaAAAAAAaAaaAAAaaaaA! See ya later! Miss Vanjie!! DEUCES!!” *comes back on stage again* That's how you go viral, take note, hollah! Cut the check, bitch!" *from backstage* Miss Vanjie..." (exit quote)
- "You know, I'm known for going in the werk room and walking out with a piece."
- "I ain't no sugar momma , but I can give you a Lunchable or somethin'."
- "Yes, I'm single."
- "Hi everybody! It's Maria from Rancho Cucamonga! Jackie Cox, I have a question...did you find Vanjie attractive in the Werk Room? Are you still dating the guy who was dating at the time when Vanjie came to visit you that one time when she came in the Werk Room to visit you, were yall still- are yall still together? I just wanna know for a friend, you know." (a question to Jackie Cox during the reunion)
- "Hi everybody! It's Carole Ann from Seattle, Washington! Widow, my question is for you, your rap on the first episode was killer, epic, fierce! Can you freestyle a little bit for me now? Can you give me some? You got bars?" *tongue pop!* (a question to Widow Von'Du during the reunion)
- "Hi RuPaul!! Hi queen! It's Sister Pearly from Athens, Georgia! I have a question for ALL the queens! Describe your Drag Race experience in just one word! Go!" (a question to the Season 12 cast during the reunion)
Secret Celebrity Drag Race
- "Junie B. Jones!"
"Ladies I ♡ U The Vanjie way! xoxo Vanessa ♡!"
"Bitches! I ♡ you all! Not just The Vanjie way! But the Vanessa Vanjie Mateo way! xoxo "Suck it" $ Cut the check!"
- Vanessa Vanjie Mateo is a Christina Aguilera fan. Her favorite album is "Stripped".
- Vanjie quickly became a fan favorite when Season 10's 1st episode aired. Viewers call her the most iconic first-to-be-eliminated contestant in RuPaul's Drag Race history.
- Vanjie is the most followed first-eliminated Drag Race contestant on Instagram, surpassing Season 2 first-out Shangela in January 2020.
- According to her Season 10 castmates, Vanjie said "Miss Vanjie" exiting the stage more times than what was shown in the edit. On the beginning of Episode 2, you can hear a 4th "Miss Vanjie" in between the first and second.
- Vanjie is the third Drag Race contestant to be eliminated on a "Drag on a Dime" challenge, after Victoria "Porkchop" Parker on Season 1 and Naysha Lopez on Season 8. She was followed by Vinegar Strokes on Series 1 of Drag Race UK.
- RuPaul was spotted wearing a "Miss Vanjie" necklace in her honor.
- Vanjie lip synced alongside Victoria "Porkchop" Parker during the Season 10 finale.
- A leaked photo of her in Untucked confirmed her presence in Season 11.
- Vanjie holds the record for the longest "Elimination Quote" in the franchise.
- Vanjie is the second first-eliminated contestant to return in another regular season, after Shangela.
- Vanjie is the second contestant from the Mateo Empire to appear on the show, after her drag mother Alexis Mateo.
- Vanjie's favorite Drag Race contestant is Season 10 winner Aquaria.
- Vanjie was paired with Farrah Moan for Season 11's 1st mini challenge, a photoshoot.
- Vanjie and Brooke Lynn Hytes are the 1st ever contestants to have a romance, or "showmance" as referred to by some, during the show.
- The pair were nicknamed Branjie by the other Season 11 queens.
- Brooke Lynn revealed at the reunion that they dated for four months after the show, but broke up due to their conflicting schedules. However, they still remain friends.
- On May 14th, Vanjie reached 1 million followers on Instagram, being the second season 11 queen to do so, after Plastique Tiara, also the second season 10 queen to do so, after Aquaria. She became the 22nd RuPaul's Drag Race queen in herstory to reach this milestone.
- She is also the second queen from season 11 to reach a million followers while still being in the competition (after Plastique Tiara) and the second first eliminated queen to reach a million (after Shangela).
- She is also the first queen to be the second queen from two regular seasons to hit one million followers.
- Vanjie is the seventh contestant to reach fifth place without winning any Maxi Challenge, after Shannel, Pandora Boxx, Jujubee, Carmen Carrera, Dida Ritz, and Kenya Michaels. She was followed by Jackie Cox.
- Vanjie, in the finale, was shown trying to get support for getting her into the final four, by asking random people on the street to help.
- On January 5, 2021, Vanjie was seen in Puerto Vallarta dancing amongst an unmasked crowd during the COVID-19 pandemic with Silky Nutmeg Ganache. Both queens were heavily criticized on social media by fans and fellow Drag Race queens, most notably Farrah Moan and Brita.
The Mateo Empire
Jenavive K. Mateo
Season 10 Looks
Season 11 Looks
Celebrity Drag Race 1 Looks
All Stars 5 Looks
Lip Sync Battles
- "I'm Vanjie" (2018)
|Runners-Up||2nd & 3rd: Eureka & Kameron Michaels • 4th: Asia O'Hara|
|Other Queens||5th: Miz Cracker • 6th: Monét X Change (Miss Congeniality) • 7th: The Vixen • 8th: Monique Heart • 9th: Blair St. Clair • 10th: Mayhem Miller • 11th: Dusty Ray Bottoms • 12th: Yuhua Hamasaki • 13th: Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams • 14th: Vanessa Vanjie Mateo|
|Judges||RuPaul • Michelle Visage • Carson Kressley • Ross Mathews|
|Pit Crew||Jason Carter • Bryce Eilenberg|
|Runners-Up||2nd: Brooke Lynn Hytes • 3rd & 4th: A'keria C. Davenport & Silky Nutmeg Ganache|
|Other Queens||5th: Vanessa Vanjie Mateo • 6th: Nina West (Miss Congeniality) • 7th: Shuga Cain • 8th: Plastique Tiara • 9th: Ra'Jah O'Hara • 10th: Scarlet Envy • 11th: Ariel Versace • 12th: Mercedes Iman Diamond • 13th: Honey Davenport • 14th: Kahanna Montrese • 15th: Soju|
|Judges||RuPaul • Michelle Visage • Carson Kressley • Ross Mathews|
|Pit Crew||Jason Carter • Bruno Carvalho • Bryce Eilenberg|