‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Why Did Adore Delano Leave ‘All Stars 2’ and Does She Regret It?

Iconic RuPaul’s Drag Race star Adore Delano is responsible for several of the show’s most memorable moments. These moments include when she quit the show after returning for an additional time.

Adore Delano in 2019
Adore Delano in 2019 | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Adore Delano on season five and ‘All Stars 2’

Delano, a RuPaul’s Drag Race legend, is one of the most popular and notable contestants in the show’s history. This wasn’t the first time that Delano, whose real name is Danny Noriega, was on reality television. Noriega was a contestant on the seventh season of American Idol, reaching the top 16.

On the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Delano was a fan-favorite, making it the top three with Bianca Del Rio and Courtney Act. She finished as a runner-up, winning three challenges and placing high an additional two times.

She continued to gain popularity during the year after season 6, coming back for the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. In her first episode, she placed in the bottom.

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Why Adore Delano quit

Delano became the first-ever RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant to voluntarily leave the competition when she departed during the second episode of All Stars 2. Though it is not exactly a similar situation, the closest voluntarily exit to Delano’s was when BenDeLaCreme chose to eliminate herself in the middle of All Stars 3.

She chose to leave after receiving critiques she thought were too harsh during the first episode of the show. The critiques were given to her by judge Michelle Visage and guest judge Raven-Symoné. Delano thought that she had gained confidence and was in a good place and was not prepared to be critiqued like that again. She also cited that she and Visage had worked together on tours since her last time on Drag Race and she wasn’t anticipating the way their dynamic to return to contestant-judge. Visage and the other queens attempted to get Delano to stay but she would not.

How she later felt about the situation

During the reunion episode for All Stars 2, Delano explained that she regrets quitting the competition. “I’m embarrassed. I just felt like I shouldn’t have done that. I didn’t want to let anybody down. Nobody goes on All Stars 2 and is like, peacing out. It’s like, whack. It’s not even my style,” she said.

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“I was just like, f**k, the outfits that I got made for me don’t even stand up to this, man,” she continued. “I didn’t prepare myself to bring myself back to the whole elimination process, to the critiquing process, the g*****n runway… and I wasn’t mentally prepared to hear [critiques] from Michelle, either.”

She also said that Visage’s comments didn’t ignite her desire to leave, but more so the critiques from Symoné. “Michelle is not to blame, like, completely,” she later said on Periscope with fans. “It actually started with Raven-Symoné. She said something super, super cruel and something I’m not sure she even remembers that she probably said to me, but it, like, touched home and made me super sensitive and super mad… but, Michelle kind of went for the jugular.”