Vanessa Vanjie Mateo

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Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
Miss Vanjie on stage.jpg
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo in 2019 on Stage at West5Bar in London
José Cancel

(1991-10-03) 3 October 1991 (age 27)
Occupation Drag queen
Known for Competing on RuPaul's Drag Race

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, sometimes known as Miss Vanjie or simply Vanjie, is the stage name of José Cancel,[1] an American drag performer known for competing on the tenth season of RuPaul's Drag Race and placing 5th on the eleventh season of the show.

Early life

Cancel is of Puerto Rican descent. He started doing drag when Drag Race season three and All Stars alumna Alexis Mateo hired him as a backup dancer.[2][3]


RuPaul's Drag Race

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo was announced as one of the fourteen contestants competing for the crown on the tenth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, which premiered on March 22, 2018.[4] She was eliminated in the first episode, after lip syncing to Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man" against competitor Kalorie Karbdashian Williams, while Aguilera was the guest judge.[5]

As she walked backwards off the stage, her parting words were "Miss Vanjie... Miss Vanjie... Miss... Vanjie", which later became an internet meme. "Miss Vanjie" was tweeted by many, including several by RuPaul, as well as Michelle Visage and Kathy Griffin. The meme was also edited into clips of various movies, TV shows, and even on dating apps, including The Simpsons, Pokémon, Grindr, and The Shining.[6] The YouTube channel Watchmojo's spin-off channel, MsMojo, made a top ten list of the memes, making it the first Drag Race related MsMojo video based on one specific contestant.[7]

The "Miss Vanjie" catchphrase was said by Rylan Clark-Neal while commenting on the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 first semi-final broadcast during the presentation of Eleni Foureira from Cyprus; he also said it in reference to Montenegro singer Vanja Radovanović, whose name resembles Miss Vanjie's.[8] RuPaul wore a "Vanjie" necklace during the Time 100 Gala red carpet.[9] The catchphrase was also referenced in multiple further episodes of Drag Race season ten. A Snapchat filter of Vanessa's runway look was made available the day after the season ten reunion.[10]

On January 24, 2019, Mateo was announced as one of the fifteen competitors of season 11 of RuPaul's Drag Race.[11] She was in the bottom two for episodes nine and ten, and won both lip syncs against Plastique Tiara and Shuga Cain.[12][13][14][15] She was eliminated by Brooke Lynn Hytes in the penultimate week in episode twelve, and placed fifth.[16][17][18]

Post Drag Race

Mateo was featured on the September 2018 issue cover of Gay Times.[19] She appeared with Nina Bo'nina Brown for two episodes of the WOWPresents internet series "Fashion Photo RuView" on November 3 and 17, 2018, filling in for Raja and Raven.[20][21] She appeared with Silky Nutmeg Ganache and Derrick Barry for an episode of the fourteenth season of Germany's Next Topmodel in 2019.[22] On May 12, 2019, Mateo was sponsored by Chips Ahoy! for a social media post for Mother's Day, which got homophobic backlash.[23][24][25]


Mateo released her first single, "I'm Vanjie", on June 21, 2018.[26]

She appeared in the music video for Iggy Azalea's "Sally Walker" on March 14, 2019.[27] She performed as a backup dancer to the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in April 2019.[28][29] Mateo was also in the video for Azalea's "Started" with Trixie Mattel.[30][31][32]



Year Title Role Notes
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself Contestant (14th place)
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked
2019 RuPaul's Drag Race Contestant (5th place)
2019 RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked
2019 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Backup dancer
2019 Germany's Next Topmodel

Music videos

Year Title Role
2019 Iggy Azalea – "Sally Walker" Funeral attendee
2019 Iggy Azalea – "Started" Real Estate Agent



Year Title
2018 "I'm Vanjie"

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ Kelly, Emma (August 24, 2018). "Drag Race viral sensation Miss Vanjie wants you to stop saying 'Vanjie' during sex". Metro. UK. Archived from the original on January 25, 2019. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Koch, Drew. "How Vanessa Vanjie Mateo's Drag Mom Came to Her Rescue After That 'RuPaul' Elimination". Bustle. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  3. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race:' Vanessa Vanjie Mateo Talks Meeting Christina Aguilera, Her Favorite Local Queen & More". Billboard. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 10 is Premiering a Week After 'All Stars'". February 16, 2018. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  5. ^ Sheehan, Paul (March 28, 2018). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' 10 episode 1 elimination interview: Vanessa Vanjie Mateo dishes '10s Across the Board' [WATCH]". GoldDerby. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  6. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race:' The Very Best of the 'Miss Vanjie' Memes". Billboard. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  7. ^ MsMojo (April 20, 2018), Top 10 Best Miss Vanjie Memes, retrieved October 14, 2018
  8. ^ "Rylan Clark wins Eurovision semi-final with Miss Vanjie Drag Race gag". Metro. May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  9. ^ "RuPaul Donned a 'Miss Vanjie' Necklace on Time 100 Gala Red Carpet". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "There's Now A Miss Vanjie Snapchat Filter". LOGO News. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  11. ^ Rudolph, Christopher (January 24, 2019). "Meet the Queens of "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 11". New Now Next. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  12. ^ "Lip-Sync Herstory: 5 Things You Didn't Know About Fantasia's 'Hood Boy'". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  13. ^ Sheehan, Paul; Sheehan, Paul (April 26, 2019). "'RuPaul's Drag Race': Was the right queen eliminated in episode 9 'L.A.D.P.'? [POLL]". GoldDerby. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Power Ranking Season 11: Episode 10". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  15. ^ Swift, Andy; Swift, Andy (May 3, 2019). "RuPaul's Drag Race Recap: Which Queen Disappeared Like Magic?". TVLine. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  16. ^ Sheehan, Paul; Sheehan, Paul (May 17, 2019). "'RuPaul's Drag Race': Was the right queen eliminated in episode 12 'Queens Everywhere'? [POLL]". GoldDerby. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  17. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race review: Canada vs. Vanjie". Culturess. May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  18. ^ "'RPDR' Season 11 Has One Clear Winner • Instinct Magazine". Instinct Magazine. May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  19. ^ "Yaaas honey! See Drag Race's Miss Vanjie like you've never seen before". Gay Times. August 24, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  20. ^ WOWPresents (November 3, 2018), FASHION PHOTO RUVIEW: Dancing Queen with Miss Vanjie and Nina Bo'nina Brown!, retrieved November 3, 2018
  21. ^ WOWPresents (November 17, 2018), FASHION PHOTO RUVIEW: Vanessa Vanjie and Nina Bo'nina Brown!, retrieved November 22, 2018
  22. ^ "Die Dragqueens sind zurück bei "GNTM"! Alles, was ihr zu Miss Vanjie & Co. wissen müsst". (in German). Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  23. ^ Bollinger, Alex (May 13, 2019). "Conservatives got triggered by a Mothers Day commercial from Chips Ahoy!". Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  24. ^ "Nabisco shockingly uses a drag queen to promote Chips Ahoy! cookies". LifeSiteNews. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  25. ^ Am; May 14, apresto; Views, 2019 (May 14, 2019). "WATCH: Chips Ahoy! Uses Famed Drag Queen For Mother's Day Ad, Mocks Critics: 'They're Big Mad'". Daily Wire. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  26. ^ I'm Vanjie - Single by Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, June 21, 2018, retrieved June 21, 2018
  27. ^ "Iggy Azalea - Sally Walker (Official Music Video)". March 14, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  28. ^ "Miss Vanjie Slays Live Las Vegas Performance With Iggy Azalea". Newnownext. April 6, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  29. ^ "Iggy Azalea Delivers First "Sally Walker" Performance On 'Jimmy Kimmel'". Idolator. April 5, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  30. ^ "Watch: Iggy Azalea recruits Trixie Mattel and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo for 'Started' music video". Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights. May 6, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  31. ^ "Miss Vanjie, Trixie Mattel Are Femme Fatales in Iggy Azalea's "Started" Video | NewNowNext". Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  32. ^ "Iggy Azalea & Trixie Mattel Kill Their Sugar Daddies in New Video". May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  33. ^ Evans, Greg (September 4, 2019). "E! People's Choice Awards Finalists Announced; Voting Open Through Oct. 18 – Complete List". Deadline. Retrieved September 13, 2019.

External links

  • José Cancel on IMDb
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