The 11th episode of RuPaul's Drag Race brought with it great sadness for some viewers, with fan-favourite Nina West being controversially sent packing in place of this season's villain, Silky Nutmeg Ganache.
Recognised for her congeniality, old-school camp aesthetic and dedication to LGBTIQ+ causes, West's elimination was mourned by Drag Race's audience, with some claiming the show's producers are gaslighting viewers by prioritising drama over talent.
Still, West has been met with overwhelming support since leaving the show, with none other than New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez taking to social media to express her love for the eliminated queen.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “In our house, we name a Queen of Hearts. @NinaWest that is YOU!"
“Thank you for being a relentless example of kindness, consciousness, compassion, and courage. Thank you for using your gifts to focus on voices + issues that deserve all the shine and elevation in the world."
Ocasio-Cortez later vented about West's elimination on her Instagram story.
“I don’t always get to watch Drag Race on Thursdays when it comes out, I have to catch up on the weekends because work is insane, and I just caught up and I am so sad," she said to camera.
“No spoilers, but but to the queen that went home this week, just know how important you are to the bigger picture, and I’m so proud of you and your fundamental kindness and goodness.
“I’m really looking forward to watching you grow. You’re amazing, and I’m sad, but I’m excited for you.”
West was clearly moved by the message.
"I am really humbled by all of this love and support," she wrote on Instagram.
"Thank you @ocasio2018 for this amazing outpouring of love for me. But so much more, thank you for using your voice for all of us and fighting for all of us. I am so in awe of you, inspired by you, and hopefully one day, I will have the chance to thank you in person. I love you".
In another sign that West has won fans in high places, the queen has since been followed by Rihanna on Instagram (one of only 1,300 accounts the pop superstar follows).
Long live Nina West.