Tag: drag

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1308 Recap: Rosé’s Turn

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Episode 1308 Recap: Rosé's Turn

Theatre kids, this is our moment. Get a ride from an upperclassman, sit next to your crush at IHOP, rank your favorite songs from Rent, and complain about your part, because, baby, we’re doing a Rusical!

Okay, I know Snatch Game is the episode most Drag Race fans look forward to each year, but I’m a gay musical theatre nerd and nothing brings me more joy than some drag show tunes. Why do you think my Youtube search history is filled with Jinkx Monsoon singing Sondheim? Anyway, I was very excited for this episode AND IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

We begin with LaLa’s elimination and tensions are high. Utica says she’s helping others succeed beyond her. Denali is mad she wasn’t in the top. The queens are getting catty and anyone could go home.

But that’s not going to stop the lovefest! The next week Kandy talks about how after the competition they should all get a house together in California. Only sensible Capricon Symone shoots down the idea. Rosé says the trade would be ridiculous and Kandy reveals herself to be monogamous for her one and only Joey Jay. Cue dreamy Joey Jay montage.

The Rusical this year is social media themed. Denali wants to be either Lady Tweets or the sexy character Foxy. After giving her preferred part to Olivia last week, Utica insists — she’s playing Lady Tweets. But Rosé is a musical theatre queen and Foxy is the lead role and now she’s insisting too! As Denali and Rosé fight, Gemini Utica says, “I feel like I caused all this drama and I love it.” Elliott suggests they audition and Rosé gets the part. Denali is stuck being a Russian bot with Gottmik.

The queens receive a (virtual) guest visit from the Hollywood star with the biggest theatre kid energy — Anne Hathaway!! I am baffled that Anne Hathaway is a controversial figure as I have always loved her, but maybe that’s just because of my own theatre kid energy and because I’ve seen Rachel Getting Married. The queens are all geeking out in their confessionals and while others cite The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada, Symone cites my childhood fave Ella Enchanted, because Symone is the best.

Rosé asks Anne if she’s ever had to fight for a part and she reveals that she was the 9th choice for The Devil Wears Prada. Worried about her scene partner, Gottmik then asks for her advice if you don’t get the part you want. Anne says you steal the show anyway. Denali follows up for accent tips and she tells her instead of playing an accent play a character who happens to have that accent. She ends by saying, “One last thing: Don’t f… orget to have fun!” She’s such a geek. I love her.

The queens record their singing parts and Tina again accuses Olivia of being a secret diva. If by “secret diva” she means Olivia can sing, then she’s right, because turns out Olivia Can Sing! Symone, unfortunately, cannot and so begins her struggles for the episode.

During the choreography session, Jamal Sims tells Symone that she needs to stop worrying about her technique and fake her way through it with energy. Meanwhile, Rosé has enough energy for everyone, because I have never seen a queen want to win a challenge so badly. Denali appears in better spirits after her Hatha-wake-up-call and Gottmik struggles to keep up with the far better dancer. But they’re both having a good time with their goofy Russian accents. Tina says they sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but at least they don’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tina Burner.

The producer prompt this week — asked ever so authentically by Utica — is whether the queens have become jaded with social media. Kandy says that after Aja’s famous Linda Evangelista speech, Valentina fans came for Aja and her whole family including Kandy — for years. Rosé then brings up Tina being Graham Norton’s ex, a true thing that is true! Denali then pivots the conversation to one of my favorite topics: celebrity crushes. Symone says hers is Mr. Nicole Ari Parker himself Boris Kodjoe. Tina says Uncle Jesse which I assume means John Stamos. And Denali — who remember brought up this topic — says the animated Hercules and Aladdin. Look, I’m not judging. Whomst among us didn’t have animated Disney crushes? (Shoutout to Belle, Megara, and not Disney but very important to me Anastasia.)

RUSICAL TIME! Tina is playing the Emshe and look I know I like to rag on Tina, but I am going to do so once again, because how can you remove all the sex appeal out of a Fosse reference?? Olivia is dressed in Mark Zuckerberg drag which means casual college student and it’s very hot. Rosé is doing a sort of sexy Eduardo Saverin thing and the duo just really did a lot for me.

It then turns into a “Cell Block Tango” reference with the different social media platforms. Symone is Instagram and for the first time in the competition falls flat. She keeps her sunglasses on the whole time and her insecurities are obvious. Utica is playing Twitter and her bit is a parody of “Modern Major General.” It’s a lot of words and a lot of wacky choreo but she nails it. Kandy is LinkedIn and is SO HOT. I know, I know — shocker that I’m turned on by the queen playing a businesswoman, but oh my. Elliott is TikTok and is supposed to be doing a Billie Eilish thing but is just boring.

Then Rosé comes back out complaining that her accounts keep getting suspended for showing too much skin. It’s a parody of “Don’t Rain On My Parade” and she does Barbra proud. Then Gottmik and Denali come out as the bots and they both do so good in their parody of “America” from West Side Story. It’s then revealed that Tina was Friendster the whole time, but the moment falls a bit flat because Tina is a bit flat. Finally, the whole thing ends with a Les Mis parody about the noble pursuit of truth and weeding out online lies. Overall, a strong Rusical if not quite among the top tier.

The runway theme is yellow! Tina and Elliott are both taxis and I wish someone would drive them off the runway. Olivia is beyond gorgeous in a stunning gown and big ostrich feather puffs. Symone describes her look as “Big Bird went to the hood and got transformed into a pimp” and lucky for me and all of us that includes suspenders. Utica is wearing a 14th century sideless gown and has a whole geeky backstory about it which is very cute. Denali is a python princess, Medusa-hair included. Gottmik is a bondage crash dummy. Kandy is beautiful in an homage to “Hold Up” Beyoncé  with added sunflowers in her hair. And Rosé is dressed like Jim Carrey in The Mask. She describes herself as a cartoon character come to life, so I bet Denali was into it.

Utica, Olivia, and Elliott (ugh) are safe. Tina, Symone, and Kandy (??) are in the bottom. And Rosé and the Russian bots are the top. I honestly don’t remember most of the judges’ critiques because I was SO NERVOUS. I know I love Kandy more than most, but I really didn’t understand how she was in the bottom over Elliott! This is drag. Why would anyone want consistent mediocrity over someone hot with heart and personality??

Rosé wins and I was thrilled for her. Last year, the show broke Jan when she didn’t win the Rusical, and I’m glad that didn’t happen to another of Stephanie’s children! But this is when the celebration ceased. Because Tina fucking Burner was declared safe, which meant Kandy and Symone were left to lip sync for their life.

I WAS SO SAD. I watched the performance dreading the outcome either way — while, yes, also hoping they would at least make out before one of them went home. No make outs, but their performance of Fifth Harmony’s “Bo$$” was very good. Thankfully, the Symone that was missing throughout the episode fully returned when it counted most. Obviously, between Symone and Kandy I wanted Symone to stay. But I was still devastated.

I’d really given up all hope because this season started with three episodes that didn’t have any eliminations. And double saves are usually only for lip syncs like Brooke and Yvie, which this certainly was not. Ru even goes as far as telling Kandy to sashay away! But the only thing Ru loves more than breaking my heart is a manufactured TV moment and as Kandy is walking away she shouts, “Kandy, Kandy, wait! Stop. I’m not ready for you to go. Not yet. You are safe to slay another day.” I SCREAMED!!!!!! PURE JOY!!!!!!

Next week, there isn’t a new episode — instead there’s a documentary about filming the season during the pandemic. Give me all the double saves, all the documentary specials, all the tricks and episodes. May this season last all year long. What else are we doing?

Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:

+ I know you’re all wondering what my favorite Rusical is and I’ll tell you. Season 8. Bitch Perfect.

+ This was such a horny episode! And I’m not just talking about my musical theatre feelings! In addition, to Kandy bringing up Joey again, in Untucked Olivia asks Utica to take her on a date after the show. And apparently in the van Olivia and Utica were next to each other and Olivia called it a date. And on Twitter tonight Olivia tweeted at Utica: Date night? Then if that wasn’t enough, Rosé comes over to clear the air with Denali and love on her a bit and in the confessional admits it’s partially because she thinks Denali is cute! I’m obsessed with all of it.

+ The safe queens are talking about nicknames and Elliott says she heard Gottmik call her clique the mean girls. They replay the footage confirming that, in fact, Tina called them the mean girls, Kandy repeated it, and Gottmik pointedly did not. I wonder why Elliott was blaming that on Gottmik! Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Bitch.

+ Today is Rihanna’s birthday — watch this video of Symone getting a DM from her!

+ If Symone had been the top instead of the bottom this week, my headline would’ve been: I’m Changing My Major to Symone.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Symone (and also everyone except Elliott and Tina)

+ Queen I have the biggest crush on: Symone, Denali, Kandy, Rosé, Olivia

+ Queen I have weird sexual feelings for that I need to unpack: I’ve absolutely masturbated to that video of Jinkx singing “Last Midnight.” It’s been a long quarantine leave me alone. (Also here she is singing “Origin of Love” from Hedwig if your vibrator needs a second song.)


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“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1306 Recap: Sequin Tops and Bell Bottoms

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Episode 1306 Recap: Sequin Tops and Bell

Don’t leave me this way, Tamisha Iman. The problem with having a cast this strong is almost every week is going to hurt. I may love the drama, but I hate the goodbyes! Alas, this is apparently a “reality competition show” and people have to lose. But first! Disco!

We begin in the aftermath of Joey’s elimination. Kandy says her boyfriend went home, but she’ll for sure sleep with the bitch after. My support to all the Drag Race quarantine girlfriends. Olivia brings up last week’s chaotic Untucked and there’s a bit more bickering between Tamisha and Kandy.

The next week, Elliott suggests they leave the fighting in the past and Gottmik says “wishful saying.” Ru enters the workroom and compares himself to Charles Nelson Reilly — none of the queens get the reference, the first of many they won’t get this week. Reilly was a musical theatre legend and the host of Match Game aka the inspiration for Snatch Game. And he was gay! Anyway, Ru explains that the mini challenge is making dresses out of wallpaper.

The teams for the mini challenge will also be the teams for the main challenge, and as last week’s winner Gottmik gets to be a third for whichever pair she likes — and who wouldn’t want Gottmik as their third. The other queens scramble into teams and Gottmik chooses her besties Kandy and Tina. This is having major Rolaskatox energy to me — I think it’s just a matter of time before Michelle warns Gottmik about the clique. But for now she seems happy to be with the cool kids. Paired off rejects Tamisha and Elliott win the mini challenge with a Carole Baskin reference, because Ru loves to give the underdogs a mini challenge win to shake things up.

RuPaul’s queer history lessons have been… let’s say inconsistent throughout the show. His love for easy liberalism often results in a very hetero-palatable framing of queer past. But luckily those impulses weren’t too bad in this educational disco episode!

My ex was in a play about disco, so I was lucky enough to get a pretty thorough history lesson early in my queerness. I’d previously held a lot of the misconceptions that many share and I was surprised to learn my Saturday Night Fever-understanding was a whitewashed and straightwashed version of an era that was so meaningful for Black people and queer people. Or in Ru-speak: “freedom, divas, and bringing people together!”

Denali says she loves disco and this is hers to win. I love Denali, because every episode she truly believes it’s hers to win. She’s paired with Rosé and she’s excited that they’re both dancers and can push each other to perfection. We also learn that Denali used to figure skate on a cruise ship, which is the only thing that could get me on a cruise other than Olivia Cruises standing for Olivia Lux.

Olivia is on a team with Utica and their dynamic is surprisingly delightful. Utica jokes to Olivia that Tina’s wig makes her look small and Olivia tells her to say that to Tina. Utica obeys her new crush and I loved it.

Ru starts walking around the workroom grilling the queens on disco and cracking up at their lack of knowledge. Ru explains Disco Demolition Night when DJ Steve Dahl rallied people to burn disco records. He says the powers to be were scared of the unbridled passion of disco — especially since it was associated with gay people and Black people. It’s really important that queer people know our history, but there’s no shame in the learning! Our history is pointedly kept from us and it takes effort to know even the most basic things. Hopefully, the queens — and viewers at home — appreciated the lesson.

The queens are choreographed by Miguel Zarate who is a RPDR first timer. I hope he comes back, he has such a good rapport with the queens. He encourages them to not take themselves too seriously and to just have fun with it. Tamisha struggles with a hula hoop and reveals in the confessional that she has an ostomy bag that limits her movements. She hasn’t told anyone because she doesn’t want any special treatment. It reminds me of when Yvie Oddly wasn’t disclosing having Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. I wish the queens felt like they could be open about their illnesses and disabilities on the show without feeling like they’d be judged for it!

Elimination day! Rosé rides into the workroom on Gottmik’s back. And Tina has Kandy and Gottmik say “mean girls” on three. (Gottmik rolls her eyes instead of saying it.) It’s nice that Gottmik is not only casually accepted among the queens but actively desired. Then again she’s an adorable little twink so I’m not going to give any of the cis queens too many ally points.

Olivia says that as a teenager she was 300 pounds. It was a dark time for her and it wasn’t until she found theatre and drama that she was able to feel confident in her body and self. Thankfully, she notes that she doesn’t look at scales anymore and just cares if she feels amazing, but this part still felt gross to me. Since the beginning, RPDR has not been a kind show to its fat queens, so framing a thin queen’s past weight in this way is disappointing. The point of her narrative is far more about struggling as a closeted teen and I wish that had been emphasized more than her weight.

Kandy and Tamisha also open up about adolescence. Kandy says her mom was in and out of jail so she had to take care of herself. She was always trying to maintain control of her anger, but she still struggles with it. Tamisha talks about a woman who started a cheerleading crew and invited her to join. Her grandma was upset when she found out she was doing gay stuff, but the woman still encouraged her. Sometimes these segments can dip into reality TV exploitation, but I really enjoy getting a window into different gay pasts.

Mama Ru is on the radio and ready to take us through her disco history lesson. Tina, Kandy, and Gottmik start us off with the birth of disco. Then Tamisha and Elliott get into disco and sex. Olivia and Utica go to Studio 54. Rosé and Denali show off disco fashion. All the queens do one big group number. And finally Symone and LaLa dance their way through the end of the era. I thought everyone was really solid, but Symone and LaLa were my favorite. Rosé and Denali are the best dancers, but they needed to focus less on being technically perfect and more on showing off their personalities. It ends with everyone doing a Soul Train line to “We Are Family” and I just really enjoyed the whole thing!

The runway category is little black dress. Loni Love is back as a guest judge with Michelle and Carson. The standouts are exactly who you’d think they’d be! Gottmik has the littlest black dress imaginable aka it is just covering her crotch. Symone has big blonde hair referencing Ru’s look in the “Back to My Roots” video and is wearing a dress made of braided hair. And Denali murdered me in her black widow-inspired dress with a web on the back and extra spider eyes on her forehead. Olivia also dazzles in a simple strapless dress paired with gorgeous big hair.

Somehow Symone, LaLa, and Denali are just safe along with Gottmik and Rosé (I would happily take this group as our top five!) — Tina, Elliott, and Olivia are the top, which I found to be just baffling. Meanwhile, Kandy, Tamisha, and Utica were the bottom which made me really sad, but no one did bad this episode, so I can’t complain. I obviously would’ve loved to see Elliott in the bottom, but this was a dancing challenge and she’s a dancer.

After weeks of being safe, Olivia finally gets a much deserved win and shows herself to be a top competitor. Meanwhile, the producers get their wish and last week’s feud becomes this week’s lip sync. Neither Tamisha nor Kandy are word perfect with Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” but they both do okay. What Kandy lacks in technical prowess, she makes up for with intense drive. Tamisha loses.

I might be the only person on the internet who didn’t think this was the wrong call. But my fondness for Tamisha aside, I just respond to Kandy’s competitive energy. I like a queen who wants to win! Tamisha says she’s going to go home, finish her recovery, and get ready for All Stars. And that’s what I’m talking about! I look forward to seeing everyone’s drag mother ready to win All Stars 7.

Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some More Random Thoughts:

+ Elliott says her mom put her in dance class as a kid after she was bullied, which gives me a new reason to hate Elliott: jealousy.

+ Gottmik’s parents have a video message for her on Untucked talking about how they’re so proud of her art and the person she’s become. It’s nice until Gottmik says that the message was the first time they called her by her name, Kade. Ru loves family reunion/family breakthrough moments, but if it took your trans child being on TV for you to use their name, you don’t deserve any praise. It’s easy for people to accept their queer and trans children when they’ve proven themselves exceptional. In my opinion, by that point it’s too late.

+ Tamisha and Kandy reconciled before their big lip sync. Tamisha says the challenge brought them together and that she doesn’t hold grudges. It’s sweet and makes their hug after Tamisha’s elimination all the more poignant. I’m sorry, I’m still rooting for Kandy! I have a soft spot for loud insecure queers.

+ During Untucked, Utica asks if Olivia wants some glitter and then hugs her. Olivia says they should play in the sandbox later and Utica says “I’ll take you on a date.” Excuse me???? What a strange pair and I am absolutely obsessed.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Symone and Denali

+ Queen I have the biggest crush on: Denali and Olivia

+ Queen I have weird sexual feelings for that I need to unpack: Okay so nothing weird about having sexual feelings for Olivia, but they were at their peak when she was encouraging Utica to be mean and that might need some processing.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1302 Recap: Gottmik Publicly Comes Out as Trans — And Hot

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Episode 1302 Recap: Gottmik Publicly Comes Out

Maybe this really is RuPaul’s Best Friend Race?? After the premiere’s dalliance in psychological torture, we return this week with just about the most wholesome Drag Race episode in the show’s 13 seasons.

But first! We must wrap up the psychological torture! The queens in the Porkchop Loading Dock are voting one of their own out with lipsticks All Stars-style. They didn’t even get to see each other’s lip syncs so this is based entirely on first impressions. Joey votes Elliott. Denali votes Joey. Kahmora votes Utica. The rest remain anonymous to the viewers but Elliott and Utica tie for the bottom. They do a re-vote and bye-bye Elliott — two Ts, three eliminations, one hour on Drag Race. Impressive stats.

Not to be that girl, but I’ve watched enough Drag Race to know this wasn’t the end for Elliott. Still, the queens seem so convinced! Rosé the Gemini has a comically cold confessional where she’s basically like oh well.

But enough about the losers! Back in the workroom the winners are starting their first real day. Ru pops up on the screen to congratulate them on a job well done and Olivia flashes the cutest little self-satisfied smile!! Have I mentioned I have a crush on Olivia and her smile? I have a crush on Olivia and her smile.

Ru joins them in the workroom and who does he introduce? Elliott! With 2 Ts! Ru gives an inspirational speech about how they’re all winners and how they shouldn’t let anyone make them feel bad about themselves and it’s like okay but you just psychologically tortured them you terrifying fracker.

All of the other queens are immediately paranoid about Elliott and Elliott doesn’t help by immediately talking shit to the shit talker herself, Kandy Muse. This was a big episode for Gottmik re: trans stuff, but I am also very closely tracking her romantic possibilities, and I must say she seemed delighted by Elliott creating drama.

The mini challenge is two runway looks which is often the first challenge in premieres. I always love this, because it acts as a great introduction to the queens’ aesthetics and leads to some truly iconic looks. (Remember Violet Chachki’s reveal??) The first category is Daytime Drama Mama and the queens do not disappoint — especially Gottmik and Symone. Gottmik wears a latex dress with a rainbow on the bottom and a bright blue sky on top. Symone wears a fabulous multicolored suit.

The next category is Nighttime. Gottmik is once again the standout, with a long black dress with a slit up the side and one of her nipples only covered with a pasty. She says that since she had top surgery she loves to have her nipples out and what a gift for us all. Tina says with her outfit she was trying to show her sexy side — it’s helpful when queens explain their high concept looks. Elliott similarly touts her sexiness saying she belongs in a Gentlemen’s Club — I think in this case the gentleman is Tim Burton. (I’m sorry, but if Ru is going to be nice this episode I’m going to be mean!)

The main challenge is a new version of Ru’s song “Condragulations.” The queens will each write a verse and choreograph the number together. We learn that Tina was in a boy band and that Olivia writes music and plays piano! “Who’s ready to be the star student? Me!” she exclaims. Adorable.

No one wants to take charge of the choreography, so Tina takes over by default. Elliott is literally a choreographer, but she is intimidated as the loser of the bunch. I get that, but also she should’ve shown what she can do! And her plan backfires because eventually she does swoop in and her initial hesitation just makes everyone more suspicious of her. Gottmik is thrown when they start choreographing her section because her lyrics start “I was born a girl” and she hasn’t disclosed to the cast yet. She suddenly feels really dysphoric in a way that surprises her and she’s worried it will hold her back.

The next day Gottmik is feeling a bit better and confides in Olivia. Olivia’s so supportive!! She says her pronouns are she in drag, he out of drag and asks Gottmik for hers. Gottmik says hers are the same and she feels clocked when people overcompensate and he/him her in drag. It’s a really nice moment and endeared me to both queens even more. As a trans woman who hangs out in a lot of overtly cis dykey spaces I feel a kinship to Gottmik inserting herself into such an aggressively AMAB space. I’m sure doing it on television is even harder. It makes total sense that she’d have new waves of imposter syndrome-induced dysphoria.

The simmering drama with the newly dubbed “Elliott the Spy” simmers down to nothing after she explains what really happened in the Porkchop Loading Dock. LaLa points out that Elliott got eliminated three times and suspicion sort of just turns to sympathy. The queens are more concerned that the others weren’t actually sent home which is very silly to me, because of course they weren’t. They talk about who they would send home of each other and give the pageant girl answer of saying their biggest threats. The consensus? Tina and Gottmik are the biggest threats. But Olivia thinks they shouldn’t underestimate her.

The new version of “Condragulations” is fun, but the song isn’t great to begin with and the queens don’t quite reach the level of last year’s incredible “I’m That Bitch.” That said, LaLa and Symone were the two standouts and everyone at least did pretty well.

The runway category is Lamé You Stay and once again Gottmik and Symone wow. Symone is dressed as a sexy boxer. Much like her bestie/roommate Gigi Goode, Symone refuses to rest on her looks and instead loves a concept. Personally, I love when people are beautiful and clever, because then I don’t have to admit to being shallow.

Ru, Michelle, and Ross are joined this episode by choreographer Jamal Sims. Michelle has a grey streak in her hair and it really did a lot for me. For some reason all four judges are So Nice. They point out a few missteps among the queens, but mostly their notes are just encouragement and jokes about poppers.

Backstage during Untucked the queens also have a lovefest. Symone gushes over LaLa, Gottmik officially discloses to everyone else to lovely feedback, and everyone talks about how much they love each other. Is this what quarantine has done? Everyone is so starved for human connection that you put a couple of catty drag queens in a room together for a week and they’re ready to elope like Clare and Dale on The Bachelorette??

I don’t mean to sound disappointed. I love to see the queens thrive and get along. And it would’ve felt wrong for anyone other than Elliott to go home this week. Instead having Symone and Olivia lip syncing for the win and $5K was a treat. They’re both sexy and campy and just pure entertainment. And I was thrilled for Symone to get another win.

But I’d be lying if I wasn’t daydreaming of next week when the insecure losers are at each other’s throats — or the week after when the two teams come together. Maybe this is all part of Ru’s long game of psychological torture. Create hierarchies, create alliances, force Gottmik to do another round of disclosures.

I’m sorry I doubted you, Ru. The library will soon be open.

Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:

+ Tina mentions that back in New York, Kandy created a lot of unnecessary drama. But Elliott came for her pretty aggressively and she kept her cool. I guess we’ll see…

+ Symone compares her second runway look to The Matrix Revolutions which feels pretty trans to me.

+ An ad for Boy Butter! On TV! You love to see it.

+ The main challenge was sponsored by the Werq the World Tour — Ru never fails to be Ru.

+ When Gottmik disclosed during Untucked, I was so confused, because I felt like her lyrics were obviously a disclosure. But nope! LaLa admits to having no idea from the lyrics that Gottmik is trans.

+ Ru jokes that this week there no bottoms, only tops, except the judges. I’m sorry but I refuse to believe Michelle Visage is anything less than a top-leaning switch. I’m actually fully convinced she topped Adore Delano while they were on tour and that’s why Adore was so hurt when she was mean to her on All Stars 2. Is this based on anything but vibes? No. But please don’t take this fanfic away from me.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Symone (is she the frontrunner now??)

+ Queen I have the biggest crush on: Olivia Lux, Gottmik, and the thought of Olivia Lux and Gottmik together

+ Queen I have weird sexual feelings for that I need to unpack: The grey streak in Michelle Visage’s hair

Pastor wants kids taken to Drag Queen Story Hour removed from their parents / Queerty

Pastor wants kids taken to Drag Queen Story Hour removed

Pastor E.W. Jackson
Pastor E.W. Jackson (Photo: Vimeo)

A high-profile, right-wing pastor with a history of anti-LGBTQ statements has done it again.

Virginia’s E.W. Jackson runs his own radio show and streams via Facebook to his followers. On his Facebook show, “The Wisdom Meditation” last week, he discussed the Bible, but then went off on a tangent about Drag Queen Story Hour, which occurs in libraries around the country.

“This is child abuse to take these children to be entertained by these perverse individuals whose lives are a moral sewer,” Jackson, 68, said.

Related: Gay people can’t be judges as they can’t be ‘fair and objective’ says pastor

“You want to live that way, it’s a free country, live that way. If adults want to be a part of such gross, disgusting entertainment, you have a right to do that. But child abuse is what I would call taking children to see one of these freaks go through a whole lot of sexual garbage trying to instill this mess in the minds of toddlers and kindergartners.

“I have no patience with this mess,” the Protestant Minister continued. “That person needs God, that person needs to be saved, that person needs to be delivered. God wants that person to be a normal human being. A drag queen is not a normal human being.”

“And the stupid parents who take their children into this mess need to be dope slapped. They need to have their children taken away from them.

“Do you think toddlers and kindergartners are [asking] to go to Drag Queen Story Hour?,” Jackson asked.

“Taking your children to church is not abuse. It’s what God commands us to do. But taking your children to Drag Queen Story Hour is abuse of a magnitude that is hard to overstate. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the equivalent of pedophilia, and it should be treated the same way.”

Jackson has previously asserted that homosexuality is “unnatural” and “gross”. Earlier this year, he said that besides concerns over the coronavirus, families should worry about the spread of the “homovirus”: Or what he regards as the militant LGBTQ movement to destroy the traditional family unit.

Related: Beware the “homovirus” warns right-wing pastor in unhinged coronavirus rant 

In 2019, Jackson claimed that the United States would become a “homocracy” if Mayor Pete Buttigieg won the Presidency.

Jackson was the Republican Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the 2013 election and a Republican primary candidate for the United States Senate in Virginia in the 2012 and 2018 elections. Although he commands a sizeable, grassroots following within the state, he failed in each of these election bids.

Drag Race UK season 2 cast revealed ahead of January return

Ellie Diamond, Asttina Mandella and Ginny Lemon from Drag Race UK season two.

Ellie Diamond, Asttina Mandella and Ginny Lemon from Drag Race UK season two. (BBC)

The Drag Race UK season two queens are finally here.

After feverish anticipation, frustrating delays and the small matter of a global pandemic, Drag Race UK season two is ready to spread its tuppence all over your screen.

Returning 14 January on BBC iPlayer, the new season will see RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton preside over a diverse new cast of queens, including the franchise’s first Welsh and Scottish contestants.

Expect glamour, spook, vocals, veganism and a whole lot of regional dialects for RuPaul to smile and nod at.

The twelve competing queens are: Tayce, Joe Black, A’Whora, Tia Kofi, Ellie Diamond, Sister Sister, Veronica Green, Bimini Bon Boulash, Ginny Lemon and Asttina Mandella.

The Drag Race UK season two cast.
The Drag Race UK season two cast. (BBC)

Also announced Wednesday (16 December) was Drag Race UK: Queens on Lockdown, a mid-series special uncovering how the queens spent their time during the long, pandemic-mandated break in filming.

Tayce, 26, from London via Newport.

Tayce
Tayce. (BBC)

Drag Race UK’s first Welsh queen is a “girl on the go” who describes her drag as “modelesque, very villainous, dark, punky, edgy… a sexy owl here to peck your face away with my claws”.

Well-known on the London drag scene, Tayce is “here, queer and ready to let these girls have it”.

Like a few girls this season, Tayce has an aversion to the sewing machine, but doesn’t expect that will stop her from making it to very end “by hook or by crook”.

Joe Black, 30, from Brighton.

Joe Black
Joe Black. (BBC)

Joe has been performing for 13 years and comes from the world of burlesque and cabaret – “all ostrich feathers and glitter and strippers”.

She is bringing “all the eye shadow and the wonky eyebrows of the traditional seaside drag, with a bit of haunted glamour”.

A’whora, 23, from London via Nottinghamshire.

A'whora
A’whora. (BBC)

A’whora is the “fashion queen of the London scene” determined to prove that she’s a lot more than just her incredible looks.

“I wanna walk into a club and people be intimidated”, says the plastic surgery enthusiast, whose next procedure is getting her “fingers done”.

Tia Kofi, 30, from from London via Essex and Nottingham.

Tia Kofi
Tia Kofi. (BBC)

Tia Kofi is one-third of drag girl group The Vixens, but is entering Drag Race UK to “Beyoncé myself”.

Proud to be representing British queens of colour, Tia Kofi is bringing you “end of the pier Blackpool”.

“She’s live singing, she’s all dancing, she’s camp, she’s glamour, she’s also a mess.”

Ellie Diamond, 21, from Dundee.

Ellie Diamond
Ellie Diamond. (BBC)

Standing 6’4 out of drag, Ellie is “a really big queen – literally – in a tiny little pond”.

She joins Drag Race UK season two having performed outside of Dundee only once before.

She currently works in a drive-thru, and describes her drag as a “cartoon character came to life”.

Sister Sister, 32 from Liverpool.

Sister Sister
Sister Sister. (BBC)

A Sister Sister show is about “wacky monsters going for it”, inspired by old-school, Victoria Wood-style British comedy.

She can sew, turn a look, dance – although “not well” – and is here to represent a unique part of Liverpool’s drag scene

“You have the gorgeous queens of Dragtown, you have the queer scene who like to get down dark and dirty, and then you have me just plonked in the middle.”

Veronica Green, 34, from London via Rochdale.

Veronica Green
Veronica Green. (BBC)

“Gorgeous, goofy and professional”, Veronica Green has been in the industry as a theatre and opera singer for 15 years.

Although her dream of singing in Wicked hasn’t come true (yet), she’s ready to take the Drag Race UK crown.

“I am the most competitive person I know, and I will fight you on that if you disagree.”

Bimini Bon Boulash, 26, from London via Norfolk.

Bimini Bon Boulash
Bimini Bon Boulash. (BBC)

“East London’s bendiest b***h,” Bimini grew up in Norfolk but is now a staple of the capital’s “diverse, vibrant, colourful” drag scene.

Incredibly, Bimini invented veganism “about seven years ago”, and fancies herself the dancing queen of the season.

“I wanna show that you don’t have to be shady, be super b***hy to prove that you’ve got something.”

Ginny Lemon, 31 from Worcestershire.

Ginny Lemon
Ginny Lemon. (BBC)

Fancy a slice? Ginny Lemon is the “hairiest woman in showbiz” and “the only non-binary drag queen in the UK… with a sense of humour”.

Her ideal look is a “90s daytime TV presenter on acid”, she’s bringing you a “down o earth, working class sense of humour”.

“You’ll get high energy, madness, the unplanned.”

Asttina Mandella, 27 from London.

Asttina Mandella
Asttina Mandella. (BBC)

A backing dancer for the likes of Hercules and Love Affair, Pussycat Dolls, Little Mix and Kanye West, Asttina is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, vogue, whacking, hip-hop and street dance – but she’s also “a big geek”.

“Now it’s my time to be on the poster,” she says.

“I’m Serena Williams and Naomi Campbell if they had a baby, plus Azealia Banks at the same time.”

Cherry Valentine, 26 from Darlington.

Cherry Valentine
Cherry Valentine. (BBC)

Cherry Valentine only started doing drag a year ago, but tells her haters: “I’ve been doing it as long as I need.”

“She’s glamour, she’s club kid, she’s dark, she’s gothic,” she says of her drag.

When she’s not serving body and face, Cherry is a qualified mental health nurse, something she credits with helping her on her drag journey.

Lawrence Chaney, 23 from Glasgow.

Lawrence Chaney.
Lawrence Chaney. (BBC)

Inspired by Lady Gaga, Madonna and Michelle McManus, Lawrence is “every single stereoytpe you are thinking right now of what a Scottish person is”.

“I’m almost the fat b****d of drag from Austin Powers,” she says, and is here to represent the big queens.

“I really wanna show that a big girl can enter the competition and really showcase the inner beauty and the outer beauty that we all heave. Not wear leotards with fringe on them.”

RuPaul ‘feels bad sometimes’ for her fellow Drag Race judges

RuPaul

RuPaul has admitted that she “feels bad sometimes” for her fellow Drag Race judges because her “natural chemistry” with Michelle Visage is so strong.

The drag icon and Visage first met in 1988 and have remained close friends ever since.

Speaking to Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall in an interview with Cosmopolitan, RuPaul said Visage is “a good egg” and “super smart”.

“Over the years she popped up in different situations and I thought, ‘My goodness, this is someone who I really need to get to know.’ I like her a lot. She makes me laugh.”

RuPaul continued: “I feel bad sometimes on the [Drag Race] panel because we cut up like girlfriends and I don’t want the others to feel left out but we have a natural chemistry together.

“It’s funny, with Michelle, after seeing her so many different places, I realised, ‘Wait a minute, we were supposed to be together.’ It’s like the universe saying, ‘Hey, I’m trying to tell you something.’”

Elsewhere in the wide-ranging interview, RuPaul said she “loves” Drag Race because it allows men to “behave in ways that society would not let them”.

I feel bad sometimes on the [Drag Race] panel because we cut up like girlfriends and I don’t want the others to feel left out but we have a natural chemistry together.

“I feel so bad for men in our culture, because the rule book says that men after 13 are not supposed to show emotion. We live in a culture where men are really suffering.”

Michelle Visage has become an icon in her own right since joining RuPaul on Drag Race in 2011.

Visage has been a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race since the show’s third season, which aired in 2011. Her decision to join the show helped Drag Race to become the cultural behemoth it is today.

She went on to join RuPaul as a judge on Drag Race UK when its first season aired in 2019, and she has become an icon in her own right in the LGBT+ community.

In an interview with The Guardian in March, Visage opened up about her sexuality, revealing that while she has slept with both men and women, she doesn’t feel that she is bisexual.

“When I grew up, that wasn’t really a thing,” she said.

“It was just if I saw a pretty girl and I was attracted to her, why not?”

 

Drag Race queens hit the road for Halloween drive-in shows across US / GayCities Blog

Drag Race queens hit the road for Halloween drive-in shows

Two drag hosts from the Drive-In Drag show
This way for the drive-in… (Image: Voss Events)

Halloween – like everything else about 2020 – is likely to be very different this year. That said, it provides the perfect excuse to get creative with a facemask!

As bars and clubs remain closed across much of the U.S., and house parties are not advised, those wishing to mark Halloween may be interested in a spooky-themed drive-in drag show set to tour the U.S next month.

Voss Events organize events featuring many of the former RuPaul Drag Race queens. It’s already organized drive-in drag shows featuring Canada Drag Race queens in Canada.

A previous Drive In Drag show audience (Photo: Voss Events)
A previous Drive In Drag show audience (Photo: Voss Events)

For October, it’s running a U.S. Drive ‘N Drag: Halloween show featuring: Asia O’Hara; Aquaria, Yvie Oddly; Kameron Michaels; Kim Chi; Violet Chachki and Vanessa Vanjie.

It costs $69 per car per two people (with $25 for additional passengers). VIP tickets cost $139, and get your vehicle closest to the stage (which going by comments on online forums, is worth the extra expense). Tour dates are as follows:

October 9-11: Neshaminy Mall, Philadelphia.
October 13-14: Emerald Square, Boston.
October 16-18: Newpark Mall, San Francisco.
October 23-25: Park Meadows, Denver.
October 29-31: Westfield Sunrise Mall, New York City.

The queens will be appearing live on stage, with the action relayed on big Jumbotron screens. Each queen will be playing the part of a trapped soul, recounting how they came to die “from obscure causes … Each soul will share her chilling tale of death in an immersive stage performance that is sure to fright and delight.”

Food will be available from food trucks and there will even be Drag Brunch options for performances earlier in the day.

(Photo: Voss Events)

Related: Paige Turner on 2020 pride season: “It’s even more important to stand together”

Producer Brandon Voss said in a statement, “Our wildly popular drive-in productions are proving the drag show must go on even through a pandemic! The show has been adapted to be even more interactive than the original arena production, bringing performances and haunts into the parking lot for an immersive experience we are dubbing a Haunted Parking Lot for a good scare.”

(Photo: Voss Events)

Glittering evidence Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen and Eureka O’Hara might just conquer the world / Queerty

Glittering evidence Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen and Eureka O’Hara

We’re Here

Welcome to the Weekend Binge. Every Friday, we’ll suggest a binge-able title designed to keep you from getting too stir crazy. Check back throughout the weekend for even more gloriously queer entertainment.

The Uplifting: We’re Here

Fans and non-fans of Drag Race take note: though the new HBO series We’re Here features three alumni of the beloved drag competition, do not expect tantrums and epic throwing of shade. We’re Here stars Shangela, Eureka O’Hara and Bob the Drag Queen. Each episode finds the three riding their handbag-shaped RVs to a different conservative city around the country with a singular goal: unite the queer and straight communities by putting on a drag show. For the three queens, that means finding drag protegees to add to the show in each episode. And, as anyone familiar with the work of Bob, Eureka or Shangela will attest: each drag number throbs with energy and joy.

What we didn’t expect, however, was just how poignant and moving We’re Here gets. All three queens experience moments of vulgar homophobia and racism at times, which serves to remind viewers that attitudes towards race and LGBTQ people still vary wildly around the country. Moreover, the stories of family rifts healed through drag performance had us reaching for the tissues. We’re Here reminds us that the great power of the queer community comes from its sense of love and joy, not just fabulousness. The kind of forgiving love on display here is hard to find in any TV series, scripted or reality. That earns a winning recommendation from us. The fabulous handbag RVs are just a bonus.

Streams on HBO Max. 

Journey to a underworld run by a drag syndicate in ‘Sh*t & Champagne’ / Queerty

Journey to a underworld run by a drag syndicate in

The title says it all, folks.

With COVID-19 having stymied Frameline44–at least in person, anyway–the San Francisco-based queer media arts foundation has done something extraordinary. A second Frameline44 arrives later this month, allowing viewers from all over the world to take part in the celebration of queer cinema, and to view this year’s titles from home. In another charming twist, the festival will host a drive-in screening at the Solano Drive-In in Concord, CA on September 17. The title on the docket: the new slapstick comedy Sh*t & Champagne.

Related: ‘Buck,’ ‘Disclosure’ and ‘My Mom’: Meet the winners of Frameline’s film competition

Sh*t & Champagne takes its cues from 1970s exploitation schlock movies, which often featured ridiculous action, ridiculous costumes and even more ridiculous plots. The film follows stripper Champagne Horowitz Jones Dickerson White (played by drag queen Darcy Drollinger) on the run from a criminal enterprise. When the cops refuse to investigate the murder of her sister, Champagne dives head-first into a criminal underworld. There, she discovers a link between the retail chain Mall-Wart and a dastardly plot to conquer the world. Think of it as Girls Will Be Girls meets The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Directed by and starring Darcy Drollinger, Sh*t & Champagne plays the Frameline44 centerpiece drive-in September 17. 

Drag queen receives first kidney transplant since coronavirus lockdown

Drag queen kidney transplant

Stephen Lim, also known as Nadia Business, had been on the waiting list for a kidney transplant for six years. (nadiabusinessqween/ Instagram)

A drag queen fighting chronic kidney disease has become the first patient post-lockdown to receive a life-saving kidney transplant at a Manchester hospital.

Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) was forced to stop performing transplant surgeries for four months during the coronavirus pandemic, but in July doctors were able to resume the life-saving operations.

According to Manchester Evening News, the first patient to get a call saying they would be undergoing transplant surgery was 27-year-old Stephen Lim, otherwise known as his drag persona Nadia Business.

Lim comperes a karaoke night at a club in Bolton as Nadia, and also takes part in outreach programmes for his local LGBT+ community.

He was born with chronic kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney failure, which causes a gradual loss of kidney function over time.

When he was very young, Lim suffered irreversible scarring to his kidneys because of an infection, and he had been on the waiting list for a kidney transplant for the last six years.

The drag queen said: “My family and I have been speaking about the possibility of getting a transplant for about 20 years… There’s so much that goes in to finding the right match, and a year or so back I’d been called in for a transplant that unfortunately could not go ahead, so I was starting to think it might not happen.”

But on July 7, Lim wrote on Instagram: “Guess who got the kidney transplant call he’s been waiting for for six years, this morning around 4am?”

He was brought in to have the operation on the same day, receiving a transplant from a deceased donor.

Lim said: “I’m so thankful to him and his family for all he’s given me. To lose a loved one is never easy, so I will pay my respects by living well and looking after myself as best I can.

“I can’t say thank you enough to everyone in the transplant team for everything they’ve done.

“The whole team have been professional, welcoming and friendly throughout, and are always very quick to explain stuff so I know what’s going on.”

He added: “I feel especially lucky and grateful to be the first MRI patient to receive an organ since after lockdown.

“I know that COVID-19 precautions will have added another layer of complexity for the team’s work but they were so professional that you couldn’t notice… Due to COVID-19 restrictions my parents unfortunately weren’t able to come with me into the hospital, but the team were great at making me feel comfortable.

“My mum’s a nurse so I’ve had to distance from her in the house which has been interesting, but we understand we need to act responsibly so we’re taking all precautions.

“I now feel really well, even better than I was expecting to after the operation. My surgery wound is healing well and it looks like everything is going in the right direction in terms of my condition improving which is great.”