#DragRace

Miley Cyrus to Guest Judge RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 Premiere

The past two regular seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race have featured legendary pop singers as guest judges in each of the show’s premiere episodes. Season 9 had Lady Gaga and season 10 had Christina Aguilera.

For season 11… it’s Miley Cyrus. The multi-talented entertainer, who rocked the house with Dolly Parton at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 10, revealed the news on her social media two days later.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@rupaulsdragrace 2/28 on @vh1 #DragRace

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“Are you freaking out?” Miley asked in the season 11 promo. “Because I am freaking out.” Her role as guest judge will happen when the Emmy-winning show returns Thursday, February 28 on VH1.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLZ : ABOUT TO ANNOUNCE SOMETHING SICKENING !

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Miley teased her fans ahead of time with an Instagram boomerang of her posing in what will be the outfit she’ll wear during her RPDR debut. “CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLZ : ABOUT TO ANNOUNCE SOMETHING SICKENING !” she wrote on the corresponding post.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The “We Can’t Stop” singer later posted another boomerang of her opening the door to her trailer on the RPDR set.

Miley’s music is no stranger to RPDR, as some of her songs have been featured in the always dramatic lip sync for your life portion of the show. Penny Tration battled it out with Serena Chacha to her classic “Party in the USA” back in season 5.

Her number one hit “Wrecking Ball” was later used in RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 as the song that would determine who would be crowned the winner of that season. Trixie Mattel was crowned the winner over Kennedy Davenport after they did their own version of Miley’s song.

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 will premiere almost two weeks after their latest version of All Stars finishes on February 15. Naomi Smalls, Trinity the Tuck, Monique Heart and Monet X Change are the final four who are still in the running for the coveted crown.

3 Things I DON’T Want to See on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11

There will be little to no time to waste in the RuPaul’s Drag Race universe later this month, as season 11 of the long-running series will premiere only two weeks after All Stars 4 has finished. VH1 has also moved the show to a new night… Thursdays, beginning February 28. Just giving the heads up in case a gaggle of my fellow gays show up to a local gay bar that Friday expecting to say “yasssss” to the TV screen, but they are playing gay porn instead.

This show has been on for a decade and has succeeded at many things that has led it to be where it is today. Unfortunately, there are aspects to the program that need to stop ASAP. This was evident in AS4 and I’m hoping that it doesn’t continue in season 11.

RPDR could be in danger in jumping the shark if they continue with these three things in my opinion. So relax, untuck, and read on for what RPDR should not do when season 11 premieres very soon.

Way too many comedy challenges.

The amount of comedy challenges in each season is a bit much. It’s good to show the comedic abilities with many of these queens, but that doesn’t define what makes them great. All Stars 4 had: Snatch Game of Love, Lady Bunny’s roast, Sex and the Kitty Girl 3 and Jersey Justice. It’s… a lot. There must be other things that these producers can come up with to showcase the strengths that they all have.

Force storylines.

We can see fake drama from a mile away… Gia Gunn. I get that this show must be dramatic somehow, and we don’t need it to be RuPaul’s Best Friend Race, but there must be a way to create several episodes where the frustrations, tears and comradery can come organically.

No more lip sync for the crown.

Lip synching for the crown is an insult to any queen that participates on the show. It means that you only win because of how your body and mouth moves for two songs. This negates everything you’ve done up to this point… not to mention how you excel outside the show. It started in season 9, where the arguable final two of Shea Coulee and Trinity Taylor (now the Tuck) were eliminated in the lip sync battle royale over two queens who expertly revealed what they did in order to win (Sasha Velour and Peppermint). It’s kind of the Drag Race equivalent of spending months doing research on an assignment that someone wings last minute and gets a higher grade. It needs to stop, as the season 10 finale one was a f***ing mess from start to finish and I really don’t want to see who will win RuPaul’s Best Reveal Race… hunties.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

 

New York City's Maddelynn Hatter-On Her Unique Style, Turning A "Lewk" & How To Stand Out From The Crowd.

If there is anyone that knows how to stand out, it's New York City's drag daredevil Maddelynn Hatter. With a strong aesthetic and an even stronger perspective, this drag wonder is truly one of a kind, So much so, that her unique performance style has torpedoed to headling gigs at The Black Party in New York as well as in Provincetown, MA. Between gigs and creative brainstorms, Hatter caught up with me to talk about her favorite drag sisters, her career "pinch me" moments, and how expanding your repertoire is crucial in this business. 

Instinct: For those that have never seen Maddelynn Hatter on stage, how would you describe your performance style and “drag” as a whole?

Maddelynn Hatter: Visually stimulating and engaging! I like to look people in the eye and i like to connect with my audience. I like bright colors and a whole bunch of different kinds of music from Fiona Apple, to Marilyn Manson to Zedd!

Instinct: You are known to perform in some outlandish and unique costumes and even more daring performances. How do you choose your material? Any favorites that really stand out?

MH: I honestly need to be physically moved and inspired by the music, or its simply all about the lewk. I'll try to put some concept around what the music makes me feel as well.

Instinct: How did Maddelynn Hatter get her start in the extremely competitive New York City drag scene?

MH: By pounding the pavement and going out every single day! I would make a lewk for every time i would go out and i would archive absolutely everything! Social media helped me a lot and is def part of the game for me. I as a visual artist like to use my drag as a medium for my creative impulses and show it like one would a painting in a gallery.

Instinct: It’s so hard to stand out in New York City and in drag; how have you carved out your own niche?

MH: By being a unique and lovely snowflake in a nuclear winter blizzard!

Instinct: What are some of your career highlights so far?

MH: Let's see...Both meeting Cher and performing in front of three thousand  people at Vancouver Pride, definitely!  Being the Black Party Queen at Roseland Ballroom, and of course, working at the same club (The Ritz) for over eight years!  Having photographed some of the most talented and famous queens in the business as well as having performed all over the United States and Canada, definitely! 

Instinct: What is left that you want to achieve as Maddelynn Hatter? Any aspirations to be on RuPaul‬’s Drag Race perhaps?

MH: Honestly if there is one thing I have learned, it's that life will always find a way to use a queen in any situation. If you want to be successful in this business, always try to find a way to get yourself booked in new and inventive way. Not just shows, but private parties, video and photo shoots, cocktailing, waiting, doing makeup, hair, costuming all the facets of drag can be made into a business and side hustle. You just have to excel and have that certain craft down.As far as Drag Race goes, only time will tell...

Instinct: Speaking of Drag Race several NYC girls have won. How do you think the show as a whole has been for the drag community?

MH: I think that the series has pros and cons. But i know that it has made not only drag super visible, but has open doors for conversation within society that have needed to be addressed for a long time.

Instinct: You are part of a great group of ladies who are bringing a fresh and new perspective to drag in New York City. Who are some of your favorite sisters to perform with?

MH: Zeta Jones. Nasty Queen. Merrie Cherry. Black Lae D. Ms.Ter, definitely! 

Instinct: What do you do when Maddelynn Hatter is not on stage?

MH: I work a lot lol! I like to keep myself busy so if its not designing my own fliers, creating a new lewk. or waiting tables or bartending, I am generally consuming some sort of media! 

Instinct: The gay community has had a very trying year and politically things are very dark. What do you think are the biggest issues facing our community and what do you see as your part in helping to address them?

MH: Keeping our voices heard. We have to keep being visible and projecting our right as a people and make it understood that we deserve the same rights and liberties that everyone deserves! It has not started with us and it wont stop after us. Human rights are a thing that need to be available to all humans everywhere regardless of skin color, race, or creed.

Instinct: What does “pride” mean to you? How do you stay inspired?

MH: Pride means living your life proudly feel comfortable and happy being your authentic and true self. Always. 


https://www.facebook.com/TheonlyMadd

https://www.instagram.com/theonlymadd/?hl=en

Who Has The Best Shot at Winning All Stars 4?

I stated last week that I’m pretty much over All Stars 4. I still would’ve said that regardless if the queen who should’ve won the whole thing, Manila Luzon, hadn’t been eliminated. This show has quickly become overkill in terms of how often it’s on, and the special aspect that it used to have is starting to dim regardless of how talented these queens are.

That being said, we reached our penultimate episode on Friday night. The beginning of it was about how some of the queens were shocked about Naomi Smalls’ choice to send Manila home. Turns out… Monet would’ve done the same thing. So the season 3 finalist and overall legend was screwed no matter what. Meh.

The maxi-challenge is another tired formula that this show does practically every season: a spoof or parody. This time it’s Sex and the Kitty Girl 3, which… I don’t even have to say the iconic program they are referencing.

This spoof, just like the one they did for AS3 (My Best Squirrelfriend’s Dragmaid’s Wedding Trip) was bad. The judges acknowledged this too. It was painful to watch minus a couple funny moments from Trinity the Tuck (sex-crazed Kim) and Monique Heart (the girl who fell out the party window. Kristen Johnston much?). I felt bad for Felicity Huffman, an Emmy award-winning actress, that she had to sit through such a mess.

Trinity and Monique were in the top, which meant everyone else (including Latrice Royale) was in the bottom. Spoiler alert: Latrice got sent packing again after Trinity won the lip sync to Janet Jackson’s classic “When I Think of You.” Love Latrice, we all do, but it didn’t make any sense for her to be top four just like it would’ve been pointless for Morgan McMichaels to do so in AS3.

So now we are left with our final four… which I would’ve never predicted when the season began. I had my sights initially set on Manila and Valentina in the end, however one was screwed and the other appeared to just give up. So it’s Trinity, Monique, Monet and Naomi battling for the crown? Meh. Meh.

For me, it’s Trinity’s game to lose… with Monique and Monet right behind her. Naomi is great, but they barely gave her a winner’s edit let alone an edit this season. Come to think of it, no one really had that great of a winner’s edit from my POV… so maybe they did that on purpose so the audience couldn’t clearly figure out who scored the win in the end?

Trinity statistically did the best. She’s still criminally underrated in the Drag Race universe but did so well in both seasons and was able to shine quite a bit in AS4minus a comedic slip up during the Lady Bunny challenge. If the whole “lip sync for your legacy” thing didn’t begin in season 9, she would’ve had a better chance for the crown as the final two should’ve been her and Shea Coulee that year (still love all four finalists though).

Monique and Monet have had shining moments, but to me they oddly cancel each other out. Maybe because they came from the same season and aren’t as seasoned as some of the vets before them. I said this in the past: you can’t be an All Star if you just came off the show. You have to build an audience for years, become known for something other than a sponge or a brown cow, In order to even qualify for a show like this. Yes, Naomi didn’t really get much attention this time around but she’s built a huge brand in the years since her time on Drag Race with the popular YouTube series M.U.G. alongside Kim Chi and so much more.

So… Trinity for the win. Oh and season 11 premieres in three weeks, so if you need be I’ll be untucking until the next round starts right back up again.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

Mashing Up Movie Classics With His Signature Ferocity, Todrick Hall Drops Two New Musical Masterpieces

In between touring with Taylor Swift and being an official judge on RuPaul's Drag Race (as well as corralling the ladies during dancing challenges) it would almost be certain that Todrick Hall would simply not have the time to crank out the amazing videos that helped rocket him to super stardom (although his star making season on American Idol certainly did not hurt). Luckily, 2019 is showing that this dynamic and ever evolving performer is crafting even more genius on his own than ever before. 

Mashing up "The Lion King" with Beyonce may seem like a perplexing match at first, but after remembering that Beyonce is poised to star in the eagerly anticipated reboot of this Disney classic (playing the prodigal child, Simba) this musical marriage makes perfect sense. Breezily matching up "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" along with "Halo" or blending the two bops that are "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" and "Love On Top" demonstrate how Hall is able to jump from classic movie anthems to pop hits with aplomb. 

Perhaps he was inspired by the RuPaul's Drag Race Season Nine team challenge which featured the ladies serving their best high school cheerleader against each other, but crafting a Bring It On trailer (aptly titled Bring It On: Ball Or Nothing) for today's generation is sheer artistry. With every fierce "Yasss" to each all too familiar Grindr app notification, Hall takes today's signature pop culture touchstones and melds them into one of our all time favorite cult classics. I dare you to find me one Bring It On fan who would not want a true sequel featuring a fierce and thick stud who can twerk the house down and some good old fashioned boy drama 

From recreating The Wizard Of Oz in his own fierce fashion in the absolute epic that was "Low" or whether he is recreating the pop culture lexicon with "Dem Beats" or merging the pop culture phenomenon that is DC Comics Justice League series with the iconic Beatles in a "Come Together" masterpiece, his creativity and ability to constantly tap into what the culture is talking about is simply unparalleled. When he's not serving the ladies the true tea behind the Drag Race judges table, seeing what visual masterpiece he is creating on his own is just as intriguing. 


Follow Todrick: 

http://instagram.com/todrick

http://facebook.com/toddyrockstar

http://twitter.com/todrick

http://todrickhall.com

Opinion: All Stars 4 Has Been a Huge Waste of Time

I went to a friend’s place on Friday night to watch the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4. This season hasn’t been that fun to watch, but this is the kind of show that you have to see its way to the end no matter what the outcome may be.

This particular episode revolved around the popular makeover challenge. Each of the remaining queens were joined by their best “Judy’s”, where they dragged them up and did a choreographed dance with them to a song inspired by the late & great Judy Garland.

It was a cute show. The “Judy’s” were fun to watch, as each had an emotional impact to the competitors in very different ways. Latrice Royale’s “Judy”, for instance, has known her for 25 years and helped get the legendary queen through her time in prison. Manila Luzon and Trinity the Tuck both had their significant others there, which brought out the tears of joy in each of them.

In the end (spoiler alert), Naomi Smalls won the challenge. It didn’t come as much of a surprise given that fashion is what she excels in the most. She rightfully took home the win with her Sonny & Cher inspired ensembles.

The bottom two ended up being Latrice and Manila, where Naomi dared to do the smart thing (in my opinion) and send home Manila. The season 3 veteran has arguably been the one to beat this season, so Naomi taking her out when there are still so many girls left was a great move and one that doesn’t come across as something personal.

The episode ended, and I turned to my friend’s and said “this season has been a huge waste of time.” They laughed, but I further explained why I felt this way… and it had nothing to do with Manila being eliminated as I don’t let those sorts of decisions affect my life like how it does to many others.

All Stars 4 is something that arrived way sooner than it needed to. It’s sort of like when you just sit down to the dinner table and order your food and its ready in 2 minutes. Woah there, hold on. This isn’t needed yet. We just finished several months of this show, as All Stars 3 and season 10 of RPDR aired back to back.

There’s a consistent need and desire to keep this show running in our minds all year round, as not only do we have two different shows now but DragCon and endless RPDR-related events as well. It’s fantastic that this has become a well-oiled machine, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a little bit of time for at least one part of that machine to work effectively before it burns the f**k out.

All Stars is a concept that started horribly and came back beautifully (talking AS1 and AS2 here). Then All Stars 3 happened a year later, and it flopped (for so many reasons). For them to then air season 10, take a break for maybe four or five months and bring in All Stars was not a good idea.

Here is why All Stars 4 really hasn’t been that great:

  • Way too many comedy challenges. This is like season 5 all over again. Not every queen is designed for comedy, they have other strengths. And for them to do several of these in a row just became a bit redundant and uninspired.
  • You can’t really be an All Star if your season just aired. This is a note for future All Stars seasons: WAIT YOUR TURN. An All Star to me is someone who has developed a major career for a long time outside of what initially made you famous. Casting queens from the past two seasons really doesn’t make any sense, as they are still developing their brand.
  • The forced drama could be seen by a blind person. The only drama that occurred this season was with Gia Gunn, who either knew what she was doing (Farrah Moan) or didn’t (Snatch Game of Love). It was boring, awkward and unnecessary. Perhaps that can be seen as a plus as this was a pretty mature group of queens, but there has to be something else besides an attention grabber wanting the spotlight for all the wrong reasons that keeps the viewing audience captivated.
  • The elimination concept is dull. It was exciting in AS2 and AS3 but it has sort of become predictable at this point… minus Naomi’s choice. It would be more interesting to see the regular RPDR format, as it feels like the bottom two queens really do try harder than the top two given what they are up against.

Overall All Stars is beginning to jump the shark for me just like Project Runway has done with their All Stars version. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: don’t do too much. This show would be better done once every three years as the pickings would be that much more meaningful. Otherwise the same ol same ol that the past two seasons have provided will grow old, and nobody wants a bitter Drag Race audience.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Premiered 10 Years Ago Today

February 2, 2009 was the beginning of something new, brilliant, sensational, and phenomenal.

RuPaul’s Drag Race made its official debut on television. The now iconic show was considered something fresh on LOGO way back when… with very little pandemonium compared to what it gets today.

Season one of Drag Race was incredibly simple and basic, however it needed to be in order to get to where it is today. It only had 9 contestants compared to the traditional 14 that the show has used since season 5 (minus the 12 in season 8).

It aired for little over a month, ending on March 23rd where Bebe Zahara Benet became the first ever crowned queen of RuPaul’s Drag Race over strong competition from runner up Nina Flowers. The reunion that followed featured the first ever major argument. It happened between host RuPaul and Tammie Brown, where the latter uttered the now infamous phrase “I don’t see you walking children in nature.”

This was a season that had that Barbara Walters filter, a stage that looked to be the size of my bedroom and a judge named Merle Ginsberg (she stuck around another season). Regardless of its look and feel, the show had something. The producers, queens and everyone involved made it a program worth seeing and gave our community an incredible amount of exposure during a time where we were still finding our footing on television, the movies and life.

That “something” proved to blossom into a beautifully tucked creature that shows no signs of slowing down. Here are just a couple of things that have happened for the show since it premiered way back when:

  • Won multiple Emmys including Outstanding Reality Competition Program last year. RPDR is one of only four shows to ever win in that category since its debut in 2003 outside of Top Chef, The Amazing Race and The Voice.
  • DragCon, a bi-annual gathering of some of the fiercest drag talent in the world, was created. Taking place each year in Los Angeles and New York, this 3-day weekend sells thousands of tickets to people who have traveled all over the world to see their favorite RPDR stars, buy some merchandise and experience something that would’ve never existed if this show didn’t come into play.
  • Created larger-than-life careers for 140 queens (including the 14 just announced for season 11). The S11 queens are in the quiet phase of what will eventually become pure superstardom, as this show has helped each queen heighten their career to levels that have made some of them 7-figured bosses.
  • Brought key figures back into the spotlight, notably RuPaul and Michelle Visage. There was a lull for both before this show started, and now the future is nothing but bright due to the energy each brings to the program alongside current mainstays Ross Mathews and Carson Kressley.
  • Catchphrases that many of us use on a daily are from RPDR. “Henny”, “Oh no she betta don’t”, “Halleloo,” “Back rolls?” The list goes on forever.
  • Some of the queens have taken their talents to the big screen, notably Shangela and Willam in A Star is Born and Ginger Minj in Dumpin.
  • The show has reinvigorated the gay nightlife across the world, as several gay bars host RPDR-themed nights where fans come in just to watch.

There are so many more aspects to what this show has achieved over the past decade. Bottom line is this: RuPaul’s Drag Race has been nothing but a positive force and energy for our community and my hope is that it continues for many years so that future generations can feel what we have felt.

If anything, “Shante you stay” RuPaul’s Drag Race. For a long, long time.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

Is Drag Race Overdue For Their First ‘Big Girl’ Winner?

Is Drag Race Overdue For Their First ‘Big Girl’ Winner?


Silky Nutmeg Ganache Is Coming For The Crown!

RuPaul’s Drag Race is the gift that keeps on giving. Since the series jumped ship from Logo to VH1, we haven’t gone but a few weeks without having a new season of Drag Race on our televisions and mobile devices. I’m not drag fan #1, but I enjoy being in “the know” and catching up on the latest buzz. Currently, Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars season four is wrapping up and then the new season will be here with fourteen new queens , plus the return of first boot and viral sensation Vanessa Vanjie Mateo.


We have seen a variety of stereotypes take the win over the years: the kooky outcast (Sharon NeedlesJinx Monsoon), the fashionista (RajaViolet Chachki), the comedian (Bob The Drag QueenBianca Del Rio), the professional (Chad MichaelsBebe Zahara Benet), and other forced, fabricated variations of those previously mentioned. Although there is some variety in the queens crowned, shockingly, we haven't had a person of color deemed winner since Bob in 2016 - once the series headed to VH1.  Even more so, why haven't we had a big girl winner yet?!


Through Drag Race Herstory, we've had numerous larger than life, "big" queens who have garnered a fan base. Some that come to mind are Porkchop (the famously first booted off the series), Latrice RoyaleEureka O'HaraStacy Layne MatthewsDarienne Lake, Ginger Minj, and so many more queens who are considered plus-sized enter the competition to high praise of the judges and fan base. These queens, with all of their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent, always seemed to come up short for the crown. Even though they didn't win the ultimate trophy, most have been used in following seasons as either a gag or a contender to finally take home the W. When is it going to be time for one of these girls to win?! Have we only seen O'Hara and Ginger Minj to be the only "big" girls to last until the finale? some put Roxxxy Andrews (Season 5) in the curvy girl category, but not the big girl grouping. Many will argue Eureka should've won, but point to her controversial language on social media. Then again, there was so much focus on Eureka being a big girl in the running for the crown.  Do we remember any of that when Ginger was in the finals of Season 7 to be beaten by Violet Chachki?  Her being "full of love" size didn't really become a huge talking point like it did with Eureka's season finale.  Minj was invited back to Season 2 of All Stars, but was the third to be eliminated.


The upcoming season provides us with a "big" girl who owns her size and commands attention. She's already creating a buzz on social media. 

 


Silky Nutmeg Ganache is stepping into the ring to become America's next Drag Superstar. Okay, I may be a little biased: I've known Silky for almost a decade as we've partied in college, yet I have always believed she had the absolute X factor to win this competition. With Eureka's recent loss, and knowing Silky was possibly on the show, immediately I had a thought...Silky is going to be the first "big" girl winner. She is a great representative for her niche of drag. Ganache is a pageant queen and southern belle who admittedly doesn't want fans, but family. She's going up against heavyweight social media stars such as Plastique Tiara and Brook Lynn Hytes, but her determination to win combined with her lust for entertaining the masses may put her on top. We all need to keep a close eye on Ganache, because as Sharon Needles changed the face of drag, I believe she's going to challenge and change the image of our previous Drag Race winners.

But then again, this will be all moot if when Latrice Royale wins this season of All Stars.


Don't forget to check out Ganache's "Get to know you" video below.

 


 

Writer's Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine Contributor and does not reflect the views of fellow Contributors or Instinct Magazine itself.

EXCLUSIVE! Does BenDeLaCreme Regret Her Self-Elimination On All Stars 3?

What a year BenDeLaCreme has had.

The RuPaul's Drag Race season 6 fan favorite was the name on everybody's lips during her appearance on All Stars 3. Ben played extremely well each episode, placing in the top 2 more than any other queen in All Stars history and making a major beeline for the coveted win in the end.

Then Ben decided to shock her fellow queens, the judges, and everyone at home when she eliminated herself only two episodes before the finale. She gave her reasons for doing it that night... but is it something she still stands by all this time later?

Ben chatted with me about that experience as well as who she is rooting for in All Stars 4, her love life, what the drag scene is like today, and more.

How has life been for you since being on All Stars 3?

A non-stop rollercoaster fever dream. I’ve been traveling the world with my solo shows, writing, directing, producing plays and touring productions - and things are only building. I kind of can’t believe my life right now. It’s a ton of work, and not a ton of sleep, but it is one thousand percent worth it.

Were you surprised at how galvanized people were regarding your self-elimination?

Not at all! I expected it to be polarizing, and it was. Which I’m fine with. Some people didn’t get it -  but overwhelmingly the response I got was one of support and appreciation. 

I found myself in a moment where anything seemed possible. I was in the unique position of being able to say, “I’ve proven I can win your game, but I don’t agree to your terms.” I think that resonated with a lot of people. No one else can define success for you. You are the only person who knows where and how YOU will find happiness and satisfaction.

Would you do it the same way all over again?

Abso-freakin-lutely. That moment turned out to be a catalyst in my life outside the show. I cut ties that had been holding me back for years, I took control of aspects of my business and personal life that I had been too afraid to before. That decision made me feel powerful. It made me realize that no one has authority over you just because they say they do. You are in charge of you. And there are far fewer limits to that than you think. 

Who are you rooting for the most on All Stars 4 and why?

My fave to watch has gotta be Manila (Luzon). I’ve been a huge Manila fan since her first season. I love her comedy and her glamour - she’s a hard worker with a clear vision and I’m here for it. Really, I don’t super care who wins the crown, although if they want it and they get it, more power to ‘em. A queen’s time on the show, and after, is what she makes of it, and there are a million ways to be a Drag Race success story.

Has the drag scene in Seattle evolved since queens like you and Jinkx Monsoon have appeared on the show?

Here in Seattle, drag has always had one foot in the theater/cabaret/performance art world. Jinkx and I were influenced by the Pacific Northwest scene. I don’t think any cultural shift is going to take that unique flavor out of our city.

What's your love life like... dating anyone special? If not, do you have a type?

I am happily settled with a wonderful man named Gus. We’ve been together for almost four years at this point, and it’s only been getting stronger. He’s one of the smartest, funniest people I’ve ever known, and is shockingly unfazed by my over the top drag queen antics. 

Do you think drag in general would be big at all if RPDR never existed?

Well for me drag was ALWAYS big. As a kid I was OBSESSED with drag and just wanted to break into the scene. At the time Lady Bunny’s Wigstock festival in New York was huge and there were booming scenes on both costs that launched thriving careers for queens like Varla Jean Merman, Jackie Beat and Coco Peru.

Those queens are going strong and continue to draw crowds all over the country during the Drag Race frenzy, and I believe they will continue to long after. Drag has always been around and has always had a devoted following. At some point everyone else was bound to catch up. 

What do you have coming up in 2019 that our readers should know about?

In the next few months between touring the US with the Hater’s Roast, and the UK with Peaches Christ’s Drag Becomes Her, I’m writing my fourth solo show which will premiere in NYC this June before I bring it to Provincetown for the summer season.

Then I head back to Seattle, where we go straight into rehearsal for the third mounting of my immersive 60s horror spoof Beware the Terror of Gaylord Manor at ACT theater. 

Then it’s straight into rehearsal for the second year of my Christmas tour with Jinkx. I also produce that tour, so there’s a million things to do. And then it’s 2020!  Of course, there will be all sorts of other tour dates crammed into any cracks I find in the schedule. Even I have to check my own website to keep up, so you definitely should.

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Here They Are: Meet The Cast Of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11

The cast of RuPaul's Drag Race season 11 has arrived!

The newest group of contenders vying for the coveted Drag Race crown was announced live on YouTube Thursday at noon eastern by Olympian Adam Rippon and season 10 winner Aquaria.

The fifteen queens competing to make their mark on the Drag-tastic 11th season include:

A’keria C. Davenport (Dallas, TX) |Instagram: @mizakeriachanel, Twitter: @A_doubleC_D From the legendary drag House of Davenport, A’keria’s slick, shiny look makes you sit up and pay attention. The current reigning Miss Black Universe, this super accomplished pageant queen is doing the Davenports proud with her signature aesthetic: “fit, fashion, mug and body.” Expect big hair, big attitude and big results from this competitor.

Ariel Versace (Cherry Hill, NJ) |Instagram/Twitter: @arielversace A life-sized Bratz doll, this queen's Jersey-licious Disney princess aesthetic is already a hit on social media, where she has a significant following. But don’t be fooled by a pretty face with a poppin’ Instagram presence – Ariel can sing, act and put on a fully entertaining show. You’ve been warned.

Brooke Lynn Hytes (Nashville, TN) | Instagram: @bhytes, Twitter: @BhytesBrock Brooke Lynn grew up in Toronto, Canada before traveling the world as a professional ballet dancer. Much of her drag centers around dance and movement and she is a prestigious former Miss Continental pageant winner. Will Brooke Lynn dazzle the judges with the same polish she brings to the dancefloor?

Honey Davenport (New York, NY) |Instagram: @honeydavenportofficial, Twitter: @Honey_Davenport New York City’s crown jewel, Honey is the second cast member hailing from the legendary House of Davenport and cites “Drag Race” alum Sahara Davenport as a mentor. With parts in Off-Broadway plays, an electro band and 18 pageant crowns under her belt, queens know to bow down to this talented diva.

Kahanna Montrese (Las Vegas, NV) | Instagram/Twitter: @kahannamontrese Las Vegas’s hip-hop showgirl, Kahanna merges edgy street influences with upscale high fashion couture. After seeing Kahanna perform just one time, “Drag Race” legend Coco Montrese adopted this spitfire performer and Kahanna’s drag identity was born. Will Kahanna finish the job that Coco Montrese started?

Mercedes Iman Diamond (Minneapolis, MN) | Instagram: @mercedesimandiamond This African princess moved from Kenya to the USA when she was 11, but Mercedes wasn’t “born” until 10 years later at the world famous Gay 90s club in downtown Minneapolis. All about the “body-odyody,” Mercedes owns any stage she sets foot on, dazzling the crowd with her graceful presence and the expensive bling she is named after.

Nina West (Columbus, OH) | Instagram/Twitter: @ninawest This comedy queen has a big reputation preceding her into the competition. Nina has won the national Entertainer of the Year pageant and writes and produces her own spectacular shows complete with showstopping dance numbers. She’s also an advocate and fundraiser for LGBTQ causes. But can this local legend live up to all of her hype?

Plastique Tiara (Dallas, TX) |Instagram/Twitter: @plastiquetiara Originally hailing from Saigon, Plastique takes a lot of drag inspiration from Vietnamese pop stars. Stunningly beautiful, her popular Instagram drag photos have even been reposted by Tyra Banks. With none other than “Drag Race” superstar Alyssa Edwards for a drag mother, all eyes will be on Plastique to see if she can deliver in the competition.

Ra’jah D. O’Hara (Dallas, TX) | Instagram: @therajahoharashow Ra’jah is from Dallas, Texas, where everything is bigger, better and bolder. A dancing queen known for her kicks, splits and tearing up the dance floor, the “D” in Ra’jah’s name stands for Davenport: this season’s third cast member from the Davenport dynasty. A high energy performer, Ra’jah warns her competitors to watch their backs when she is lip-synching.

Scarlet Envy (New York, NY) | Instagram: @scarletenvy, Twitter: @ScarletEnvyNYC Southern beauty mixed with New York City grit, Scarlet pulls from references as varied as movie stars of the 40s, Andy Warhol superstars of the 60s and supermodels of the 80s. A self-described “natural beauty,” Scarlet has worked with fashion photographer Steven Klein, Harper’s Bazaar magazine and even appeared in a musical number on Saturday Night Live.

Shuga Cain (New York, NY) | Instagram: @missshugacain, Twitter: @ShugaCainNYC A relative newcomer to drag, Shuga quit her sweet six-figure corporate job to become a full-time drag queen. But talent rises to the top, and within 18 short months Shuga has already established herself as a key fixture in the competitive New York City drag scene where she relies upon her performance background in opera and musical theater to stand out from the crowd.

Silky Nutmeg Ganache (Chicago, IL) | Instagram: @silkyganache The life of the party, you always know when exuberant “Big Silk” is in the building. But scratch the surface of this gregarious queen and you’ll find a softer side to Silk– one who was raised in the church, has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and is even on her way to becoming a Doctor of Philosophy. Let’s hope her accolades translate into success in the competition.

Soju (Los Angeles, CA) | Instagram/Twitter: @shotwithsoju Raised in Korea, Soju brings Korean influences into her drag, be it colorful crazy K-Pop aesthetics or Taekwondo martial arts weapons. Producer and star of the popular YouTube show “Shot With Soju,” where queens spill the beans about their time on “Drag Race,” Soju comes into the competition fully prepared for her own shot at the crown.

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (Los Angeles, CA) | Instagram/Twitter: @VanessaVanjie Miss Vanjie. Miss Vaanjie. Miss… Vaaanjie! Never have more iconic words been uttered by a departing queen. Despite being the first queen eliminated from season 10, Vanessa's mesmerizing backwards exit inspired memes, tweets and celebrity shout-outs and an overwhelming demand to see more of this charismatic queen. She’s back with a Vanjeance, but can the queen live up to the memes?

Yvie Oddly (Denver, CO) | Instagram/Twitter: @oddlyyvie Denver’s “commodity of drag oddity,” shock queen Yvie bucked her boring local drag scene and brought conceptual artistry into the mix. Tall and weird (her words), Yvie draws inspiration from fashion muses like Thierry Mugler, and drag stars like Christeene. Known for bringing her brain to the table, anyone who encounters Yvie is guaranteed to end up with their jaw on the floor.

For more information on RuPaul's Drag Race and up-to-date news, go to http://www.vh1press.com/series/rupauls-drag-race-season-11 and follow @RuPaulsDragRace and #DragRace across all social media for all the latest tea.

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