The first round in the Search for Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar 2015 concluded last night at Celebrities Nightclub with so much promise … and drama. Yes, it went down like “RuPaul’s Drag Race – Untucked.” Fourteen drag queens, new and … “has-been-around-in-the-business”, vie for the much coveted title and the awesome opportunity to attend the finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7, VIP style!
This year’s contenders are Destiny Love, Carla, Ilona, Adam Zapple, Tiffany Ann Co, Pyxie McQueen, Kitty, Synder Star, Jane Smokr, Mila Dramatic, Karmella Barr’s, Delica C, Lea Ven Detta, and Kendall.
The three-judge panel was composed of TFD Presents’ Tommy D, local personality and make-up expert – Raye Sunshine, and Empress Miss Kiki Lawhore.
Tangent time – Who knew Kiki Lawhore sounds like Michelle Visage on the microphone? I’m dead serious. Since the judges where seated at the other end of the dance floor, opposite the stage, I couldn’t really see them when they talk. I can only hear their voice from the speakers. Miss Kiki Lawhore was the last one on the panel to critique and question the contestants. The first time she spoke I had to turn around to check because I thought Michelle Visage was talking. It’s not impossible, sometimes a RuPaul’s Drag Race cast would just show up in town to do whatever. Like for example, when Trinity K. Bonet was doing a gig at Heaven’s Door for Monroe, Pandora Boxx showed up. It so happened she was in town to shoot a music video of her upcoming song “Unicorn.” So I had to look, and well, it wasn’t Miss Visage, it was Miss Kiki.
Last night’s round included a black and white evening glamour look, talent portion, and question and answer.
Each contestant, wearing a black and white inspired outfit, strut … or dash… their way to their spot on the stage as emcee, Iona Whipp, previous winner of Vancouver Drag Superstar, introduced them to a very energetic audience. All the contestants looked fantastic, but there where some who took the extra mile to stand out – Pyxie McQueen, Delica C, Lea Ven Detta, Ilona, and Mila Dramatic.
The contestants were grouped into two – for intermission reasons? For drinks. One-by-one, Iona Whipp called each group member to come up on stage and showcase their talent … and in this case lip sync or do an interpretative dance. Some of the performances lacked energy and some where over-the-top … but not necessarily in a good way. Ok, there are fourteen of them, and it’s late so I’m just going to talk about the ones who stood out.
Kendall was the first one to perform, I thought her performance was very good. I like her costume change, from a dress to one made of fabric strips.
Lea Ven Detta was the next one to perform. I know her, and I always find her antics funny. Her performance was good … but, lol, I would like to see her do real choreography or maybe do a death drop or something. It was still fun to watch her perform though.
Kitty, whom technically I first meet from last year’s Drag Superstar competition, pranced and be all cutesy throughout her performance. I think Kitty is well suited for an Atlanta Georgia kind of gig. She’s very beautiful and can perform, but some of the gurls in the competition where crazy! She’s a very refined drag queen, so I don’t expect her to break bottles or do cartwheels on stage. She can pose like a pro though.
Delica C was great. She reminds me of Ivy Winters, performance-wise. But it’s hard to really “get to know” a contestant who performs in the cloak of darkness. Dim lit performance maybe best suited outside a pageant, unless you’re a member of Illuminate? She twirled light orbs as she danced and lip sync. Frankly, it was hard to see anything.
Karmella Barr’s, the only black contestant, did a very energetic performance. It almost felt like a church service … she was off stage half the time. The audience liked it but I felt like it was all over the place. I don’t think there was choreography, but there was clapping and pointing.
Mila Dramatic was, well, very dramatic. It was a play … She looked so fabulous. She reminds me of Princess Diana … in some angles. lol. She’s got great potential, especially if she’s able to master the feminine nuances.
Jane Smokr is an experienced drag performer. She’s fierce, and her performance last night showed that. Her outfit was tight (literally) and she was awesome! There were too many cussing and dirty words in her song, but if you can get passed that … and the crotch patting … you’ll appreciate the kind of entertainment she puts out.
Pixy McQueen, I am 99% sure I know her. I think she’s on my Facebook. She’s a very fishy queen … and so tall. I just need some confirmation because I know her by her real name. Anyway, her performance was not as energetic as some, but not low energy too … it was sassy. It was safe.
Tiffany Ann Co, the only Asian contestant, brought her whole entourage for her performance. Two bare-chested buff guys to carry her on the stage? Why not. I think her whole neighborhood was in the audience too, because it was roaring! She was fun, full of energy, intense choreography, and she stuck a whole banana down her throat… in front of everybody, on stage … so the standing ovation was very much justified. She reminds me of Lucy Lube, two years ago.
Ilona was crazy on stage. Literally. She was thinking way outside the box. It was so way out … it’s way passed the stratosphere. She was hyper-energetic. She wore a semi-tribal costume (is there such a thing?), it was nuts. From where I was crouching, it seemed like she was having a seizure, lol. Very refreshing to watch.
Carla, did a very sensual performance. To me it looked very flawless and well choreographed. So I don’t know why the judges read her to filth during the critique since she was so much better than some – better than Karmella Barr’s. She may not had an apparent huge fan-base in the audience but to me she was very entertaining.
After the contestants’ performance, the judges gave their critique, made some suggestions, and asked questions… or just ripped them to pieces. Ha! You can tell who is really cut out for this game, of drag, and who’s got the best wit and thickest skin by putting them on the spot. And what other best situation is there than asking them questions and judge them right after their performance? I’m gonna say this now… #spoiler, I think it was the judges’ bad feedback about her hair, dress, and performance that caused her meltdown. (pause) Anyway, I thought Mila Dramatic, Adam Zapple, the only drag King in the competition, and Tiffany Ann Co stood out In the “Tear them down and interrogation” portion. lol
Audience members who paid cover was given a ballot, which they can use to cast their vote on their favorite contestant. The tally was added to the judges’ score. The three contestants with the lowest score was then selected. The one with the lowest score among the three will be eliminated from the competition. And the remaining two will lip sync together to convince the judges that they should remain in the competition.
Bottom three were Synder Star, Carla, and Destiny Love. Destiny Love had the lowest score. She got eliminated from the competition and was asked to leave the stage. Carla and Synder Star were asked to lip sync to Madonna’s “Vogue”. But then, when the music started playing Carla didn’t do anything. She just stood there, looking resigned, while Synder Star started voguing. In a dramatic twist, Tommy D ask the DJ to stop the music. He told Carla that because she won’t lip sync she’s eliminated from the competition. Tommy D called Destiny Love to come back to the stage and take Carla’s spot. Destiny Love then had to lip sync against Synder Star. After all the glitter settled, Destiny Love was the one the judges choose to remain in the competition. And Synder Star stormed off the stage … (To complete the dramatic effect).
Stay tuned for round two!
[Update 2015-01-30: Tommy D pointed out, pointedly, that Synder Star is safe not Destiny Love.]