Tag Archives: Logo TV

Laganja Estranja Interview: Drag Race Royalty

Laganja Estranja - RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6I wanted to call this “High Times of a Drag Superstar” but alas, I did not. Through social networking and creating trust among the queens, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a great number of RuPaul’s Drag Race divas throughout the years. When the rumors began to swirl about the new cast for season 6 of RDR, I knew that regardless of who made the final cut I’d be speaking with attention-getting Laganja Estranja. Isn’t her name delicious?!

THE STORY CONTINUE HERE…

Lashauwn Beyond Speaks To Her Fans

lashauwn-beyond-rupauls-drag-raceLashauwn Beyond is one busy queen. Seamstress, reality star, drag superstar performer. I was able to catch her for a hot minute or two for an interview to discuss what’s life like now for her after her stint on RuPaul’s Drag Race and what she’s doing today. Although, her time on the show was brief her passion and talents run deep. I’m thrilled she’s here to share all the Tea and nothing but the Tea.

Welcome to the stage, Lashauwn Beyond.

THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…

ULTIMATE GRAND SUPREME – ALYSSA EDWARDS

Alyssa Edwards

When the new cast for RuPaul’s Drag Race was announced I knew it would be one crazy ride! There were plenty of hungry newcomers dressed in heels I had never heard of but there were a few seasoned professionals who I knew would bring the noise. I was right! Front and center is pageant puss Alyssa Edwards showing how and why she has made such an impact in the competition world of pageantry. When queens walk the walk, they should talk the talk. Madame Edwards does just that as I interview her in-between gigs.

When it comes to getting the true Tea from the sources themselves, no one helps out like All Starr Management! My dears Natasha and Bob get me in and provide the means for these special Dolls of RuPaul to share their sordid stories and express themselves as only queens can. Well, hell… let me allow Alyssa the time to tell it like it is! When she talks we definitely listen. And remember, “It’s not personal, it’s drag.”

Alyssa Edwards

Steven Michael  - Great meeting you in L.A. recently with Bob Taylor at Micky’s during the featuring of RuPaul’s Drag Race girls from season 5. Love seeing you Dolls go at it on Drag Race. It’s a real fun season because of you seasoned pros. I’m hoping you’ll take a few minutes, let your hair down and answer some questions for your super supportive fans! Tell it all… No Tea.

Girl, we have a lot in common. I’m a choreographer and grew up dancing the workshops and competitive dance competitions like Tremaine and Showstopper. I’m guessing you did, too! Tell us about your dance background and how your passion plays into Alyssa’s performances.

Alyssa Edwards

Alyssa Edwards – “I stepped my first foot onstage at the age of 9-years-old (I believe). The one thing I remember most at the conclusion of my first group dance was: This Is WHAT and Who I AM destined to do and be. My love for the stage grew intense as studying, performing and competing were my happiest and most memorable moments of my childhood. I realized a few short years later dance would become more than just my passion but my first love and life.”

“I won my first student choreography award at the age of 16 and began student assisting thereafter. I opened Beyond Belief Dance Company which only existed in my most fascinating dreams. A dance space where students could unite and express themselves through the art of movement. By mere trick of fate and with the help of a few of my students’ parents this dream became reality in 2004. I am living my passion as an educator mentoring the youth of today and the future of tomorrow, a choreographer and artistic company director.”

“Upon discovering the art form of female impersonation I found myself very intrigued. I loved playing dress up with my four sisters and entertaining a large crowd was my addiction. Alyssa’s performances are built around just that… ‘Getting My Life’ every time I take to the stage! My dance training and arts background has been my foundation for many of my talent productions and gigs! I am blessed with the gift of dance and creativity which I will forever be thankful.”

Shangela - Alyssa Edwards

You’ve mentioned putting Shangela in drag for her first time. Who put you in drag for the first time and who have been your inspirations? I believe you’re a bit old school like myself.

“Growing up with several women, as a ladyboy I loved to play in the cosmetics! As I grew older I found an interest for makeup. I put myself in somewhat drag and pranced on into the club feeling extra fishy and ultra glam! I look back at those pics and just smile. A dear friend of mine Alan McCune assisted me in the cultivating of my drag beginning. He was a fantastic makeup artist and believed in my potential. It was Alan who introduced me to Laken Edwards who would take me under her wing as one of my drag mothers. Laken was a successful pageant queen with a skilled etiquette of style and carriage.”

“I terrorized the town as a young gay boy playing dress up turning out the amateur shows. I met another individual who would play a key role in the building of my character. Whitney ‘The Eyes of Texas’ Paige. Along with Laken, my drag daddy Mark and my grandmother Miss Manny, I had acquired the ultimate gay family to mentor me! My biggest inspirations are the style of Joan Collins, the grace of Ginger Rogers and the presence of Linda Evangelista!”

Alyssa Edwards

My dear “Mister Sister” Kimbol Purkerson always told me that you and I reminded him of each other. I competed against Tandi Andrews at Miss Gay USA decades ago. She of course won and I most definitely did not. Care to share your pageant resume? I know you’ve had a few moments that have gone down in drag history. Anything you’d care to share in your very own words or want to clear up?

“Living in the south, drag is BIG, glamorous and to make it one must be top notch! Pageantry is borderline a must to get your act noticed! My very first newcomer pageant was an epic fail during crowning. However, that showing gained me some recognition. People enjoyed my talent and saw the potential. I competed the following year to win that big hat and received my first gig as a member of the up and coming elite Edna Angels show cast. I went on to achieve numerous titles as I was addicted to pageantry and competition. Each experience was an invaluable piece to my puzzle.”

I am a former:
Miss Texas America
Miss Texas Continental
Miss Texas FFI
Miss Gay USofA
Miss All American Goddess

“I achieved a long term goal after five attempts placing 2nd-alternate and 3rd-alternate twice as Miss Gay America. This was a dream of mine that was very near and dear to my heart. This journey was a hallmark of my life and career however it was not my destiny. I was crowned October 31, 2010 and released of my duties Jan. 1, 2011 due to ‘Conduct unbecoming of a Miss Gay America.’ In every working relationship there are kinks that require adjusting but in this situation I simply was not a good fit. Our differences as adults and the decision to relinquish my title never changed my respect for the leader and creator of the wonderful world of drag pageantry.”

Alyssa Edwards

I know with your contract at RDR you can’t allow much regarding the show but what did you find as the hardest part of filming the show?

“This experience as whole in a nutshell challenges and pushes one to the extreme outer box! Rewarding in so many ways to see the potential meeting a new level. Difficult, intense but most of and above all memorable. One of the greatest paths I have been fortunate to walk. I can say I DID IT!”

Out of past seasons, if you were paired up with someone like the Dolls were in RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars who would you want to team up with and why?

“DUH! The One and The Only… Shangela Laquifa Wadley! Not only are we colleagues, friends, fellow entertainers but we are family! We are the dynamic duo full of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and most importantly in my eyes TALENT! Always keeping it real and having a great time at it! We both know our strengths and have learned to embrace our weaknesses. The Sequel Baby!”

Alyssa Edwards

What do you think the casting agents saw in your video audition that caught their eye in wanting to see more from you? Any advice for young squirrels wanting to get on the show? Had you applied before season 5?

“In the casting process it’s most crucial to simply be ‘Who You Are!’ Your uniqueness is what’s desirable. Stand out amongst a crowd and deliver your character in a matter of minutes. Keep it real, be sassy, be funny, take it up and reel it in… It’s ALL about you! Whether right, wrong or indifferent, believe in your ability and potential. I had auditioned prior before finally truly being myself on my audition tape! Never give up and remember it’s free to audition. Get on that tape! I believe the casting agents recognized what I recognize about myself: My confidence, my flaws, my talent, my characteristic traits and most definitely my C.U.N.T! My advice: Don’t Dream It… Be It”

Alyssa Edwards

You’ve been on the pageant side of things in the drag industry for years and now you’re having a surge in popularity because of the show regarding bookings, fees and exposure. The opportunity really is priceless. Have you come across any of your sisters in the community that have changed their ways towards you either wearing green on their sleeves of envy or bouts of cattiness? How do you handle the haters?

“RuPaul’s Drag Race has Ru-volutionized the drag industry. Ru has taken this somewhat underground scene and has made an exciting mainstream extravaganza! It’s like watching the largest pageant from the viewing of your own home every Monday night… I live the House Down Pumps!”

“I don’t reward nor entertain negative naysayers. Debbie Downers, Bitter Betty’s and Negative Nancy’s are UNINVITED to the Party! And I thank you all.” (laughs)

Alyssa Edwards

What are you doing on your time off? How do you let your hair down, when and where?

“I am a busy gal, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! In my spare time I love a good scary movie or chick flick! I also enjoy low-key nights with close friends chillaxing! I am a very sweat pants, t-shirts kinda guy.”

Who keeps you grounded? Have you found that people are trying to be all in your world that served crickets before? I figure people would be coming out of the woodworks pining for your attention.

“The beauty of life keeps me grounded. I am blessed to have these opportunities and I remind myself quite often. My studio kids take me to a place that gives me hope and drag inspires me in a million ways. All the world is a stage and I am humbled I am living my life on one of the worlds largest.”

Alyssa Edwards

Watching yourself on Logo TV, have you been overall happy with how you’ve been portrayed? Were you nervous going into production?

“I have learned in life, and this experience has aided me in laughing at myself and not being such a critic. It is very hard to truly get to know who I am and what I am about in this televised competition, other than I am highly competitive. I have enjoyed giggling at my ridiculous nonsense as it’s all in fun! Life is too short to not savor these moments that are sometimes a once in a lifetime.”

Alyssa Edwards

The most recent episode of Untucked, which I always say is where the real story is, gave us a battle of wits and wisdom vs. youthful ridiculousness. You seasoned vets shredded Miss Cha Cha. It continued on and on. So… she was getting on your nerves, huh?!

“So basically you are implying the old vs. the new! (smiles) She actually was not getting on my nerves too much, it was just an intense situation. We had been working together all day and it had been a long day of work! Miss Cha Cha is quite the talented and quick witted young entertainer with a well-lit road ahead. When you get a bunch of fabulous queens in one room after many hours of fierce drag, alcoholic beverages and opinions, it can get out of control! We all were about to pull each others eyelashes off!”

Would RuPaul come and visit you girls like Tyra Banks would on America’s Next Top Model or were you locked away from everyone and everything? What did you find yourself doing when you weren’t ruining drag in giant aquariums or cruising the underwear-clad Pit Crew?

“In my moments of ‘Me’ time throughout this experience I found myself journaling about my existence. I believe our book of life is already written and the story is now being read aloud.”

Alyssa Edwards

And finally… What’s the song YOU would choose to lip-sync for your life if given the choice?

“The one song if I could chose to lip- sync would be my theme song…. ‘The Glamorous Life’!”

“Always and Forever, Alyssa Edwards.”

THANKS MY LADY! Looking forward to having our readers find out more about you! Best of luck with the rest of the season of RDR and look forward to seeing you again soon. Stay in touch if you make it to Palm Springs and we’ll have you over for a home-cooked meal and cocktail. XO

Follow Alyssa Edwards on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her on Logo TV every Monday evening! WHURQ, Sister!

JADE JOLIE – SUPERSTAR IN THE MAKING

Jade Jolie

Jade Jolie. Just seeing or saying the words conjures images of ultimate glamour and sheer grandness. I’ve had this wonderful interview with Jade sitting patiently in my MacBook but wanted to hold off until the season premiere of Drag Race to publish it at the request of her team. I just got the OK and here we are with my first interview from the season five Dolls of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Since she was in L.A. for the premiere party at The Abbey, I finally met Ms. Jolie at Micky’s in West Hollywood the evening before while she and cast mates from Logo TV smash series RDR entertained the mass crowds that packed the house.

I was in town working at Joe Blasco’s in Hollywood on my Creative Costume for Mr. All American Gent 2013 and decided to stay the evening at the Ramada WeHo since my bestie Bob Taylor was also in town with Latrice Royale and faithful crew representing All Star Management. Plus with a swing through the Fabric/Garment Districts my schedule was complete. The Ramada has redone their rooms and I was quite thankful because they needed some serious attention. So glad I stayed there since that’s where the group of queens were and it’s so convenient to everything. I even had a moment to get a great workout at the newly remodeled 24 Hour Fitness across the street which was fierce and ran into the dear Chi Chi LaRue at Starbucks early the next morning before I checked out. It had been a hot minute since I’d seen him and he looked great.

Jade Jolie

Jade Jolie is one of the fabulous new squirrels on the drag block and was just so charming in person. Quite a sweetheart. Like I mentioned, Micky’s was so packed we couldn’t even get to the stage to tip the girls so we hung towards the back with the likes of former RDR Dolls: Manila, Raja, Carmen and Mimi Imfurst. The energy was busting and bustling throughout the club. We had a great time! Anytime I spend precious moments with Bob is great for me regardless if we’re curled up in sweats on the couch or tittying to the hottest clubs dressed to the nines. I enjoyed seeing him in enjoying himself in his element. Everyone was having a great time.

The show moved along swiftly by the help of hostess emcee Raven and her harem of misfits including Morgan McMichaels, Alaska Thunderfuck, Latrice Royale, Coco Montrese, Alyssa Edwards, Jade and Honey Mahogany to mention a few. The crowd also found season five finalist Roxxxy Andrews and superstar Shangela mingling amongst their fans. Bob said that the next evening at the premiere party at The Abbey fans were coming up to Latrice and breaking into tears from joy. He mingled with Mike Ruiz, Michelle Visage, Camille Grammar and RuPaul himself while I drove Stella Stang back safely into the desert after a pass through Krispy Kreme at Ontario Mills. Honestly, one of the best times I’ve ever had in Los Angeles!

RuPaul's Drag Race Season V

We are so looking forward to seeing the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race while rooting Jade on week after week. I’m expecting great things from this up and coming goddess, so learn who she is and what her Tea is all about. Here she is in her own words letting us take a glimpse at who Jade Jolie really is. This interview was a fun one! Luckily because I’m connected in the right places I’m paddling the media canoe delivering the hottest celebrity dish and detail before many others. Meet the bubbly effervescence of Jade Jolie…

Steven Michael – Hey Mamma! I know things are about to blow up for you so let me introduce you to your fans and followers in a few ways they maybe don’t know you already. It was fierce meeting you at Micky’s. I wish we had grabbed a snapshot. Where did you begin this crazy career in drag?

Jade Jolie – “I started at the Metro in Jacksonville, FL. I would religiously come back to perform or compete regardless if I won or loss every week when I lived just 1 1/2 hours away. I have to say I’ve never been as determined with anything as I have been with drag in my life!”

Jade Jolie

It shows! It really does. You’ve come along way, baby girl. What or who are your inspirations?

“My biggest inspiration growing up was the Spice Girls. They appealed to every side of my colorful personality! I lived for everything about them Their lives seemed so colorfully happy and drag fabulous!”

Jade Jolie

I do love them, too! I worship Spice World when Posh Beckham is asking about the “little black Gucci dress or the other little black Gucci dress.” So vapid and perfect. Do you consider yourself a drag queen or female impersonator and what’s the difference?

“To me they’ve seemed the same. I am a drag queen, female impersonator, part-time woman, beautiful clown, ladyboy, femme Manwich sandwich. (giggles) You choose.”

You made me laugh out loud. What’s the biggest misconception about shooting reality TV? And biggest misconception about Jade Jolie?

“I know you hear this all the time but until you actually go through the experience I don’t think spectators realize the work and hours that go into a day. It was exhausting but I wouldn’t have given up the experience for anything in the world. As far as myself I always seem to be underestimated. Maybe it’s this fishy face? But you never know what I can produce and will never stop trying to up my own game and continuing to grow as a entertainer and person.”

Jade Jolie

Are you nervous watching yourself on TV? Did you find yourself acting differently when the camera was filming you?

“It’s a mix of nerves and excitement! There were so many things to focus on as far as challenges and getting things done eventually the cameras faded away.”

I know you have very strict contract confidentiality clauses but anything you can share about the upcoming season?

Drag Race is our Gay Olympics. I would never want to spoil the surprises to come! You just have to tune in and watch.” (giggles)

RuPaul's Drag Race V

Bah-humbug! What do you think it was about your audition tape that attracted the casting agents to you? There must have been something you did that made it all pop for them because I bet they get a lot of tapes to sleuth through.

“I’m sure being a fishy and pretty queen didn’t hurt. (laughs) But honestly I tried to really let loose and just be myself in my tape as if I was kiki’ing in my house. I’m a lil’ off and I’ll be the first to admit it but I think it’s our differences which makes us shine. Luckily me being my vibrant self caught there eye!”

Jade Jolie

I worship. Who has been your favorite Doll from previous seasons?

“Jujubee – Hands down. I love her sense of humor and style. She also is one of the few RuPaul girls I had the privilege to actually meet before the show and she’s even more sweet, humble and genuine in person.”

Jade Jolie

When Jujubee was on during All Stars I really thought that she really came out guns blazing and did a great job! She shined more that round than during her first season, for me. It was a hard top group of Dolls to compete against during All Stars. Being on the show and given the fact you’re working more because of that has to really polish off the girls as seasoned performers. Being on RuPaul’s Drag Race is one hell of an opportunity for queens. As Latrice said, “It’s is life changing.” Are you ready for fame? To be recognized from TV? How will you stay grounded?

“It’s so surreal. I count my blessings everyday and although I’ve worked so hard to get here, it’s still a dream. I’m so thankful for RuPaul seeing something special in me. Fame is just a word. I will always be the same person and never forget what I’ve been through and who’s been with me on the way.” (smiles)

Jade Jolie

How important is a drag family? Describe yours…

“I never knew how special a drag family was honestly until the recent years past. The best way I can describe mine is loyal and honest, which is key to me to even be my friend let alone be family and mine truly has. Once people have a perception of you they tend to feed you what you want to hear and family will set you straight – Tough Love Style.” (laughs)

What did you find yourself doing on days off from filming and were you locked
away deep in Hollywood?

“Pure Hibernation. Sleep never seemed so special!” (giggles)

I can imagine! Jade Jolie. Where did your name come from?

“Jade originated from my still very active gamer side playing Mortal Kombat. Jade was a character that was particularly fabulous with the best bod and tits so I was like I have to be her. Jolie is from Angelina Jolie who to me is the Queens of all Queens.”

Jade Jolie

Yes she is. Love her Lara Croft movies. Mamma is badass! And finally, describe your “Dream Cast.” Who’s there and what’s the opening production?

“Hmm… Probably Jujubee, Coco Montrese, Jinkx Monsoon and Vivienne Pinay so we can all do the ‘Spice Up Your Life’ production at the end of the SpiceWorld.” (giggles continually)

Wasn’t she just delightful?! I want to spend more time with her and guess I will be every Monday night during RuPaul’s Drag Race 9/8c on Logo TV. And don’t forget Untucked afterwards which is ALWAYS where the real story and Tea is spilled. Trust, Hunty! Setting the DVR, faster.

RuPaul's Drag Race V

THE ALISA SUMMERS INTERVIEW

With season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race arriving over the television landscape in the near future (rumor has it they are currently filming in L.A.) I was wondering how a few of our eliminated Dolls from last season were doing after seeing themselves on the show, how their careers have changed and what’s next for them. Florida-based Alisa Summers was the first Ladykin to depart last set of laps. As you will read here, her brief time on the show gave her priceless tools, strength, knowledge of how to tackle the world and succeed by using what she has been given. The show changes these entertainers lives regardless if they are on for ten minutes or ten weeks. Miss Summers is living proof! Follow along, Squirrels.

Steven Michael – Hey Alisa, girl! Let’s get into dishing the dish! What would you do differently during your too short stay on RuPaul’s Drag Race now looking back?

Alisa Summers – “Looking back, I would definitely let more of my own personality and personal style show. They were right when they said that I focused my costume around my new breast plate. I wanted to show them that I had found an alternative that was more convincing. It backfired on me. I think I would have been more happy with the result had I stayed true to myself and what I would normally present.”

Yeah, the great thing about the breast plates is that is does give queens an alternative from having work done or taking hormones to provide the illusion of actual breasts. However, like you said a once-great idea can often not pan out as well as hoped or planned. Valuable lesson, indeed. What character would you have been in Snatch Game?

“I was going to be Lil’ Kim. I had the lavender hair and the titty-out catsuit she wore at the VMAs years ago. I saw a funny video of a girl painting her face like Kim, but it was completely awful and hilarious. I was going to pull a similar stunt – very inappropriate.”

I could see you doing Gloria Estefan. Did you agree and appreciate how you were portrayed on TV? Was it rough to watch yourself?

“I liked how they portrayed me as Alex. As far as Alisa, I feel that I came off very shy, which is NOT true. And I wasn’t very happy about the lip-sync editing. I don’t just stand there. Honey – I dance too. But it made me realize that millions of people saw that. I set out to prove to millions that I actually can perform.”

Yes, that’s the unfortunate pitfall of reality TV. You are at the mercy of the editing bay and producers. When was the last time you really cut loose and let your hair down? What were you doing?

“Anytime that I am not at work and just hanging out around the house, my hair is down. I am a very laid-back and relaxed person. If you knock on my door, don’t be surprised if there is a full fridge and I am in my pajamas, cuz Mr. Alex likes to relax!”

Gal, I’m heading over because as Bob Taylor can attest I love to eat! As Shawnna Brooks from Atlanta would say, “Oh, Steven is coming over? Bolt the cabinets!” Did you agree with the outcome and winner of RDR? Thoughts?

“I love Sharon. Even in the first episode she had a different energy about her. I knew that she was different that what the judges were used to, so I wasn’t sure if she’d even make it that far. However, I think Latrice should have won that. Her personality and heart are gold, and she is FIERCE!”

Latrice was my pick, too! Wow, her life has truly changed! What did you think about Willam’s elimination. Was it really that big of a “surprise” as they led us to believe?

“Well I left in episode 1, so I wasn’t there to witness it. In my short time, I didn’t know anything about Willam having a gentlemen caller. However, when I got to L.A. for the premiere and we were all around each other, everyone was filled in on the highlights and drama.”

The reunion was quite fierce. A bit choppy in parts but the stage was glamorous and you Dolls looked sickening. How do you feel RuPaul’s Drag Race has either helped or hurt the true art of female impersonation?

“I feel that the show has helped female impersonation and drag move to a more mainstream audience. It’s crazy to me when I am out of drag and at a straight bar, and I get recognized from TV. I do, however, feel that at this point they can control the current fashion state of drag. I can’t tell you how many girls I saw start doing a spooky look once Sharon Needles started being one of the season 4 stars. Having that much influence could be both a good and a bad thing.”

Needles is quite unique. She was definitely one to watch. Do you consider yourself a drag queen or female impersonator? What is the difference if any?

“While I want to say female impersonator, I have to say drag queen. Mainly because I don’t really talk in a girly voice in drag, and there is no question that I am a QUEEN! Ha-Ha. But seriously though, the two go hand in hand with me. A drag queen must first look like a female and therefore is also a female impersonator. Simple as that.”

What do you think was (or is) the hardest part of being on reality TV?

“I think the hardest part is realizing that regardless of how they edited the show to make you look, you will carry that with you and people will remember you for it. Sometimes you just have no control over how they portray you.”

I heard that! Name your “Dream Cast” in the most perfect showbar and why you chose who you did?

“Baby, any cast that I am in is a dream to me. I am very fortunate to have worked with and seen many talented people in my short career, but I can’t bring myself to choosing a top-5 or -10. I love everyone for different reasons and it would be impossible for me to do that (especially in print, girl. Shadyyyyy! Ha-Ha!)”

Share your biggest inspirations:
Person – My mom. She is a strong woman and has always been there when I needed her.
Place – On stage. Being on stage is surreal, it’s like once I step in front of the crowd, everything goes away and you are just having a good time!”
Performer – Alexis Mateo — she’s a great big sister!

Was it hard NOT spilling the Tea about the show while filming?

“Oh yes! You know queens like to talk. Or get you drunk and try to make you spill all the Tea. But I was very good about it. Because I was just finishing up a DUI, I lied to everyone and told them I went away for a required rehab. When I came back a week and a half later and went out drinking, I guess people thought it was fishy. But I lied my ass off all the way until they made the cast announcement in November or December.”

Future Plans + Contact Info?

“I plan on doing some more touring. I want to travel more. Keep up with me on  the official Alisa Summers Fan Page on Facebook or contact ALL STARR MANAGEMENT at 678-383-9902. My immediate schedule is Thursdays: Hamburger Mary’s Tampa Talent Search 8:30 Fridays: Honey Pot Show 11:30 Saturdays: G-Bar Show 11:00 – Honey Pot Show 11:30.”

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Wishing you the very best. If you find yourself doing a pageant and need some advice or choreography, don’t hesitate to call! Stay in touch, Diva!

“Thank you baby! Talk to you soon!”

THE ROYALITY OF LATRICE ROYALE

When I first met Latrice Royale in Ft. Lauderdale many moons ago I knew she was destined for great things. Our circle of friends intertwined during my living adventures in South Florida mid-90s and we casually hung out a few times before I moved away to L.A. She has always been outspoken and larger than life but I believe it was appearing on season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race that gave her a true voice that resonated with not only the gay community but legions of fans that tuned in every week to see the Royale Way. No matter straight, queer, young or golden, Latrice Royale has touched more lives than she’ll be able to realize and ever know. She is the 1 in one in a million.

Every week on RuPaul’s Drag Race it seemed to be Mamma Latrice who would steer the dramarama elsewhere and either support fellow(ette) contestants or set their asses straight for giving others the business. “Oh, the shade. The shade of it all!” We sat and witnessed challenge after challenge dominated by the Madame Royale while others struggled and sashay’d their way back home. When she was eliminated during the round of “lip-sync for your life” against front-runner Chad Michaels I felt virtual daggers nail my heart. I believe America cried with Royale as she stood and thanked RuPaul for “changing her life forever.” I’ve watched every episode of RDR and have never seen a queen pour out such emotion in appreciation for being on the show as Latrice “M*ther F*cking” Royale had.

I have many a confidant in the drag circuit and this round was the first of the previous where the winner and top spots stayed silent among the mouths who spout along the Internet. In past seasons the winner was either revealed online beforehand by the anxious or silly enough was told in confidence by the winner herself and exposed for breach of contract, so I hear. Oh, yes… allegedly. Again, the shade of it all! The girls on RDR are in a tight contract that prevents them from telling the Tea or sharing the results and goings-on while filming and immediately afterwards. I respect that and can honor them by not prying or sticking my blogger-nose where it doesn’t belong. But I do love when I’m aware of the true grease. Just because I don’t share it here doesn’t mean I don’t know. No Tea – No Shade.

My celebrity interview with the ever-popular Royale proves just how in demand these Dolls from the show can be in. The exposure for these privileged entertainers is priceless and prosperous. This interview with Latrice has been over a month in the making. If you follow her on Facebook or Twitter then you know she is one busy gal-on-the-go and I respect that, truly. I know that when life is turned upside down for these girls after the immediate success from being on the show they are being pulled in many directions. I’m part envious and at the same time thrilled that it’s happening to them because the opportunities are endless and life-changing.

Latrice has been one of the most popular stars of the series. With that comes not only the rise in exposure on the traveling drag performance circuit but also responsibility to become more than she was before the show by giving back. Few do this to heart while Latrice has shown many the way by doing something special charity wise in the cities she works in. Of all the entertainers I’ve known and loved before I must admit that Latrice Royale is true drag royalty. I’m thrilled she had time to share what she is able to and has done so here, and that RuPaul has given her such the platform to let people learn how special and inspirational queens can be when given the chance.

Steven Michael – You made it to the final 4. Amazing, Mamma! It seemed that during your final UnTucked that you were almost predicting you were going home by saying a few optimistic goodbyes. Did you feel that way while they were doing their judging that it could be your time to depart? Can you share the feelings you were experiencing during those last few minutes on the show?

Latrice Royale – “I actually did feel it was my time to go… After Phi Phi didn’t win the challenge, I knew what was about to go down. I was okay with it. I had exceeded my goal, broke boundaries, set new standards and made Drag Race Herstory!! It was very emotional for me, just coming to the realization of all that I had achieved.”

You were a strong contender from the beginning. Everyone seemed to evolve and grow through the season. What was the hardest challenge while filming the show? Some of them were crazy…

“I’d say that The Snatch Game was without a doubt the most difficult time I had while filming. I was trying to hold myself from poppin’ completely off on that front row. LOL.”

Yes, those girls were being very immature and amateurish. The camera caught your angst and disgust. Thanks from the audience for reading them backstage about it afterwards. What are you feeling right now about you soaring popularity? How is it possible to handle in real-time? Everything has happened rather fast!

“This whole new life has completely surpassed any and all expectations that I had in my mind. I really and truly just wanted to share my story in hopes that it might inspire and motivate people. I had NO clue the effect that I would have on so many peoples lives.”

First we were thrilled to see you cast and then the way you opened your heart and soul to the cameras impressed everyone in my circle here in Palm Springs. The show is our around-the-espresso-machine talk topic at work. Can’t wait to see you on Drag U. Do you enjoy the traveling aspect of this or would you rather be staying close to home, so to speak? And those baggage fees! ACK!

“LOL!!! NO, no! I love it!!! This has been my dream to travel the world! I am so glad I’m touring my great country first before traveling abroad. I definitely am looking forward to traveling to lands far and distant.”

I admit that I love traveling, too! It is a production but I’ve done it enough to know how to make the most out of it. Tell us the biggest misconceptions about the following:

RuPaul’s Drag Race:

“People seem to think that it’s easier than what it actually is. It looks effortless on TV, however, there is so much more than meets the eye.”

Latrice Royale:

“Well, before the show, people thought that I was yet another ‘FAT, SLOPPY, NON-TALENTED’ QUEEN! During the meet the queens pre-show days, the kids were letting me have it. Based on my video, I could understand that you may have not gotten the true essence of who I am and what I’m all about. This is why I wasn’t really bothered by it, cause I knew the ‘Haters’ would have to turn around and EAT IT!!!”

Trust, Mamma! Tell it. Biggest misconception about doing drag as a living:

“That it’s all glitter and rhinestones!!! LOL. No, baby! It is a job that you must invest in or you will NOT go far. And by invest I mean emotionally, physically, mentally and most of all FINANCIALLY!!”

Your fellow LadyBoy contestants …

“That we actually really and truly love and care about one another. Some girls took their character to the extreme. However, Phi Phi is a sweetheart and so much fun to be around. LOL.”

Precisely. It makes for great television! Who is/are your inspiration(s) and who started you in all of this in the beginning of your career?

“My biggest influence in my drag career has been Tiffany Arieagus. My first drag show was at the Copa Ft. Lauderdale in her weekly Drag Wars contest.”

That’s when we first met. You were just starting out. It’s been fun to live this vicariously through you and I know others would admit to that, too! We just love you! What would you tell up and coming little Latrices who want to grow up and be just like you?

“Pride yourself on being the best person you can be. Don’t get caught up in the shady aspects of drag. Know who you are as a person and accept everything there is about you: Good, Bad, Indifferent!”

What do you think it was about your audition tape that the producers and RuPaul saw that made them cast Latrice Royale and want you in season 4?

“My tape was completely stripped down. Not over produced and super edited. It was me raw and to the point. Funny and witty, cause that is just a part of who I am, and I think they loved it.”

Well, Miss Congeniality. They weren’t the only ones! Your Royale Court is a’plenty and a proud strong faithful bunch. Hope they are scooping up those fabulous t-shirts and bling on your website LatriceRoyale.com! I worship the rhinestone crown pendants on the chain. Just saying. Any last thoughts you’d like to share with your fans and followers?

“I’ve lived a very interesting life. I come from a very humble background, and I have some life experiences that I am not very proud of. However, be that it may, I wouldn’t trade them in for all the money in the world. God only puts on you as much as you can bare and my mother instilled strength and perseverance in me. No regrets! All this would not have been possible if I didn’t have my testimony of life. Dreams really do come true!”

You are really living the dreams of gay-boy-wanna-be-showgirls and many of your peers in the community. What’s in store for Latrice “M*ther F*cking” Royale? Immediate plans for the future? Sex Change? Beginning your transition into female? Anything you can share?

“Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! Are you kiddin’ me?? Child, please!!! I love that I’m all MAN! I am definitely working on other projects so this not the last you will hear of Latrice. Just stay tuned!”

I’m thrilled the way the interview turned out and thankful to Latrice for taking precious moments from her hectic schedule to share even more of herself so selflessly. Catch Latrice Royale on Drag U starting June 18 with sisters Raven, Alexis Mateo, Raja, Manila Luzon, Willam, Mariah, Shannel and Pandora Boxx just to name a few of the professors teaching the rules of drag queendom to hopeless women.

Read my Interview with Shangela here. 

Read my Interview with Alexis Mateo here. 

THE LIFE OF TODDLERS IN TIARAS

“Honey Boo Boo Child…!” “Sparkle, Baby!” “Luxuriate.”

All I can really say when watching TLCs guilty pleasure Toddlers and Tiaras is “Wow” and “Oh, my god.” Seriously. I find myself sitting in awe watching the television while anxious delusional mothers fill their children with caffeine before parading (or dragging) them around to live a life they never did or were able to. And here we sit watching every jaw-dropping episode. Shame on the parents? Perhaps shame on us. Nonetheless, it’s usually the first choice when scrolling through the list of DVR recordings. It is my guilty pleasure. You watch the Kardashians so don’t judge me.

The bottom line is very few of the featured toddlers have any chance of making it out past the pageant world that their parents (usually by the full force of the mothers) have placed them in. Fathers seem to stay clear for the most part. It also seems very few of the toddlers really enjoy doing it when it comes right down to it. So I guess it’s actually the moms that really enter the pageant. Because as you see in most of the shows it’s the spastic mother perched behind the judges doing the routine for the audience while facing their daughter who is on stage gazing out at her with deer-caught-in-headlight eyes and cluelessness that must be seen to believe.

Now, there are a handful of ones that the TLC show features who are fierce competitors for their age. But with that usually comes diva attitudes and alter egos that are truly encouraged by the moms which only build the infrastructure of the hell on heels these toddlers will grow into. Just saying. With millennium names like Mackenzie, Alaska and the breakout toddler now-retired at six forever Ultimate Grand Supreme Eden Wood who has her own show on Logo TV, these children are equally the non-traditional unrealistic youth their airbrushed glamour shots portray.

Of course, many viewers with critiques scream that it’s child abuse as the cameramen film the screaming babies and children not wanting to practice. And what about us who watch from our homes? Here’s what I think. I believe that babies are way too young to be in competition. If their child is unable to walk out alone on stage then she is too young and can’t make the decision for herself if she really wants to be there. If the child does’t want to be in pageants, they shouldn’t be. And, the mothers should be sitting down in their seat because the little one on stage needs to learn how to make it on their own because title holders are leaders not followers. Pageants can build self-esteem but at what cost? Creating living dolls dressed in the hooker outfit from Pretty Woman, not so much.

Personally I’m not a huge fan of what the girls call “the soda that tastes like candy” which of course is Red Bull. That seems like a favorite of the “kiddy crack” the parents pour into their children along with Pixie Stix, sugar packs, Mountain Dew and who knows what else. And with every rush comes the sugar crash afterwards which usually happens during crowning. However, those crowns are lovely! But does that compare to the tables of toys that are offered at the pageants for bribery gifts and blackmail encouragements for the contestants for jobs well done? Hmm. It all makes one ponder.

Unfortunately it seems that most of the families have nothing to their name other than the sparkly homage of crowns won and banners draped in one room of the house. When the cameras catch footage of in-home rehearsals the interiors are of wall panelling and are quite bare in need of attention from the financial flow that heads toward pricey pageant dresses thick with ruffles and bling, ratted-out hair bigger than Texas, manicured nails, travel, coaches, spray tans and fake teeth called “flippers.” I actually don’t mind flippers for what is known as “glitz” pageants because let’s face it that children lose teeth and they don’t always grow in perfectly. But taste levels need to be addressed. Glamour is key while gaudy horse teeth on a child is not.

And what about the Ultimate Grand Supreme Eden Wood and her quest for stardom outside the comfortable pageant world she once dominated while tearing through Manhattan with crazy stage mom in tow? Well, I haven’t watched one episode because I just can’t be and am not bothered. I try to not get caught up in the exploitation but here I am typing and sharing opinions about children. No Tea – No Shade. I really mean no harm, just concern for the sake of impressionable children.

But the previews that Logo TV cram down viewer’s throats show a struggling Eden as she auditions for people seeing past the glossy, animated 11×14 promos of painted adolescents that worked in the pageant arena. Perhaps it’s these eerie, possessed and unreal but necessary portraits, that add to the delusion the greatest. Someone must be quite the artist when airbrushing the humanity out of these little girl’s faces turning them into the image of a painted made-up  adult.

It is all quite twisted and here I am blogging over 950 words about it. Toddlers and Tiaras is outrageous and addictive. While some mother’s have their child adjusted by a chiropractor at age four others are proudly known as “the Tanning Lady allowing their five-year-old to go along and fake-and-bake in a tanning bed, too. And I continue to watch in admitted awe and verbally judge right along with the small-town adjudicators that have the main say in who bumps for a higher title and who only gets the dreaded divisional queen. That’s right, I watch the show. I know the way it works.

WHO WON DRAG RACE SEASON 4 ON LOGO TV?

Getting right into it, I thought the stage from last evening’s Ru-union of RuPaul’s Drag Race was quite grand. I wish the show itself would have lived up to the grandeur. As many of us know, Madame RuPaul herself dragged us right up until the very end of the final season’s episode announcing that the winner would be revealed at the reunion show the following week on Logo TV. It was actually at that point I basically lost interest in the season, ready to move on to season 5. No Tea – No Shade. But I thought it was a tired ploy to get people to watch the reunion. We would have anyway but I get what they did it and why.

I enjoyed the opening production of season 4 Ladykins, seeing former Dolls from previous seasons in the audience and scattered celebrities among the theatre. With the fact that all of the girls were there in New York for the finale, one would figure that the show should have been two hours with ample time to speak with each girl instead of a brief flash of each. Only Madame LaQueer was able to get out a read towards Jiggly Calienté when RuPaul quickly opened the “Library for Throwing Shade.” The show felt quite forced during these parts. Rushed, in fact.

Then we had Willam come out kicking and screaming (so to speak) by the brute of the delicious Pit Crew for a solo chat with RuPaul. Willam did look good with her sheer latex dress and mega layers of blonde hair, I admit. Of course, everyone wanted to know why she was eliminated from the competition. Well, she says she was forthcoming with the producers that she was breaking the rules regarding the fact her partner was coming to visit for conjugal moments between the two. Love is love… But was it worth it for the prize of $100K?!?!

Well, guess what, I blogged the Tea that she was having her boyfriend coming to visit over a month ago. Sources told me and I shared with my readers. All on the ssh-ssh. Willam, of course, rebutted with a comment on my website saying that “the scoop I had was more like a scoop-on” (like a coupon, I assume.) Hmm, I may not have mentioned the romantic part but guess what… I got Willam’s attention and more Internet traffic because of it. People want to know about her! I was thrilled she replied with a read. I showered her with compliments about her career and we moved on. Regardless of what exactly went down it made for great entertainment. Of course, now Willam has come forward saying on the blog Reality Blurred that the reason she gave on the Ru-union was “false” and is looking for a deal with Logo TV for what I’m assuming will be her own show. You better work, Bitch.

Next up was Latrice “Mother F!%king” Royale. Standing ovation! The only one of the evening from my seat. Royale sat with RuPaul and expressed her feelings of overwhelming love and support she has felt from fans and new friends. Latrice was my winner for America’s Next Drag Superstar. She spoke of not being ashamed of her mistakes like some unfortunate time in prison and how she is treating each moment of her life like it’s gold. When she was eliminated I felt a sharp dagger in my heart for her. Like she said to RuPaul upon elimination, her “life has been changed forever.” All of their lives have. And conDRAGulations on a well deserved Miss Congeniality. Boom-Shaka-Laka-Boom!

SEASON 4 ON DVD

CATCH EVERY MOMENT!

The final three were brought out and poised for the crown. The ruthless youth of Phi Phi O’Hara, goth-spook inventive Sharon Needles and professionally polished Chad Michaels sat ready for the big finish while sister contestants shared thoughts and emotions about them, especially about O’Hara. She wasn’t the most popular contestant ever to sashay away from RDR. This is the truth. She defended herself, apologized to some but stood her determined ground. Willam had the quote to the night when she said that she had “no Ru-pologies” for what she had done. No she obviously doesn’t. And Sharon offered that when you’re being boo’d while on stage it’s actually applause from ghosts. The shade, the shade of it all.

In the end, Sharon Needles was awarded the tiny tiara and seemed fairly complacent while the punchbowl crown sat quietly beside the the three. If the story comes to me correctly, RuPaul filmed three endings which explains the strange energy level of the show’s end and lack of excitement. Since shady queens couldn’t keep their mouths shut about last season’s winner, RuPaul refused the spill. I heard Sharon say that she’s “been humbled by it all” and I really hope that she stays humble through the fame. These girls have people coming at them now, more so than ever. Their performance fees jump considerably because of the show and popularity soars. But we should realize the reality of being a reality star. Enjoy the glory, girls! You deserve it all, every single one of you!

Signing up for classes at Drag U now. Professor Latrice Royale, please. Teach me tonight.

LATRICE ROYALE SPEAKS TO HER FANS!

That’s my girl! L-U-V the Doll, Latrice Royale. I’m waiting ever so patiently on answers to interview questions I hope she has time to answer during her hectic schedule of travel and stardom. Will post them as soon as I can… I know that we, her fans, want to know the hard hitting answers on what her life is like now with the show propelling her into another fierce success story, how it felt to be eliminated (I felt a knife in my heart when she “Sashayed, Away,” I was devastated.) and the true Tea or shade about filming reality TV. Can’t wait to see what she can share!

I just think the YouTube clip above is a wonderful and honest moment of Latrice “M*th*r F*ck*ing” Royale speaking to her legions of diehard fans. Since knowing her for a good ten years now it is fabulous to see her blossom into the star she has become. She is forthcoming with the fact she’s lived a hard knock life with a brief time in prison and learning from her lessons of trusting the wrong people. Her heart is huge and grand personality, too! People can relate to her and she is approachable. Not sure if she set out to be a role model for so many, many people, but that’s what she’s become after being on RuPaul’s Drag Race. We’ve loved seeing her week after week beat expectations and shatter molds of what entertainment is.

The glorious image below is her final moment on the Main Stage before leaving. Tears filled eyes, for sure. Something tells me this is only a true beginning for Madame Royale. Keep your eyes on this one. Trust. You better work, Bitch.

WHY WAS WILLAM BELLI ELIMINATED?

It’s the question that has covered all lips who watch intently to the weekly laps of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Logo TV. Why was cocky and arrogant but experienced beyond belief Willam Belli eliminated from the show last Monday evening? I was just getting in from Dayton, Ohio, where I was judging All American Goddess at Large 2012 so I didn’t watch the drama unfold until Tuesday evening after hearing that it was the show of shows to see this season. After watching the episode, it was must-see-tv!

I took a break from blogging every episode of RDR4 because I became busy with other things and really mostly agreed with how the judges were sending Dolls home. In the latest showdown, the girls worked in teams of two singing duets with one thing in mind, their “frenemy-ship” that was exposed by a Mini Challenge of a answering a personal Q/A strapped to a lie-detector machine. During the Main Stage Challenge, the duos performed their duets and were judged on their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent, by Oscar nominee Jennifer Tilly and Baywatch bombshell Pamela Anderson. Side note about Pammy, when I judged World’s Most Beautiful Transsexual in Las Vegas Ms. Anderson was there with David LaChappelle drinking the champagne and screaming for the contestants. She is very petite in person, even in stilettos! But back to the show…

When it was said and done, Latrice Royale and Willam Belli deservingly took top honors while Phi Phi and Sharon (Gasp!) were knocked wigs first into the bottom two. The girls turned it out during the “lip-sync for your life” round with O’Hara loosing her wig and Needles holding her own. However, this was only after Willam hurled chunks off the side of the stage, twice, I believe. Bad food? Perhaps. But sources tell me differently.

Rewind… Now, to know the show is to know that the real story happens during Untucked which is shown after the show but is filmed backstage during the judges’ private critique session after the girls perform. While the Dolls simmer in the Interiors Illusions Lounge, emotions run deep from a toss under a bus or an onstage read. Or, in this particular episode, numerous accusations of rulebreaking were being tossed towards Willam by frustrated fellow contestants while he sat calmly never once denying anything. In fact, owning up to it.

Obviously, the cameras were there filming. He knew the gig was up or would be soon enough. The Dolls squealing about Willam’s shade knew what they were doing by reading his beads. I believe that when he got back on stage and hurled the swirl, his nerves had gotten the best of him and knew that his time was nearly up and he had blown it. But at what cost and for what real reason?

After Phi Phi and Sharon did their final chance performance, RuPaul dramatically stops and asks Willam to come forth announcing that it had come to his attention that rules had been broken and that Belli would be leaving the contest. Shocked faces plastered themselves across Queen’s faces while Willam was backstage rubbing his bare ass on the mirror in lipstick. Class act. Personally, I’m glad a dose of karma checked her into attitude rehab. Bye-bye! I thought Sharon Needles won the showdown but her and O’Hara both were safe to stand another week of dragtastic drama in heels.

So what happened? Jokes came back to me from the RuPaul’s Drag Race Twitter Camp that Willam had eaten Jiggly Caliente. Rumors quickly circulated that he was on hormones or it’s because he got sick off the stage. Or was it his fierce Chick-Fil-A parody video on YouTube with Vicky Vox, Detox and gaggle of gorgeous gay men? Well, according to Willam himself, he says this to the Huff Post. He played fairly coy about it all but I’ve heard differently.

Oh, to tell or not to tell. To spill the scoop or to keep the Tea to me. Hmm. Well, sources close to the show tell me that allegedly someone was having their boyfriend come to the hotel where they are on constant lockdown while he was sneaking in their laptop and phone which is against the ironclad contract they sign before coming on board. You do the math. I wouldn’t want to get anyone in trouble. Oh, that’s right. It’s already been done. Karma worked that out. Oh, the gossip – the intrigue it creates. Am I right? Am I wrong? Who knows – we may never know. It was a good juicy moment that made for some fierce reality television. I was ready for him to go, honestly. It seems the contestants were, too! Was his shady behavior just a publicity ploy to promote his new single on iTunes? Perhaps. Eh – he’s gone now. The show was good with his character a part of it and even better because he’s gone. Could we be seeing Willam on the upcoming All Stars Cycle, perhaps? Stay tuned!

We’re in the final stretch. Scream your favorites! Go Team ____! (I believe heard every name!)