For avid watchers of RuPaul’s Drag Race residing in Singapore, July 10 is set to be a hoot as alumni from the eight-season television franchise grace the shores of Singapore’s Kallang Theatre in an extravagant display of spirits, styles and splits.
RuPaul’s Battle of the Seasons‘ Singapore stop will be hosted by co-judge of the television show Michelle Visage, and will be joined by drag queens including the likes of Season 7 winner Violet Chachki, Season 5 alumni Detox and Season 7’s top 3 finisher Pearl who will do an opening DJ set.
For those unfamiliar with the history and culture of drag, the queens coming down to Singapore courtesy of promoter LA Comedy Live represent an element of drag that has not only endeared them to Drag Race fans the world over, but has impacted drag culture in one way or another. Time to open your library books, because your education in Drag Race 101 begins here with a little bit of what each queen has to offer to the world of drag:
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The well-known comedy queen took over Season 5 with her clownish antics and screechy voice, but it was precisely her quirky personality that has made her a crowd favourite till this day. Having come on the show a season after his former boyfriend Sharon Needles won the previous one, there was pressure to live up to expectations but Alaska paved her own lane, landing as the runner-up of Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Since then, her awkward singing antics have graced the floors of West Hollywood’s famed Showgirls club, and she has acted in a theatrical adaptation of The Rocky Horror Show as well as Sex and the City. Her truth-talking self also appears in a web series with her brother hosted on the World of Wonder YouTube channel. Alaska is not afraid to explore her kooky self in music and acting, thus providing a breath of fresh air when juxtaposed with queens from the pageant circuit.
#MeetMeAtTheAbbey tonight for @magnushastings’ book launch for #WhyDrag?! @theabbeyweho A photo posted by Detox (@theonlydetox) on
Plastic is fantastic when it comes to Detox Icunt’s world. Having been open about her plastic surgery endeavours, Detox also adds a killer personality that makes her more than just plastic fantastic. Even before entering RuPaul’s Drag Race, she made it to Internet stardom as one-third of the now-defunct drag queen group DWV with Willam Belli and Vicky Vox (remember “Boy Is A Bottom“?).
After placing fourth on Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race where she was hotly-tipped to be in the final three, Detox has just recently started her own web series and continues to tour with her unmistakeable cross-section of glamour and dark humour in lip sync performances for songs from Madonna and Beyonce. But it’s those old moments fans still remember: when her signature “I’ve Had It” line shut down the haters during an episode of Drag Race after-show Untucked. That is what makes Detox so special: embracing plastic, and never being less than amazing.
A photo posted by Ginger Minj (@gingerminj) on
One of the frontrunners of Season 7, Ginger was squarely in the running to become the first plus-sized queen to win RuPaul’s Drag Race. However, her forays into comedy after her appearance in Season 7 certainly did not disappoint. Even after releasing a single, she continues to make inroads with performances for Broadway Sessions and the Drag Queens of Comedy shows, as well as various stints in videos for television network Logo.
Coming from the pageant circuit, Ginger’s looks are polished and regal but her sassy mouth has garnered the best of both worlds, in pageantry as well as comedy. It is this duality that makes her an endearing figure and yet someone who you’ll want to sip tea with and throw some good ol’ shade. Guess there’s such a thing as a “nice bitch”.
Love this shot captured by the fabulous @tonylowephoto ! #ivywinters #rpdr #knifethrowing #circusqueen #freakshow #knife #rupaulbots A photo posted by Ivy Winters (@ivy_winters) on
Hardcore Drag Race fans would certainly remember Ivy Winters for walking on stilts in drag for the recent drag convention RuPaul DragCon. Even more hardcore fans will remember her for her ditzy ways in Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which earned her the title of Miss Congeniality.
Yes, Ivy has worn stilts before on the show and it is no surprise why – she came from a circus background, having learnt skills such as fire-eating and juggling. Her Vegas showgirl appearances not only nail female impersonation, but place it on a pedestal with her crazy circus antics. It was something fans did not get to really see in the show, but she has been incorporating it into her routines outside the show. We sure hope to see some circus action in Singapore!
My octopussy is inking! 🐙 I loved being painted by the talented @michaelmejiaart from #skinwars (maybe too much LOL) #bodypainting #bodyart #bodypaint #hentai #octopus #tentacleporn photo by @brettsaariphotography hair by @timmywilly Thanks @micjrez & @timmywilly for helping paint me too! A photo posted by Manila Luzon (@manilaluzon) on
Having graced Singapore before, Manila is no stranger to this side of the world. She first came on Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, winning the judges with her brand of cheesy, campy humour including a spot-on impersonation of Imelda Marcos in Snatch Game. After being crowned runner-up, Manila got a second chance at claiming the throne when she returned for the first All-Stars season, paired with fellow queen Latrice Royale.
Manila has since released a series of music videos since leaving the show and even formed a Heathers clique with queens Raja, Carmen Carrera and Delta Work. One of her singles, Eternal Queen, was made in memory of drag queen Sahara Davenport, who was in the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. With an album and various singles to her name, we can’t wait to see more of that campy behaviour and killer music videos as she paves the way for Asian drag queens.
Whoop! A photo posted by Pandora Boxx (@pandoraboxx) on
Having won Miss Congeniality in Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Pandora then went on to join All-Stars after being ushered in as a replacement for Sharon Needles who won the online vote to go into the season. She has also appeared in three seasons of spin-off RuPaul’s Drag U. Pandora is most known for her forays into theatre, having been involved in directing and producing, most notably alongside Season 7 drag queen Mrs Kasha Davis.
Having been noted for a Carol Channing impression during the Snatch Game episode in Season 2, Pandora Boxx made somewhat of a TV debut before, having been in an episode of The Ricki Lake Show. Her truth-telling nature coupled with talk-sing lipsyncs and stand-up comedy add to the music videos she has been in since her time on Drag Race, as well as her popular radio show. Pandora Boxx is a force of nature, indeed.
@exterface #replicunt #rachel #bladerunner A photo posted by Violet Chachki (@violetchachki) on
The Season 7 winner was recognised as bringing forth a new version of drag, which went from impersonating females per se to testing the limits of gender-bender. Fans got to see the emancipation of it recently, after her stunning appearance on the Season 8 finale in a custom gown from Anthony Ladd Canney of the House of Canney.
Violet has ushered in a new era of drag in connection with the fashion industry, having graced the pages of Vogue Italia‘s January 2016 issue in a photoshoot by Steven Klein (he counts Madonna, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears as clients). She identifies as genderqueer and is fusing in her love for burlesque into her acts complete with pin-up outfits and corsets laced in until her waist is the size of a celery stick. Across all the queens, Violet’s breaking many boundaries with her aesthetics and yearning to join the ranks of mainstream fashion.
dj Pearl @rupaulbots A photo posted by Pearl OFFICIAL IG (@pearliaison) on
Wilhelmina model? Check. DJ? Check. Perfume brand? Check.
Pearl Liaison may have come across as stone-cold during Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, but boy has she bounced back from that with a slew of activities outside of just touring and performing for fans the world over. Besides starring as both guy and girl in her perfume commercial named after a phrase she commonly used on the show, Pearl debuted as a Wilhelmina talent with two photoshoots and a spread on Dazed & Confused, including nabbing the cover. She even produced her debut album Pleasure, an EDM fantasy sans vocals which landed her at #11 on the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Way to go, Pearl.