From the beginning of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the hit reality competition series has pitted the best drag queens from around the country against each other in gravity-defying death drops, lip-synchs, musical comedy contests and more.
Now that we’ve met all the competitors in the two-part premiere of “Drag Race” Season 16, it’s clear that this latest installment is no exception. The 14 RuGirls of this installment encapsulate drag performance at its best and bring to the national stage that enviable big-fish-in-a-small-pond grit that launched them to the echelons of the artform in the first place.
From the competitive spirit of Philadelphia, to the creative legacy of Brooklyn, to the one-of-a-kind small town strength of Brownsville, Texas, all the drag queens from this season spoke with TheWrap about how their brand of drag is going to do their hometown proud.
Amanda Tori Meating (Los Angeles)
“I don’t really feel like I represent my hometown at all. I kind of lived a lot of different places. I’m originally from Ohio, I used to live in L.A. for a long time. Now I’m in New York. So I sort of feel like my drag is an amalgamation of little things that I’ve picked from the different scenes that I’ve gotten to take in and experience. And so I’ve did a little build-a-drag-queen.”
Dawn (Brooklyn, New York)
“I think that representing Brooklyn, New York, is something that I am so happy and excited to do. I’ve only lived here for two-and-a-half years, and more than representing an aesthetic or a vibe or blah blah blah blah blah, I just want to represent this community of people that I have come to love so much and that uplift me every single day. Everyone in this city that I’ve come to know are my friends more than my colleagues, and I’m doing it for them!”
Geneva Karr (Brownsville, Texas)
“I am representing Brownsville, of course, and I feel like I have the story of the American dream coming from Mexico – and also, we’re a border town. So I have to have the make-up, the hair to keep the Texas name out there and let the girls have it with all this seasoning, honey. Honestly, it’s an amazing opportunity [to represent Brownsville]. It’s dream come true. There’s a lot of talent in Brownsville and the surrounding areas, and I feel like we do need the spotlight on smaller towns that have a huge amount of talent. That’s what I am trying to do and hopefully someone’s like, ‘Hey, that could be me.’”
Hershii LiqCour-Jeté (Los Angeles)
“Continuing the tradition of [Season 15 contestant] Salina EsTitties, it’s good to represent with the girls that are, like — oh my god, I just realized how shady this is going to sound, but I promise it’s not! But it’s good to rep the girls who are bouncing from club to club in West Hollywood that are there every week and, you know, now you get to see us on TV. It’s good to be one of those girls. I’ve been working in West Hollywood and Hollywood period in the surrounding areas for five years. So to be picked out of all those girls, it feels good!”
Megami (Brooklyn, New York)
“I’m from a little scene called New York, and obviously there’s never been a New York queen on this show before! But I am one of the few people who’s actually a born-and-raised New Yorker. I’ve been here all my life. So getting to represent Brooklyn and Brooklyn drag and show the world why New York is the best of the best — truly, to make it in New York, you have no choice but to elevate your drag and become amazing, which is why I think there are always so many New York girls, on even this season. New York is an amazing city to do drag in, and I’m so happy that I get to represent that.”
Mhi’ya Iman LePaige (Miami, Florida)
“I’m representing Miami to the fullest because I’m showing them the real Miami. It’s just being real and raw – that’s what Miami is known for. Being real, raw and talented.”
Mirage (Las Vegas)
“I’m not going to lie, I have a big act to follow [after Season 15 runner-up and Vegas native Anetra], but I’m excited to represent. As somebody who started from the bottom and, you know, just gotten up and rose through the ranks and turned it out in a way that only a stripper who lives in Vegas can do – I think it’s fun! I’m turning it out. And I am very excited to be representing Vegas. I think everyone’s going to have a good time watching it, I’m not going to lie.”
Morphine Love Dion (Miami, Florida)
“It’s insane, because we had Miami representation last year with Malaysia Babydoll Foxx, and this year there’s two Miami queens, and I’m just so happy to be representing not only Miami but the entire Latin community that Miami holds … Miami has some of the best drag in the world. Everyone always says Chicago, New York, L.A. — but Miami is up there with the talent.”
Nymphia Wind (Taiwan and New York City)
“So not only am I repping New York City, I’m also repping a whole country, which is Taiwan, so I definitely felt a lot of weight on my shoulders because I definitely didn’t want to disappoint them. Having the fear of going home too early and all of that, it was just really stressful. But also, I just wanted to remember to have fun and represent my country the best I can.”
Plane Jane (Boston, Massachusetts)
“I hail from the magical land of Boston, Massachusetts. It’s been quite a while since there’s been a Massachusetts queen or a Boston queen on the season. And I’m pretty sure all the Boston queens that have cycled through ‘Drag Race’ are iconique, so I definitely had a fierce reputation to uphold. I just wanted to put Boston back on the map. I think there’s some incredible, incredible talent in Boston. So I’m very excited and humbled to be representing my local scene back home.”
Plasma (New York City)
“I started in the great state of Texas, which is not very friendly to people who just love unconditionally and without expectations. I believe that moving to New York has changed my life and taught me how to love people more unconditionally. So I believe I’m just full of love for New York City today.”
Q (Kansas City, Missouri)
“I am not a New York or L.A. girl, I am a Midwestern girl from Kansas City, Missouri! And I’m excited to represent Kansas City, because it’s such a growing scene and there’s so much great, amazing drag here. I’m here to show everybody that not all of the good drag is on the coasts. Some of us live in the middle of the plains of America.”
Sapphira Cristál (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
“I am the crown jewel of Philadelphia, and so I do feel like I’m representing my city very, very well. I’m bringing the talent of Philadelphia. I’m bringing the attitude of Philadelphia. You know, we’re a very competitive city. E-A-G-L-E-S — Eagles, honey! I think I spelled that correctly. Basketball? I don’t know. But I’m bringing that competitive spirit.”
Xunami Muse (New York City)
“I represent New York because I am the story of started from the bottom, now we’re here, you know what I mean? I started at the drag competitions, and now here I am on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’”
New episodes of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” air Fridays on MTV.
The post ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: From New York to Brownsville, Season 16 Queens Are Doing Their Hometowns Proud appeared first on TheWrap.