Drag contestants make show fabulous

Pride Union's ninth Totally Fabulous Drag Show Preliminaries features show-stopping talent aiming for a spot in the finals.

With kings, queens and performance troupes competing on stage, the ninth annual Totally Fabulous Drag Show Preliminaries had all the elements of a battle royale.

And while the competition may have been more fun than fierce, a sold-out Schine Underground audience was enthusiastic about the entertainment Thursday night at the Pride Union-sponsored event.

The show included performances by three drag kings, drag queens and two troupes -- the newest addition to the Winter Carnival event.

Photo: Maddy Jones
"Jen Derbender," Terrance Smith, and back-up dancers Leilani Maldonado and Paula Jordan perform at the Pride Union's Drag Show Preliminaries.

Performers were judged on lip-synching, choreography, energy, costume and interaction with the crowd.

Show-stopping numbers included "Jen Derbender" as a 1950s housewife; cowboy "Jack Daily" lip-synching the song "Bad Things" by Jace Everett, the theme song to <em>True Blood</em>; and a Ke$ha-Vanilla Ice duo dubbed "Biggie Smalls."

In between student performances, professional drag queen Samantha Vega, who performs regularly in Rochester, entertained the crowd.

Judges selected Queens RuBayBay and Jen Derbender  to advance to the final round, along with Kings Gentle Gentleman and Jack Daily, and troupes Double Rainbow and Biggie Smalls.

Pride Union outreach coordinator Nicholas Haas said the success of the preliminaries means a lot to student group.

"Pride Union benefits from a successful show because it gets our name out there, and in a positive light," Haas said. "We are in full swing to finialize everything for the Finals."

The Totally Fabulous Drag Show Finals are scheduled for March 25 in Goldstein Auditorium at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for SU and ESF students, staff and faculty, and $7 for the general public, and available at the Schine Box Office.

Jen Derbender, Terrance Smith (center), performs a 50s houswife routine with his backup dancers. "Jen Derbender" (left) performs a '50s housewife routine with backup dancers. (Photo by Maddy Jones)

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