Annual drag show competition crowns new 'totally fabulous' winner

Sky-high heels with energy to match! The 13th Annual Totally Fabulous Drag Show did not fail to impress or entertain.

Both kings and queens competed for the champion title in the final round of the 13th Annual Totally Fabulous Drag Show. The competition was fun, fierce and brought a bit of drag culture to the Syracuse University campus.

"This has been a really positive influence on my life," competitor E Millz said. "It's a whole new culture that I've never been a part of before." 

Goldstein Auditorium in the Schine Student Center was brimming with both students and Syracuse residents at the Pride Union-sponsored event. The audience was treated to performances by SU student drag kings and queens as well as the professional burlesque dance troupe "Kitten N' Lou."

Professional drag queen Shangela Laquifa Wadley, best known for being a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race, hosted the event for the 4th time in a row and brought a whole new element of fabulous. She invited audience members to leave donations on the catwalk as contestants strutted their stuff and lip synced to popular hits.

Most memorable moments included Papi Suave and AJ serenading the audience and passing out roses, Lance Cacao singing about the safety of "anal" sex, Donyella wowing the crowd with a cover of Beyoncé's "7/11," and the "boy band-inspired" duo E Millz and SB jumping into the audience to collect donations. 

The time and effort that the performers put into their routines was very apparent and audience member Alexandrah Gichingiri, a junior at SU, praised their hard work. 

"People went in. They practiced and they were working it and it was just beautiful," she said.

Shangela concluded the evening with a performance of remixed songs by Beyoncé. The audience jammed along to songs such as "Single Ladies," "Flawless," "Halo" and "Drunk in Love". While Shangela delivered an amazing performance, the judges deliberated and crowned Donyella the winner. 

"The response is amazing," said the second-time champion when asked about her feelings after winning. Donyella felt more relaxed this year when performing and was better able to express her personality. Her words of advice for anyone looking to get started in the world of drag are to just "jump right in."

"The best experience is to just go full and whole heartedly into it," she said. "And you'll get the best reward out of it. I know I did." 

Shangela and the judges thanked all of the contestants who had the "charisma, nervousness, uniqueness and talent" needed to perform that night and Pride Union encouraged the audience to embrace all identities. 

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