Justin Bieber, Macklemore, Lucille Ball, Men in Black and Beyonce, among other celebrities were seen in drag Thursday night at the OUTspoken drag show.
The show consisted of 19 group and solo acts that lip synched to songs both new and old. They were judged in the categories of Best King, Best Queen, Best Group, Best Choreography, Most Tips and Pride Performer.
“I had no idea it would go this well,” said Brendan Shaw, OUTspoken President. “Performers this year were better than any other [year].”
Cleopatra CherryPop was the hostess of the night who got the crowd clapping and cheering on each performer. The first performer, Dolly Dion, shocked the crowd when removing an overcoat to show she was only wearing a bra and panties. As the night went on the general atmosphere of the crowd became louder and more involved.
People were told to tip dollar bills to each performer. One of the categories was Most Tips which was won by Loosey Essinem, a Lucile Ball turned dirty girl.
The group, QueenSupaDivaByotch, won Pride Performer. Winning this category means that the group will perform their routine at Pride in June. Tips were thrown at them so far on stage that Shaw had to climb on stage to retrieve them.
Following each groups performance they were judged. The judges this year were Denise Brown, program director of TRIO, Mary Harper, program director for Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, Zach Bauer, executive director of Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, Megan McCoy, banquet director WMU catering and Sean Nicholls, WSA President. At times the judges were speechless from performances and other times they were making jokes and cracking up the audience.
“The crowd was crazy and the performers killed it,” Shaw said. “I am so happy I am almost speechless, but I think I can find some words.”
The winner for Best King was MCM who performed Thrift Shop by Macklemore. When she is not being a King she is Maddie Reed, a junior athletic training major.
“I have never done this before,” Reed said.
Reed said she came up with the idea to perform at a drag show when sitting on Facebook one day listening to Thrift Shop. She said that her cousin had been a pimp for a few Halloween’s previously and she asked him for the coat which he no longer had. She then did what the song entails and went to a thriftshop.
“I took the idea and just ran with it,” Reed said.
Reed said she practiced a few times what she was going to do, but once seeing the stage she had to change a few things.
“I was really nervous,” Reed said. “The minute the first line dropped, it was great.”
Reed said that her performance came out really well. There was talk about her performance being chosen to be done at Pride, but she was glad that she received Best King.
“The biggest thing I will take away is how fun it is,”Reed said.
The award for Best Choreography went to Men in Black who danced to Men in Black by Will Smith.
A friend posted on Facebook that she wanted to do a performance at the drag show to Men in Black and Sabrina Merz, 4th year interpersonal communication major was on board with the idea right away.
Merz said they began their choreography on Monday and practiced a few times until the performance.
“I’ve never been to one (drag show) before,” Merz said. “It was a lot more crowd evolvement than I was expecting.”
The drag show is something Merz said she would highly recommend that everyone see. She plans on trying to do something in the show again next year.
The award for the group that will perform at Pride in June went to QueenSupaDivaByotch also known as SuperSaveAHoeDivaByotch who danced and lip synched to Crazy in Love and Diva Me Bodied by Beyonce. Their group consisted of two women and one man. He removed more and more layers of clothing as the performance went on. The crowd went the craziest for this group.
Darrin Tilles, junior psychology and communication studies major, said he participated in the drag show last year while his fellow dancers Erika Donner, freshman marketing and sales major, and Shanice Eaton, sophomore physician assistant major, have never done a drag show before.
“[The drag show] makes me feel alive,” Tilles said. “With the entertainment high, they are amazing.”
Tilles said he chose to dance to Beyonce because he is her biggest fan and is really excited to do this again in June for Pride.
“I would do this as a job if I could,” Tilles said.
Eaton agreed with Tilles and said she would do this everyday if she could.
“The clothes make me feel empowered,” Tilles said although he would not walk around in the streets dressed in such a minimal amount of clothing.
The other awards went to : Dally Dion for Best Queen, The Vargos for Best Group and Loosey Essinem for Most Tips.