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RuPaul's Drag Race
Ladies, start your engines!
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RuPaul's Drag Race
Ladies, start your engines!

by Bebe Zahara Benet - SGN Contributing Writer

The reigning drag queen from last season's RuPaul's Drag Race follows the new season each week with a conversation with the latest eliminated contestant.

Have you missed me? I've missed you! It's been nearly a year since I won the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo, and I've been one busy drag queen. It's been overwhelming, in a good way. Drag Race opened a door for me. Besides traveling all over, I've released a single, "I'm the Shit," and I'm also in the process of creating a one-woman show. Best of all, I'm writing this column every week! I can't wait to interview the girls about the second season of Drag Race, their experiences on the show and what really happened behind the scenes.

First up is Shangela Laquifa Wadley, who had been doing drag for only five months before scoring a spot on the show. In my interview with her, I asked Shangela to describe herself in three words. She answered, "entertaining, comical and most definitely open." One word for Shangela: nice!

From the start, Shangela knew she was up against 11 other contestants with a lot more experience, but that didn't stop her. "I'm not the kind of person who backs down from competition," she told me. "I was there battling for my life until the very end." Shangela's first challenge was the Gone with the Wind-themed photo shoot, where she endured the mother of all wardrobe malfunctions. Shangela used an adhesive to attach her "jelly-looking boobies," but her strapless dress was losing the battle against a very big wind machine. "Those cutlets weren't going anywhere, but the dress, it was going down south," Shangela admitted to me. Don't worry, honey! It's just another experience to go in your little diary.

Shangela said she was ecstatic to see that her old college friend Sahara Davenport was on the show with her, but devastated when the two of them ended up in the bottom two. "It made no sense to me," Shangela argued, telling me she thought Mystique Summers Madison (whose gown RuPaul described as "raggedy") deserved to be at the bottom. "But it made for one dramatic lip sync for your life," she said. "Both Sahara's and my strongest strength is performance."

It sure is! There was a cornucopia of splits, kicks and shimmies, but in the end Shangela was the one to go. Since then, the show life has been good for Shangela. Besides winning drag competitions and hosting events, Shangela's male alter ego DJ is doing stand-up comedy. "It's been a really great ride, and I'm looking forward to the climb," she said.

The sense I get from Shangela is she's very comfortable in her own skin. I love her honesty. I love her positive outlook and also her message that "you can do this." There is no age limit. If you have a passion, then go ahead and do it!

If Shangela and the first week of RuPaul's Drag Race was this inspiring and so much fun, I can't wait to see what the second week brings. Until then, kisses and new beginnings!

Don't forget, catch RuPaul's Drag Race every Monday night at 9 p.m. on Logo, and visit LOGOonline.com to find out about viewing parties in your area!

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RuPaul's Drag Race
Ladies, start your engines!

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