So Libby asked me to write a guest blog for Drag Idol week three, and of course I jumped at the chance.. Those of you who know me well, know that I participated as Newcastle’s FIRST FAUX QUEEN (as well as a Drag King) in Drag Idol 2007 (back when it was actually hosted in @ne Bar!), and actually placed second in the competition behind the fabulous Ruby Reynolds (or Sushe Buffet as she was known 10 years ago).
This year’s competition, as with every year, has seen its fair share of stand-out characters, and enjoyable performances, as well as those who are less memorable (or memorable for the wrong reasons), and week three is no different in that respect. As the theme ‘A Night at the movies’ would suggest, there definitely were some Oscar winning performances, but interlaced with those, we were also faced with some B-Movie style acting and lip-syncing more akin to a badly dubbed foreign film.
It’s never easy going first, but someone has to do it. This week, Wendy Towers took that spot and warmed us up for the evening with the fabulous Dame Bassey’s Goldfinger. As the song would suggest, she wore gold, and looked pretty flawless (as always), but waited until the end of her number to show her personality which we’ve been waiting to see since the beginning of the competition. The quick wit, we weren’t aware she had, made an appearance as she sat in Penni’s place, and I honestly wish I’d seen some of that personality before now! Such a pretty smile and clearly a quick wit could take her further if she allowed herself to relax a little on stage. It’s always daunting to perform in front of a large audience, and I just hope those nerves start to dissipate a little by week four, and I look forward to seeing what she creates for next week.
We always look forward to seeing what Vee Savi pulls out of the bag week on week, and my expectations were exceeded when the music for her number started and she pulled out a small plant in order to perform Little Shop of Horrors. Being as it is one of my favourite musicals, I had high hopes for her usual creativity and outrageousness, but those hopes were dashed relatively quickly as the performance became a ‘stand-and-sing’ but for three singers as opposed to the one that Vee actually was. Discussing it whilst watching the performance, we thought that using puppets for the other two characters could have worked in her favour and possibly kept her from being eliminated.. Now of course, a drama became evident when she was eventually voted out and ended up being brought back with the promise that TWO contestants would be eliminated next week, but yesterday we learned that she had actually pulled out of the competition due to work commitments. I genuinely think she could have been a real contender for the number one spot and I would have certainly enjoyed watching what she would have thrown on to the Boulevard stage but I have no doubt that this won’t be the last we see from Vee Savi (and I really hope it’s not!).
As usual, Elle looked fantastic, and I really wish I could share more positives on her number, as she’s the only solo performer I’m actually really enjoying watching the transformation and performances of. The song was Miss Baltimore Crabs, and being a camp-a-holic (throw back to Miss Rory Storm’s Bank Bar Friday Nights) I enjoyed the concept, however, I feel, had the number been choreographed a little I would have enjoyed it more, it was, after all, a number about performing. She was erratic, and reminded me of Plastiq’s performances before he received any dance training. I have a feeling she’ll really pull it out of the creepy-bag for HalloQween week though, something tells me we’ll see a performance worthy of a ‘Best In Show’.
I felt Sapphire’s performances had become a little stale this year, and that maybe we had seen everything she actually had to give…. Until week three. The confidence she had to steps out on to that stage in a bikini blew me away. That was the confidence I longed to see in some of the other week three dip performances. She performed ‘Does your Mother Know’ from Mamma Mia, and as one of my favourite Abba songs she was onto a winner with just that. She seemed to have ditched those awful coloured eyelashes too and honestly, I’ve never seen her look better than she did in this number. It really goes to show that confidence really does change the way you’re perceived.
As always, thinking out of the box is something this duo do very well. Whilst the other Queens scurried around looking for a number from a film, these two became the Oscars! A very well deserved second Best-In-Show for a fully fleshed-out performance including not one, but four movie favourites, including the car-sex scene from Titanic (featuring a prop car!) and a T-Rex attack! I would love to see Cheap As Chips on the Boulevard stage, I just hope they can keep up the creativity and continue outdoing their stage props.
Kitana looked flawless, her padding was absolutely incredible, and I enjoyed the concept of her performance. I was taken by surprise to see her appear on stage as Annie, but then the number became more Kitana as she began a strip-tease. Again, this shows a huge amount of body confidence and honestly, I quite enjoyed it.
A very clever and brave move to do a performance based around The Human Centipede, and honestly, I laughed and cringed once or twice. I have no doubt her performance will be unique and tailored to the HalloQween theme.
This performance was my personal favourite for the night. I legitimately laughed so much that my eyeliner ran down my face. Death Becomes Her is an all-time favourite film of mine and watching the duo embody the characters and even (my particular favourite) falling down the steps and returning with her head on the wrong way, literally had me dehydrated from crying with laughter.
Again, a beautifully well-turned-out Queen performing the ever-so-camp, but also very-over-done, Sister Act. The idea behind the number was humorous, and aiming ‘My God’ at Miss Rory (like she needed an Ego Boost!!!) did make me smile, but I know this queen has more to offer, and again, I hope she delivers for HalloQween week.
Most of you are aware, Halloween really is my favourite day of the year, and I have very high expectations for this week, not just because of this, but because some of the best numbers in Drag Idol history are dark or Halloween themed numbers. Keep up the good work girls, and look out for next weeks very special review of week four…..