Entertainment

Miss Vanjie is Back for Season 11, Here’s Why She Is The Most Relevant

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” has become hotbed for LGBTQ+ icons, especially in the Latino community. Throughout the years, RuPaul has begrudgingly given us Queen Puerto Rican-Peruvian trans activist and supermodel Carmen Carrera. This past year, the Internet experienced the “Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjiiiiiee” cult sensation after she was eliminated in the first episode.

The good news is that she’s coming back for Season 11, which premieres February 28th on VH1. Here are 20 reasons why the stanbase for Miss Vanjie is so strong.

She is an unapologetic Puerto Rican queen.

 Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

She was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, a cozy community for Cuban ex-pats and Puerto Ricans. If you ask her via Twitter if she’s proud to be Boricua, she’ll give a resounding “claro, puta.”

The man behind the stage persona is Jose Cancel.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

He identifies as a gay man and, of course, Queen.

Caption: “the pimp behind Vanjie lol #gobblegobble”

Miss Vanjie only lasted on one episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” but has left a lasting legacy.

Credit: @DiscreetLatino / Twitter

Besides the obvious genius of her floral, mermaid Barbie outfit, her exit was strange and dramatic. She just shouted her own name louder and louder for a total of three times as she walked backward off the stage.

Then came the memes.

Credit: @atilioenrique / Twitter

Even Kathy Griffith made a lip sync video creeping her partner out to the voice of Miss Vanjie. Miss Vanjie herself reportedly was shocked that Kathy Griffith even knew who she is.

Her favorite meme was “The Shining meme.

Credit: @DannyO215 / Twitter

She didn’t quite realize it was a twist on “The Shining.” She just thought it was super creepy and, Boricuas somos brujas.

She said “there was no f***ing meaning” to her chant.

Credit: Mic / YouTube

She told Billboard, “I didn’t anticipate getting kicked off first, so I didn’t plan my exit, I didn’t plan what to say, I didn’t plan what to write on the mirror with the lipstick message. I didn’t plan any of that.

Fan art has overfloweth since.

Credit: @chelsinstitches / Instagram

Someone actually spent the time cross-stiching this. It’s the new mal de ojo.

Lady Gaga even chimed in to stan Miss Vanjie after her elimination.

Credit: @ladygaga / Twitter

Pretty much, the moment she back walked off that stage, we all knew a major mistake just went down. Latinas. We know how to make an exit.

“I feel like I got eliminated, but I’m still there.”

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

She told VH1 that it’s the best of both worlds. She doesn’t have to do the work, but there isn’t a single episode that she hasn’t been mentioned in for the rest of the season.

RuPaul low-key was thinking about Miss Vanjie many weeks after her elimination.

Credit: @RuPaul / Twitter

Miss Vanjie told Billboard that she just said, “Girl, I’m in Denver. Are we gonna meet up for lunch?” Meanwhile, other users were pointing out that RuPaul is missing her big presence on his show.

RuPaul was even wearing her name around his neck by the end of the season.

Credit: Mic / YouTube

She told Mic, “The last time someone wore my name around their neck was my ex. I was like b*tch, am I taken? Do I need to change my Facebook profile or something?”

She wants to put “Miss Vanjie” on tampons and pads.

Credit: Etsy / Pinterest

She’s here for all the merch options and it looks like we can expect some to roll out on her site soon. We think she sanitary products are probably going to roll out after the apparel. 😉

She never imagined she’d be this huge sensation.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

When asked about how it feels to be one of the biggest names in drag, Miss Vanjie had this to tell Mic, “I always been a little bit extra. I always knew I was going to something with entertainment, I didn’t know it was going to involve a wig.”

She won’t stop for all her fans but will stop for every child stan.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

“If I’m rushing or something, and it’s a kid, I have to stop. Like, I have to,” she told Mic. She even wanted to hire two little girls who dressed up in her elimination outfit as her backup dancers. Pending parental approval.

Jose Cancel used to work at a MAC store.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

Now we know how she has so much MUA game. She’s a professional. Just look at her amazing work on her face. She is definitely someone who can give you some necessary makeup tips when you need them.

The first time her mom met Miss Vanjie, she wasn’t here for it.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

She told him not to quit his day job. Her exact words according to Miss Vanjie’s version told to Mic was, “My mom was like don’t you dare quit your job and do drag.”

Now her mom wants to take credit for her fame.

 Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

“Now my mom is like, ‘Oh b*tch you just like me. Miss Vanjie–that’s me.’,” she tells Mic. “Oh and now you wanna take credit, okay.”

Miss Vanjie made it to the September 2018 issue cover of Gay Times.

 Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

In it, she talked about how happy she is that “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is here for kids these days. When she was growing up, she looked to Britney Spears like how kids at DragCon look to the Queens.

Fans have been sending her some … intimate … videos.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

She told Gay Times, “Fans love to send me videos of them being in an intimate setting with somebody else, and then say my name in the middle of them having sex. It’s so weird. It’s the freakiest f***ing thing.”

Catch her making her re-entrance on Season 11.

Credit: @RuPaulsDragRace / Twitter

Ultimately, she just wants to inspire kids to express themselves. “If I’m able to make people relate and express themselves, and I inspire them to do whatever they might want to do – even if it’s Barbie or flowers on a corset – I think it’s great,” she told Gay Times.

We’re already inspired by you, Miss Vanjie!

READ: 27 Moments When Latina Queens Ruled In RuPaul’s Drag Race

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Has Brought Us Some Serious Talent But These Are Our Favorite Latino Judges In Herstory

Entertainment

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Has Brought Us Some Serious Talent But These Are Our Favorite Latino Judges In Herstory

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

It’s no secret that drag and, in particular, drag queens have made their way into the mainstream. Much of their success is easily attributed to the hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has helped catapult hundreds of queens into the spotlight.

The show, which is now in it’s 12 regular season (plus countless spinoffs), has one eight Emmy Awards – but above all else, it’s helped create a community for LGBTQ persons who hadn’t grown up seeing people like them on TV. So many people say that the show has helped them accept their identities. It’s also helped launch the careers of dozens of drag queens.

It’s no surprise then, that the show has also attracted some of the biggest names in entertainment – from Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga to Ricky Martin and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, several high-profile judges have helped judge the completion for their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.

Mike Ruiz

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Mike Ruiz was a tasty addition to the regular lineup of ‘Drag Race’ judges – having made several appearances over the course of the show. Although he hasn’t returned since season 6. He often launched the season with a photoshoot in which he had to find the perfect shot of each queen.

Maria Conchita Alonso

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

The Cuban-born telenovela star made her debut on Drag Race in the very first season of the show – where she helped judge the first ever ball. She made her way back to Drag Race during season 5, where she came back to coach the queens on their telenovela acting skills alongside Wilmer Valderrama. It’s obvious this two-time guest judge has a special place in her heart for drag!

Rosie Perez

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

The Acadamy Award-nominated actress also made her Drag Race debut on the show’s very first season, where she helped judge the first ever girl group competition. She judged alongside Mary Wilson and the duo were definitely one of the season’s highlights.

Jessica Alba

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Jessica Alba was one of the biggest-named actresses to appear as a judge – especially in the earlier seasons. She made her debut on Drag Race in season 7, which was jam packed full of big name guest judges – Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Mel B – just to name a few.

Jessica Alba didn’t disappoint fans on her visit to the show either having fun with the queens as they shot their parody music video. The winner of the episode – Kennedy Davenport – also scored a three year supply of products from Alba’s The Honest Company.

Demi Lovato

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Another season 7 judge, Demi Lovato’s appearance on the show left the queens gagged. She appeared in the season just two episodes after Ariana Grande had been on so the queens were being treated to some of the biggest names in pop.

Demi Lovato was joined by guest judge John Waters – who’s iconic films inspired the episodes maxi-challenge, of which Ginger Minj won. For the lip synch – between Miss Fame and Pearl – the queens got to perform Demi Lovato’s “Really Don’t Care.”

Christina Aguilera

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Getting none other than Christina Aguilera (a.k.a. Xtina) to appear in the premiere episode of season 10 (a.k.a. season X) was definitely a very clever idea. Besides, Christina Aguilera has been considered an important LGBTQ+ ally since her music video for “Beautiful,” which featured same-sex relationships during a time when this was not necessarily trendy for popstars to do.

On Drag Race, Christina Aguilera was more than willing to have fun. She even did a bit in which she pretended to be season 9 contestant Farrah Moan (who many believe looks like the singer). Overall, Xtina did not disappoint Drag Race fans!

Guillermo Díaz

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Cuban-American actor Guillermo Díaz made his Drag Race debut in season 11 on the third episode, alongside pop star Troye Sivan. The two were there to help judge one of my favorite maxi-challenges to date – the teams had to select a pop diva to worship in their TV evangelist show.

In the lip synch challenge, the bottom six queens lip synced to Jennifer Lopez’s “Waiting for Tonight” and it was everything.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

Drag Race was one of the most revolutionary shows when it first started. Here were drag artists going on national TV and performing their art form, when it was still considered extremely taboo. Times have changed, thankfully, and so much so that one of the nation’s leading politicians made a guest judge appearance on the show. Enter: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who made her debut on the show during season 12, episode 7.

This episode featured by far the very best ‘rusical’ every performed on the show – honoring pop queen Madonna. AOC was very visibly into the performance and gave plenty of constructive criticism and praise to the queens. She even snuck backstage during the taping of Untucked to have more one-on-one time with the queens, and reminding them of the power of their art form and their voice.

Ricky Martin

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars’ Season 5 is already a hit with fans and maybe Ricky Martin had something to do with it. Fans are loving him on the judges’ panel and didn’t hold back from expressing their love for him. The Puerto Rican singer-actor watched every performance with equal enthusiasm and awe — especially the last one where queen India Ferrah and lip-sync assassin Yvie Oddly battled it out in the elimination. 

And pretty much all of Twitter agreed that Ricky Martin has only gotten better with age – calling him the ultimate trade of ‘All Stars’ Season 5.

Did we miss any of your favorite judges? Or who would you like to see make a guest appearance on Drag Race?

These Drag Kings Are Here To Slay And You Better Get To Know Their Names

Culture

These Drag Kings Are Here To Slay And You Better Get To Know Their Names

LandonCider / Instagram

Much of the world has come to love the art of drag. Thanks to shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, more people than ever have at least heard of drag queens. However, representation is still lacking for drag kings – typically cis women and trans men dragging themselves up as ultra-masculine men. But drag kings are still severely under appreciated.

Drag kings need determination, individuality, charisma and kick-ass talent to make it to the top, and these women and trans men who embody these characters have it in spades. Some are character kings, embodying favorites from Peter Pan to Pitbull, while others are going for the most convincing – and sometimes thirst-quenching – transformation.

Plenty of them pay tribute to the drag royalty of the past, like Stormé DeLarverie, Vesta Tilley, Shelly Mars and Hetty King – pioneers of the artform.

Here are some of the best drag kings ruling the stage today:

Landon Cider

Credit: landoncider/ Instagram

Another king with an extremely clever name, this Los Angeles-based artist takes her drag to another level. Her looks range from apocalyptic to robotic, from sexy to horrifying. Landon also paints herself as celebrities, Disney villains, Albert Einstein, Jesus, among others.

She’s also the first Drag King to ever win a televised drag performance – coming in first place on the Boulet Brother’s Amazon Prime show, Dragula.

Miles Long

Credit: MilesLong.DragKing / Instagram

Another performer deeply involved with helping the public know more about drag kings (he and several others on this list are involved with The Making of a King documentary), this Inland Empire king can be found on the LA scene.  

Buck Wylde

Credit: kingbuckwylde / Facebook

This classy Dallas king oozes easy sex appeal, and is often very outspoken about the drag king scene and gender politics.

Papi Churro

Credit: papichurroatx / Facebook

An Austin, TX favorite, Papi Churro describes their style as “a little nerdy, a little gothy, a little punk rock.” And it’s pretty spot on. They’ve always embraced bright-colored hair and over-the-top clothes. Band shirts, shorts with tights or leggings with sugar skulls on them, Papi Churro often goes full-in on their Latinx heritage.

Ivory Onyx

Credit: ivory_onyx / Instagram

This king has credentials, having won several pageants, perhaps most notably Mister USofA M.I. 2013 and Mister USofA M.I. Classic 2017. Ivory loves to sport a nice suit, and with looks ranging from simple color patterns to complex designs, he always manages to look dapper.

Koco Caine

Credit: not_on_toniighht / Instagram

This fairly new king from Oklahoma is making waves with his beautiful, dark styles, winning Mr. Oklahoma Bold and Beautiful Newcomer in 2017!

Drag performers come from all walks of life, gender presentations, shapes, sizes, abilities, sexual orientations and more. As audiences are exposed to the vast and varied styles of drag, acceptance will grow not only within the performance community but outside of it as well.

The emergence in popularity and visibility of drag king troupes such as Los Angeles’ Man Candy, Austin, Texas’ Boiz of Austin, New York’s Switch N’ Play and more serve to validate and showcase the fact that drag kings are an important part of drag culture.