Entertainment

The Queens Of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Have Kept Latino Strong Alive In The World Of Drag For 10 Years

Ever since the beginning of the show a decade ago (yes, it has been ten years since this groundbreaking television program made its debut on February 2009), RuPaul’s Drag Race has celebrated Latin American and Hispanic-American music, dance, aesthetics, and culture. In fact, some of the best and more daring queens have had Latino heritage

The program has a huge following the world over, and Latin America is no exception. It is not only popular within queer communities, but also among anyone who thrives on seeing others feeling empowered by being themselves, le guste a quien le guste.

Here are some key moments in which Latina queens have celebrated their heritage or non-Latino reinas preciosas have kindly paid an homage to the rich visual mosaic that is the Americas (by the way, gringos, America is a continent, the United States is a country, so don’t call it “America”, porfavorcito). Let’s not forget that RuPaul’s Drag Race is all about being spectacularly fabulous, so some of these examples are borderline pasados de lanza, but we are sure that the queens had the best of intentions. 

Bianca del Rio tots gave love to Nuyoricans.

Credit: RuPaulsDragRace / Giphy

Bianca del Rio, who is Cuban and Honduran, is probably the most beloved queen of all time (we said “probably” before you start setting the house on fire!). Here, she is paying her respects to New York Puerto Rican culture. OK, it seems like she is mocking it but remember the show is all about fun. Serving cake like a boss! 

Bianca also did her own version of Dora la Explora!

Credit: RuPaulsDragRace / Giphy

Like it or not, Dora The Explorer was a groundbreaking TV show, as it brought Latino culture and Spanish to mainstream popular culture. Sure, it was a bit washed down, but at the time it was quite revolutionary. Our queen Bianca del Rio knows it and gives us her own Dora interpretation. 

Oops… it was a bit NSFW!

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But do you know? It actually means the verb “arrebatar” which means “to take”. 

Oops, I did it again!

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No comments. Sorry, not sorry! What else do you expect from one of the funniest and raunchiest queens to ever grace the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race?

Adore Delano gave us her best virgencita version

Credit: Internet Movie Database

Virgin Mary is one of the most important religious figures for Latin American culture. Although some might see this as blasphemous (we can’t see why, honestly, if you keep an open mind), Adore communicated her spirituality by wearing this elaborate outfit that is literally divine.

Talking about virgencitas look at this treat that Shuga Cain served us recently. We are drooling.

Credit: @RuPaulsDragRace /Twitter

Hang this heavenly image in any wall and people will worship. Enter this outfit on the Dragulator’s hard disk now. We were devastated to see her leave the show but so grateful that we got to experience her genius.

Is it us or is Delano channeling the Colombian superstar Shakira?

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Credit: Shakira-Pies_Descalzos-Frontal. Digital image. Coveralia

OMG. She totally looks like a young Shakira, when our dear Colombian looked like a Latina version of Joan Baez meets Tori Amos. Shakira is a true icon of Latin culture worldwide, so Adore’s homage is welcome. It is full of C.U.N.T, Drag Race for Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and, of course, Talent.

Jinkx Monsoon is a great plañidera.

Credit: RuPauls Drag Race / VH1

plañidera is a woman who is actually hired to cry during a funeral. It is a staple of Latin cultures, not only Latin American but also Italian and Greek. Here, Jinkx Monsoon totally looks like an abuelita crying at a funeral, all pious with that black veil. Her performance is worthy of an Academy Award, truly for the gods! 

Valentina is a charrita like no other.

Credit: RuPauls Drag Race / VH1

Valentina got her Mexican up with this amazing mariachi or charro outfit. OK, it might not be that authentic (we don’t know where she got the idea that those shoulder pads are something that Pedro Infante or Jorge Negrete would wear), but el esfuerzo es lo que cuenta. Those Chicken Cutlets are on the wrong place, sweetheart!

Manila Luzon served us some Gloria Stefan realness

Credit:RuPauls Drag Race / VH1

This hot queen totally gave us a 1980s Miami vibe. Her attitude is totally reminiscent of Gloria Stefan and the Cuban-American scene. That swagger though! And a Body-Ody-Ody to die for.

Then she was possessed by the spirit of Carmen Miranda.

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars /VH1
Credit: Giphy

We can’t think of a more stereotypically Latin American look than the one made famous by classic Hollywood starlet Carmen Miranda. Our chica Manila Luzon gave it a twist wearing a wrapped fruit basket! The homenaje is as funny as it is sort of classy.

In that same season, Valentina was Miss Venezuela.

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars /VH1

Venezuela has been fertile ground for beauty queens, women who do physical features of indigenous, Black and European beauty, all mixed together. Valentina tried to do them right with this fierce look. 

A few years ago, Serena ChaCha took us all the way to a Panamanian carnival.

Credit: RuPauls Drag Race / VH1

This chiquita pero picosa lady wore those feathers in a killer look that is reminiscent of carnival cultures in the continent, from Panama to Brazil. We can almost smell the salty sea breeze and feel the balmy sweat on our faces looking at this pocket rocket. BAM! BAM! BAM!

Mercedes Iman gave us a dose of Old Havana charm.

Credit: @RuPaulsDragRace / Twitter

Imagine the setting: an outdoor bar in La Habana Vieja, with couples lasciviously dancing to the rhythm of the ocean tides, the smell of cigars lingering in the air, the taste of rum, sugar and mint (mojitos!) in your mouth, and a delicious son cubano (Simoneeeeey) setting the mood… Mercedes Iman (from the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race) walks in, stunning in her sexy yet elegant dress. She would fit right in, like a knife on butter. Fierce! Fierce! Fierce!

She could very well be accompanied by this stunning lady.

Credit: @RuPaulsDragRace / Twitter

Can they get their sh*t together and launch a double act already? We would pay to see them. Perhaps they could do an awesome Celia Cruz and Omara Portuondo lip sync battle! Take our money and run, ladies. 

Mariah Balenciaga got all J.Lo on us during DragCon.

Credit: Pinterest

The hairdo, the dress that goes up to the point where it ceases to be decent and the attitude… it all screams Jenny from the block. We love this homage to one of our Latino icons. Jennifer Lopez is powerful, a true boricua warrior, and Mariah Balenciaga certainly channeled that. She looks so hot she flooded our basements! (yes, that is a thing… if you disagree please click here and get your RuPaul lingo together, ignorante de la vida). 

OK, you tried… Happy Cinco de Mayo, we guess!

Credit: @Bhytes1 / Twitter

Season 11 queen Brooke Lynn Hytes (Brooklyn Heights, get it?) uploaded this picture of her man celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Cultural appropriation much? That’s OK, this date is all about celebrating all things Hispanic anyway, so we will give her a pass.

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

Naya Rivera’s Most Powerful Performances On Glee Will Make You Llorar

Entertainment

Naya Rivera’s Most Powerful Performances On Glee Will Make You Llorar

FOX

As Naya Rivera fans mourn her death, we wanted to pay tribute to the beautiful singer whose voice made such a difference to girls and boys watching her on “Glee.” For all of her performances, Rivera manages to give her full heart and often made her fans cry.

Here’s to the Afro-Latina beauty and her legacy.

“Landslide”

For her performance of the Fleetwood Mac version of “Landslide,” Rivera delivered another emotional performance alongside her co-stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Heather Morris. In the episode, Santana chooses the song to tell Brittany how she feels about her. Despite her performance, Santana tells her classmate Rachel Berry that just because she sang a song with Brittany, it doesn’t mean that anyone, can put a label on her.

“If I Die Young”

In the episode honoring the death of her former co-star Cory Monteith, Rivera as Santana reveals how hurt she is by his character Finn’s death.

”River Deep, Mountain

High” 

Originally performed by Ike & Tina Turner, Santana sings this song alongside her peer Mercedes for the Glee Club’s the duet competition to win a free meal Breadstix. Which we all know Santana loved.

“Valerie”

In the Season Two and ninth episode of Glee, Santana gave a soulful performance of Valerie by The Zutons (Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse version

“Girl On Fire”

In Season Four, Santana sang “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys while making the decision to move on from her life and to New York.

“Don’t Rain On My Parade”

In season 5 of “Glee” Santana’s performance of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” quite literally stunned everyone.

“Rumor Has It / Someone Like You”

In the final song of the season 3, Santana sings “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You” by Adele as a mash-up.

“Survivor/ I Will Survive”

For her big performance, Santana sang the Destiny’s Child/Gloria Gaynor mashup in the eighth episode of Season Three.

“Mine”

Santana broke just about every heart, including Brittany’s when she breaks up with her while singing “Mine” by Taylor Swift.

Naya Rivera’s Co-Star Lauren Potter And Others Are Paying Heartbreaking Tributes To Her

Entertainment

Naya Rivera’s Co-Star Lauren Potter And Others Are Paying Heartbreaking Tributes To Her

FOX

After days of searching, actress Naya Rivera’s body was recovered at Lake Piru in Ventura County, CA. Her life ended saving her own 4-year-old son Josey during a boating trip that went awry on July 8. But before her tragic end, Rivera was an actress and singer who won awards for her breakout role as Santana Rivera on the FOX series “Glee” and used her platform to support the LGBTQ community.

In response to her death, co-stars, fans, and admirers are celebrating her life and highlighting her work.

Check out some of the touching tributes below.

Naya’s co-star Lauren Potter paid tribute to the late actress with a throwback photo.

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Cheerios Forever

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Like her co-star Rivera, Lauren Potter became a breakout star thanks to her role on the FOX series “Glee.” Known for her part as Becky Jackson on the series, Potter paid tribute to Potter with a photo and a heartbreaking caption that read “Cheerios Forever.”

Rivera’s “Glee” co-star Chris Colfer honored her in an Instagram post writing that “being close to her was both a badge of honor and a suit of armor.”

Speaking of Rivera, Colfer wrote “How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post? How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t. Her brilliance and humor were unmatched.”

Glee turned Dreamgirls actress Amber Riley also paid tribute.

Riley, one of the only Black actresses besides Rivera in the early seasons of the show described Rivera as her favorite duet partner. “I love you. I miss you. I don’t have words right now, just lots of feelings. Rest In Peace Angel, and know that your family will never have to worry about anything,” she wrote.”

Heather Morris, Rivera’s love interest in Glee explained that she was taking some time to grieve.

Morris had been one of the people to join in the search for Rivera.

Reality star Nene Leakes promised to hold memories of Rivera “close to my heart.”

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow also contributed to the comments with a video of her and Naya singing “Landslide” while on Glee.

“Remembering beautiful @nayarivera today,” Paltrow commented. “Getting to sing in this trio with her was such a special moment. I am in utter shock and disbelief that someone so full of life and passion and talent is no longer with us. And completely heartbroken for her family.”