Entertainment

Here’s What Went Down During Fox’s Not-Live ‘Rent: Live’ Special That Left Fans Wanting More

To say that we were excited to see Valentina act in her debut television performance is an understatement. If you consider that Valentina — born James Leyva — hasn’t been a drag queen for very long and that we’ve only honestly seen her on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the idea of seeing her in another role is a big deal. So, fans have been anticipating the musical performance of “Rent: Live” for a couple of months. Valentina was hand-picked for the role of Angel Dumott Schunard meaning she didn’t have to audition. Here’s what went done on the not-live live show.

Fox didn’t air a “live version” of “Rent: Live” because an actor suffered an injury, and that was the first of many things that, honestly, went wrong.

CREDIT: Instagram/@rentonfox

The first mistake had to be that Fox did not have an understudy for the roles, because, in theater, there’s always an understudy ready to take on the part if there’s ever an issue. After actor Brennin Hunt got hurt during a dress rehearsal, there was no one to take over, which is why they had to air a taped version on Sunday night. The program also started late, so there was a delay, which naturally would turn away viewers.

The taped version had major issues including the singing performances. According to Vox, actors sometimes “save” their voice during rehearsals to show their best during the live show. Since Fox aired a taped rehearsal from the night before, some of the actors, in particular, Valentina, perhaps did not perform their best.

Valentina’s singing in the taped version of “Rent: Live” was unfortunately sad.

Perhaps Valentina was attempting to save her voice for the live version. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Valentina talked about how she was chosen for the role.

“[The casting agent] had me audition without knowing if I could sing or act or anything,” Valentina told the publication. “I was always a big fan of musical theater, dance, and choir so those things that I did in school are all part of what I get to do now. I was not an expert performer in those times, and I wasn’t getting the best training, but I always had a love for what I get to do now with ‘Rent.'”

The tragic part is that we will never know how good she could have been in “Rent,” and others feel the same way.

The New York Times review of “Rent” pointed out that Valentina’s significant solo number suffered a lot.

“In the case of ‘Today 4 U,’ a musical showcase for the larger-than-life optimist Angel (Valentina, a star of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’), the audience was so hyped it drowned out much of her vocals.”

The actors also watched along with viewers, and Valentina was seen crying during the taped performance.

Valentina has not spoken out since the airing of the taped version. Before the airing of the show, Valentina did say on Instagram that it was an honor for her to play the role of Angel saying that she is the “heart and soul of ‘Rent.'”

“Angel has now become my angel that guides me to be a better person. I’m diving into this role wholeheartedly with all the love she deserves. A big shout out to all the Angel Stars that have come before me, I’m so blessed to be a part of the RENT family.”

Here’s what others had to say about Valentina’s performance.

It was pretty hard on the ears.

We wanted to stay engaged, but it was so hard.

It is a true disservice that Fox didn’t prepare for a chance that one of the actors would hurt themselve when rehearsing. It is important to have understudying to take on the roles when things happen. We can only imagine that Valentina would have been so much better during a real show.

People brought up her iconic lip sync performance on “Drag Race.”

People are savage on social media. They hide behind screens and keyboards meaning they never have to deal with saying things in person.

Fans, despite their sadness with her vocals, still love Valentina.

She will rise above this, we know it!


READ: There Are Just So Many Reasons Why We Adore Valentina From ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

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Gloria Estefan Shares Her ‘Shocking’ Reaction To Her Daughter Coming Out

Fierce

Gloria Estefan Shares Her ‘Shocking’ Reaction To Her Daughter Coming Out

David M. Benett / Getty

The Estefans’ Red Table Talk is officially here and queer!

So get used to it!

The beloved Cuban singer and her family hosted their second episode of the Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk: The Estefans. Things got real real as she, her daughter Emily Estefan and niece Lili Estefan sat down for a raw and honest conversation about their lives and relationships.

In the second episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans‘ titled, “Emily’s Coming Out Story,” the family revealed that Gloria was shocked to learn that her “miracle baby” was queer.

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Speaking frankly, Gloria explained that her initial reaction to her daughter’s coming out was to dissuade her from telling her grandmother the truth. According to Gloria, she feared that her own mother would die from the news about Emily.

“I came out to my parents like in 2017. But as you’ll see on the show, I think they knew way before that,” Emily, who is 25-years-old Entertainment Weekly in an interview. “What I’m most excited about in this episode is the complexity of it all. I wouldn’t be doing anybody justice if I went up there and lied and said that it was easy or that there weren’t complex emotions involved, even though my mom has been such a fierce supporter of the LGBTQ community. Everybody has a perspective. And as human beings, we’re always trying to be understood instead of understanding. As you’ll see in the clip, it was difficult for me to hear that. No matter under any perspective, those words were difficult to hear.”

Sadly, Emily never had the chance to share this part of her identity with her grandmother, Gloria Fajardo.

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Fajardo passed away in 2017 before Emily had the chance to come out to her. It is unknown whether she knew of her sexual orientation before she passed away.

“That is one of my biggest unanswered questions that I will live the rest of my life with,” Emily explained “Many of the people around me that love me have told me they knew. But in my heart, my grandmother and I were so close but I’m really not sure. But that’s part of life too — you don’t get every answer that you want. I’m also learning that regrets are a waste of time. But I’m still on that journey. A few years ago, I would’ve never imagined that we’d be talking about this as I’m about to release an episode where I say things I’ve not even told family members of mine. I’m still growing and learning.”

In the latest episode of the Red Table Talk, Gloria explains that Emily became known as her “miracle baby” after she was conceived following a devastating tour bus accident in 1990.

At the time, Estefan’s doctors told her she would not be able to concieve more children. At the time, Gloria and her husband, Emilio Estefan, already had their son, Nayib Estefan. Nayib is 15 years older than his sister Emily.

In the latest interview, Emily talks about the pressures of having to live up to the concept of a “perfect daughter” that had been projected onto her by media outlets. She also addresses how she became the target of tabloid fodder in Spanish-language media after her relationship with Gemeny Hernandez was revealed.

“My parents would tell me all the time that we all have to earn respect, which I totally understand and fully agree with,” Emily explained of her experiences growing up in the spotlight. “Life is difficult and you don’t know what people’s intentions are all the time. When my dad started dating my mom, my grandma would slam the door in his face! My parents never exhibited anything extreme like that when it came to my relationships, but they would remind me what their courtship was like. I would let them know that we’re going through similar things, but in different colors. Life is about repetition and trying to pick up new things along the way. My grandma came from a time where she didn’t go on a date with my grandpa until they had their marriage certificate, and even then her mom was chaperoning them. They didn’t kiss until they were married.”

Emily revealed that she and her girlfriend Gemeny have been together for almost four years now and that she has been welcomed as part of the Estefan family.

“Family dynamics are hard, no matter what,” Emily went onto share. “Gem is one of those people who is like a mirror: She came into my life and showed me my truth. Sometimes that’s not beautiful, but that’s what love is. It’s not beauty or dates or romance all the time, but all of the things that come with love. I’m really young, but I feel that having her by my side has made me truly understand what a loving, adult relationship is like. That’s why it’s been so easy for me to fight this fight and speak my truth, because it’s all worth it. She helped me be brave. Now she has a relationship with my family which is the incredible part and can maybe be explored in season 2? Having her come to sit at the table and talk about those dynamics. Everybody loves each other, but as I said, love isn’t easy. And you know what it’s like being a part of a Latino family. The baby starts dating somebody, even if it’s Mickey Mouse, they still wouldn’t think he’s good enough!”

The second episode of the Estefan’s Red Table Talk, “Emily’s Coming Out Story,” debuted this past Wednesday, Oct. 14, at noon ET on Facebook Watch.

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Gay Men Took Over #ProudBoys On Twitter And The Results Are Exactly What We Needed Right Now

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Gay Men Took Over #ProudBoys On Twitter And The Results Are Exactly What We Needed Right Now

@CarlosGSmith / Twitter

Although social media is so often ridiculed for being filled with self-obsessed, attention-seeking content, for the past few days its been filled with messages of love and compassion.

Over the weekend, the words Proud Boys took on a whole new meaning as gay men flooded Twitter with messages of love and acceptance using the hashtag #ProudBoys.

This has caused two very different groups of men to face off on the same hashtag: the far-right cadre known as the Proud Boys—and the thousands of gay Twitter users who flooded that platform with pro-LGBT images, marking those posts with #proudboys. 

Tens of thousands of gay men have taken over the #ProudBoys on Twitter and the actual Proud Boys are pissed.

#ProudBoys, which members of the hateful, far-right group have been using, was trending over the weekend after tens of thousands of gay men on Twitter hijacked it and flooded the feed with photos of their loved ones and families and with memes.

The celebration of LGBTQ pride was a clear attempt to drown out voices of the far-right group with the same name, which made headlines after getting mentioned by President Trump during last week’s first presidential debate.  

“Let’s replace the hashtag with images of love, positivity and true PRIDE,” tweeted Carlos G. Smith, an openly gay member of Florida’s House of Representatives. 

Many tweets attached to the trending hashtag showed photos of couples who had been together years or decades — at their weddings, posing with their children, marching in pride parades or just looking happily in love.

At least one of the many tweets from gay men using the #ProudBoys hashtag referenced Trump’s debate words. “We will never stand back and stand by! Together for 25 years with two amazing children,” Dan Ort-Patrick wrote

It seems that we can thank actor George Takei for the brilliant takeover idea!

The hashtag takeover appears to have originated with Star Trek star George Takei, who wondered aloud Thursday what would happen if gay men tagged themselves as #ProudBoys on social media. 

“What if gay guys took pictures of themselves making out with each other or doing very gay things, then tagged themselves with #ProudBoys? I bet it would mess them up real bad,” Takei tweeted.

The Proud Boys – a racist, hate group – began trending last week after Trump refused to denounce their actions and beliefs.

The Proud Boys group entered the mainstream conversation last week after Donald Trump seemed to call them to action at the first presidential debate. During an exchange between Trump and moderator Chris Wallace about white supremacists, Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

Following the debate, members of the group celebrated Trump’s reaction, using “stand back” and “stand by” in their logo and posting videos from the debate with the caption “God. Family. Brotherhood.”

The Proud Boys referenced in the debate are “self-described ‘western chauvinists’ who adamantly deny any connection to the racist ‘alt-right,’ insisting they are simply a fraternal group spreading an ‘anti-political correctness’ and ‘anti-white guilt’ agenda,” according to civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center. The SLPC maintains, however, that the group, founded in 2016, affiliates with extremists and is known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.  

All sorts of people showed their support – even the Canadian Armed Forces.

The official Twitter account of the Canadian Armed Forces in the United States took part, too, tweeting a picture of two men kissing—one a corporal named Brent Kenny—with #proudboys.

“Love is love,” the group wrote in a reply tweet. (It was perhaps not a surprising piece of activism from an institution that describes itself in its Twitter bio as: “Nice people. Maple syrup.”)

The Canadian Navy’s Twitter account later retweeted the image, as did the account for the ship that Kenny sailed on, the Winnipeg.

Couples from around the world got in on the viral hashtag to help spread love, not hate.

So many couples shared their wedding photos, images of their families, pictures from their first date, and so much more – to help deliver a takeover of a hashtag so often used to spread hate.

Gay men shared their pride in themselves, their community, and in their love.

But back on Twitter, it was all love and rainbows, with Takei expressing gratitude for the enthusiastic response to his idea.  

“Brad and I are #ProudBoys, legally married for 12 years now,” he tweeted Sunday along with a photo of him and his partner. “And we’re proud of all of the gay folks who have stepped up to reclaim our pride in this campaign. Our community and allies answered hate with love, and what could be better than that.”

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