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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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Ozuna Is Working With The FBI And Miami Police Department About An Attempted Extortion

entertainment

Ozuna Is Working With The FBI And Miami Police Department About An Attempted Extortion

ozuna / Instagram

Ozuna, one of the biggest Puerto reggaeton stars, has claimed in a press statement that he was the victim of extortion. The Puerto Rican star says that he had fallen victim to blackmail, involving an explicit video filmed of him when he was just 16 years old. Various media sources are reporting that recently killed trap singer Kevin Fret was the person extorting Ozuna. Allegedly, Fret had threatened Ozuna on various social media sites that he would release the tape.

The reggaeton star originally reported the extortion plot to both the FBI and Miami Police Department back in 2017.

“Our attorney confirmed yesterday that urban artist Ozuna was extorted through an intimate video filmed when he was a minor. This video was edited with the objective of causing even more harm,” reads a statement from Dimelo VI, the label management for Ozuna. “[During] the time of the alleged extortion scheme, we filed a complaint and all the legal measures are being taken, as sending and publishing videos of minors is a state and federal offense.”

Image result for kevin fret instagram
credit: GRAMMY.com

While no blackmailer has been publicly called out, it has been claimed that Fret was said to have a video of a 16-year-old Ozuna performing a sexual act. Fret demanded money to keep the video private and was reportedly paid $50,000 by Ozuna before he contacted the FBI about the blackmail. Fret was be shot and killed on Jan. 10 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

At this time, Ozuna’s lawyer says there is no connection between Fret’s death and the extortion case.

Sagardía said during a conference with Puerto Rican media that his client is not a suspect in the case and only met with investigators because of the extortion claims.

“Ozuna is not a suspect. I went with Ozuna to the Department of Justice. We met with prosecutor Freire (Luis Freire Borges), who at the time was the director of the Cyber Crimes Unit, and with more police personnel, because there was an extortion attempt from another person, who was Kevin Fret.”

According to Billboard, Vicente Saavedra, Ozuna’s manager, has also said that Ozuna has yet to be investigated or called to testify in the murder of Fret.

Don Omar weighed in on the extortion case that has people calling his comments “homophobic”.

The video behind the extortion case is rumored to be an underage Ozuna and two men conducting sexual acts. After the news broke, Don Omar, the famed Puerto Rican singer, was accused of making homophobic comments. He tweeted, “Lunch break! Any of you eat [duck]? Not me.”

Duck, or pato as it reads in Spanish, is a derogatory homophobic slur that is commonly said in some Latin American countries. Fellow Puerto Rican singer, Bad Bunny tweeted back at Omar saying, “Homophobia in this day and age? How embarrassing, loco.”

credit: Instagram @BadBunnyPR

Omar has since explained himself for the comments on Facebook live but was short of an apology for using the slur.

“I am not homophobic,” Don Omar said in the video. “Not one of you can call a gentleman who loves his family ‘homophobic,’ who respects them, who takes care of them, and wants the best for each of them.”

He has since received heavy criticism for his comments that have come in light of the openly gay Fret’s death. Some claimed Fret’s death was a hate crime that was due to his sexuality, especially in a genre where masculinity and misogyny are prevalent.

Ozuna sent out an apology to his fans with hopes the singer can learn from this incident.

“Like many young people, I made a mistake, fueled by ignorance,” Ozuna, born Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado, wrote in an apology. “Today, I’m not only sorry for what happened, but I condemn it. That’s why I looked for help and I am certain everything will be cleared. Likewise, I’m following the process and am always willing to collaborate with authorities to prevent the evil that resulted from this big mistake. More importantly, I ask my family for forgiveness. They are my life’s priority and I will continue to fight for them always.”


READ: The Death Of Latin Trap Artist Kevin Fret Is Putting A Spotlight On Heightened Violence In Puerto Rico

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