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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Bad Bunny’s ‘Yo Perreo Sola’ Music Video Has Drag, Female Empowerment, And Artistic Styling That Is World-Class

Entertainment

Bad Bunny’s ‘Yo Perreo Sola’ Music Video Has Drag, Female Empowerment, And Artistic Styling That Is World-Class

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Bad Bunny is known to push gender norms and supports the LGBTQ+ community. His music videos are artistic expressions of the world he wants to live in. His latest music video for the song “Yo Perreo Sola” is catching everyone’s attention for several reasons including the trapero singing and dancing in full drag.

Bad Bunny starts his “Yo Perreo Sola” music video in a hot red leather drag outfit.

Like, dayum. The Puerto Rican trap star did not hold back. His look was everything as he gave us some “Oops…I Did It Again” dominatrix vibes. The fans were not prepared for this but it seems that most of them are all for Bad Bunny pushing boundaries even further in Latin trap.

The imagery is literally being celebrated for its strong statement for the LGBTQ+ community.

Bad Bunny was very outspoken about Alexa Negrón Luciano, a trans woman who was murdered in Puerto Rico and misgendered in media reports. The singer was on “The Late Show starring Jimmy Fallon” and used the moment to protest the treatment of Luciano’s legacy. Bad Bunny wore a shirt that read in Spanish, “They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt.”

Bad Bunny fans were ready to defend their fave and his new music video.

To many, Latin trap is still a place where homophobia and misogyny fester in lyrics by some of the top performers. Bad Bunny is one artist that has been fighting against that culture from within. He has bent gender norms in music videos and it has set his career apart from other Latin trap musicians.

And they are all celebrating the anguish of straight men who listen to Bad Bunny and have social hang-ups.

The same homophobia in Latin trap is reflected within the community. Bad Bunny’s unapologetic willingness to take gender and flip it on its head is just one thing fans love about the trapero.

You can watch the full video below.

Bad Bunny never disappoints, does he?

READ: Bad Bunny Is The Modern Icon The Queer Latino Community Needs And Deserves Right Now. Here’s Why

Bad Bunny Honored A Murdered Trans Woman During Jimmy Fallon In Simple And Powerful Way

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Honored A Murdered Trans Woman During Jimmy Fallon In Simple And Powerful Way

A trans woman was shot and killed in Puerto Rico after she used the women’s bathroom at a McDonald’s. The attackers filmed her death as they laughed in her final moments. Adding insult to injury, many Puerto Rican news outlets covered her death as a man in a skirt. Bad Bunny, who has long championed for the LGBTQ+ community, used his time on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” to address the misgendering of Alexa Negrón Luciano after her humiliating and brutal death.

Bad Bunny took time during his performance on Jimmy Fallon to bring attention to a trans woman who was killed in Puerto Rico.

Credit: @DavidBegnaud / Twitter

Alexa Negrón Luciano was a homeless trans woman known in Puerto Rico. She was often ridiculed by people on the streets and on social media where photos were posted making fun of her as an oddball. That mockery and callousness of those around her reached a deadly conclusion last week.

According to reports, a woman customer at a McDonald’s in Tao Baja, Puerto Rico claimed Negrón Luciano tried peeping on her as she used the bathroom. She was then questioned by police as people took photos and posted them on social media. Twelve hours later, a video circulated on social media of Negrón Luciano’s assassination as the assailants are heard laughing on the video.

Media reports from Puerto Rico initially broke the story calling Negrón Luciano “a man in a skirt.”

Credit: @TropiSenpai / Twitter

Puerto Rico has long been criticized for the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community. Last year, Puerto Ricans and celebrities took to the streets to protest against a “religious freedom” bill that would allow the discrimination of the LGBTQ+ community. The bill, initially supported by then-Governor Ricardo Rosselló, ultimately didn’t pass after strong pushback in Puerto Rico and from around the world.

Not long after the bill was blocked, Governor Rosselló was caught up in a group chat scandal where he and those who worked with him spoke about the LGBTQ+ community and women in disparaging terms. The group chat scandal fueled more protests and eventually led to Gov. Rosselló resigning from his position after growing outcry.

Despite presenting an LGBTQ+-friendly face to the world, Puerto Rico’s anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is still a very real fear for those on the island.

Credit: @AlyssaCortesNV / Twitter

The New York Times has reported that women’s and LGBTQ+ rights have advanced significantly in recent decades. However, an underlying fear of physical and legislative violence has scarred the communities. While some measures to protect LGBTQ+ people have progressed, like an employment non-discrimination law, there is a strong coalition of conservative and Christian evangelicals fighting the progress.

“This has served as a reminder that some of these advances are at risk, that there is still discrimination, that there is still homophobia,” Pedro Julio Serrano, an activist in San Juan, told The New York Times after the shooting death of gay Latin trap singer Kevin Fret. “We can’t forget that.”

This is why Bad Bunny openly correcting the media’s and people’s perception of Negrón Lucian is so important.

Credit: @MommyDearest64 / Twitter

Last year, at least 26 transgender and gender non-conforming people were murdered in the U.S. for being who they are. Mainly, deadly violence is focused on trans women of color with Black trans women dying at higher rates. The real statistics of these murders are hard to track because often the victims are misgendered by the media or family who never accepted them for who they are. So far, in 2020, there are believed to be at least two trans women murdered in the U.S.

Some responses to the performance show the work still needed to break the ignorance and hate around a vulnerable community.

Credit: @anamdelosreyes / Twitter

Trans people, like all people, deserve the same respect when it comes to pronouns and the right to live without fear and violence. Bad Bunny’s shirt addressing Negrón Luciano by name and not “a man in a skirt” is a significant moment in demanding that respect.

You can watch Bad Bunny’s full performance below.

Thank you for standing with the LGBTQ+ community, Bad Bunny.

READ: Bad Bunny Is The Modern Icon The Queer Latino Community Needs And Deserves Right Now. Here’s Why