Entertainment

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

Valentina popped into our world on season nine of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and we were instantly captivated by her eyes. Or we should say, her makeup, round her eyes, or her face, no it was her hair. Let’s just say we love everything about Valentina, and a big reason for that is because she brings so much of her Latinidad to the show.

The 27-year-old LA native, whose real name is James Andrew Leyva, is a star and there should be no question about that. If you need some kind of proof, take this: he only became a professional drag queen roughly ten months before filming “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” How can one transform from hot guy to hot drag queen? Well, Valentina is Latina, and you know Latinas can do anything.

Just because Valentina didn’t win her season, doesn’t mean we’ll never see her again. In fact, she is far from leaving our radar.

We’ll soon see Valentina as Angel Dumott Schunard in the Broadway show Rent in Fox’s live version of the musical that will air on Jan. 27.

Here are just a few reasons why we love Valentina.

A star is born: the creation of Valentina’s name.

CREDIT: Instagram/@allaboutvalentina

Valentina said she got her name from various Latin cultural references including a character out of a Pedro Almodovar. She also said the name is like the protagonist from a novela. Valentina also said she loves the hot sauce (named Valentina), and Valentino the designer.

How James transforms into Valentina.

CREDIT: Instagram/@allaboutvalentina

Valentina said on season nine that he loves getting into drag. The whole process becomes like a ritual, he puts on the right kind of music, has some wine, lights a candle, and clearly whatever he has to do to become the goddess that he is more power to him.

Valentina always brings the comedy.

CREDIT: Instagram/@allaboutvalentina

Valentina basically represents all our moods, but she’s just a lot prettier when showing them.

Valentina burst onto the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stage as a hot mariachi diva.

CREDIT: YouTube

“I’m from East L.A. representing Mariachi Plaza.” Yasssss queen!

We don’t know who we love more, James or Valentina. Good thing we don’t have to choose.

CREDIT: Instagram/@allaboutvalentina

He is so cute without the makeup, but when he becomes Valentina, well, we are blown away.

Valentina’s confidence is sky high.

CREDIT: YouTube

On episode two, Valentina came face-to-face with Lady Gaga herself and was not intimidated one bit. Valentina thanked Lady Gaga for her support of the gay community and for being a bad ass drag queen herself. In fact, Lady Gaga loved Valentina as her best Lady Gaga in blue hair. She said she wanted to cry when she was on the runway, which is why Valentina won this competition as Lady Gaga.

She’s an ice princess with a heart.

CREDIT: YouTube

From the very first episode of season nine, Valentina was a threat and everyone knew it. Then she started winning competitions, so, of course, people are gonna hate the winners. Despite some seeing her as a threat (or a villain), Valentina’s heart always came through on the show. We especially liked her as Princess Vira, which some judges compared to the legend supermodel Linda Evangelista.

Just because she’s a baby queen, doesn’t mean she can’t rule…in fact, she does!

CREDIT: Instagram/@allaboutvalentina

Valentina gets a lot of crap for being so young and so successful as a drag queen even though she’s only been in the industry for a couple of years now, while other queens have been strutting down the runway for years. Do not come for the queen just because of her age, when you got it, you know it.

She’s a triple threat.

CREDIT: YouTube

Did you watch Valentina as Kendall Jenner? The Kardashians (or Jenners) have nothing on this queen, and it makes perfect senes why Valentina would be cast in the new “Rent” musical. She’s such a performer!

Bold and beautiful

CREDIT: YouTube

Valentina as Madonna was probably one of the best moments on RuPaul’s Drag Race, everrrrrr! Why, you ask? When the queens are told to come out as their best Madonna, everyone did a basic look, but it was Valentina who came out as Madonna’s boldest look: NUDE! She rocked that runway with two black strips and a cigarette, looking as fierce and beautiful as ever.

Valentina, the drag queen equivalent to Selena Quintanilla.

CREDIT: YouTube

Valentina was confronted about her hateful fans that flat out threatened other queens on the show. Valentina, in a very graceful manner, informed RuPaul that the Latino culture is very protective of people they love. She went further and said her fan base (Latinos) is basically the type of adoration that Selena had in the ’90s. Speak your truth, girl!

Valentina is all about love never hate.

CREDIT: Instagram/@allaboutvalentina

During season nine, Valentina’s fans — while amazing — talked too much sh*t about the other constants on the show. They went so far as to send death threats to Valentina’s competitors, which is insane. James had to go on his social media to tell his fans to stop it. He said he didn’t want people to think the Latino culture was all about hate, homophobia or transphobia. The poor thing was in tears. But he was such a good example and did the right thing by telling them to stop. The fans, however, haven’t. Though Valentina continues to check them whenever they get out of hand, as they have recently.

Valentina lives for the drama.

CREDIT: YouTube

There’s a reason why Latinos get so emotional, we cry about anything! We’re so dramatic even over the slightest things…okay, enough with the generalizations, but Valentina brought that emotion when she played Miss Universe, we mean Miss Colombia. She was epic with those tears!

We were all rooting for you.

CREDIT: YouTube

When Valentina was eliminated on episode nine, we finally saw her in her most vulnerable. We have all been there: frozen when the boss tells us what to do. For whatever reason, sometimes, as bold as we might be, we cannot move, and that was Valentina in her final runway. James said himself that he isn’t sure why he didn’t remove his mask before he began to lip sync and try to stay in the competition, he just froze.

She’s an all-star.

CREDIT: Instagram/@allaboutvalentina

As an “All Stars 4” contestant, we’re loving that Valentina is back and bringing her Latin vibe to the show. We missed her! Will she win the crown this time around? We will just have to wait and see.

Valentina keeps it real during Drag Queen Carpool.

CREDIT: YouTube

If you ever find yourself in a car with icon RuPaul be sure to bring your best game face. Valentina worked hard that entire ride. Whether she was speaking about herself and her Latino culture, or working it right along RuPaul, she never stopped. She has tenacity and spirit that is undeniable.

She’s multifaceted.

CREDIT: allaboutvalentina / Instagram

As more and more people discover the talent that Valentina bestows, it’s extraordinary to witness her star grow. Later this month, we will see James as a completely different character in the new live version of the musical “Rent” on Fox.

Dreams do come true.

CREDIT: Instagram/@allaboutvalentina

James has said, since day one, that Valentina’s creation is something out of a movie or telenovela. Next month that creation is coming to life on a theater stage!

A cultural icon.

CREDIT: Instagram/@allaboutvalentina

Becoming a reality star is never an indication that you will be remembered forever. In fact, they’re usually forgotten. There are some that go on to have burgeoning careers and lives in Hollywood. Valentina is one of those people that is going to be part of cultural radar for a long time to come.

Valentina is our Latina goddess.

CREDIT: Instagram/@allaboutvalentina

Whether she’s acting out her best Snookie or old-school 90210 character, Valentina is all her own. We have seen her shine, learn, and grow into the Valentina we know and love today. We can’t wait to see what else she brings to the game.


READ: The 24 Slayingest Latina Queens From ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

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Drag Queen Shuga Cain Is Answering AOC’s Cry For Help On Her Journey To Glow Up

Entertainment

Drag Queen Shuga Cain Is Answering AOC’s Cry For Help On Her Journey To Glow Up

ocasio2018 / missshugacain / Instagram

If Jesus Martinez didn’t quit his six-figure corporate job to become a full-time drag queen, we may have never known Shuga Cain, as seen on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Shuga Cain and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have a lot more in common than Latinidad. They both have risked the only life they’ve ever known to achieve their dreams. They both share the same political ideologies, and Shuga Cain has rooted AOC’s rise to influence within Congress.

That said, AOC said it first: she doesn’t know mierda about glam. Now, Shuga Cain is offering to teach her some of her tricks, and the Internet is stanning the collaboration we never knew we needed.

Once AOC took to her Instagram story to announce to the world she was on “the struggle bus big time,” trying to “glow up,” Shuga Cain came to the rescue.

Credit: @ocasio2018 / Instagram

Over Labor Day weekend, AOC seemed to take the opportunity to play around with some false lashes. We didn’t get a glimpse at the lashes in action, but rather a photo of the lashes retired to their box, to be glued on another day. The freshman Congresswoman joked, “I am trying to practice my glow up skills and am on the struggle bus big time.” It seems she’s definitely having a sense of humor about it. 😂

Miss Shuga Cain heard the cry for help and offered her help.

Credit: @missshugacain / Twitter

The drag queen, who starred in Season 11 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” shared the image of the sad lashes to her Twitter account with a question we all didn’t even know we needed to hear: “@AOC, how about we do a glam session together?” Miss Shuga Cain offered, “I’ll teach you some of my tricks! 😉” While we can’t quite price the worth of that glam session, we know it’s probably far out of the Congresswoman’s budget, and a generous gift from Miss Cain.

Claro, AOC is a logical woman and accepted the offer.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

“I’d love that!” AOC replied, along with emojis signifying her signature Puerto Rican red lip look. “YAASS! Let do it!! Messaging you!” Shuga Cain replied. While their first ever online exchange seems to be ongoing within private messages, Twitter is speculating on all the ways we wish to see this collaboration meet the public eye.

Fans are asking that AOC join “RuPaul’s Drag Race” as a guest judge on the next season.

Credit: @newyorkpollard / Twitter

Imagine the BTS the American public deserves–to see Shuga Cain doing AOC’s makeup before the show. Imagine forever being able to watch AOC apply those lashes and red lip on her Instagram story while she talks about the origin story of Taki’s and Trader Joe’s rip off of Latin culture? Imagine the possibilities.

Others are calling out AOC for already being a perfect angel.

Credit: @im918foru / Twitter

“Miss Ocasio-Cortez is already the most glowingly glown-up EVERRR!” tweeted one major AOC fan. It’s a hard tug-of-war between needing the collaboration video of AOC and Miss Shuga Cain interacting and knowing that beauty procedures as small as gluing eyelashes onto your lids is just enablement of patriarchal beauty standards that ultimately cost women their money and time. We get it. 

Shuga Cain has publicly supported AOC’s politics time and time again.

Credit: @MissShugaCain / Twitter

Earlier this year, Shuga Cain retweeted a viral video of AOC telling seven big bank CEOs. She said, “In my district, I represent Riker’s island. I represent kids that go to jail for jumping a turnstile because they can’t afford a MetroCard.” She’s demanding answers for why the wealthy law-breakers responsible for the 2008 financial crisis aren’t being held to account. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again!” Shuga Cain tweeted, thanking AOC for “standing up for all of us!! We all, including myself, need to learn from her example and stand up for each other and hold these crooks accountable!” Just a couple months later, Shuga Cain shared a video of AOC condemning the notion of a war with Iran, being sure to applaud AOC with a “COME THRUUUU @AOC!!!!”

All we know is that AOC is glowing up the American government, and Shuga Cain is more than capable of offering AOC the glow up she’s asking for.

Credit: @rtyourfavqueen / Twitter

Yeah, we think Shuga Cain can handle a pair of false lashes, top and bottom. We’re with the stans: live stream this makeover or bust.

READ: Fans Are Living For This Miss Vanjie Cake Brought To Us By Fierce Latina Queen Shuga Cain From ‘Drag Race’ Season 11

Fans Are Living For This Miss Vanjie Cake Brought To Us By Fierce Latina Queen Shuga Cain From ‘Drag Race’ Season 11

Entertainment

Fans Are Living For This Miss Vanjie Cake Brought To Us By Fierce Latina Queen Shuga Cain From ‘Drag Race’ Season 11

World of Wonder / YouTube

RuPaul’s Drag Race helped usher in a new era of queer culture into the mainstream. Dozens of talented drag queens have passed through the various Untucked lounges (shout out to the Interior Illusions Lounge) but only one queen can take the crown. Win or lose, Drag Race alumni go onto do some dope things. Season 11’s Latinx Queen Shuga Cain is no exception. 

While Shuga Cain disagreed with RuPaul’s decision to have her sashay away in a group challenge, she appears to be doing just fine. 

Gimme Some Shuga 

Shuga Cain has a new cooking show called Gimme Some Shuga. The premise is simple, Shuga Cain will create cakes in the style of Drag Race legends. It’s going to be sickening, except for the cake I hope. I sincerely hope the cake tastes good and doesn’t have E. coli. Baker Justin Salinas from Cake It With Justin is set to co-host. 

World of Wonder’s WOW Presents has blessed us with a clip of the first episode. The queen they chose to honor is nothing short of legendary. It almost feels wrong to eat her… 

Vanjie! Vanjie! Vanjie!

It’s 3 AM, you hear a strange voice muffled in the darkness. Is it a burglar? A murderer? Some sorry agent of death lurking in the shadows? You approach the sound slowly, weaponized with a chancla in your hand, the stranger’s voice is clearer. “Vanjie! Vanjie! Vanjie!” Oh, it’s just Miss Vanjie breaking into your home. You give her everything because she is your God. This is not a true story but there are two true things in it: a) I worship Miss Vanjie. b) I am certain Miss Vanjie would break into a home just to stunt on whoever lives there.

The series has introduced us to many talented queens, but few became icons within seconds. Anyone can make an entrance, fewer can slay an exit. Miss Vanjie was the first queen eliminated in season 10 of Drag Race. In the first episode of any reality TV show, there are so many contestants and so little screentime to go around. Miss Vanjie barely left an impression on the judges — until she was eliminated.

That iconic moment.

Walking backward in a DIY dress made of severed Barbie doll parts, Miss Vanjie stunned judges by shouting her name as if it were some call to arms. “Vanjie! Miss Vanjie! Miss Vanjie!” The moment instantly went viral and Miss Vanjie secured herself a second chance in a future season of Drag Race. Now that is some real crafty, chingona sh*t. As my mother always says, Latinos are a resourceful people.

It is no surprise Shuga Cain and Justin chose to make their first cake in the style of Miss Vanjie’s popping, pink elimination outfit. 

Tres Miss Vanjie Cake

In the series, the duo reveals their decorating secrets to school even the most rudimentary bakers on new techniques for high concept cakes that are meant for special occasions like quinceaneras, graduations, and weddings. Whether you plan on making the cake or not in real life, seeing the process that goes into fancy cake-making is interesting and there is no shortage of laughs. While Justin spearheads the decorative process, Shuga Cain roasts Miss Vanjie and herself. 

The series combines many of my favorite things: drag queens, baked goods, and humor. All six episodes are available on World of Wonder’s WOW Presents Plus subscription streaming service. 

“I want more Miss Vanjie…” 

If like me, you came for Miss Vanjie, stayed for the laughs, but still want more Miss Vanjie, rest assured she is coming. The Network has a reality show slated for release starring Miss Vanjie and Silky Nutmeg Ganache called Nightmare Neighbors with Silky & Vanjie. I assume this is a show where Miss Vanjie breaks into people’s homes to stunt on them in the middle of the night? 

Just know that if you ever feel alone, if you ever feel scared, if you’re ever stranded in a desolate forest, all you have to do is say “Vanjie! Miss Vanjie! Miss Vanjiiiiiie,” three times. Unfortunately, no one will come but you will make yourself laugh at how quickly you’ve lost your sanity. That’s the power of Miss Vanjie!