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Meet the queens of ‘Drag Race PH’ Season 2

Drag Race PH

The long wait is almost over. “Drag Race Philippines,” the local spinoff of the Emmy-winning global phenomenon “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” will be back next month for its highly anticipated second season.

Fans finally got a little taste of what’s to come with a trailer starring host Paolo Ballesteros and the season two queens. “Let’s go island hopping, mga baklur!” Mama Pao says in the campy teaser, which we think is a way better tourism video than that DOT disaster. (Even international “Drag Race” fans have been raving about the tropical extravaganza.)

Then we got to know the competing drag artists a little more in the “Meet the Queens” video. These 12 queens have big shoes to fill because the cast of the first season of “Drag Race Philippines” had been fantastic. They were fierce, they were fabulous, they made the fans fall in love. But these new batch of queens are also set on snatching your hearts and that crown. Get ready to root for them. Here they are, in their own words.

The new season starts streaming on Wow Presents Plus and HBO Go on Aug. 2. No Wow membership yet? Use the code PHILIPPINES to get 20 percent off your first month.

ARIZONA BRANDY
@arizonabrandy

Arizona Brandy is not a comedy queen, she says. “Arizona Brandy is a beauty queen who just happened to be funny.”

Formerly known as Arizona Balyena, Arizona picked the name Brandy, an homage to her love for alcohol. “Napakahilig ko sa alak.”

She loves alcohol so much that she’s even incorporated drinking into her performances onstage. “I always shot puno without chaser,” she shares.

This 25-year-old drag queen from Makati “is representing Cubao,” the location of her home bar Rapture. “I wanted to represent the Rapture Royalties because I believe we are undiscovered. I believe my queens are also talented, [it’s] not just O Bar and Nectar, and I thank you.”

She promises to serve #clamour—comedy with a mix of glamour. What sets her apart from other queens? She smells good, she says. But also, “Feeling ko matindi yung charisma ko. (I have a lot of charisma.)”

ASTRID MERCURY
@astridmercuryyy

This 29-year-old queen from Mandaluyong has been doing drag for seven years. Astrid Mercury named herself after a teleserye kontrabida and “a dangerous element from the periodic table.”

She may have a sweet face but she’s a danger to her competitors, she says. “Don’t be deceived by the glitz and glam, I’m dangerous.”

Astrid Mercury adds, “Don’t underestimate us baby queens, we have a lot to give, we are fashion forward, we give you explosive performances. The older queens will have a hard time time keeping up.”

Watch out for her stunts.

BERNIE
@berniebarrantes

Bernie doesn’t need a drag name. “Bernie is Bernie.”

This 35-year-old queen from Mandaluyong is thrilled to be part of the season two cast. “Ang saya ko! Pangarap ko ‘to sobra (this is a dream come true),” she says.

Bernie, one of three trans queens competing this season, has been doing drag for 16 years. “I’ve spent half my life being a drag queen. Bernie is sexy, hottie, seductive.. Fresh lang.”

She got her start in a gay bar in Quezon City—with a Whitney Houston song and just one pair of shoes. “My mentor Eva Papaya told me not to get backup dancers. She said I didn’t need them,” she shares.

She took her act from the legendary Malate comedy bar The Library to O Bar, where she has been performing for 14 years now.

Bernie is ready to dance her way to the crown. “I can do hip-hop, I can do jazz, I can do ballet. I can dance in heels.”

She adds, “This is for my family and for me.”

CAPTIVATING KATKAT
@captivatingkatkat

Captivating Katkat wants you to expect the unexpected from her. She describes herself as “sexy, sultry… a showstopper.” She adds, “I have a unique style, I like standing out.”

This trans queen, who grew up in Cubao and is now living in Antipolo City, started doing drag after high school. “I auditioned at a theater bar in Malate. Back then, we were known as female impersonators.”

Her first performance? “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez.

Years later, she continues to derive pleasure from bringing people joy with her performances. She says, “Uuwi kayong may ngiti sa inyong mga labi. (You will go home with smiles on your faces.) I will do everything to showcase everything.”

That’s what she plans to do on the “Drag Race Philippines” stage as well. “I’m looking forward to dancing and to the acting challenges… actually all of them. I’m going to excel in all of them, ‘di tayo papakabog no.”

DEEDEE MARIE HOLLIDAY
@deedeemarieholliday

Deedee Marie Holliday describes herself as “a gorgeous, glamorous, delicious, desperate housewife from Tayabas City, Quezon Province.” She’s “an actress, a great lip syncer, she can dance, she can move… she tries.”

She fell in love with drag after seeing “three gorgeous glamazons” perform in Malate in 2009. She befriended these queens and one of them became her drag mother: Jaja, who competed in the first season of “Drag Race Thailand.”

Deedee, who has been doing drag for 13 years, performs at O Bar. “When you come and watch a DeeDee Marie Holliday show, you are going to be entertained, you are going to forget all of your problems, you are going to have the best time of your life.”

To her supporters, she says, “Hey Drag Racers, thank you… I’m going to make sure the love you give me will be returned tenfold.”

HANA BESHIE
@hana_beshie

Hana Beshie is named after a fan… an electric fan.

This “2XL bombshell shapeshifter of Cagayan de Oro” started doing drag four years ago. “Nagda-drag lang kami ng sisters ko sa tabi-tabi, sa kalsada.”

It was during the pandemic that they took their drag to another level. “We formed a platform for drag called G-Spot. We were the first queens to perform in a bar in Cagayan de Oro city. The drag scene in Cagayan De Oro is very young pero lumalaban.”

She’s excited to represent her city in the show. “Gusto ko ipakita sa kanila na magaling yung Cagayan de Oro drag. (I want to show them that Cagayan de Oro drag is good.) I want to put Cagayan de Oro drag on the f*cking map.”

Hana Beshie, who is also an architect, says that her two art forms actually have more in common than people think. “Drag and architecture are related because of design.”

She’s excited to take on any design challenges in the show.

The members of her drag house Haus of LaFeya are known for making their own clothes, she says. “We don’t repeat outfits and we don’t just buy them online… no shade,” she says.

Her drag persona has a checklist, Hana Beshie says. “Big, bold, beautiful… but always with a touch of camp.”

M1SS JADE SO
@m1ssjadeso

“Watch out because this b*tch is about to dominate y’all,” says M1ss Jade So, who describes herself as “the ultimate one of one… the sexiest, the c*ntiest, the baddest esoteric Bratz doll.”

This tongue-popping, purring trans queen from Marikina says her first drag performance was at her sister’s debut/18th birthday celebration. She says, “Drag is important and has been a huge part of my life as I love music, beauty, fashion and myself. It is a celebration of the things I am passionate about.”

She finds showcasing her talents through drag liberating and empowering.

M1ss Jade So ready to serve “the fantasy of it all”—”body, skin, face, hair, everything, darling.”

She declares, “This trans Pinay is the next drag superstar.”

MATILDUH
@matilduh_

Matilduh’s parents do not know that she’s going to be on “Drag Race Philippines.” “I’m very nervous kung anong sasabihin nila. (about what they’ll say). They haven’t seen me in drag,” she shares.

Once a quiet and shy kid, this “multimedia drag superstar from Vigan” is known for her high energy performances, doing “the kicks, the splits, the dance breaks and all of that.”

She won Nectar’s Drag Cartel on her first try. “And the rest is history,” she shares.

Matilduh, who does event design and floristry outside of drag, thinks she will slay design challenges. “I’m used to designing under pressure. Most of my life, I’ve been doing arts and crafts.”

She says, “Abangan ang aking mga pasabog sa Drag Race Philippines.”

NICOLE PARDAUX
@nicolepardaux

Nicole Pardaux, 37, calls herself “Cebu’s favorite MILF.”

She’s a little nervous about representing Cebu in the show. She says, “It’s an honor but there’s added pressure because Cebuanos are really hard to please. But definitely this is for them.”

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And she believes they will root for her, just like her boyfriend of 11 years is rooting for her.

Nicole likes being glamorous and showing off her twins Tiffany and Chanel. The twins and her performances will make her stand out from the other queens, she thinks. “I’m known for dancing. That’s really my background.”

She even has the words “dance is in my blood” tattooed over her chest.

She says, “I know I’m still a newbie in the drag scene but Nicole Pardaux is here to slay the game.”

ØV C*NT
@ovcnt

ØV C*nt used to be called Olivia Virgin. “Disgusting, right? My god,” says the 24-year-old from Cavite who calls herself “an enigmatic provocateur.”

“Something nasty, something beautiful which describes my drag best is corpse flower. Combine the two elements together—it’s giving you creative process, it’s giving you couture, it’s giving you elements,” she shares.

ØV C*nt is part of the drag collective Drag Playhouse with “Drag Race Philippines” season one queens Eva Le Queen, Marina Summers and Prince. “I’ve been drag royalty since day one,” ØV C*nt says. “This time I’ll be richer, more famous.”

She’s ready to slay the design challenge. “I love working with fabrics, I can sew.”

What can you expect from a ØV C*nt show? “The ‘what the f*ck is happening?’ moment. I’ll give it to you every f*cking time—it’s giving you performance art, a fashion show, it’s giving you life!”

TINY DELUXE
@TinyDeluxee

Tiny Deluxe has a warning for her fellow season two queens: “Humanda kayo dahil dadaganan ko kayo. Gusto niyo yun? Gusto ko yun! (Get ready because I will crush you. Do you like it? I like it!)”

This queen from Pasig City says that she is “bubbly, very beautiful, gorgeous and most of all, a diva.”

She adds, “Obviously I’m a big girl but I do want to break stereotypes. Big girls can be fashion girls too.”

Tiny is the drag daughter of Viñas Deluxe, one of the fan favorites from the first season of “Drag Race Philippines.” And just like her drag mom, she can sing live, she says.

It was Viñas who inspired her to start her drag journey. “She told me, ‘Girl, you’re a drag queen! Do drag!’”

She listened and now she’s addicted to the artform. “No turning back now, this is my life, this is my destiny,” she says.

VERUSCHKA LEVELS
@veruschkalevels

She’s named after the German supermodel Veruschka von Lehndorff so it shouldn’t be surprising that fashion plays a big part in Veruschka Levels’ drag. “My drag is high fashion, high energy, very opulent… Veruschka is very sophisticated, she puts the fist in sophistication, darling.”

This queen from Hong Kong is originally from Cebu. “I’m 24 years old… 12 years ago.” Veruschka has had an interesting life, working as a makeup artist for a princess in the Middle East, working with celebrities here and abroad, moving to Hong Kong to pursue photography and also finding success there as a drag queen.

“I can do everything, I think,” she says, describing her drag persona as “quite talented” and “very cultured.”

She was hoping to be this season’s villain but, she asks, “Do I look like a villain?”

Veruschka jokes, “I will try to stir the pot but I use air fryer so maybe I won’t do that.”

She has this to say to “Drag Race” fans: “Prepare because this season will be a lot of drama, a lot of beauty, a lot of high fashion, a lot of opulence and couture.”

Follow Super K on Facebook and Inquirer Super on Instagram and Twitter.

Read: Filipinos served and delivered at Dragcon LA 2023

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