Best in Drag Show 2020 fundraiser benefiting Aid for AIDS, a program of Alliance for Housing and Healing, crowned this year’s queen on Sunday, October 18, 2020. It was a battle for the the tiara unlike any the pageant has hosted in its 30 year history, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The show was a re-imagined drive-in theater experience at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Not only did it manage sell out every single ticket on that parking lot, but the night also raised an impressive $325,000, which will go directly towards efforts to prevent homelessness and hunger for men, women, children and families living with HIV/AIDS throughout Los Angeles County.
The show must go on and on it went this past Sunday night, despite a pandemic. The challenge was to shoot the actual show on Saturday night and then have it edited and ready for viewing to a crowded parking lot the following evening, with a live crowning of the winning queen at the very end of the show.
Best in Drag Show 2020 delivered the goods in all its classic unexpected rawness. There were no reshoots during the filming. The drag queens had to bring their A-game and put on a show inspired by a Best in Show dog competition. If a queen flubbed her line, missed a step, or lost a boob during a sexy dance number and that lump of silicone slowly slid from her body suit, down to her leg and onto the side of her foot like a moving tumor, it was all captured and streamed exactly the way it happened, much to the delight of viewers.
The show, directed and produced by Jeffrey Drew, featured six unlikely drag contestants. This year’s brave men included: Antonio Ford-Martinez, Danny Godoy, Julian Guerrero, Kevin Hawkins, Peter Korth and Drew Schwierman.
Patrick Rush and Kay Sedia returned as hosts. They cut between pre-filmed footage that was shot the previous night for the big screen and they had a chance to address the crowd via a live feed from a stage located to the side of the screen.
Celebrity judges included: Kathy Kinney (The Drew Carey Show) Lana Parrilla (Once Upon A Time) Thomas John (Seatbelt Psychic), Alaska (Winner, Season 2 RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars) William (Emmy Award Winning Makeup Artist and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4 Contestant) Katya Zamo (Top 20 of All Drag Race Superstars), Kelly Osbourne, and the original scream queen of the screen Jamie Lee Curtis. Comedian George Lopez also made an appearance.
The six men transformed into gorgeous gals for a chance to win a crown and help raise some serious coin for a good cause. The queens clawing for the crown included: Holly Hobby, Miss Utah (Peter Korth); Alissa Lords, Miss New York (Julian Guerrero), Tara Newhole, Miss Indiana (Drew Schwierman); Juana Shaykit, Miss New Mexico (Antonio Ford-Martinez); Frida Mexican, Miss California (Danny Godoy); Miss Etta Pig, Miss Iowa (Kevin Hawkins).
The competition was split off into four categories. There was the swimwear competition, talent competition, evening gown competition and question and answers.
It came down to three final contestants standing at the end of the night: Miss California, Miss New Mexico, and Miss Iowa.
Move over Miss Piggy. Eat your heart out Petunia Pig. The crown went to Miss Iowa, Etta Pig. CONDRAGULATIONS!
The biggest perk about a virtual Best in Drag Show this year is that it ended at a decent hour, which was around 9pm, probably a first in the show’s history.
The cars lined up for the exit as soon as the crown hit the queen’s wig, and… th-th-th-th-that’s all folks.
For information on the Best in Drag Show 2020, or to make a donation, please visit www.bestindragshow.org.
ABOUT BEST IN DRAG SHOW
Created in 1989 by Alexis Pittman and a small group of friends in his West Hollywood living room, the Best in Drag Show, then called Battle for the Tiara, came to fruition. The first event raised $400 collected from 20 people, and the show was subsequently moved to larger venues due to its increasing popularity. The current version of the show has run since 2003 and has raised over $6 million to support the work of Alliance for Housing and Healing’s flagship program, Aid for AIDS. The show is produced by an army of extraordinarily talented volunteers and staff from Alliance for Housing and Healing. This year sponsors to date include Michael Patrick King and Craig Fisse, Bank of America, Gilead Sciences, Barbara Jacobs Events, , Kraut Law Group.
ABOUT ALLIANCE FOR HOUSING AND HEALING
Alliance for Housing and Healing sees housing as a structural intervention against the spread of HIV/AIDS and as a platform for healthcare, and are passionate about providing a broad continuum of high-quality care to those living with HIV/AIDS that reinforces residential stability. Whether a group residence with 24/7 care for those who are too ill to live on their own, safe subsidized apartments for individuals and families with a second diagnosis, or emergency financial assistance to pay rent and utility bills for those who are facing eviction and homelessness, Alliance for Housing and Healing is dedicated to improving outcomes for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County. For more information: www.alliancehh.org.
Photos by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES:
Photos by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES