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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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DRAGgieland brings glitz and glamour to Rudder Theatre

Paris+Amour+performed+This+Is+Me+from+The+Greatest+Showman.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Paris Amour performed “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman.”

From wild wigs to flashy bodysuits and over-the-top performances, DRAGgieland 2020 took over Rudder Theatre on Feb. 19. The show featured former RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars contestant Monique Heart, who hosted the performance in front of a sold-out crowd.
Nine of Aggieland’s best drag king and queens hit the stage Wednesday night not only to compete for the crown, but to help spread the message of diversity and inclusivity among Texas A&M’s campus and the surrounding community.
“I think it’s so important to have representation like this because I know this is a large group of our student population,” English graduate student Hannah Bowling said. “So seeing people who love to do drag up on stage, I can’t even image how inspiring that must have felt.”
Opening the show with a nearly 20-minute monologue, Heart entertained the audience with stories and jokes before breaking into a performance of two songs from her most recent release; however, she did not forget to show her appreciation to the sold-out auditorium.
“This is how I pay my momma’s bills,” Heart said. “So thank you, thank you.”
When getting ready for the competition, Paris Amour said the amount of time each queen spends on their wardrobe varies from performance to performance.
“Oh girl you saw me take off this face and come back on stage five minutes later,” Amour said. “So it can take anywhere from five minutes to two and a half hours.”
One at a time, each of the nine contestants performed choreographed routines to songs ranging from Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” But the one performance that had audience members on their feet was for Amour’s take on “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” original soundtrack. Amour shocked the crowd by stepping out of drag in the middle of the performance.
“I have been wracking my brain all day,” Amour said. “I was just pacing like a crazy person. But it was very emotional for me, because it came from within. I wanted to show everyone what is near and dear to my heart, like this is me.”
After each performer had their time on stage, Heart called on the audience to vote for who would be crowned the first Queen or King to win DRAGgieland 2020. The winner was finalized based on fan appreciation and the crowd’s applause. After picking the top five contestants and having them answer a series of “pageant type” questions, Amour took home the crown.
“Oh my gosh I am over the moon right now,” Amour said. “We made history tonight.”
As a former student, Amour said she used her gift of drag to help her battle the issues she had surrounding her identity, and hopes that by being involved with the first drag show to take place at Texas A&M, people begin to treat each other as they would want to be treated themselves.
“I didn’t feel like myself when I first came here,” Amour said. “Over the years, I brought drag to Northgate. Just seeing the change happening here is amazing and I never would have imagined we would be having this monumental moment here on such a conservative campus. Just being able to have this breakthrough and start something is so incredible.”

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