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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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DRAGgieland crowns new queen, hosts Alyssa Edwards

Paris+Von+Cartier%2C+the+winner+of+DRAGgieland+2020%2C+hosted+night+one+of+DRAGgieland+2021+and+crowned+a+new+queen+at+the+end+of+the+competition.
Courtesy of Joey Ward, the Aggieland Yearbook

Paris Von Cartier, the winner of DRAGgieland 2020, hosted night one of DRAGgieland 2021 and crowned a new queen at the end of the competition.

MSC Town Hall’s second annual DRAGgieland was a night of glitz, glamour and support for the LGBTQ+ community. This year’s event was two showings, night one as the competition and night two as a showcase of performers, including native Texan Alyssa Edwards.
Clarissa Carrasco, MSC Town Hall’s special event executive, said promoting diversity and inclusion on campus was the biggest goal.
“As a programming committee through the MSC, we’re trying to push diversity through programs,” Carrasco said. “DRAGgieland is a great example. We are able to provide a platform for the LGBTQ+ community.”
Night one was hosted by DRAGgieland 2020 winner Paris Van Cartier, formerly Paris Amour, as four drag kings and queens competed for the title.
Biomedical sciences freshman Sachi Kalvakaalva said she was excited to see LGBTQ+ representation on campus.
“I love the fact that A&M is doing this. We’re such a conservative school, and it’s so affirming to see something like this,” Kalvakaalva said. “I’m super excited because I’ve never seen a drag show.”
To kick the night off, Van Cartier performed to Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too.” Following her performance, Van Cartier said this event showed the planning dedication of all the students and staff.
“It’s so amazing to be back as the first ever queen of DRAGgieland,” Van Cartier said. “We’ve been planning this for over a year and want it to be fun, exciting and incredible.”
The first competitor of the evening was Sir Debon Aire, a graduate of Prairie View A&M. Aire lip-synced to “Yeah 3x” by Chris Brown and was the evening’s only drag king. For this performance and his kindness behind the scenes, Aire was crowned DRAGgieland’s Mr. Congeniality.
Each of the following competitors brought their own rendition of drag to the stage, from Deaven Lee’s heartfelt tribute to her late sister, to Jessy B Darling’s mashup of lines from the movie “Cars” and the song “Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna.
Closing out the competition was local queen Cora Cadette, Class of 2009, as she dazzled audiences with her very own light show and medley of songs. Cadette was unanimously selected as Miss Draggieland 2021.
Cadette began her drag career in the Corps of Cadets dorms, inspiring her stage name, and said she has been impressed by the growth in inclusivity on campus.
“I’ve lived in Aggieland for 15 years now, and it’s great to be back on campus and see how much progress has been made,” Cadette said. “When I first started in college here, there was no way there would’ve been an event like this.”
Night two featured the 2021 competitors and Alyssa Edwards, known for competing on two seasons of “Rupaul’s Drag Race” as well as her Netflix series, “Dancing Queen.” Edwards said she spent the whole day in Aggieland.
“I got a full tour today of the campus and all the tea, all the things,” Edwards said. “I had a whole tour of Bryan. It took 10 minutes. I saw the 12th Man and Kyle and all the army boys rehearsing outside.”
Throughout both nights, the energy in Rudder Theater was extremely positive. Education Abroad programming coordinator Martin Rosales served as a judge for night one, and said he was impressed with the energy each performer created.
“I loved the atmosphere in general. It was very positive, especially with what we’ve been going through the past year,” Rosales said. “One of the things on our judges’ list was how the crowd reacted to them. I really couldn’t rate anyone low because the crowd loved everyone.”
The energy of night two was brought to a peak when Edwards performed a musical mashup while sporting a neon fringe jumpsuit famously worn on “All Stars” season two. Edwards said this was her first performance since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
“This is my first time back on stage in a year and two months,” Edwards said. “I want you all to know that there is no greater joy than what I’m feeling right now being back on stage.”
To close out the weekend performances, Edwards thanked the audience and brought all the performers back on stage for final lip sync and bow. Edwards said she was so happy to have the opportunity and support of her fellow Texans.
“I wouldn’t be everything I am without the Texans who have supported me,” Edwards said. “God bless A&M, hallelujah.”

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  • Jessy B. Darling performed a mashup of lines from the movie “Cars” and the song “Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna.

    Courtesy of Joey Ward, the Aggieland Yearbook
  • Sir Debon Aire was the only drag king performer of the night and was crowned Mr. Congeniality for his performance and kindness behind the scenes.

    Courtesy of Joey Ward, the Aggieland Yearbook
  • Cora Cadette was selected unanimously as Miss DRAGgieland 2021.

    Courtesy of Joey Ward, the Aggieland Yearbook
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