Noel Cummings emerged victorious from APSU’s sold out Drag Idol, held by the campus’ Gay-Straight Alliance in the Clement Auditorium on Friday night on Feb. 6.
Four candidates duked it out to earn the title of 2015 Drag Idol, lip-syncing songs and wearing elaborate costumes to earn the support of the crowd and the three judges for the night.
The event started out with performances by the host of the event Anna Freeze and two of the three judges, Tova Uravitch and Dixie Normous.
Uravitch is a visiting drag queen from New Albany, Ind., and Normous was the 2014 Drag Idol. Margaret Rennerfeldt, associate professor of dance at APSU, also judged.
After those performances, the candidates were announced: Cummings, Passion Nista, Raquel Rae Heart and the only drag king for the night, Dakota Knight.
Shortly after the event began, Freeze announced the event had sold out for the first time, and they were forced to turn guests away.
“I do believe this is the most we’ve ever had at an APSU show,”Freeze said.
Despite this, some of the performers had their debut night on the stage.
“This is my first show,” Knight said. “I’ve never done this before. I figured it would be a good idea to get out of my shell a little bit as someone else.”
Others, like Uravitch, are veteran performers. She is the owner of Tova Designs, a company that specializes in custom costumes and original clothing.
“I probably have $8,000 in drag, if not more,” Uravitch said, who has 16 years of experience performing in drag. “I do it because I love people forgetting about their day-to-day life and actually enjoying what they’re seeing. So they’re not thinking about the strife, the struggles and the issues of that day.”
Judges graded the performances on a 1-5 scale, and the competitors were judged on looks, talent and crowd participation. There was also a question-and-answer portion near the end of the show where competitors were judged on the answers they gave and on their presentation attire.
After the performances, there was a tie between the top two performers, Cummings and Heart. They went head-to-head in a competition called lip-sync for your life, which is based on a similar event from the TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The two competitors lip-synced to the same song, “Show Me How You Burlesque” by Christina Aguilera, and the crowd was allowed to decide the victor by cheering loudest for their favorite.
Both performers received applause, but Cummings was crowned victor. A dancer and circus performer by trade, she rounded out her skills on the stage by making her own song mixes to perform.
As a reward, Cummings received a $100 gift card for Tova Designs and an invitation to perform again at the spring drag show on Friday, March 27.
“Everybody did an amazing job, and it’s nice to be recognized for all the hard work,” Cummings said. “I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about all the shows here, so performing here is nice. To have that energy again is something I very much look forward to.”TAS