‘Halleloo’ QU

'Ru Paul's Drag Race' contestant death drops into Burt Kahn

By on October 23, 2018

Most students associate Burt Kahn Court with things like volleyball, learning the Bobcat roar at orientation or even the dreaded poster session for FYS. However, on Thursday night, Quinnipiac students gathered there for none other than the fabulous Drag Queen Shangela.

On Oct. 18, the Student Programming Board (SPB) and Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) sponsored a drag show starring the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant. The large crowd in Burt Kahn experienced a night full of sass, competition and empowerment.

The queen herself was especially excited to perform for the Bobcat community.

Rhea Ghosh | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
“I’m super excited to be here tonight for my very first performance here at Quinnipiac,” Shangela said. “It’s always refreshing and inspiring to me to see so many students turn up for an event like this.”

When Shangela first took the stage in Burt Kahn, all eyes were on her as she strutted on stage in a gold bejeweled bodysuit and black knee-high boots. Her personality shined through the room as she cracked jokes for the crowd, including one about how she “went to the Google translator” to learn how to pronounce Quinnipiac. Shangela also performed her own single “Pay Me” which included her signature dance move, the death drop.

During the question and answer portion of the night, Shangela shared some stories about her experiences on the competition show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She was eliminated in season two but then returned in season three where she placed sixth. Things got real later when Shangela began telling the crowd how fellow diva Lady Gaga called her to audition for a role in the film “A Star is Born.”

“I never had a large role like this so you know if [Lady] Gaga calls, you wanna make sure you step up to the plate,” said Shangela. “I remember on set she was exactly how you would want someone to be. Gaga was just as nice as you want her to be like in your head.”

Thanks to that call from Mother Monster herself, Shangela can now be seen playing herself on the big screen in the blockbuster film.

Throughout the night, Shangela shared inspirational words with the crowd to instill the same confidence in them that she had in herself.

“You have got to be able to look in the mirror, own every part of who you are, love every part of who you are, inside and out and that’s where it begins,” Shangela said. “When you love yourself, love will be attracted back to you, people will come to you and support you but only when you are honest and loving with yourself.”

As if her own performance wasn’t enough, Shangela got the crowd even more involved when she initiated the “you did that at Quinnipiac” contest. She gathered seven volunteers from the audience who each had to lipsync… for their life. Each contestant showed off their best moves, some even doing a split or performing dances inspired by drag queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The winner, which was decided on by the enthusiasm of the crowd, would go home with Shangela’s very own merchandise.

After a brief intermission, Shangela returned to the stage wearing a glamorous black velvet robe and an even bigger wig. She channeled her inner Beyonce by lip-syncing to her greatest hits, such as “Halo,” “Flawless” and Destiny Child’s “Bootylicious.” The drama-infused performance was intensified once Shangela ripped off her robe to reveal a silver bodysuit and matching glitter heels. Shangela interacted with fans by parading the aisles and touching the hands of students which brought some of them to tears.

At the end of the night, Shangela’s comedic tone shifted to a more meaningful one and left the crowd with a parting message of self-love.

“It’s great to step outside your comfort zone. This is the time that you’re right here in the university, you’re figuring out who you are in this world,” Shangela said. “Don’t be ashamed of who you are. Love every part of who you are and go out there and share it and kill it.”

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About Alexis Guerra

Associate Arts and Life Editor