Happy birthday Alyssa!

AlyssaOut North Texas cover girl and RuPaul’s Drag Race/reality TV star Alyssa Edwards is celebrating her birthday this month, and you can join in the fun by heading to The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave., on Saturday night when Dannee Phann Productions presents “One Night in Bangkok: Alyssa’s Birthday.”

The party will feature — in addition to Alyssa, of course — Bible Girl, Gia Gunn, Laganja Estranja, Nicole O’Hara Munro, Unshante DeFoxx, Raquel Blake, “G”Licious G and Jada Fox.

Doors open at 9 p.m., the show starts at midnight and there will be a meet-and-greet photo shoot after the show.

Tickets are $125 for a VIP table for three, $10 general admission for those age 21 and up and $25 general admission for those ages 18-25. Reserving a table for three — without the VIP placement and perks — is $25. Buy your tickets in advance here.

And while you are at the Brick, be sure to pick up a copy of the 2016 Out North Texas, with Alyssa on the cover, and read our interview with her on Page 6.

And by the way, Happy birthday Alyssa, from your friends here at Dallas Voice and Out North Texas! We love you!

—  Tammye Nash

Drag Racer Pearl releases signature fragrance. You’ll never guess the name

Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 11.19.17 AMHow would you like to smell like a drag queen? No, not mascara, Ponds and gin, but a perfume designed by a drag queen to reflect her unique aesthetic. So far, no alumna of RuPaul’s Drag Race has yet marketed a signature cologne … until now. And the queen with the sense for scents? Pearl.

So, if you’re Pearl, what do you call your new fragrance. Well, she came up with a doozy: Flazeda, Say it with me again: Flazeda.

Yes, the made-up word that Ru mocked her for on last season’s RPDR — Pearl’s portmanteau malaprop, a mashup of blase and “la-de-dah,” we assume — has now been embraced as her defining moment.

The cologne comes out officially on July 15 (priced: $124 for a 50 ml bottle), but you can pre-order it now here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

REVIEW: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season 6 premiere

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For devotees of RuPaul’s Drag Race, one of the joys of each new season is discovering the hot new term of the year: “Eleganza extravaganza” and “hunty” are memorable one that played out for a season then wafted into the ether. But in addition to “fishy,” which has lingered (the way fish do), the word for the 6th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which kicks off tonight, is “sickening.” And for fans, that’s just what it is.

Ru is back, of course, as are judges Michelle Visage and Santino Rice, but there are some shakeups: New members of the Pit Crew for one (brought to you by Scruff, no less!) and a “divided” season premiere that may become the standard for future reality competition shows. Divided how, you ask? Well, only half of the 14 queens on this season compete in the season opener; the remaining half-dozen-plus won’t show up until Episode 2 next week. Which means your chances of being cut — and the focus on you — are twice what they usually are. No coasting, girls … you gotta work it from out the gates.

For fans (including yours truly), it’s a boon to spend more quality time with each queen early in the season and establish favorites, whether it Adore (bitchy but delightful) or Ben DeLaCreme, and the competitions are just as intense as ever. Best yet is guest judge Adam Lambert (sporting some sexy whiskers).

The season premiere conflicts with the premiere tonight also of Dallas, but that’s the great thing about cable — you can always DVR one or catch the replay a few hours later. Whichever you do, figure out a way to watch both … and as Ru would say, don’t f*** it up.

And read about former contestant Alyssa Edwards in this week’s issue of Dallas Voice.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

RuPaul voted ‘Best Reality Host’ in TV.Com poll

RuPaulAfter an intense week of voting, the world has finally declared what we all already knew: RuPaul really is the best host of a reality television show there is.

The Supermodel of The World beat out the likes of Adam Levine, Demi Lovato, Blake Shelton and Howard Stern to take the crown for “Best Reality Show Judge Or Host 2013” in this year’s annual TV.com poll, The Huffington Post reported.

In fact, RuPaul didn’t just win — he slayed the competition with over 30,000 more votes than Shelton, who nabbed second place, topping the charts with 104,871.

As if that wasn’t enough, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” also snatched the wig title of “Best Reality Competition Series 2013” from big names such as “Face Off,” “Survivor,” “The Voice” and “American Idol.”

ConDRAGulations, Mama Ru!

—  Steve Ramos

College offering course on RuPaul’s Drag Race

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You won’t find a class that analyzes RuPaul’s influence on culture at Bob Jones University, but head over to Occidental College, and you will.

The liberal arts institution in Los Angeles is offering a new course in the spring called “Reading RuPaul: Camp Culture, Gender Insubordination, and the Politics of Performance.” The class will study the LOGO television series from a gay and feminist perspective.

The course description notes:

While RuPaul’s show brings the art of drag performance and gay subculture issues to a wide audience, the course will consider how it addresses the history of drag and U.S. gay culture, as well as a broad range of issues such as transgender identity, HIV/AIDS, bullying and violence, racial identity, gender identity, body size, and LGBT political activism.

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6 is months away, but you can see a short trailer here:

 

 

 

—  Steve Ramos

WATCH: RuPaul on DOMA, with ‘Love!’

America’s most famous drag queen, known for throwing her share of shade, gets serious for a minute, gathering the cast and crew of the upcoming Season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race to make a statement about the repeal of DOMA. Everybody say “Love!”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Drag Race’ returns & the 1st out is …

Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race revved up last night, with 14 new queens competing on what is, for my money, the best competition show on TV. And was it just me, or have the girls upped their game?

Think about it: On Project Runway, professional designers are given a decent budget and days to do nothing but design a gown for a fit model to walk in; on America’s Next Top Model, girls just have to walk and chew gum at the same time. Both skills are legit — but the girls on Drag Race do all those things, and they have to lip-sync and do their own makeup and … well, it takes talent, grrl.

And these 14 seem to have it. Among the contestants were Texan Alyssa Edwards, pictured, who made it to the middle-ground in the first outing (neither in the top nor bottom). Honestly, she was lucky not to be in the bottom, as her red carpet look seemed scattered. Still, with one of her nemeses also on the show (that’s a story that will surely develop), she made an impact.

Also making an impact: Alaska, the partner of last year’s winner, Sharon Needles. As with Sharon, the queens underestimated Alaska’s creativity because her style of drag is more shock than illusion. But her Saran Wrap mermaid gown was astounding.

Still, it was the wonderfully named Penny Tration who got booted first off the 90-minute extended season premiere. Penny Tration was already known to viewers — she was the queen voted onto the show through an online poll last summer … in other words, the fan favorite. But no one can say she didn’t deserve to go: During her lip sync for her life, Penny forgot the words and looked awkward and surprised to have to perform.

We’re hooked. Again.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Former Dallas Drag Racer Sahara Davenport reported dead

The Twitterverse is abuzz with reports that Sahara Davenport, the dancer and female impersonator who was a favorite on Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died.

Reports are non-specific; one blogger, in a piece calling the reports “erroneous,” offered as his sole “proof” that is sounded like a hoax to him — and that Sahara’s death was not reported on her Wikipedia page (a crowd source site anyone can edit — yeah, strong evidence). Another commenter noted that now her death is on the Wiki page, so it must be true.

So far, though, despite hard facts, it appears to be true. Jujubee, a fellow Drag Racer, posted an “RIP” notice on her own Facebook page late last night, and, in response to questions of “what happened” said merely, “It’s not important what happened. Just send prayers.” Avoidance of the cause of death, of course, only fuels suspicions of a hoax, although it is not uncommon not to announce a cause of death immediately, especially if the reason was something considered “shameful” (suicide, a drug overdose), though at this point there is no evidence of that.

Jujubee isn’t the only colleague of Sahara’s to note the passing; the official RuPaul Facebook page also offers condolences for her passing. (Oddly, there is no mention of it yet on any official Logo channel websites.) It has also not been refuted on the many offers of sadness of Sahara’s own page and that of her partner, fellow contestant Manila Luzon. Within the past few minutes, People magazine online and the gay blog Towleroad have also reported the death.

When we know more, we’ll report it.

On a personal note, Sahara and I were friendly. She got her start in Dallas, and she would often message me when she was coming to town; I also interviewed her on a few occasions (most recently here). It’s very sad in any event.

Davenport was born Antoine Ashley. He was 27.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones