After the long wait (to the relief of the show’s playful social media manager probably), “Drag Den” has finally revealed its cast with a trailer that also gives us a sneak peek into the show’s dramatic production design. Today, Nov. 17, drag fans can finally start getting to know the queens competing for the chance to be crowned the first Drag Supreme.
Premiering on Dec. 8 on Amazon Prime Video, “Drag Den” is produced by Project 8 Projects and CS Studios. With directors Rod Singh (“Mamu: And a Mother Too”) and Antoinette Jadaone (“Fan Girl”) at the helm, our expectations from the show are slightly different from the ones we had for “Drag Race Philippines.” It’s already evident that the show doesn’t want a cookie-cutter reality TV look in its commitment to the underground den aesthetic. But we’re even more interested in finding out how these filmmakers will uncover the queen’s personal stories and exhibit the nuances of Pinoy culture in the challenges.
Host Manila Luzon is given the title of Drag Lord. Joining her in the judges’ table are well-spoken beauty queen Nicole Cordoves and internet icon Sassa Gurl. Respectively, they hold the titles Drag Dealer and Drag Runner, which are likely nods to the Nectar’s Drag Cartel.
But more on our thoughts in the future. Let’s get to know the queens!
Naia, who’s also known as artist Brian Black out of drag, once described her drag persona to Preen as “someone who just ended her Disney contract and came back from the States to unleash her true self.” She’s a smart queen who doesn’t mince her words. You may have seen her punky glam aesthetic (designer Salad Day is one of her collaborators) and amazing lip-syncing skills at Butterboy’s drag brunch and meriendrag shows she regularly hosts. She has also performed at Elephant, Bekenemen, and even the CCP Black Box Theater.
Who among drag fans hasn’t heard of Lady Gagita a.k.a. Katy Perya? As her names suggest, she is known for her Lady Gaga and Katy Perry impersonations and powerhouse performances. One testament to her reputation in the local drag scene is recently going on “Family Feud” with her drag daughters. Though Precious Paula Nicole wasn’t with them, she considers Lady Gagita as one of her drag moms.
In 2021, Village Pipol named her as its Drag Queen of the Year. Out of drag, he is a well-known vlogger, LGBTQIA+ advocate, and an occasional actress with credits for projects like the TV5 series “Suntok sa Buwan.” Check out her “Drag Den” audition tape.
Maria Cristina a.k.a. MC Black is a proudly Pinay queen. She has donned several looks that incorporate classic Filipina silhouettes and styles. She is also the founder of Drag Academy PH and one of the hosts of Drag Playhouse’s “Love, Sex, and Drag” talk show. Out of drag, he is part of the Spaces MNL crew, a choreographer, and a stage director.
Pura Luka Vega is not afraid to get weird. While some queens prefer to go ultrafemme with regular shaving sessions, Luka’s beard, which they often dye to match their wigs, is part of their drag looks. It works especially well with their 18th century-inspired costumes and their infamous Jesus drag. We love campy queens and we hope the general public will appreciate their humor, too. They stage conceptual solo drag shows and is often doing funny skits on TikTok.
Apart from doing drag, O-A a.k.a Odasha Flop is a cosplayer and a gamer. It isn’t unusual for her drag to reference characters as she incorporates elements of cosplay into her style. You can get a sense of her meme fluency in her funny TikToks and we’re excited to see that play out in the show. You’ve probably seen her at Nectar Nightclub’s Poison Wednesdays during and after she won her season of Drag Cartel.
Shewarma may be a pandemic-born queen but you wouldn’t be able to guess from her fierce and often sultry quality looks. Of course, that’s to be expected from one of Maria Cristina’s drag daughters. Yup, we have another pair of queens from the same house competing against each other. But back to Shewarma. If you want to catch a glimpse of how she performs, check out this clip from her “Defying Gravity” lip sync at Nectar.
Aries Night is another fairly new queen in the scene but her drag is already sickening as it incorporates horror elements. Her debut performance seems to be a nod to “Carrie” and our fingers are crossed for references to local horror films in her performances in the show.
Trans queen Barbie-Q a.k.a. Dancing Doll Omi is one of Club One 690’s Pink Mannequins. She’s had a lot of experience directing and starring in big production numbers so we’re excited to see how she’ll switch it up for this competition’s stage.