Week four of the Ultimate Queen All-Stars competition at Tracks was a real zoo: The six queens remaining were tasked with bringing animals to life on stage, and that inspired some of the strongest makeup and performances so far. But then came a wild twist...
On September 15 at Tracks, mentors Mariah Spanic, Felony Misdemeanor and Victoria Sexton were joined by revered "Dreamgirl" Jackie Summers to critique these wild girls and their metamorphoses into top queens, and Amya Kunt — who'd recently departed our state for sunny L.A. — returned for a guest-hosting spot that made us realize how much we'd missed her unique brand of sass and sex.
As for the queens of the jungle: Kyile Vanderpump brought a scaly dragon to life, Arial StaxXx took flight as a bird, Cherry Poppins begged for our attention as a dalmation, Valerie Shearz roared as an elephant, Gia StaxXx chop-sueyed a feminine Kung Fu Panda, and Mani Queen got a leg up as a luscious black widow.
When the dust settled, Valerie had stomped the competition and won the challenge for the second week in a row. Meanwhile, Cherry and Gia tumbled to the bottom, where they were left to lip-synch battle over Ke$ha's "Cannibal" in a savage brawl that left blood on the dance floor — and eliminated Cherry.
But, wait! In a stunning twist, hosts Mia StaxXx and Amya announced that on the next night, Cherry — along with other eliminated queens Anka Shayne and Candy Warhol — would be at the Dreamgirls show at M Uptown to perform and let the audience vote for who should come back into the All-Stars fray.
Dreamgirls, Denver's longest running drag show, makes for an unusual battleground; every Friday the place is packed to the gills, leaving little room for a performer to navigate the crowd on tiny heels — while dodging servers and hot plates of food. Each gal was given two numbers with which to sway the loud, boisterous crowd — and in the end the people went nuts for Candy Warhol, cinching her return to the Ultimate Queen stage at Tracks this Thursday.
For this next round, the category is famous soundtracks — which means that the world of musicals and movies is up for interpretation by a reshuffled final six. May the odds be ever in their favor.
Until then, here are some clips from week four of the competition:
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Ultimate Queen All-Stars continues Thursdays at Tracks, 3500 Walnut Street. Doors open at 7 p.m., with new episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars starting at 7:30 p.m.; the UQ All-Stars competition rolls after that, and the party continues until 2 a.m. Admission for 18+ is a $5 cover, $10 after 10 p.m.; 21+ is free. Find more info at tracksdenver.com.