The popularity of drag in recent years can be attributed, at least in part, to Ru Paul and his resurgence as the face of Drag Race.
I remember him as the face that launched Super Model, appearing as something of an anomaly amongst the big haired, slightly portly drag queens I’d seen down the local gay bar – a quick quip and a nasty put down amongst the flat lager and the hi-energy pop. He arrived, shook the drag world up and then he seemed to disappear…
For me, Drag Race was a slow burner, a programme I didn’t “race” to watch but when it appeared on my Netflix timeline, I thought “Oh, why not?” and instantly got hooked. From Season 1 onwards, I watched it all, drama, crisis and laughter – but never felt that enthralled?
And then it exploded, Season 6 of Drag Race seems to have been the one where we got the real characters, the divas, the comedy and the voices.
And although Bianca Del Rio won, the top 3 all had different talents, and very different personalities. Bianca came across as the queen of quips and put downs, the one you want to read you, and god knows she was, and still is wonderful.
Courtney Act came over all “big down under” and had a heart, somewhere – but with a voice that could knock your Birkenstocks off! And that body? I had a hard time explaining that this woman was a man!
And then we come to Adore Delano, to paraphrase Pricilla….she’s a cock in a frock and she rocks!!!
She doesn’t do the clichéd music, she doesn’t look pretty, pretty – she’s edgy and boy can she rock a tune as well as a dress.
I got a chance to have a quick chat with the lady herself, and she kept me in stitches – she’s interesting and funny and totally talented.
With catchphrases such as “party”, “Chola”, “Libra”. “Fk”, “st”, “c**t”…she was sure to win an audience over.
Born Daniel Anthony Noriega back in 1989 in Azusa, California, her Wiki page lists her occupation as Drag queen, singer, YouTube personality, television personality – and she does all of these so well.
I asked her how she came into drag?
“I was heavily influenced by Pete Burns in high School, loved dressing up and altering my look.”
With the Pete Burns reference, I asked if she’d ever consider surgery later in life:
“F**k yeah! I want the lot!”
Review her performance on Drag Race, and watch as she blossoms under the guidance and feedback from both co-stars and mentors.
I asked her about that entrance, what it was like to be the first into that big pink room:
“They made me do that twice – the first time, they told me there were others in there and there weren’t!”
I also asked about the underwear – those of you who’ve watched it might remember her sitting on the chair and swinging her legs over the arm – only to comment that she wasn’t wearing any underwear!
One comment Michelle Visage constantly made was about Adore cinching her waist, and this led to Adore dubbing her body a “hog body”. I asked her about this, and as she said: “I cinch when I’m doing girlie stuff but not all the time”.
Another Drag Race comment was around her not being able to sew and make her own outfits like some of the other contestants, and her wardrobe wasn’t as vast or varied as others but what she had she rocked, and when she did create something, it blew them away (hint: that little punk number that reminded me of Hazel O’Connor in Breaking Glass).
When asked about her sewing skills, she commented that her style of stage drag doesn’t always need sewing skills, and as her style is rock chic, you can understand this.
I asked her how her style has changed over time, and with the notoriety that Drag Race has given her:
“I used to dress like the other girls in town – and now I do that but wear more expensive t-shirts!”
We then turned to her stage show, the bread and butter stuff that now makes the bucks. She’s about to bring this to the UK, and I asked what we could expect in terms of content:
“I’m trying to showcase different songs, so there’ll be some form the current album (see below) and also I love doing covers so expect some of these too.”
And with that voice, if you’re lucky enough to have tickets for the UK dates, you’re in for a treat.
I asked her about that now infamous Starbucks ad with Bianca Del Rio, an ad that perfectly utilises their individual skills and styles.
“It was filmed in Canada and I didn’t think it was real so I turned up with no make-up.” And yet it’s one of the best ads I’ve seen!
In these days of mass social media, I asked if she had controlled her own media feed:
“I have direct input, it’s a way of communicating that we haven’t had before.”
It is refreshing to meet an entertainer who has some control over the social output we’ve come to expect from our stars.
And finally, what’s next for Adore:
“I’m working on a new album, writing new material and hoping to get it all finished for summer this year.”
In the meantime, enjoy her latest offerings here:
Adore/Danny’s YouTube feed:
With her mini UK tour, feel free to pop to one of the venues and see her live, in the flesh and hear that powerhouse of a voice!
WEST 5 in WEST LONDON
THURSDAY, JANUARY 15th
AXM in GLASGOW
FRIDAY, JANUARY 16th
NIGHTINGALE in BIRMINGHAM
SATURDAY, JANUARY 17th
AXM in MANCHESTER
SUNDAY, JANUARY 18th
SHADE presents SR44 in NEWCASTLE
MONDAY, JANUARY 19th
Photo credit: Image with Roses by Crystal Allen