RU Fierce struts first show through residence life

By Kristin McKee

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Fidget Bleach, Raney Daze, and Chair with guest judge Lizzie Kricke. Photo by Kristin McKee.

Residence life held their first “RU Fierce” competition of the year for the students’ entertainment in the recreation room on the night of Oct. 22.

RU Fierce is a drag show (a play on “drag queen” and car “drag” racing) where contestants dress in clothing of the opposite sex, or drag, and compete in certain challenges. The contestants involved in a drag race often magnify the characteristics in their personality and looks such as exaggerated makeup and amplified femininity. The competition is a nod towards VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” a reality series that follows RuPaul’s search for the next drag queen star.

RU Fierce was brought to Roosevelt with the help of resident advisors Andrew Roth and Shan Wofford.

“Shan and I love drag, so we wanted to bring a drag show to the residence hall,” said Roth.

The competition was judged by Roth and Wofford with a guest judge, student Lizzie Kricke. The contestants consisted of students Rane Kenney, Stuart Albaugh, and Ethan Puisto. The students had the opportunity to compete with their own drag queen names: Kenney as “Raney Daze,” Albaugh as “Chair” and Puisto as “Fidget Bleach.”

Wofford welcomed the audience with a short introduction of herself, Albaugh, and Kricke and explained what the audience should expect from the night’s show. She then introduced the contestants one by one as they strutted down the runway to fill the audience with exhilaration.

The recreation room was illuminated with the audience’s flashlights from their phone to create the effect of a real runway show and to almost add a spotlight on the contestants.

The first challenge the contestants had to compete in was named “Fashion Photo RUview: Chicago Edition.” In this challenge, the contestants had to guess which famous drag queen was silhouetted in the photo. Many of the photos remained unanswered and, as a result, no winner was declared.

For the next and final challenge, the contestants had to perform in front of the audience. They had to lip sync and act out a song of their choosing to the best of their ability, and their goal was to encourage the audience’s excitement and interact with them as much as possible. This challenge was a crowd favorite as the recreation room roared with screaming students and even attracted stragglers simply passing by.

Once the contestants finished their performances, the audience was instructed to go to to vote on who they think executed their performance the best. As votes were being counted, the audience received a special performance from Roth in his drag queen persona, “Purrsia.”

The winner of the night came out to be Albaugh. “I’ve been doing drag since my freshman year of high school, and I thought RU Fierce was the perfect opportunity to showcase my talent,” said Albaugh.

When asked about future RU Fierce shows, Casey Fitzpatrick answered, “I’m totally on board for another show in the spring. Shan and Andrew both said they were thinking about it, and it’s going to be fierce.”

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