naming names

We identified the performers in Katy Perry’s ‘Swish Swish’ on SNL

Katy Perry performed at the season finale of Saturday Night Live on May 20, and she celebrated the occasion by producing one of her trademark chaotic productions: this time sharing the stage with an army of drag queens, a smattering of club kids, and one stone-faced young lad who goes by the name Russell Got Barzz on Instagram and dances while wearing a backpack. Although his choreographic vocabulary involves mostly just wiggles and body rolls, but he performs them with aplomb.

It was all quite the spectacle, and a glamorous one at that, thanks to the dancers’ array of glamour and glitter. But who were these fresh new faces that whirled and twirled as Perry sang? As America nears the end of a dismal season of RuPaul‘s Drag Race, where many of the contestants can’t/won’t dance, can’t say anything funny, or can’t be bothered to even learn the words to their lip syncs, watching Perry and Company perform was a wake-up call, a reminder that drag can really be a lot of gorgeous fun.

After much painstaking research, aided by one of the performers–the lovely and talented Yuhua Hamasaki–we have identified most of the individuals who graced the stage. “She was very sweet,” Hamasaki said of working with Perry. “She’s very hands-on and she knows what she wants. She even suggested she would get off the stage so more people could do the runway.”

To watch the video, click here, and you shall see the following lovelies go to work:

Dancers in the images above are Brenda Dharling and Svetlana Stoli; Brita Filter and Lil Miss Hot Mess; Alotta McGriddles and Indya Xtravaganza; Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza and Gisele Xtravaganza; Vivacious and Joseph Quijano Xtravaganza; Scarlet Envy and Harmonica Sunbeam; Kimberly Smallz LaBeija and Najla Gilliam; Pattaya Hart and Yuhua Hamasaki.