RuPaul Should Have “Sashay-ed Away” At Sydney Mardi Gras

RuPaul kills it every week on her TV show but she should’ve been made to lip-synch for her life after her lackluster performance at Sydney Mardi Gras on Saturday, according to Down Under blog SameSame.

Alone on the giant stage at midnight in the Royal Hall of Industries, RuPaul badly mimed her song “Supermodel,” then departed, leaving her back-up dancers to perform the theme of Drag Race by themselves.

“She looked bored and mimed her own song badly, not caring if she stopped ‘singing’ while the main vocals on the song kept going,” said a party punter who witnessed the carnage. She even told the crowd “Happy Pride!”

SameSame claims those working on the performance, “were yesterday muttering about how hard she was to work with, with creative tussles ending in her refusal to be on stage with any of the back-up dancers.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Ru has acted the diva.

Apparently the Supermodel of the World gave a more riveting performance later in the evening at the Forum. So at least we know she can still bring it—when she wants to.

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  • wc1

    Although not the most energetic performance ever, she seemed synced up to me.

  • Jason

    I mean, it’s not the best performance a queen can give, but it’s also hot horrible?

    And just to play devil’s advocate: everyone is entitled to a “bad day at work.” We’ve all head them. We just have the luxury of them not being videotaped and critiqued by thousands of gay men…

  • Daniel Henry

    I once saw Ru Paul at a convention in NYC. I asked her if I could shake her hand.
    She told me to buy an CD or a book first. It would have taken less time for her to
    shake hands than make the bitchy comment.

  • Charlie in Charge

    @Daniel Henry: If you appreciate her work, buy a book.

  • Rebecca Juro

    Um, let’s be clear here: RuPaul is a guy, a gay man in drag, not a woman, and the proper pronoun to use for a male-identified person is “he”, not “she”. You keep him, we don’t want him.

  • Eric Auerbach

    @Daniel Henry: Now drag queens are getting bitchy? What’s next, too much make-up?

  • Polyboy

    Yes, like bloggers give anything close to non biased reports on entertainers.

  • Polyboy

    Oh and Rebecca, please go take a Xanax. That kind of attitude wouldn’t be acceptable attitude of cis to trans and it is not acceptable the other way around.

  • wc1

    @Rebecca Juro:

    Let’s be clear. You are an idiot.

    She’s a legend.

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    This isn’t the first bad performance Ru’s given and it won’t be the last. There’s a ton of them on uTube. He’s fought depression all of his life so it’s no surprise. And to still be “working” after being so famous is likely a bummer for him. I’d like to see an audience video because it appears the crowd was awful, anyway so…

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    @Rebecca Juro:

    Here’s the clear t. It is customary to use the pronoun “she” when discussing a drag performer when dressed as a woman, or when performing as a woman. So “she” is correct here. Just because you’re not into it, the custom is NOT going to change. Furthermore, prior to Adam Lambert, RuPaul accomplished more for LGBT people than anyone else in entertainment history so get over yourself.

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    @Rebecca Juro:

    You really have no clue in your limited opinionated radical imagination. You owe EVERYTHING to the first “trans-for-pay” and/or “trans-for-fun” DRAG QUEEN and her friends at Stonewall in 1969.

    Just because you discovered transgender politics doesn’t give you the right to chose to “own” a larger picture.

  • Rebecca Juro

    @ScaryRussianHeather: Really? More than Ellen Degeneres? More than Rachel Maddow? More than Freddy Mercury? David Bowie? Elton John? Rosie O’Donnell?

    Get serious…Ru Paul isn’t even in the top ten.

  • Mr. Robertson

    @Rebecca Juro: Sweet Fancy Moses! An entire article about your inability to understand the concept of “drag”? And you actually got *paid* for it? Nice work if you can get it, I guess.

  • Rebecca Juro

    For the record, the proper way to gender anyone is in concert with the way they personally identify, regardless of one’s outward presentation. RuPaul personally ID’s as a gay man, therefore the proper pronouns to use are “he and “him”.

  • LandStander

    @Rebecca Juro: First let me say I completely agree with your list of people in entertainment who have done way more for us then Ru Paul. Ru Paul done more for us then Ellen? That is hilarious :P

    Secondly, I can see both sides of the argument about which pronoun to use with Ru Paul. You are right, usually the proper pronoun to use correlates to the gender the person in question identifies with. However, when discussing men who are -currently- in drag, many people use the pronoun she (including many of the drag queens themselves) regardless of the fact that they do not personally identify with the female gender. It is, however, the gender of their performing “persona”.

    For example, Glen Milstead in everyday life is a He. He uses male pronouns. When Glen Milstead performs as “Divine” however, we do not call him Mr. Divine, because his persona “Divine” is a female.

  • DenverBarbie

    @Rebecca Juro: RuPaul (along with many others drag queens) is beauty and femininity. Whether they are exemplified by male-bodied or female bodied people, these are traits that I, as a woman, celebrate.

  • Rebecca Juro

    @DenverBarbie: The question is not whether RuPaul looks good in drag. Certainly he does, a big reason why he’s been so successful at it. The question is should others be referring to him as “she” when he himself has identified himself as a gay man who does drag for money, not as a lifstyle (one of his many such declarations is linked in my HuffPo article on him which I linked in a comment above).

    As the AP Stylebook says, when in doubt go with how an individual identifies publicly. Unless RuPaul himself says that he wants to be referred to as “she” from now on (which opens up a whole new can of worms which has little or nothing to do with drag) then I’ll continue to use what has long been considered to be the proper and respectful way of gendering someone.

  • Mr. Robertson

    @Rebecca Juro: It’s not that difficult, Becks. When they’re in drag, they’re “she.” When they’re out of drag, they’re “he.”

    For someone who writes for a living, you’re weirdly ham-handed with language.

  • Rebecca Juro

    @Mr. Robertson: No, I’m not ham-handed at all, I just don’t agree with your interpretation of the proper way to gender someone. As someone who writes for mainstream as well as LGBT-specific media I tend to rely on the journalist’s bible on these kinds of things, the Associated Press Stylebook.

    Furthermore, I think it would be both presumptuous and disrespectful to ignore RuPaul’s own well-known personal self-identification and instead insert my own different one, even if I thought RuPaul legitimately qualified as a “she” (which I don’t).

  • wc1

    @Rebecca Juro:

    LOL why are you even arguing this? How could it possibly matter to you?

  • Polyboy

    Trans for pay? Trans for fun?

    GTFO Rebecca. This isn’t porn and equating drag performances with GFP transliteratives that don’t even come close to matching thematically is intellectually lazy.

  • wc1

    @Rebecca Juro:

    Okay, I beg your pardon. You are a trans advocate. I understand the context now. I apologize for calling you an idiot.

    Look, I get why you are offended by someone in drag identifying as female when they are male and gay. However, it’s performance. It’s a man pretending to be a woman, not a man who really is a woman. Just like the drag queen is wearing feminine identifiers like make up and dresses, we use the feminine pronoun when speaking to/about them. I’ve never assumed a drag performer was a trans person, and when I call him “she”, I am not doing it to harm trans people.

  • Mr. Robertson

    @Rebecca Juro: Yeah. You’ve clearly never been around drag queens, otherwise you’d know that this isn’t “my” interpretation.

    Your dumbassiness is not surprising, though, given that you seem baffled by the very concept of “drag,” as proven by your HuffPo article. (Gist of the article: “Wait a minute? RuPaul was born a man, dresses like a woman, but is NOT transsexual? Say whaaaa????)

    PS: This is you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSTEqHxh3fI

  • Mr. Robertson

    @Rebecca Juro: Seriously, though, watching movies must be so awful for you. “Wait a minute … his name is Elijah Wood. Why do they keep calling him “Frodo”? The AP Stylebook CLEARLY says you must address people by their actual name, not make up fake ones willy-nilly. So! Much! Confusion! Aaargh!!” [Head explodes].

  • GreatGatsby2011

    @Rebecca Juro: You’re absolutely right. It is both presumptuous and disrespectful to ignore Rupaul’s well-known self-identification as female while in drag. Anyone who watches Rupaul’s Drag Race knows that he refers to drag queens as female (ladies, girls, miss, etc).

    It’s unfortunate that the Associated Press fails to comprehend the fluidity of a drag queen’s gender identity, but it’s not the first time journalists have gotten their information wrong, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

  • Skippy

    How can an “ally” like Rebecca Juro be so woefully ill-informed about the drag community and gender identification?

  • Miss Understood

    @Rebecca Juro: Before Rupaul became popular in mainstream media, when she was just a performer in downtown New York City, she, like 95% of drag queens, was generally referred to as a “she”. After Supermodel, rather than try to re-educate the rest of America to drag lingo she decided to accept either pronoun.
    One of her famous quotes:
    “You can call me he, you can call me she, you can call me Regis & Kathy Lee, just call me.”

    I think that Rebecca is drawing a harder line between genders than what exists in front of her. Many drag queens feel at least somewhat transgender, at least for the time they are in drag. This works both ways you know. Most drag kings won’t warm up to you if you refer to them as “she”

    Drag is not just dress up, it’s a culture and Rebecca is completely ignoring it’s customs. She should stop being so defensive and be open to learning something.

  • JS

    @Miss Understood: I don’t think it’s fair to characterize gender fluidity, under which I presume people are able to perform drag, as being ‘transgender.’ It’s unfair to trans folks who work to fight this assumption. At the same time, I think Rebecca Juro, or trans rights activists, should appreciate this precarious idea of ‘gender fluidity.’ Indeed, it can be harmful when applied to transgenderism, but at the same time, it provides a useful venue through which we can defy gender norms to which we are all subject.

  • Ronn

    I loooove RuPaul and have much respect for what he’s accomplished in his career. However, I’ve seen RuPaul perform live twice and he’s not the most dynamic performer or as a lot of my gay friends say ” she doesnt really WORK IT”. He looks fabulous and can even hold a tune with his own voice but there are many more drag queens that can outperform Ru in second!

  • Baz

    I think its because we have such a high standard of Drag in Australia, and we have pretty high expectations of when we go to see a show – let alone the midnight Mardi Gras show. I think it was a waste of money paying for Ru to come down under when we have amazing queens in Sydney who would have busted their arse off to produce a headline show worth remembering.

  • Cam

    @Rebecca Juro: said…

    “For the record, the proper way to gender anyone is in concert with the way they personally identify, regardless of one’s outward presentation.”

    Please link to the rule book where you are getting your information.

    The facts are traditionally, when a drag queen is out of drag you refer to them as “HE” when they are in drag you refer to them as “SHE” as it is part of the illusion they are working to maintain. It is rude to refer to a drag queen in drag as “He” as it implies that they are not effective.

    Please go back to your sociology 101 class and pick some other little issue to pretend to get upset about.

  • Price Waterhouse

    It’s hard to believe that in 2012, drag would still be the only “entertainment” offered to the gay community, or that people still watch it.

  • Mr. Robertson

    @Cam: “It is rude to refer to a drag queen in drag as “He””

    Exactly. It’s just good manners.

  • MD

    From 2 well known Sydney drag queens’ facebook:

    1) Show started with RuPaul on stage alone, and everyone was waiting for dancers to burst on stage, but nothing.. After the song, lights went out and everyone was like WTF?! Thats it??!! Then music started again and we thought it was an extended show, but the production show came on stage and did the show they created for RuPaul, without her.. Ridiculous!

    I was front row for both shows last night (by lucky chance). And I completely agree with how terrible she was in the RHI and how great she was in Forum. In the RHI she looked bored and mimed her own song badly, not caring if she stopped ‘si…nging’ while the main vocals on the song kept going. The performers were (so they thought) supposed to be dancing around her. (Their routine and consumes were FANTASTIC-great concept-well done guys!) But apparently Ru arrived at tech run with her iPod and said ‘we’ll be playing this song off my iPod, just fade it out once it’s done, give that back to my people once it’s over’ the song was completely different from what the dancers had prepared so they had to be split. She was such a diva about it MG apparently talked about canceling her and calling in a local queen to replace her and turning it into a Ru Paul tribute show instead. She even had all the dancers enter from one side of the stage because she didn’t even want to see them as she exited! All of that is such a shame because on that huge stage she really could have done with some backup performers to enhance her show and to distract from how much she didn’t care and her huge lack of dance ability.

    Forum was fantastic! Here Ru’s I-must-be-the-only-one-on-stage attitude was fine and she was obviously loving it because in the Forum (a much smaller venue with a traditional easy to manage stage) the show was all about her. She rocked it and I had SO much fun in there with her!! Especially when she was chatting to us. (Channel Pussy anyone?) Her cheap Bali dresses are pretty crap costumes but that is her look.

    But even in the forum she was a diva and really pissed off the light and sound technicians (people who are working harder than she is to benefit her- not themselves) with her demands. And then when she ‘joked’ complained about the lighting and mentioned the lighting designer/technician by name (‘put a gel on that shit’) he was furious! Wanted to turn all the lights off and walk away!
    So all in all she was gay, fun diva with a terrible attitude and work ethic. I’d be happy to watch her again but fuck I never want to have to work with her or ever met her!

  • zephyr with a Z

    To Rebecca, I know we shouldn’t assume that what is on a wikipedia article is the gospel truth about everything, but in the opening paragraph there is the following line:

    “RuPaul is noted among famous drag queens for his indifference towards the gender-specific pronouns used to address him—both “he” and “she” have been deemed acceptable.”


    That is followed by the quote that Miss Understood mentioned in post #29, you can call me Regis and Kathie Lee, etc. If Ru can handle either pronoun, it hardly seems worth quibbling over in the context of this article.

    What I really want to know is, did she bring the Pit Crew with her? The furry guy (I think his name is Shawn Morales) is sexy as hell!!

  • hamoboy

    @Rebecca Juro: You’re really, really, clueless. Your article on HuffPo, and now your comments here are just incredibly dumb. Drag (as RuPaul presents it) is chiefly about comedy, particularly crass, offensive and over the top areas, with a side dish of self love and fashion. Hunty, you’re not nearly as smart and on-point as you might like to think you are, and THAT’S the T!

  • toby briant

    I love this gossip which is based on no fact all. I was there she was SUBLIME! EVERYONE thought so…… Her show went for ages and for a 1 person show I havnt seen that in years. Go Ru we love u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BTW the video from above is not from the Royal Hall of Industries…. it was a different number… shows how unfactual the story is…. lol

  • what?

    @Rebecca Juro: and let me know if you want proper citation. i can cite you up and down in both mla and apa formats.

  • Fitz

    Holy carp- that was some back-water unprofessional junk.

  • Garry

    I actually was backstage and it wasnt Ru at all. Mardi Gras never told Ru about the 40 dancers and the song was chosen months prior. Ru was actually backstage and had to sprint up the steps because there were no stage managers or crew… she didnt even have a mic to go on stage with. Seriously…. who’s professional here? Love a crowds take on the situation though… funny the stories that spread.

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