WATCH: Did Drag Race Star Alaska “Borrow” This Filipino Drag Queen’s Schtick?

At the RuPaul‘s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons on Saturday night, Alaska Thunderfuck stunned the audience with a straight-up lipsynch of Mariah Carey’s “Hero” interrupted by a unearthly howl reminiscent of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. (Above, watch Alaska perform the number at a Heaven and Hell party in Pittsburgh.)

When we were recounting the amazing number to a friend, he recalled seeing something eerily similar a few years back on YouTube: An unnamed drag queen in the Philippines got more than a 1.5 million views with her rendition of “I Will Always Love You” (below), which was also punctuated with some truly monstrous turns.

Is this merely a coincidence, or did Alaska lift this gurl’s bit? (Ms. Thunderfuck has apparently admitted her trademark “hiiiii” came from another queen.)

Well, if Alaska is guilty, she’d hardly be the first queen to snatch a routine. Even Queen Bey has lifted her videos from Italian singers and old Audrey Hepburn movies.

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  • Vince Smetana

    I doubt Alaska came up with that move herself. And, she doesn’t really do much with it. Originality is rare these days, because most everything has been done. I feel like I’ve even seen it years and years before the Filipino chick, though her presentation is pretty good, especially the bit towards the end where she kneels down and lifts up her dress. Actually, the performance is awesome.

  • TinoTurner

    Of course she stole it…its the same sound effects. What a talentless loser.

  • Jawsch

    Really people?

    Go to any drag competition and you’ll see part of a routine, part of a dance move, something taken from another queen.

    Who really cares? Is she standing up there saying “Look at me, I created this on my own. I came up with this by myself”? Nope, pretty sure she’s not.

  • Vince Smetana

    Oh, and, another thing. Watch at the end, how she ends her number BEFORE the Psycho musical cue is finished. She doesn’t commit to the very end. Very disappointing. Was this a dress rehearsal? While I find Jinnkx Monsoon exceptionally obnoxious, girl’s got follow-through. No question. But, hey, we’re a country with low standards, so who cares right? Who wants caviar, when there’s plenty of bean dip to go around.

    On a positive, I will say her hair and makeup look pretty flawess, but, like always, her outfits require little assembly. Looks like she didn’t bother to take the judges criticisms to heart. But, she does look great and much better than I would in drag.

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    @Vince Smetana:

    How the HELL is Jinkx Monsoon exceptionally obnoxious? She doesn’t bother anyone – do you even watch the show? And you obviously know nothing about her since she’s a professional formally trained working actor having just starred in Hedwig, Rent as Angel and Spring Awakening as Moritz.

    Maybe go watch Drag Becomes Him Parts I, II and III on youtube, 3 beautifully done documentaries about Jerick Hoffer/Jinkx Monsoon, a humble and hardworking person who can discuss drag as an artform in context of Commedia dell’Arte. He put himself through Cornish College as a janitor and graduated Summa Cum Laude WITH narcolepsy. Obnoxious is quite a write off for someone so devoted to his passion.

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    And BTW NOTHING Hoffer does can be said to be a rip off, since his work is 100% live and original concept compared to most of today’s drag. Like this idea of conflating Little Edie with this song or rewriting and performing Sweeney Todd with LGBT lyrics, or producing and writing Old Vaudeville style shows or the Monsoon Season webisodes he wrote and produced with no money right after college. His character is a fully realized person with an ensemble cast unlike any other queen out there, character queen or otherwise.

  • Vince Smetana

    @ScaryRussianHeather: Keep in mind that I’m judging the Jinnkx character on RPDR, not the Jinnx Monsoon of real life. Queerty encapsulates my feelings with referencing her trademarked Genuine Human Emotion in a previous RPDR post. Perhaps you don’t find the GHE obnoxious. Oh well. I never said she wasn’t talented, either. And I’ve had nothing but good things to say about her as a performer. She obviously has plenty to offer, moreso than most of the queens on Drag Race. However, on the series, in the confessionals, where she talks about how all the people hate on her and works up the tears–tired and obnoxious. And, if she never went there, I wouldn’t be hating on that one element and she’d be otherwise fine in my book. So, blame it on the show.

    To clarify, I find the Jinnkx Monsoon of RPDR to be obnoxious in the confessionals. Otherwise, I find her to be obscenely talented–in the challenges, and I’m sure in real life.

  • Vince Smetana

    @ScaryRussianHeather: And, yes, in a world lacking originality, Jinnkx is one of the few who rise above. Unlike most of the queens on RPDR.

  • SamiJ

    I’m sorry, but criticising drag queens for lacking originality is, in general, unfair. Drag is a genre of performance that is centred on derivative mimicry, and I’m not actually saying that’s a bad thing.

    But seriously – at the core of drag there is lip synching to other people’s music. Stylistically, drag is largely dependent on the styles of iconic women.

    Excellence in drag isn’t about doing something new, something no-one has ever seen before. It’s about taking the existing material and doing it with flair, reinterpreting it where suitable to create new art out of existing content.

    I adore Jinkx Monsoon, but Jinkx is not bringing originality to RPDR, either. Creativity, yes. Brilliant performances, yes. Talent, yes. But it’s not originality (though I have no doubt Jerick Hoffer is capable of it and does very original things elsewhere). Drag never is. It’s taking the inspiration out of other people’s ideas and making it your own.

  • xamthor

    Amateurs copy. Artists steal.
    If Alaska is willing to admit it, all the better.
    After all, nothing about YOU is original.
    You are the combination of everyone you have met and everything you have experienced.
    ^(That’s not even original)

    Instead of looking back to where it came from look ahead to where it is going.

  • hamoboy

    @Jawsch: The problem is that these Haus of Haunt bitches like to present themselves to non-drag queen aware audiences as totes original and amahzing, so when they do shit like this, all of Sharon Needles’ clueless young fans have fangasms over this and think Alaska is “soooo furken originurl” not realizing the bitch is doing a 2nd rate copy of another queen.

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