“Gentlemen, start your engines, and may the best woman win!” Those words are some of the most iconic in all of TV, and they hail from one of the most entertaining shows on TV. RuPaul’s Drag Race has taken the world by storm, and I have to admit I love it. It is an amazing show that displays acts that seem like they should be impossible. It does not seem possible that Katya Zamolodchikova should be able to do a back handspring in stilettos, or that Latrice Royal, the self-proclaimed chunky yet funky star of season five, should be able to drop into the splits at a moment’s notice. Drag Race is a cultural phenomenon that is captivating the world by storm. So in this post I am going to be giving you everything you need to know about Drag Race so that you can get into the 11th season with ease.
RuPaul’s Drag Race is a show hosted by RuPaul Charles, the supermodel of the world and perhaps the most iconic drag queen of all time, that features 16 drag queens battling it out to see who can be the next drag superstar. The show features a multitude of crazy challenges from creating a full outfit out of trash to impersonating celebrities during the snatch game. The show is filled with lots of talent and even more personality. Some of the most iconic quotes in pop culture come from Drag Race including but not limited to: “not today Satan”, “the shade, the shade of it all”, and of course “Miss. Vanjie, Miss. Vanjie, Miss. Vaaanjiieee” as well as so many more! Really if you are not watching Drag Race you are missing out. On top of all of the drama and funny moments, Drag Race also serves as a great example for anyone out there who may be struggling through some tough times. Ongina shared about her struggle with HIV on season 1, and Roxxxy Andrews recanted about the way her mother abandoned her at a bus stop when she was a child on season 4. I know it’s pretty heavy, but these examples mixed with the drama and over the top personalities makes for great TV.
Now Drag Race has been nominated for 23 Emmys and has even brought home 9 of them. The 11th season is in full swing, and it is looking to be a great season. Considering I have seen all 10 of the previous seasons of Drag Race, as well as the 4 seasons of all stars, and even the weird Christmas musical special I feel as though I am now qualified to give you some of my top picks to take home the crown. Plastique Tiara is a queen from Vietnam who is straight up beautiful, this queen looks like a genetic woman, as well as being a force to be reckoned with in challenges. Nina West is an iconic drag queen who is distinguished for her great outfits as well as entertaining personality (she even won entertainer of the year in 2008). Silky Nutmeg Ganache is such a big personality that she has managed to irritate practically every other queen in the competition, but she is a monster when it comes to mini challenges so it seems like she will do well this season. Finally, the meme queen herself, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo. Miss. Vanjie took the world by storm after being eliminated first on season 10 when her exit line went viral.
So that’s it! You are now ready to enter into the Drag Pantheon, or to at least watch a bunch of men in dresses do it. Drag Race is on VH1 every Thursday night so make sure to tune in so that you don’t miss a beat. Finally, always remember, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else. Can I get an amen?”
I recently had the pleasure of accompanying a team of seven WLTL managers to Manhattan for the annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Conference, an event full of awards and informational sessions for student radio stations like our own. While there, our group stopped by Dizzy’s Club, a venue for late night jazz at Jazz At Lincoln Center. It was a part of the trip I highly anticipated; I’m constantly watching performance videos from Dizzy’s Club, and to sit down in the room where they originate had the same eerie familiarity as touring the set of SNL, (which we did the following day). Though, I had one reservation about the performance-- the lead player was a trombonist. When it comes to solo instruments, I always prefer the sweeter tone of a saxophone or a trumpet over a trombone.
But Jeffery Miller is no ordinary trombone player.
Born in New Orleans just twenty two years ago, the prodigy has already graduated Juilliard and toured with Arcade Fire and the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra. The first thing I noticed when he stood up to play was that even with two mutes in his horn, his sound filled every inch of the room. The second thing I noticed, however, was what really shocked me. Each note came out with the careless buttery precision of a saxophone. I have never heard a tone so rich from any instrument in my life, let alone from one that I tend not to enjoy hearing. But with Jeffery Miller’s unparalleled touch, the full deep range of the trombone suddenly came alive for me that night in ways I had never
The theme of the night was Songs About Women, and with each number, he demonstrated the immense respect he has for all of the great women of his life. He openly talked about losing his mother at a young age, and paid her a tribute that he called a work in progress, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use words like masterpiece. He played until one in the morning, but I wasn’t even blinking when he finally finished. Out of an entire weekend in New York City, this single twenty-two-year-old musician was the most interesting part.
There are a few things I know about New York. It’s huge.
There’s a particular stench that seems to flood the streets and follow you around, lingering ever so closely. People flock and crowd the streets; there’s commotion everywhere. And within all the chaos, every person tends to have their own favorite stories of the stinky, crowded, large and in charge, yet beautiful city. Returning with the station for a round 2 this year certainly did not disappoint and being around some of my favorite people and favorite places makes me feel incredibly grateful and ridiculously lucky.
On the 18th floor of the once beautiful, but now mostly historic Hotel Pennsylvania lies
one of the most impressive radio conferences of the year, IBS. Full of professionals, and
students, IBS offers a chance to ask questions, network, and learn about a medium that means
something special to everyone attending. My favorite seminar of the weekend was WIUX’s talk
about how they rebranded their station in a period of transition. Listening to one of the best
college stations talk about their own faults was very eye-opening and it sparked an entire group-
wide brainstorming session. And as someone potentially attending Indiana University, I felt
solid in my decisions knowing that I had the chance to be a part of their radio program for the
next four years. Besides talking to WIUX, we had the chance to listen to on-air personalities talk
about their show prep as well listen to authors and industry alum lecture on how to make
interesting content. The entire weekend sparked ideas within all the managers attending and
we spent countless hours of our freetime on the trip going back and forth trying to solidify all our
crazy thoughts into concrete plans.
Although we were there for radio, my favorite part of the trip was getting to be with my
friends. Being in a new environment allowed us to get insanely close and we spent as much
time as we could together. We took group naps, shared playlists, annoyed each other to no
end, but what made the trip so memorable was that we were all together doing what we loved.
We all especially enjoyed the late night jazz show we saw at Lincoln Center. Huddled into the
center of the dimly lit space, we sat with mouths wide open as the sweet, sweet sounds of
trombone and piano filled our ears. Exhausted and delirious, we were all uber aware of how
special that moment was. The lack of sleep was well worth the hours spent with all my friends
and I’m so happy I got to spend one of the craziest weekends of my life with five really cool
Although smelly, overbearing, and claustrophobic, New York has filled me with ideas
and strengthened my relationships. I wouldn’t trade these adventures for the world. I’ve gained
experience all the while being with my friends and co-workers in one of the most diverse places
in the world.
Who Are We?
We are the management staff of WLTL. These are our stories.