Well, kids, you know the drill — we’ve been doing this for a long time and we’re here to chat about pageants and the queens who win them. And, those who almost win them, too, I guess. I hope this finds everyone doing well. We’ve got two exciting national contests to discuss and all manner of tidbits, too.

Dana Douglas, Miss Continental Elite
Photo Credit: VVP, © G.L. Honaker

Our promo this time is of a dear friend of mine and also an old school diva who is still relevant to this day — Miss Dana Douglas, a former Miss Continental and the current Miss Continental Elite. Sweet as the peaches in Valdosta, Ga., where she’s from, but makes her home now in Gainesville, Fla., Dana, of course, competed as Miss Carolina Continental, which makes her win even more special to me.

A huge Carolina congrats goes out to Dorae Sierra Saunders of Columbia, S.C., who just won Miss Gay U.S.ofA. at Large in sunny Florida. The girl’s dream finally came true and I, for one, am so happy for her! I knew she was ready when I judged her at Miss Scorpio At Large and we chatted afterwards. (I told you your 40s would be good to you, sis!) Dorae won Evening Gown and Interview. Her runners-up included: Angelica “Piggy” Sanchez (who won Talent), Maria Garrison, Kayla Krawford and Chanel LaMasters. Other finalists, in order of placement, included Jocelyn D. Summers, Beverly Hills, Valerie Paris, our Miss NC Malaysia Black, Beth Amphetamine, Ivana Black and Rochelle D’Leight. Congrats also to Hickory’s Nancy Newton who celebrated her 20th anniversary as Miss U.S.ofA. at Large!

As I write this, Miss Gay America has just taken place and Kirby Kolby has relinquished her title after a wonderful year of realizing her dream and having overseen 23 preliminaries. The coveted Top 10 included Patti Lovelace, our very own Miss NC Ariel Knight-Addams, Roxy Brooks, Araya Sparxx, Chantel Reshae, 4th runner-up Deva Station (winner of one preliminary award), 3rd RU Kofi (winner of two preliminary awards), 2nd RU Jessica Jade (winner of three preliminary awards), former Miss NC Blair Williams was 1st RU (winner of two preliminary awards) and the winner was Sally Sparkles (whom I’m gonna nickname the Texas Tea) who won two preliminary awards, as well. I met Sally when she competed in Charlotte a couple years ago at a regional held at Scorpio. I hope this year holds great things for her. It’s like I told Big Mama B in a text that very night — she’s from Texas and we’ll make sure to love her! Period.

Speaking of Texas, Layla LaRue, our Miss Classic U.S.ofA., recently held her Miss Texas FFI at the Rose Room in Dallas and Kennedy Davenport won! Her RUs included Chanel LaMasters and Kourtney Paige Van Wales. Alexis Rayne was Miss Congeniality. Kourtney won Most Beautiful. Best Talent went to Chanel and Kennedy won Creative Presentation and Fashion Wear (in this case, Gown!). Miss TX FFI At Large will be on Nov. 4 in San Antonio.

I wanted to take this time to mention the upcoming drag brunches by the Crape Myrtle Festival gang in Raleigh. They’ve just moved to a fancy-schmancy place called Solas on Glenwood and the brunches are the organization’s fundraisers for those living in the Triangle area with HIV/AIDS. What a good cause and so much fun, I’m sure. Miss Marilyn Merlot (a painted diva in her own right) invited me up to come hang out with her and the brunch housecast — Dana St. James, that crazy Ebony Summers and Michelle Warren. To my knowledge, three of these four serve on the 33rd Crape Myrtle Festival volunteer board. Every third Sunday of the month is the plan! Road trip, anyone? Read more at crapemyrtlefest.org/, okay?

As for local contests, I have to chuckle…the two I know about had the same winner. Miss Greenville (SC) at the Castle took place several weeks ago and Brooke Storm-Divine LaReese won; her RU was Daesha Richards. Then a couple weeks later, London Dior crowned Brooke Miss Hide-A-Way and her runners-up were Kylie Kay and Amber Rochelle St. James. All right, Miss Brooke, what’s next for you? Come out and support Brooke as she holds Miss NC All-American Goddess and At Large at Scorpio on Oct. 29, with a special show the night before that she’s in with NC All-American Goddess at Large Emeritus Tiffany Storm, the All-American Goddess Asia O’Hara from Dallas and the All-American Goddess At-Large Whitney Paige from Little Rock. I got my time off from work to be there, mama, okay? See y’all then! The Monday night line-up includes many exciting performers, including former All-American Goddess At Large Dena Cass and last year’s winner of NC A-AG At Large Alexis Nicole Whitney, who recently won Miss Unlimited. And, silly me! Speaking of Unlimited, they recently held Miss Classique Unlimited in Columbus and my dear sister, Jessica Raye won and her RU was Ginger Manchester. Congrats to the “painted-for-the-concession-stand” Erica Martinez on relinquishing her title.

In closing, I dedicate this column to two sweeties who have gone on. The first, known as Miss Tillman, was a staple in the Fayetteville, N.C., drag scene years ago and did shows back in the day as Lavita Love. Miss Tillman would always be at a pageant and I met her through Victoria Parker. I’m thinking they first met at Lynn’s Lounge where both did shows. At one time, Miss Tillman owned Miss Emerald City. The other, whom I never had the pleasure to meet, we all knew from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — Miss Sahara Davenport. She passed a few weeks ago and was the partner of Manila Luzon, who was second in line the following season on the “Drag Race.” Reminds me of an old saying: “Fallen stars, risen angels.” May they rest in peace. : :

info: Drop me a line, OK? TheTeaMissD@yahoo.com