Gather ‘round, kiddies — the Thanksgiving table, that is! Let’s pour tea about some contests that have taken place recently, but I’ll also mention some shows that I’ve seen, too. As time goes by, I still keep thinking back to that trip to Chicago a few months ago for Miss Continental. Our reigning Miss, Mokha Montrese, is looking to make a trip through NC soon to entertain and be with the kids. I can hardly wait, but I have to do my part now and get her in touch with some folks, which is easy enough. I am still in shock over the big names that did not make finals this year — some usual heavy-hitters, like Sasha Valentino, Tamisha Iman and the dancing diva, Josephine O’Hara Andrews. There’s always a surprise if you’re paying attention! I remember running into Chilli Pepper, your very first Miss, as I was leaving town that day — she proudly showed me a pic of her modeling this gorgeous fur that cost almost a half million dollars and mentioned that she’d recently been to the White House for dinner. Don’t forget — Miss Chilli is the toast of the town and the Obamas did call Chicago home before moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Don’t hate — congratulate!

The newly crowned Miss Unlimited Arabia Knight-Addams of High Point, N.C.

In local pageants, we have a new Miss Legends — former Miss America, Luscious, Her runners-up were Lindsay Starr and Cierra Nichole. I forgot to mention in the last Rag that Tia Douglas made an appearance at this last Miss Hide-A-Way and was looking great, I’m told, and also that Angelica Bauer judged, which is somewhat unusual, as formers do not typically sit on the panel. Glad they had her there. Angelica is still stitching away for the girls and her work is better than ever. My friend Carmendy (or the artist formerly known as) was in Charleston not too long ago and tells me she saw a great show including Patty O’Furniture, Chyna and former NC U.S.ofA. at Large Coco Couture who now makes her home in Atlanta.

I had a chance a few weeks ago to attend Miss Oktoberfest at Babylon in Salisbury and what a pageant it was. Rowan County natives Jamie Monroe and Kysha L. Wellington were in the show, in addition to Cinnamen St. James. They were joined by Brionna Davis, Devonte Jackson and a lovely queen named Bella Jade (my first time seeing her). Big Shirli “Painted As Ever” Stevenz won. My little sis Brandonna Dupri was 1st RU and Jayda Cline was 2nd RU. Many nights later, I saw Brandonna in a show at Central Station along with Janice Covington, Brooke Divine LaReese, Danielle Nicole (visiting from Buffalo), Ashley Jordan and Monica Lovette. The very next day, a bunch of us had way too much fun at brunch at Bistro LaBon on Central Avenue — a new favorite on Sunday afternoons. It was a Who’s Who, I guess you could say — myself, Renee Rollins, Big Mama B, Brooke, Brandonna, Shae Shae LaReese, along with friends Richard, Drew and Stephen. Shae Shae had flown in to be in the show that night at Scorpio along with Buff Faye and BethAnn Phetamine. The famous costume contest was held in between numbers. Speaking of Buff, that is one busy queen, between her brunches at Hartigan’s, doing the shows at downtown’s Crave dessert bar and getting ready for another party bus. All aboard!

Other contests taking place recently include the first prelim to Miss NC EOY, Miss Dragula — Envee Sinz won and Rose Jackson was 1st RU. Envee also just won the Warehouse Witch contest with Marina LaFeverz as 1st RU. Paisley Parque crowned Dy’Mond Cartier the second Miss Global Glam Plus with runners-up Alexis and Neely O’Hara. Jessica Jade just recently won the Queen of Clubs contest, also held at Warehouse 29. Her RU was Malaya Chanel Iman. In other news, the Queen City NC U.S.ofA. prelim that I mentioned that I’d be at last time has been changed and Miss Della will have to miss it, but I told the promoter that I would make good on getting her news out — it will now be at Gastonia’s Night Owls on Dec. 3.

In closing, it is with heavy heart that I dedicate this column to a diva if there ever was one — former Miss Continental, Cherine Alexander. I never had the privilege of meeting her before her recent passing, but if you’ve seen the old tapes, you know they used to beat the walls when she’d come out, much like they do now for Erica Andrews or Chanel Dupree. A fallen star, a risen angel as the saying goes. Show owner and founder Jim Flint shared with me that Cherine was originally from Honolulu, HI, where she was a graduate of McKinley High School and captain of the swimming team, moving to Chicago in 1975. She was one of the greatest and admired entertainers that had ever worked at the Baton Show Lounge and certainly a former Miss Continental that will be talked about forever. Cremation was her request and her ashes were to be buried with or alongside her partner, Phil, who preceeded her in death. : :

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