Ya know, sometimes when I sit down to do this column, I wonder — “Well, what do I start with?” I go back and look at the notes I’ve made, the emails and texts I’ve saved and sometimes I still mess up! Case in point — in the last Rag, I failed to mention that at Miss NC America, I saw old friends and stars of the stage like Tasha Michaels (a former Miss World at Large), Thom Guinn (a former entertainer and show director at Scorpio) and his partner Michael along with his brother Tim (Brittany Michaels). I was also able to see one of my all-time favorites, Kelly Raye! Boy, the old-school kids really come out of the woodwork for a pageant, huh? Even Purina Chow made an incognito appearance and Jessica Raye, who just celebrated 21 years of performing, was there with her husband. They made the trip with Darlene Duncan.

It’s been just a couple weeks since I got back from Miss Continental and I’m still thinking of the gown that rocked the pageant world, in my opinion, and it was on the back of the winner Tulsi! This little kid came in and sealed the deal. She started her quest with a strong preliminary night Talent that she repeated on final night. She won overall Interview as she had in the past, wore a lovely swimsuit, and then that gown. Oh, that gown! It really hurt my feelings. Ha! When that baby doll turned the corner, it was ovah! Gustavo Busto really outdid himself with this one — and I hear it cost enough to buy a nice used car. Well, it was worth it — she won. Oh! And then Tulsi turned the On-Stage Question out, too, so there was absolutely no doubt that the pretty brunette from Toronto was going home with the crown. Her runners-up included Sasha Colby, Mokha Montrese, Melania Cortez and Chantel DeMarco. Other finalists included Tamisha Iman, Jasmine Bonet, Michelle Fighter, Naysha Lopez, Tatianna Braxton, Krista Versace and Australian newcomer Kathryn Cole (who reminds me of a younger Michelle Mitchells). Hats off to Necole Luv Dupree who relinquished her crown. By the way, I also ran into Kelly Raye at Miss Continental. It was her first trip to one and it seems there is a buzz about people wanting to see her compete for Miss Elite. I say, go for it, girl!

That same weekend, another Mr. Continental was held. RaSean Montrese was on-hand to give up his title. Finalists included Angel, Al Milan Ross, Nio Richards, Reggie Dior, Jose Vega, Top 5 finalists Christopher Iman, Antwan Steele, and 2nd RU Kyle Ean, 1st RU NeAundre Bonet, and winner, David “Frecklz” Hunter. On final night of Miss Continental, Frecklz did his Talent routine. He is very talented, handsome and approachable. I think he’ll be great.

I had a chance to speak recently with one of my favorite people and entertainers, former Miss America and Florida FI, Hot Chocolate. Chocolate is about to set sail on a Gayribbean Cruise aboard the Carnival Conquest with none other than Tasha Kohl. They’ll be queens of the seas from Oct. 26 through Nov. 2. Chocolate was also just featured in a cookbook called “Cooking Doesn’t Have to be a Drag.” The proceeds benefit the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Two preliminaries to Miss U.S.ofA. at Large took place in our neck of the woods recently — Miss TN, which CoCo Couture won, and Miss NC, which Eden Parque Divine won. Her RUs included Vivica Dupree, Seduxxion St. James and Celeste Starr.

Recent prelims to Miss Gay America include: Miss Heartland, Maya Alexander, and RU Lady Jade Rockell; the new Miss Texas, Sally Sparkles; Miss Tri-States, Shawn Tyler Andrews and RU Deja Brooks; Mid-East, Coti Collins and RU Alyssa Edwards; and representing Oregon, Stephanie Lane and RU Veronica Leigh Taylor.

The online vote winner for RuPaul’s “Drag Race” was none other than a fierce Nina Flowers, originally from Puerto Rico, but now making her home in Boulder, Colo. (from what I understand). As you all know, Victoria Parker was chosen to be on the show as well, but left just in time to come back and win Miss NC America. Seems Da Pig did not know how to sew and had some difficulty with one of the challenges. What happened to them letting you take a tailor with you, Piggy? Troy Cossintino would have turned the place out and I know he’s who you had planned on taking. And speaking of queens on TV, I’ll catch up with Dorae Saunders soon and get all the tea about her success on “America’s Got Talent,” too.

And now for some local news — like a big congrats going out to Mo’Nique Chanel who won Miss Leo at Night Owls recently and Beverly Iman Johnson who won the first prelim to Miss NC U.S.ofA., Miss Buncombe County. Her RU was Tia Chanella. Isabella Diamante just recently won Miss Greenville (S.C.) at the Castle and her RU was Jewell Holiday. Sierra Nichole was on hand to give it up. And speaking of Tia Chanella, she just gave up her title of Miss TransCarolina NC to Felicity Brylett at Warehouse 29. Her RUs were Crystal Collins and Onyx Jade Addams. Also, Amaya has just won Miss Ibiza. Her RUs were Cheetah Shaw and Onyx Addams. She was crowned by Raven Wood and she joins a fine sorority with the likes of Kirby Kolby, Dorae Saunders and many others.
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