RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Shangela may no longer be in the running to become America’s Next Drag Superstar after getting booted last night. (Although there’s some possibility she could return in Monday’s episode, since RuPaul promised to bring back a queen who was already eliminated this season.) But Drag Race fans, don’t fret! You may not have seen the last of the show’s loved and hated Post-Modern Pimp Ho: Shangie Pants has been cast alongside Don Johnson in TV pilot drama A Mann’s World that, if it gets picked up to series, will air on NBC this fall.
Huh? That’s right. I recently found myself perusing a list of potential pilots for the fall and stumbled upon a familiar name: D.J. Pierce, which — true Shangie fans will realize — is Shangela’s real name. I confirmed, and this Pierce listed is indeed the Shangela we all know — and either love or hate.
So what’s the deal with the show — and Shangela’s role on it? Here’s what’s what. A Mann’s World centers on Johnson, who plays Allan Mann, a Beverly Hills hairdresser (yes, really) who is having trouble staying relevant. And this is where Shangela comes into play: In the pilot, Shangela — err, D.J. Pierce — is set to play Snip, one of three fabulous, top-tiered stylists who come into Mann’s salon. (One-third of the trio will be played by none other than viral video celebrity Chris Crocker, who became famous after releasing a crying jag about Britney Spears’ infamously botched performance of “Gimme More” at the 2007 VMAs.) Also starring in the show are Sex and the City‘s Mario Cantone and Ellen Barkin. Sex and the City‘s Michael Patrick King is set to produce. Not a shabby cast or creative team, to say the least!
Maybe this news (or is it news? realization?) isn’t that shocking since Shangela did appear on an episode of FX’s Terriers in November, as well as an episode of ABC’s Detroit 1-8-7 in February. But the fact that it’s a series-regular role and on NBC is pretty major. One day her bio will read: “From RuPaul’s Drag Race… to television star!”
Shangela’s final quote from last night’s episode, which I quoted in my recap of the hour, seems especially poignant when you consider this news: “It’s a sad feeling because I definitely came back into this competition wanting to win. And it’s not been easy, but I’m leaving a winner,” Shangela said. “And it’s just a lesson for everyone who’s ever wanted to pursue a dream they’ve had. Live your passion, and live it to the fullest. Halle-lou!” Shangela certainly seems to be doing that.
What do you all think? Excited to see Shangela in a series-regular role? Alongside Don Johnson and Ellen Barkin? And (possibly, maybe, hopefully!) sparring with Chris Crocker? Sound off below!
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky