It’s been eight years since Shangela Laquifa Wadley first stepped onto the RuPaul’s Drag Race season 2 runway, her charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent winning everyone’s heart (and snatched wigs) along the way. Hailing from Texas, this southern belle has a sharp tongue, soft heart, and more than a couple questionable looks.
Shangela has halleloo-ed her way into our screens more than once (or twice), and this time around she was ready to snatch the All Star crown and claim her spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. Although the internet thought she was the frontrunner, RuPaul decided, with the help from the eliminated All Star 3 queens, that the crown and title should rest on Trixie Mattel’s blonde wig.
Trixie is a perfect fit for the All Star title — she’s achieved many fantastic feats outside of the competition — but we couldn’t help but feel a certain way when Daenerys Shangela Laquifa Wadley Targaryen didn’t even land one of the top two final spots. She might not have taken the crown, but in our hearts she will always be a winner, baby.
Here are five reasons why we still love Shangela, with or without the All Stars crown.
She’s the comeback queen, literally
Shangela is the first contestant in Drag Race herstory to compete in three separate seasons of the competition. She first appeared in season 2 as an amateur southern queen with hit or miss taste. She was the first queen to sashay away, but we all wanted more, so RuPaul brought her back for season 3, where she popped out of that infamous box, shaking every queen to the core with her larger than life personality and thirst for the crown. Sadly, Miss Shangela did not win, but she did make it further this time around, landing in the top 6. For her second comeback on All Stars 3, Shangela was ready to own the runway and delivered the reality TV performance of a lifetime. Halleloo!
She’s a bonafide actress
Aside from booking gigs all over the world, Shangela (D.J. Pierce) has actually booked acting gigs on TV and in films, even before Drag Race. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at her IMDb page. Receipts. You may recall seeing her as a guest star on popular series like The X-Files (in 1993), 2 Broke Girls, Bones, The Mentalist and of course her iconic appearance on Glee opposite none other than Sarah Jessica Parker. That’s right, kitty girls, Shangela killed the routine to the “Let’s Have a KiKi” and “Turkey Lurkey Time” mash-up. She’s also costarred with Jenifer Lews in the YouTube scripted series Jenifer Lewis and Shangela. But wait, there’s more. She’s also graced the silver screen playing a role in Bianca Del Rio’s movie Hurricane Bianca and is set to appear in the sequel, Hurricane Bianca 2. Oh, also, she’s slated to have a little role in Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born. No big deal.
She puts talent to werk!
The multi-hyphenate queen is also the founder of Say What Entertainment, “an innovative event management and talent group based in L.A.,” as the website describes it. Shangela runs a professional company that promotes drag queens all across the nation, including former Drag Race stars Alyssa Edwards, Gia Gunn, LaGanja Estranja, and Raven, to name just a few. Shangela serves as creative director for the wildly successful Werq The World tour, hosted by Michelle Visage, which brings together some of the most sickening queens as they perform and travel the world.
Her show Living With Shangela is perfect
Shangela’s personal YouTube channel is a fabulous and hilarious behind-the-scenes look at her daily hustle. She holds nothing back as she travels across the U.S. and around the world, and she takes us along for the ride. From getting ready for viewing parties at Micky’s in West Hollywood to her journey conquering Hollywood, it’s all there exposed for us to laugh, cry, and enjoy.
She is what? SICKENING!
This Texas queen knows how to put a girl in her place, and during her confrontation with Mimi Imfurst, Shangela basically invented reading with her epic monologue. Back when Untucked was a niche BTS show on YouTube, cameras captured the drama as the queens discussed their performance while the judges deliberated. Miss Laquifa Wadley achieved icon status when she destroyed Mimi after she implied Shangela had a sugar daddy. The rest is Drag history.
Here’s a necessary and very important transcription of her iconic rant:
“I don’t have a sugar daddy, I’ve never had a sugar daddy. If I wanted a sugar daddy, yes I probably could go out and get one, because I am what? SICKENING. You could never have a sugar daddy because you are not that kind of girl. Baby, everything I have I’ve worked for and gotten myself. I have built myself from the ground up you [redacted] bitch! [Throws drink]”
We love you Shangela Laquifa Wadley.