Alaska's Drag Queen of the Year 2021 pageant returns with new cast
Drag superstars Alaska and Lola LeCroix are saying hieeee to inclusivity with another edition of their popular Drag Queen of the Year pageant.
EW can exclusively reveal the cast and premiere date for the 2021 DQOY digital ceremony, which debuts Sunday, March 7 at 5:00 p.m. ET / 2:00 p.m. PT on Sessions Live with eight queer performers vying for the crown for the first time since The Boulet Brothers' Dragula contestant Abhora took the pageant's inaugural prize in 2019.
"Lola and I initially set out to do this pageant as an experiment. What would happen if we held a competition that welcomed all different types of drag performers, regardless of their gender identity or anatomy or history — all on the same stage?" Alaska, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars 2, says in an exclusive statement to EW. "The world as we know it came to a halt shortly after the time we announced the 2020 pageant, and we had to postpone it indefinitely. But luckily, thanks to Sessions Live, we now have the perfect streaming platform to put on a digital version of the pageant."
Alaska further jokes that Abhora's "reign as Drag Queen of the Year has gone on far too long, and has brought the world nothing but plague, unrest, and misery," so the crowning of a 2021 champion will usher in a new era for the budding empire.
Chosen by a "mysterious panel of anonymous Drag Elders," the eight queens chasing the crown — Maureen San Diego, Chiquitita, Lucy Stoole, Tito Soto, Cassandra Complex, Tenderoni, Dixie Surewood, and Jake Dupree — are also competing for a sash and a bouquet of "very nice" flowers in addition to the title and $10,000 prize. The presentation will be a mix of pre-recorded segments and live broadcasts from Loyal Studios and remote locations from the contestants' homes.
Celebrity judges set to preside over the contest include Nicole Byer, 2019 contender Aurora Sexton, and various members of the RuPaul's Drag Race global family, including Shea Couleé, Peppermint, Vinegar Strokes, Jiggly Caliente, and Alaska's Race Chaser podcast cohost, Willam.
The first 500 digital tickets to the show will be priced at $20, and every regular ticket sold after the initial number will cost $25. A $49 pass gets you an official program as well as access to a 30-minute after-party Q&A, while the $79 option includes a signed program in addition to after-party access. For $149, all of the aforementioned perks are included along with a virtual one-on-one meet and greet with Alaska after the show, a signed limited edition official 2021 DQOY candle by Maison de LeCroix, and an official poster signed by Alaska.
See the full cast of contestants competing for the Drag Queen of the Year 2021 title below. Tune in to the ceremony March 7 on Sessions Live.
Maureen San Diego
Los Angeles, Calif.
Los Angeles, Calif.
- Julia Fox met with Madonna to discuss potential Debi Mazar role in new biopic
- Chiwetel Ejiofor and Naomie Harris get cosmic in first teaser for The Man Who Fell to Earth
- Get a first look at When We Were Bright and Beautiful, Jillian Medoff's new Upper East Side drama
- Watch Ben Affleck and BFF Matt Damon reflect on career challenges, The Tender Bar, and more