Former UCM students host drag show

Written by Muleskinner Staff


(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Spotlight hosted the 4th annual Royal Blush Drag Show Sept. 28 in Hendricks Hall. The show is put on each year with the help of former UCM students Diallo Simms and Kalob Cunningham, and Spotlight.

PHOTO BY MARIE NABORS / PHOTO EDITOR D'Rihanna Weatherbey performs her rendition of Beyonce's "Lemonade."
D’Rihanna Weatherbey performs her rendition of Beyonce’s “Lemonade.”

The day before the drag show Simms, Cunningham and Spotlight hosted a transformation session where Cunningham transformed Simms into his drag persona, D’Rihanna Weatherbey.

At the event, Simms explained how he created the character of D’Rihanna – from selecting an astrological sign, to wearing contacts to enhance the illusion – and Sara Vansteenbergen, diversity education graduate assistant, hosted a question and answer session.

Vansteenbergen answered questions regarding the difference between being transgender and being a drag performer, and explained the meanings of the letters in the LGBTQIA+ alphabet soup.

Everyone in attendance at the transformation session received VIP seating at the drag show. Thirty-two people were selected to sit on stage during the performance.

The drag show was hosted by former Missouri entertainer of the year and crowd favorite, Widow Von’Du. Known for her jump splits, contortionist moves and show-stopping outfit reveals, Von’Du has been performing at the Royal Blush Drag Show since its inception.

This year two UCM student performers, Nadia Bizness and Scarlett Devereaux, were part of the lineup. Backup dancers accompanied both performers to enhance their performances.

Senior Brandon Nichols performs in character as Nadia Bizness.

PHOTO BY MARIE NABORS / PHOTO EDITOR Rii Rii performs at the 4th annual Royal Blush Drag Show Sept. 28 in Hendricks Hall
Rii Rii performs at the 4th annual Royal Blush Drag Show Sept. 28 in Hendricks Hall

“Nadia Bizness is truly loved, it was incredible to hear my friends screaming and shouting as I hit the stage,” Nichols said.

Nichols is a member of Alpha Tau Omega. Every brother showed up for the show to support him.

“My brothers of Alpha Tau Omega are phenomenal when it comes to supporting one of their own,” Nichols said. “They are the reason I came to life and I performed that night.”

Omari Collins, a junior in the theatre department, performs as Scarlett Devereaux. He said performing in front of the student body is exhilarating.

“Having my peers in the audience cheering me on with such over-the-top energy and vigor gave me such a confidence boost,” Collins said.

D’Rihanna Weatherbey performed her rendition of Beyonce’s MTV Video Music Awards performance of her album “Lemonade” for the show’s finale. Ten dancers accompanied Weatherbey on stage and a film with images and clips of Weatherbey inspired by the visual “Lemonade” album played.