Chad Michaels

This Saturday South Florida’s fiercest and most talented up-and-coming drag performers will duel to the death at Magic City Casino for a cash prize of $5,000 and the title of… Ultimate Miami Drag Queen.

During the pageant-style contest, the queens will showcase their personal style and performance skills through three rounds of competition: talent, runway, and Q&A. Judging their efforts will be NBC6 anchor Roxanne Vargas, SAVE Director Tony Lima, and 610AM WIOD radio personality Manny Muñoz. 

Also judging — unofficially, from backstage, if not from the judges’ table — will be drag superstars, and former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants, Adore Delano, Chad Michaels, and Nina BoNina Brown, who will be headlining Saturday’s pageant. I caught up with Adore and Chad (Nina blocked me) for this Hotspots exclusive interview.

What have you been up to since last we spoke, after your appearances on Drag Race All Stars? 

Adore: Things are good. I’ve been just enjoying life on the road, practicing for my band tours, and prepping for music videos.

Chad: Wow, it’s been a wild ride since Drag Race! So many wonderful things have happened. I’ve been able to tour the world doing what I love to do, and I’ve met some amazing people! I currently have a project with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again that will be released in June and a part in a movie that will hopefully materialize before year’s end!

Are you excited to be performing at Magic City Casino’s Ultimate Miami Drag Queen? 

Adore: This is so awesome. I can’t wait to party!

Chad: This will be my third time back with Magic City’s Ultimate Miami Drag Queen, and I couldn’t be more honored. This is a competition with a lot of heart, and it inspires me to see these entertainers working so hard to achieve their goals and dreams. I’m very excited to be working with Adore and Nina BoNina! The entertainment will be diverse, with something for everyone.

What should we expect from your performance? 

Adore: I’m such an unpredictable bitch. We’re going to have a great time!

Chad: I’ll be bringing some “Classic Cher” including some of Cher’s amazing Bob Mackie costumes — well, my version of them! I can’t wait to “Cher” the love!

What does the future hold for you? 

Adore: Checkout my album Whatever! It’s now on iTunes and all streaming services. Can’t wait to see you in Miami!

Chad: The future is always unpredictable but I plan on continuing to live my dreams and keep on entertaining people wherever they want me. Back in 2012 through 2014, I had some serious health issues that prevented me from traveling. So, now that I am feeling better, I’m making up for lost time. I think I’m most excited about the movie project I mentioned earlier. It’s called Maybe This Time. I’m looking forward to honing my acting skills and stepping outside the confines of being a celebrity impersonator.

I will see you soon, Miami! Let’s have some fun and elevate all the talented contestants competing for the title of Ultimate Miami Drag Queen!

Ultimate Miami Drag Queen. Sat Jun 2, 9pm. Stage 305 @ Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Ave, Miami). Tix ($35/$300 for VIP tables seating 4; must be 21+): TheUltimateMiami.com.

Outgoing champ Athena Dion on her humanitarian efforts and serving brunch

All good things must come to an end. And so Miami Ultimate Drag Queen 2017, Athena Dion, will be honored at Saturday night’s glamorous event, before she takes off her Ultimate Miami sash and tiara for the last time. (Ha! As if girlfriend’s never gonna put that crown on again!) I caught up with Athena — who I’ve known since she was a wee boy, before drag — to find out about her year in the spotlight.

How did it feel when you won Miami Ultimate Drag Queen?

Winning Ultimate Miami was a dream come true. There are only a few competitions I really set my heart on winning, and this was one of them.

There were a couple reasons I wanted it so badly. First, the amazing title of being the Ultimate Miami queen! As someone who’s dedicated so much time to my community and Miami events, this was a title I just had to have. And second, that amazing cash prize of $5,000! 

How did you spend the five grand?

Originally, I wanted to spend the cash on a trip to Greece, but that was put on hold. So, I decided to invest the money in my event and humanitarian company, Dream Queens. I built a website and a business model and launched early this year.

Dream Queens’ ultimate goal is to “share laughter, light, and fabulosity with anyone going through a rough patch in life or anyone who wants to add a little bit of razzle-dazzle” to their event. 

Tell me about your year as Ultimate Miami Drag Queen.

My reign has been fabulous! I’m the type of person who is constantly looking for opportunities to grow and new avenues to share my talents.

The title landed me extra visibility. It allowed me to reach some people who hadn’t been exposed to me. It helped me to really grow my personal brand and my company, Dream Queens. It also increased the visibility of the many events I produce that are outside of the LGBT circuit, such as my Drag Brunch at R House Restaurant in Wynwood.

Overall, it’s been a tremendous experience and a testament to achieving my own potential. It feels good to conquer your goals. And you know, when you feel good… you look good!