Shangela rose to fame on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and she’s set to gain more fans as she competes on Dancing with the Stars. (Getty)
Drag Race star Shangela is set to make history as she gears up to compete on season 31 of Dancing with the Stars.
The drag queen is arguably one of the most recognisable and iconic contestants across the Drag Race franchise. Fans grew to love Shangela after the queen competed in seasons two and three of the Emmy award-winning reality series before returning once again for All Stars 3.
The Drag Race superstar is once again making history as she is the first-ever drag performer to compete on the American version of Dancing with the Stars. Shangela is also one half of the US dancing competition’s first all-male pairing.
She is partnered with professional dancer Gleb Savchenko for the latest season, which premieres Monday (19 September). Shangela is facing stiff competition in the series as the queen is set to go up against Selma Blair, Jordin Sparks, comedian Wayne Brady, TikToker Charli D’Amelio and more.
Here are five essential things you need to know about the beloved queen before she steps out on the Dancing with the Stars stage.
Shangela had a meteoric journey during her time on Drag Race
Many dedicated Drag Race fans will remember that Shangela was the first queen to be eliminated from the US drag competition’s second season.
But viewers were quickly proven wrong when Shangela came back stronger for the following season and even made it to the All Stars 3 finale.
She cemented her superstardom with her amazing talent
Shangela is known for her over-the-top talent and gave numerous legendary performances during her time on Drag Race. She hilariously played Mariah Carey during an all-star series of performances in a medley tribute to RuPaul.
Shangela perfectly embodied the “All I Want For Christmas Is You” singer, giving pure sass and diva personality.
She’s since skyrocketed to international fame
Shangie has stayed busy since her multiple runs on Drag Race. She was one of three hosts on HBO docuseries We’re Here and Alyssa Edward’s Netflix show Dancing Queens.
She’s also accumulated more acting credits with appearances in TV shows like Glee, The Mentalist, X-Files and Lovecraft Country. Shangie was featured in the Lady Gaga reboot of A Star is Born.
Her dancing prowess is Beyoncé approved
Shangela has been dancing for years, but one of her most memorable performances came during the 2019 GLAAD Awards. The drag queen performed to an enchanting, high-energy medley of Beyoncé’s top songs including “Baby Boy” and Destiny Child’s “Bootylicious”.
She was so good that Queen Bey herself gave her a standing ovation.
Shangela later recalled meeting Beyoncé for the first time after the stellar performance. She said the iconic singer said her performance was “so good”, and the queen “couldn’t think of anything to say” because she was so star-struck at the moment.
Shangela hopes her time on Dancing with the Stars will inspire others
The legendary queen is only the second contestant ever in a same-sex couple after JoJo Siwa’s historic Dancing with the Stars performance last season. Siwa and her partner Jenna Johnson blew fans out of the water and barely lost out on the top prize during the season 30 finals.
Shangela reflected during an interview with People that she’s the “first person to ever be able to compete in drag” in the history of the American version of the show. So she hoped to show people that it’s “all about the heart and soul of who you are as a person”.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s two men dancing together, if it’s a man or a drag entertainer like myself dancing together,” Shangie said. “It’s about the spirit of dance and the fun, and the ability to connect and to learn more about other people’s worlds.”
Dancing with the Stars season 31 premieres on 19 September at 8 pm ET on Disney Plus.