Come on, Season 15! Let’s get sickening!
Yes, in the greatest So You Think You Can Dance/RuPaul’s Drag Race mashup since Travis Wall choreographed a ballet-themed Drag Race episode in 2013 or last season’s “Call Me Mother” group number, on Monday’s SYTYCD premiere, Drag Race alumnus Jay Jackson (aka Laganja Estranja) sashayed onto the Fox runway and dazzled the judges with a series of death-drops, donkey-kicks, drop-splits, and tongue-pops, all set to “Cover Girl” by — who else? — RuPaul himself.
“When I get onstage, I tear it up,” Laganja declared Monday. “The floor is my mission, and I am on it.” Okurrr?
While dissenting lead judge Nigel Lythgoe wasn’t exactly gagging on Laganja’s eleganza (perhaps he was just jealous of her boogie?), Vanessa Hudgens and Twitch Boss wanted Laganja to shanté and stay. Mary Murphy then cast the deciding vote in Laganja’s favor, thus granting the leggy queen a Hot Tamale Train ticket straight to the Academy round.
While Laganja (now going by the more family-friendly, less cannabis-championing moniker “Miss Estranja” on SYTYCD) may seem like a stunt casting, drag queens are becoming a more common sight on TV talent shows (think Ada Vox on American Idol or Chris Weaver/Nedra Belle on The Voice). And Miss Estranja actually has legitimate dance experience. The 29-year-old entertainer started performing professionally in musicals as a child; studied dance and choreography at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts; and even received a bachelor’s degree from the California Institute of the Arts in dance and choreography. She’s currently a choreographer at the famous Texas dance studio Beyond Belief owned by her drag mother, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 fan favorite Alyssa Edwards, and she also runs her own dance workshops in Los Angeles.
Miss Estranja may surprise Nigel as she continues her SYTYCD journey. You betta watch. In the meantime, check out another sickening audition from Monday’s So You Think You Can Dance Season 15 premiere:
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