‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 3’: Shangela Sizes Up Her Biggest Competition (Exclusive)
By Brice Sander
Halleloo, Shangela is back on TV!
The RuPaul’s Drag Race alum (two times over!) is back for her third shot at a crown on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 3, and she tells ET third time really is the charm.
“Three is my lucky number. Beyonce’s is four, and three is mine,” she jokes. “You know, going into the workroom, it almost felt nostalgic, almost like a flashback for me. I mean, I was having a live throwback Thursday, OK? On a Wednesday. Because the workroom looks the exact same.”
While the workroom might not have changed, Shangela definitely has.
“If you have season two anywhere, access to it, take a look and you’ll know,” she says. “I walked in that room with a dream, but no makeup. You know I’ve just learned so much … I feel like I’ve grown into who I am, and I’ve learned more about myself as a drag professional and what that can be.”
“I’ve worked in drag now on six of the seven continents, and Antarctica’s next, because I have my Happy Feet number together,” she adds.
Still, Shangela admits she was a little intimidated coming back to the show. Her fellow queens have, of course, also had time to perfect their skills.
“It’s harder to compete against queens you know, because you have that personal relationship with them already,” Shangela notes. “It’s almost a little Sophie’s Choice-ish.”
“You think it may be easier because you’re like, ‘I know her, I know what she’s bringing,’” she continues. “And they’re looking at me, too, like, ‘We’ve seen her, we know exactly what she’s bringing.’ But you know, the doll has tricks up her sleeve, baby. Always and forever.”
As for who she sees as her biggest competition, Shangela dropped two names: Kennedy Davenport and Trixie Mattel.
“When it comes to a lip sync, Kennedy Davenport is someone that, when I first turned 18, I was going to the clubs in Dallas, because I went to college there, seeing, and tipping, and would live,” she recalls. “She’s the dancing diva of Texas. S, I know in a lip sync, she turns the party. High kicks, splits. She’s a gymnast, OK? Dominique Dawes, eat your heart out because that girl’s gonna start flippin’ and twistin’ and turnin’.”
“Everyone’s very creative and has their own creative niche,” she adds. “Trixie dabbles in music, and she’s an artist in that, so if we have a musical challenge, I’m like, ‘OK, so she’s gonna really understand that one.’ I also produce music. So I’m like, ‘OK, either I should try to partner with her…’ and she’s my friend, too, so it’s just interesting.”
From interesting to everything. That’s the one word Shangela uses to describe her All Stars 3 experience: Everything.
“This is All Stars 3,” Shangela says. “Even RuPaul has said it. This is the gold standard of drag, and we are coming not just for the prize money, but when people say they want to be in that ‘RuPaul Hall of Fame,’ it’s truly being part of a legacy, and I feel like I owe it to my fans, the people who have supported me back when I didn’t really know much of what was going on, but I had a dream.”
“I think I owe it to my fans to go back in this room and give it everything and that’s why I say it,” she adds. “All Stars 3: Everything.”