The Shade Report: Queens of I-95

This week on Fusion’s Shade: Queens of New York we get to tag along with Tina Burner as she competes in the Miss d America pageant in Atlantic City in hopes of receiving a sparkly hat. She makes the trek to the pageant with Jasmine Rice LaBeija, Chelsea Piers, Jada Valenciaga, and her trusty assistant Austin. This episode also followed an adorable visit from Brita Filter’s mom, Kim!

I’m sure you all remember Brita’s mom from a previous episode when we learned she became a respiratory therapist to help Brita with her challenging childhood asthma. She has made a few FaceTime cameos, but this week she came down from Maine to spend some time with Brita. The relationship with mother-son duo share is so special. Brita asks how Kim feels about her drag career, and Kim is SO supportive. She simply worries that Brita is overworked and needs to find more of a balance between health, work, and self-care. By now I’m sure you’re all well aware of how challenging drag as a full-time career can be. These queens have very little time for themselves, get minimal sleep, and put all the money they make back into their art. Kim’s visit was a break that Brita definitely needed, and they work on finding that balance together.

Instead of going out to eat, Brita and Kim decide to stay in and make dinner. During the preparation of a beautiful fruit salad, Brita brings up her coming out story. Brita remembers the moment as being sweet, Kim providing her with support and encouragement. Kim remembers a comment she made that she is not proud of. Even though Brita had no memory of this comment, Kim was pretty upset about it. I think Kim opening up to Brita about those comments was like a weight lifted off her shoulders. Brita’s mom is so kind and supportive of both Brita’s drag and sexuality. I vote that the moms of Shade: Queens of New York girls get their own spin-off series. More heartwarming mom moments, please!

Meanwhile, the other girls were having their own version of a road trip comedy movie. Jasmine slept through the whole car ride as the other girls were yelling and singing. At one point, they stop at a rest stop and have a traumatic moment trying to dodge a bee. Once they reach Atlantic City, the girls start the cute sleepover hotel sequence of their road trip movie. The chemistry between Jasmine, Tina, Jada, and Chelsea is so cute. They were hilarious making jokes and doing face masks while feverously preparing for Tina’s pageant the next day. “I loved you in Shrek: The Musical” was Jada’s response upon seeing Jasmine in a face mask. Can I just say how I NEED more Jada in my life? She was so great throughout this episode. Fusion, we need more Jada!

The next day brought the Miss d America pageant hosted by none other than Rupaul’s Drag Race judge Carson Kressley! First up was the evening gown category. Tina had on the most beautiful blue gown. It was to die for. Then came the talent portion. Tina wanted her talent number to be focused on politics. I’m a political science student, so maybe I am biased, but I think it’s incredibly important for queens like Tina to use their platform to make a political statement. Chelsea, Jasmine, and Jada accompanied her as back up dancers. Clearly, Fusion had some copyright issues with the music, so we didn’t get to see much of her number. It was replaced with the girls doing an INCREDIBLE anti-Trump lipsynch that gave me chills! Soon it was time for crowning. Somehow, Tina came in second runner-up. Throughout the episode Tina talked about how competing in pageants makes her step up her drag. She’ll take what she did in the pageant and apply it to her drag back in NYC, and I think that’s a win.

Oh, but it didn’t end there! Jada, Jasmine, and Chelsea threw Tina an even better pageant on the boardwalk. Chelsea and Tina participated in the hilarious beachfront version of the Miss d America pageant, paired with its own Steve Harvey moment originally crowning Chelsea only to have the crown actually go to Tina! She got her sparkly hat after all.

What was your favorite part of this week’s episode? Make sure you let us know in the comments below!

Be sure to tune into Shade: Queens of NYC Thursday’s at 10:30 PM on FusionTV or on

About Haley Van Horn 36 Articles
One small brushfire away from completing the Serial Killer Triad, Haley is a hell-raising college student and sports journalist. Calling the suburbs of the gayest city in America home, she's sure to bring it to you every ball.

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