So You Think You Can Drag Finalist: Gloria Swansong


Question: Condragulations on making the top four of So You Think You Can Drag! Especially with the level of talent this season, its quite an achievement. Have you had a moment to reflect back on what you have already accomplished yet?

One of the reasons I auditioned was I wanted to generate new looks, new acts, new content. Looking back on videos and photos from all eight weeks, I’m really excited and proud of what I’ve been able to do. I’ve tackled things I’ve always wanted to do and I’ve returned to old favorites to polish them up and re-energize them. Can I also say, it’s been amazing making nine new drag queen friends? I love this cast so much, and together I think we’ve really accomplished turning out an entertaining season!

Photo by Halley Gilbert

Question: What do you think was your personal highlight and lowlight of the season so far?

I think the finale is going to be my highlight, to be honest! But to pick something ‘so far’, hands down it would be doing Judy Garland for Legends and Divas. I’ve waited year for the ‘right time’ to tackle her, and it finally felt right. Performing her is a religious experience, really. And so I was so humbled that people were so excited and supportive of my portrayal.
The first week was a real low point for me. And I haven’t looked back since. I was the bad kind of nervous, my head was plagued with outside issues, and people didn’t get to meet Gloria that night. And the next week, I took Paige’s advice and left it all at the door and bared my soul with Julia Sugarbaker. Since then, it’s been about recreating that process of letting go and stepping up before going on stage.


Question: How would you describe your experience on SYTYCD? What was it like to work with Paige Turner and all other amazing guest judges that have come through?

I really had no clue what I was getting myself into. No idea. You can watch these shows as an audience member, but what you imagine it’s like is probably completely wrong. I had in my head that it would be more competitive, less constructive, and honestly more ‘work’ and less fun. I was so wrong. I’m ‘good’ nervous and excited every week to not only do my act but to watch these queens I’ve come to know perform and grow. It’s really inspiring.

I am no stranger to criticism and as a highly self-critical artist, I rarely hear feedback I don’t already think myself. And in many ways, it’s good to hear that what I thought was a weakness in an act actually does show. What I’ve learned the most is the age-old mantra: preparation, preparation, preparation. If you’re well-rehearsed, prepared, and just a bit ‘good nervous’, you’re set up for a good show. And judge after judge has reaffirmed that.

I’ll also say it’s been great to get to know each and every judge as much as possible – especially Kizha who has stepped into hosting twice this season. I’m really blown away and inspired by how professional, kind, and fun everyone involved has been.

Photo by Jamie Gross

Question: So without spoiling anything, what can we expect from you in the finale?

This season has largely been about me showing ‘The Many Faces of Swansong’. I can hold my own as a variety performer, doing comedy, spoken word, slam poetry, burlesque, impersonation, tight lip syncs.

So for the finale week, I’m bringing you what’s at the core of every Swansong performance: reaching into the hearts of the audience. They’re two acts I’ve been waiting to do, the big guns. And I can’t wait to share them with this community.

Question: Any you want to plug before we wrap up?

I’m developing a couple of well-packaged shows, in particular a Judy Garland show, that are in need of bookings!

Question: Best of luck to you on the 1oth! It really was a pleasure getting to know you and the entire cast backstage this season. Do you have any final words of wisdom to leave the universe with?

Three rules of painting to live by: 1. Always keep paint on your brush   2. Remember to step back to see the whole painting  3. Stop painting when the painting is done.



About Chiffon Dior 512 Articles
Despite being a drag journalist for over five years, Chiffon only recently realized that she missed a golden opportunity back then to change her drag name to Rhoda Story.

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