The Shade Report: Werk, Queen!

The second episode of FusionTV‘s docuseries Shade: Queens of NYC aired this week and we’re gagged!(If you missed it, check out the episode HERE)The episode opened with Chelsea Piers and Brita Filter practicing the group number for their upcoming Gurlesque performance. Again, Brita’s nerves kick in. She’s venting to Chelsea about how aggressive Tina Burner, the mastermind behind Gurlesque, can be. Chelsea offers some much-needed advice stating, “She wouldn’t give you the time of day if she didn’t believe in you.” That bit of encouragement seemed to do the trick, and the girls nailed their practice with Tina. I must say, I’ve never related to anything more than Brita’s inhaler puffs mid-practice. Shout out to all the asthma sufferers out there. Let’s all take an inhaler puff in solidarity with Brita this week.

A few inhaler puffs later, and we get to see more of Paige Turner. Paige’s competition show, So You Think You Can Drag, responsible for launching the careers of several NYC queens, is coming to a close this year. As a way to celebrate the seven seasons, Paige is holding an All-Star season showcasing girls from all the prior seasons. We catch up with Marti Gould Cummings as she’s meeting up with Paige to go over the upcoming season of So You Think You Can Drag. Paige asks her to be a weekly judge and then they admire the many gay trinkets in Paige’s home. Everything is going great! Que Shade music.

This is where we learn more about the dynamic between Paige and Chelsea. Chelsea’s first real chance in the NYC drag scene came from a part of So You Think You Can Drag. Paige tells Marti that she doesn’t want to do an All-Star season without Chelsea involved. Paige played a sort of “drag mother” role to Chelsea. They were very close, and now Chelsea will not return any of Paige’s attempts at reaching out. We see more from Chelsea’s perspective when she goes to over to her mom’s place to help her out and get some motherly advice along with it. Chelsea expands on the drag mother comment, stating that Paige was never her drag mother explicitly, and things started to go south between the two when she felt she was more of a sidekick to Paige and wasn’t able to truly shine on their own. They went months without talking, and Chelsea realized she couldn’t ignore her anymore.

Chelsea and Paige decide to meet up at Therapy Lounge before one of Paige’s shows and the pair hash it out. Chelsea expands on the fact that she was questioning if Paige really wanted others to succeed when it came to her attention that she was talking about her behind her back. She describes Paige as a “polarizing person” in her confessional and gives us the best quote of the episode. When it comes to other members of the NYC drag community’s opinion of Paige, Chelsea says, “You get caught in the crossfire when all you want to do is lipsynch to Taylor Swift.” Fair enough. Chelsea then tells Paige that she was ignoring her because she tends to avoid things in order to keep from hurting others (#relatable). Paige chalks it all out to emotional immaturity. Regardless, the two work out their issues, and Chelsea agrees to be part of the final season of So You Think You Can Drag.

Photo by Preston Burford

Back to our girl Brita, we watch her FaceTime with her mom (who is just too adorable, right?) in her apartment. Again, with advice from her mom, Brita’s nerves are calmed and she’s ready to take on her first appearance at Gurlesque. Rolling up in a cab from another gig (she’s a werkin girl!), Brita looks gorgeous! Her beat? Too good. She runs through the choreo quickly backstage, then she, Tina, and Chelsea take the stage. They’re wearing incredible sequin(d? A sequin is just one tiny little sequin) outfits. Tina has the most beautiful top hat I’ve ever seen. Brita completely nailed the performance, and in return, Tina asks her to perform again! We were all rooting for Brita, and it was awesome to see her succeed.

This episode had a few fun lipsynch numbers too, including one that involved Chelsea in and out of drag, as well as one with some cool suspension tricks with Tina and Brita. I like the lipsynch numbers because it gives us a chance to see the queens’ personalities and performance style. Another great episode in the books! What was your favorite part?

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

About Haley Van Horn 94 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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