Skip to main content

Miss New England Continental 2016: Glitz, Glamour And Grace

 The Spectacular Six. From left to right: Angela la Marquess, Angel Cavalli, Alexandra Dior, Lolita Golightly, Ivy League-O'deria, and Serenity Lōckhart. 

     So last night at Club Café in Boston, I was fortunate to have judged the first ever Miss New England Continental female impersonation pageantry (a/k/a drag pageantry). I have judged and attended countless pageants, mostly traditional female ones, but none of them could have been more exciting, more entertaining, and more fabulous than this drag pageant. Produced and owned by J. Cardin Moore (a/k/a Jovan I. Cardona), a former Mr. Boston Pride 2015, the Miss New England Continental show was a phenomenal success. For its first year, Moore's production team put on a highly memorable, energetic and professional show. And it didn't matter if there were only six contestants, because each contestant projected two other personae, so essentially I felt like I was judging 12 contestants overall. One was already too much to handle!

     The show started around 6:30 PM. and was held in the theater section of the café. The stage was small, but it was adequate to allow the contestants to showcase their talents and runway skills. The show was hosted by Jai Wilson, a professional makeup artist who did a fabulous impersonation of Katy Perry, and by the outgoing Miss Continental 2015, the gorgeous Tiffany Hunter. Besides myself, the other judges included my favorite pageant brother, Rocky Graziano (Executive Director of Miss Boston Scholarship Organization), Tiffany Bishop (Department Manager of Cosmetics/Fragrances at Neiman-Marcus), Ana Barbara Fontanez (New York City Promoter), Bambi Starr (Entertainer), Noah Von Ark (Public Affairs Officer at Massachusetts General Hospital), and Amara Bear (Miss Rhode Island World 2015). 

From left to right: Amalara Sofía Miss Legendary Continental 2016;  Lolita Golightly, Miss Boston Continental 2016; Louie Garay, Mr. New England Continental 2016; Angel Cavalli, Miss New England Continental 2016;  and Tiffany Hunter, Miss Continental 2015.

      Three hours before the show, the contestants had to face a grueling interview with the judges - an experience that I will always cherish because it did not only shatter my preconceived notions about drag (for example, that one must be a biological male to do a female impersonation), but it also broadened my understanding of a culture that is generally characterized as comical or bizarre. Much to my surprise, I learned that biological females may also impersonate other females ('faux drag"); that there is, to quite an extent, a difference between a drag performer and a transvestite; that not all drag queens watch "RuPaul's Drag Race" or like it; and that drag is first and foremost a pure art form, a sophisticated artistic expression which requires maximum creativity and imagination. 

     During the actual show, the contestants were judged in four categories: swimsuit, talent, evening gown and final Q & A. The same question was asked to all six: "What is your definition of success?" Some answered more confidently than the others, but they all gave honest and personable responses. When it was time to announce the results, the stunning Angel Cavalli was crowned Miss New England Continental 2016 which gives her the right to compete in Miss Continental 2016 pageant to be held in Chicago this Labor Day weekend. The second place went to the elegant Lolita Golightly who was crowned Miss Boston Continental 2016. The First Alternate (First Runner-Up) went to Ivy League-O'deria who had also won the Interview and the Q & A portion, while Angela la Marquess was named the Second Alternate (Second Runner-Up).

     Although the two other contestants, Serenity Lōckhart and Alexandra Dior did not win anything, both of them displayed true sportsmanship by maintaining their grace and poise during the rest of the evening. Congratulations to all six contestants! They are all winners in my book!

     The pageant occurred exactly a week after the tragic shootings that killed 49 innocent individuals in a gay night club in Orlando, Florida. Frankly, I was feeling hesitant in attending the pageant because I was not sure if security would be reinforced. But a little voice in my head kept nagging me, "Rafa, if you don't go to the pageant, it would mean that you're relinquishing your freedom to those motherf---ing terrorists! Don't let them, dude!" And my friends who know me well that I would never submit to fear, so I went! And it turned out to be one of the most thrilling, memorable and educational experiences of my life! Thank you, little voice! Haha!

     Lastly, I wish to thank J. Cardin Moore for inviting me to his first Miss New England Continental pageant. I am confident that next year's pageant will be bigger, better, and brighter! 

I had the best seat in the house! :) Nothing beats a glass of piña colada while
being entertained by the fierce Serenity Lōckhart performing as Iron Woman during talent. #Amazeballs

Lolita Golightly, Miss Boston Continental 2016, also won the Talent competition. 
She blew me away with her ballet rendition of Cinderella!  #Perfection

With the top winner, Angel Cavalli, Miss New England Continental 2016. Angel also won 
the Evening Gown and Swimwear competition. Simply #Beautiful!

P.S. - If you've never been to a drag pageant or show, and you want to go someday, make sure to bring plenty of loose dollar bills to tip every performer that comes on stage. But don't tip the contestants! In this day and age where advanced technology allows us to pay or tip digitally using a Smartphone, there are still situations where paper money is more convenient and preferable! :)

by Rafa Delfin


Popular posts from this blog

Trans-Identified Male Crowned “Miss Greater Derry 2023,” Takes Home Women’s Scholarship

A local beauty pageant is attracting ample mockery on social media after a trans-identified male was crowned the winner of the competition and awarded a scholarship intended for young women. Brían Nguyen , 19, was awarded the crown in the Miss Greater Derry pageant, held on November 8 in the Greater Derry area of New Hampshire. The competition is a locally-run event under the national Miss America series of pageants. In addition to winning the crown, Nguyen will receive the  Miss Greater Derry Scholarship , a financial award established to support young women. Nguyen, who is male, is a freshman at Nashua Community College majoring in Business Management. After his win, Nguyen wrote on  Facebook : “ I am ecstatic to be the FIRST transgender woman to be a Miss America local titleholder, and I hope to make everyone proud and become the first to walk the Miss America stage. I am Brían Nguyen, your Miss Greater Derry 2023 .” Nguyen had previously announced on Instagram that he has intention

Miss America CEO & Others Resign Amid Scandal Over Offensive Emails – Update

2nd UPDATE, 12:03 PM:  Miss America Organization  CEO  Sam Haskell  resigned his post today amid an investigation into offensive emails he sent about a pageant winner. In a statement He has resigned along with president and COO Josh Randle and Lynn Weidner, the board chair who sent emails involved in the controversy. Related Two More Ex-Fox News Employees Join Defamation Suit Against Bill O'Reilly - Update According to a Twitter post from Dan Meyers, who is taking over as interim chairman, Weidner will remain on the board during a transition period: View image on Twitter Miss America Org ✔ @MissAmericaOrg Update from the Board of Directors... 3:01 PM - Dec 23, 2017   35 35 Replies     144 144 Retweets     291 291 likes Twitter Ads info and privacy UPDATED, 5:30 PM:  The Miss America Organization suspended its chief executive today, less than 24 hours after emails surfaced in which he disparaged the

Miss USA Vice-President Max Sebrechts Accused Of Sexual Harassment

IMAGE COURTESY: MISS ACADEMY  Max Sebrechts, the husband of Crystle Stewart, President of Miss USA organization (and formerly Miss USA 2008), has been accused of sexual improprieties by several Miss USA 2021 contestants, according to a YouTube video “Miss USA Scandal?” by Natly Denise, a “truther and pop-culture enthusiast.” You can watch the entire video here: On her video, Natly displays a screenshot  of an anonymous email sent to the affiliates of IMG/Endeavor including to Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO). The email was cc’d to Crystle and Michael Hannah (franchise director of Miss USA). The author of the email claims that MUO has been sent substantial evidence of Sebrechts’ sexual predatory behavior and Shugart has known about it for a while but didn’t say anything (obviously to cover it up and to protect Crystle). Natly also displays screenshots of direct messages sent to her by former Miss USA contestants (the names hav