Alaska and Lola LeCroix for "Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition." Source: Courtesy of OUTtv

EDGE Interview: Alaska & Lola have 48 Hours to Organize a Pageant in 'Drag Queen of the Year' Docuseries

Timothy Rawles READ TIME: 6 MIN.

Alaska Thunderfuck and Lola LeCroix are no strangers to the drag stage, but when they put on their own pageant there were plenty of unexpected challenges, including a sound booth operator that doesn't produce sound, a non-existent liquor license, and an active shooter in the next building. And that's just Season 1!

The show is dramatically titled "Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition" and Season 2 premiered on OUTtv on March 5 with the final episode dropping on April 2. If you ever wondered what it is like to put a show together, especially being backstage at a drag pageant, this docuseries is a tension-filled spring that will either snap or release at breakneck speed at any given time.

The main characters are Alaska and creative partner Lola who play the host and pageant director respectively. It showcases the 48 hours before the curtain rises. This year, eight contestants were invited by Alaska and Lola to take part in their pageant: Tony Soto, Abhijeet, Nicki Jizz, Snaxx, Abigail Beverly Hillz, Charles Galin, Beatrix Bella Rouge, and Skynsuit.

The duo recently spoke with EDGE about this second season and if it's crazier than the first. It is so well-polished the show could even be a feature-length film. "Well, thank you," says Alaska. "A lot of credit goes to Adrienne Gruben, our director. She's a really accomplished filmmaker so that's why the episodes have like such a filmic quality to them."

Alaska in "Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition."
Source: Courtesy of OUTtv

The show features a very diverse group of individuals, each with their own creative quirks and distinct pageant acts to assemble. But it's also a stressful situation. Lola gets progressively agitated under all the pressure, but her loss of well-being is the viewer's gain in this illuminating behind-the-curtain series. She uses smoking as a crutch when things get intense, and you can often find her outside the stage door taking deep breaths on the end of a cigarette. It's a habit she wants to change and admits she quit smoking a month ago. Now she gets her nicotine by way of vaping. "But I'm nervous for 'Drag Queen of the Year' to roll around because I don't wanna start again."

Lola is a prolific entertainer who is well-known within the Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ community. Her show "Vain" is legendary for its special guests. As an entrepreneur, she's made a living from her beau monde fragrance brand Maison de Lola. Even with all of her professional experience, curve balls still happen, especially on reality TV. The appeal of "Drag Queen of the Year" is not only seeing the pageant come together in the end but the schadenfreude along the way.

"You can plan and plan and plan and do everything you possibly can to make it as smooth and perfect as it possibly can be," Lola says. "But there will always be something that comes up that throws a wrench in your plan. It makes life hard. So with every year we take everything we learn – take it into the next year – and we have become what we are today."

The wrench this season was the show's lifeblood: ticket sales. If a promoter tells you to get your tickets early because their show is going to sell out, believe them. Trying to obtain them on the day-of because the buzz has reached a crescendo is hard on organizers. People were personally asking Lola for multiple tickets to the pageant just hours before showtime – so much so it reached a fever pitch sending her out the stage door for yet another smoke.

"That was really the biggest thing that like kind of just sent me over the edge this year and that was one of the biggest learning experiences that I had," she says.

by Timothy Rawles

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