No longer are Anthony Lector and M’Shay Victoria Foster the reigning Mr. and Miss Kinkeads. The crowns were passed on February 4th to the new Mr. Kinkeads, Jupiter Davenport Phillips, and new Miss Kinkeads, Mahogany Blue.
The Miss and Mr. Kinkeads Pageant: Wild West was held on February 3rd and 4th at Kinkeads 2.0, located at 1004 ½ Garrison Avenue here in Fort Smith. Competing for the titles, along with $2,500 in cash/prizes and a trip for two to Las Vegas, were two Misters and fives Miss’. Categories would include Personal Interview, Evening Wear, Onstage Q&A, and Talent. Dispersed throughout both evenings were also performance by previous reigning Kings and Queens: Anthony Lector, Taylor Madison Monroe, Jazmyn Turrelle, Mendigan Iman Starr, Rosa Turrelle-Andrews, and M’Shay Victoria Foster.
Before the pageant began, I had the opportunity to go “backstage” and speak with the five Miss contestants for a few minutes. Despite being a member of the LGBT+ community, this was still my first drag show and I had a lot to learn.
“Are the proper terms for those competing/performing for a pageant/show like this Drag King/Drag Queen?”
Mahogany Blue stated that while most are accepting of those terms, not everyone is. “A better term would be Female/Male Impersonator, as it is more of an umbrella term.” From there she, and show runner London Mylan, explained that it’s all based on preference, usually derived from sexual orientation. This then led to a discussion of terms between Transgender (Male to Female, Female to Male), Transvestite (typically a cis-gender male (born that way) who dresses in feminine clothing, and is generally straight), and Drag King/Queen (typically an LGBT+ member dressing in the opposite sex clothing for a show).
“How much does one generally spend on clothing, makeup, and hair?”
It was a pretty collective response that it depends on the show and what they wish to look like. Some contestants, along with some Dressers (help contestants get ready), explained that they actually make their own clothing, and that oftentimes they end up having to put together two or more wigs to create the hairstyle they desire.
“How long does it typically take to get ready for a show? Or does it just depend on the show and your clothing and makeup choice?”
Mahogany Blue stated that as a transwoman it only takes her roughly an hour to get ready as part of the work was already done due to her transitioning. Another contestant, Dakota Cummingz, stated that for them it roughly two to two and a half hours. Others agreed that it all, again, just depended on the variables.
One judge, Troy Fittin, would claim that Drag Queens have their own sense of time, as it would come into play when the pageant would start at 9:30pm instead of the scheduled 7:00pm.
“Why do you perform?”
Athena Sinclair stated that it was their art form, while Cassandra Rea Reality said it was a way to be a leader within the LGBT+ community.
“Are all of you here in Fort Smith or did you travel?”
Athena Sinclair is from Conway, AR, Mahogany Blue is from Chicago, IL, Cassandra Rea Reality and Dakota Cummingz are from Springdale, AR, and Alura Hart O’Shaunacy is from Maumelle, AR.
In order to participate in the pageant then a variety of conditions had to have been met, along with signing a Release and Waiver of Liability Form. Some such conditions included: You must be 21 by the day before the pageant, be courteous/polite in all manners, the new title holder must appear once a month (including one song in crown every time), and any discrepancy towards the contract can result in the loss of titles and monies, along with a two year restriction from completion/performing at Kinkeads 2.0. Fees also applied to being in the pageant, a $75 registration, $10 per dancers if needed, and $10 for a Dresser (one per contestant).
The pageant itinerary was set as follows:
11am (both days) – Judges and Pageant Staff Meeting
12pm (for all contestants) – Contestant Registration
1-2:30pm – Personal Interview
2:30-3pm (for all contestants) – Sound Check
6pm (for all contestants) – Roll Call (Being late could result in Admin. Point Deduction to their overall final score)
7pm – Pageant Begins
Categories and points were as follows:
Personal Interview – 60 points per judge – Overall Appearance (20), Personality (20), and Communication and Answer Content (20).
Evening Gown – 40 points per judge – Presentation (20), and Styling and Fit (20)
Onstage Q&A – 50 points per judge - Answer Content (25) and Ability to Communicate (25)
Talent – 100 points per judge – Showmanship/Set Design (25), Physical Coordination/Stage Presence (25), Quality (50)
The judges included:
Troy Fittin, a.k.a Whitney Sloane, was Miss Fort Smith in 1984 and 1986, and has been a drag promoter for over twenty years.
Jack Siribounreuang, a.k.a Jacklyn Ho, is one of the bars drag show producers.
Keith Burkhart is the sole owner of Kinkeads.
Keith Hewitt, who has been involved with drag for over twenty-five years.
Finally Rosa Lee Turrelle-Andrews who previously was a reigning Miss Kinkeads.
Friday night was Talent night, which essentially meant lip-syncing and dancing, though Mahogany Blue and Athena Sinclair had a bit of a twist when their turns came.
First up was Dakota Cummingz performing “Sex Is in the Heel” by Billy Porter and Tory Ross, followed by Cassandra Rea Reality performing “Spanish Guitar” by Toni Braxton.
When Mahogany Blue’s turn came, she bumped up the challenge by lip-syncing to different selections of plays and movies that included such as Barbra Streisand, Sally Fields (in Steel Magnolias), and from a play called “Nuts.” This seemed even more challenging than just lip-syncing to a song as there were no cues from a beat of music as to what was coming. (How many people actually remember every line to a song when it’s not playing?)
Following Miss Blue was Athena Sinclair who added her own twist. A new pop culture fad is creating a video in which cards are read by the audience. Athena Sinclair did so in her talent portion to explain why she deserved to be Miss Kinkeads before launching into “Believer” by Christian Milian.
Finally taking her turn was Alura Hart O’Shaunacy lip-syncing to Paper or Plastic by Brooke Candy. Dispersed between competitors were performances by some of the previous reigning Kings and Queens.
Saturday night was for Evening Gown/Wear and Onstage Q&A for both Miss’ and Misters, and the Misters also did their Talent that night.
Up first were the Misters with Jupiter Davenport Phillips in evening wear and answering the question, “If you win the title of Mr. Kinkeads tonight, how would you promote Kinkeads 2.0 outside in the community. Our motto is everyone is family.” Their response was that they feel they already have been promoting Kinkeads 2.0 through their family.
Anthony Lector took their turn next and was asked, “If you could be mentored by anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?” Their response was that they wanted to be mentored by a Ms. Bette Davis, because if they could have been there with her through her struggles, it would make them ten times stronger.
Dakota Cummingz took the stage first for the Miss’ evening wear and was asked, “What kind of advice would you give to titleholders, if you were to win Miss Kinkeads?” Their response was titleholders should reign with integrity and honor, as they were being looked up to by the community.
Cassandra Rea Reality was asked, “If you win tonight what legacy would you like to leave as Miss Kinkeads?” Their response was that they wanted to be remembered for then bringing back Miss Gay Arkansas.
“Explain how you would react tonight if you were named First Alternate?” was the question for Mahogany Blue to answer. Her response was that it would make her humble because Kinkeads 2.0 makes her feel like family, and she would still feel like a Queen.
Athena Sinclair pulled the question, “What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your venture to win the crown?” Self-doubt was there response, because of competing against such talented and beautiful competitors, and having to convince themselves they were still going to go for it.
Up last for Evening Gown/Wear and Onstage Q&A was Alura Hart O’Shaunacy, who was asked, “If crowned, name two issues in the LGBT+ community that you would be inclined to work on.” Their response was LGBT+ homelessness and promoting safe sex.
After the Evening Wear and Onstage Q&A it was time move on to the last category for the Misters before tallying the results and crowning a new King and Queen.
Once again Jupiter Davenport Phillips was up first and decided to lip-sync to the song “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave. Anthony Lector would then have their turn, and lip-synced to a mash-up of Bruno Mars’, “Uptown Funk” and Meghan Trainor’s “Lips Are Movin.”
This wrapped up the end of the pageant itself and a break, along with more entertainment from previous Kings and Queens, was given in order to allow the judges to tally the results, before finally presenting the new Mr. and Miss Kinkeads. Once those were tallied it was time to give awards for individual categories and then crown the winners.
M’Shay Victoria Foster got to choose whom they believed won Presentation, and gave that award to Cassandra Rea Reality. Then it was time for the category winners from the judges’ scores and the overall winners.
For the Mr. Kinkeads portion of the pageant:
Personal Interview, Evening Wear, and Talent were all won by Jupiter Davenport Phillips, while Anthony Lector won the Onstage Q&A.
For the Miss Kinkeads portion of the pageant:
Personal Interview and Most Beautiful were won by Athena Sinclair, while Evening Gown, Onstage Q&A, and Talent were won by Mahogany Blue.
This made Jupiter Davenport Phillips the new reigning Mr. Kinkeads, with Anthony Lector taking First Alternate, and Mahogany Blue the new reigning Miss Kinkeads, with Athena Sinclair as First Alternate. Both Jupiter Davenport Phillips and Mahogany Blue then got their own spotlights to dance and show off their crowns.