Long post ahead!
BOTS in Singapore, 10 July 2016, was my first ever drag show and also my first experience with BOTS. I’m also really glad that on a whim I decided to start watching RPDR from Season 7 earlier this year (while Season 8 was screening since friends kept tweeting about it) and soon after spiraling into fandom they announced BOTS would be coming to Singapore! The only Asian stop no less!
The only thing I knew about BOTS was the opening number (“This is the battle of the seasons~” and “Off of TV~” to the tune of ‘Under The Sea’) and that there would be Snatch Game. I am terrible at the names of the songs the queens perform to so read this reddit post , this second one and this article for more details.
The day got off to a terrible start – Pandora couldn’t make it due to her passport having less than 6 months validity and they announced about 5 hours before the show that Alaska wouldn’t be there because of immigration issues. My heart broke because she’s my favourite and I had been looking forward to meeting her (like tons of others) but we knew the show would be terrific regardless but there was still that small part of our hearts that longed for what it could have been…like hearing Anus or Your Makeup Is Terrible live, or having Alaska’s Lady Bunny for Snatch Game…or just being graced by her presence….
Please bring in Alaska to Singapore one day? Please?
MEET AND GREET
M&G was great (but expensive af? At SGD$350 & SGD$450 can you imagine how upset they were at the lineup changes? The more expensive Superstar VIP package got a post show photo with all the queens and a signed poster, while the cheaper Shantay You Stay ticket only got preshow M&G. Both got a RPDR BOTS tote). The queens came into a small room next to the entrance to the circle seats at different times, Ivy first and Violet last of all. Most of the fans were mainly there for Violet since Alaska wasn’t there so while I was queuing to wait to talk to Detox, Violet came in and half the people ran to wait for Violet instead.
PEARL was super Flazeda and barely bothered with any conversation and just posed for photos, but looked stunningggggg.
Phi Phi, Ginger and Detox were my favourites because they were so sweet to everyone and took time to chat a bit with each fan and Phi Phi was offering hugs to everyone.
PHI PHI O’HARA
Chatted with Phi Phi about Pokemon Go, and since Singapore was (and still is) region locked, she talked about how she was so behind and needed to catch up. Gave her an eeveelutions tote I got from Japan’s Pokemon Center and she said she’s going to do Eeveelutions for 365 Days of Drag, and to look out for it maybe sometime in November!
Ginger is just full of wonderful quotes and just very entertaining. “It’s mother daughter day!”, “Take photos from a higher angle or I’ll look fat!” and she was just very, very nice. The ‘Black Girls Rock’ necklace was given to her by a fan and she let them put it on her just before I got to say hi.
Ginger: Hi, whats your name!
Ginger: Like Bernie Sanders?
Me: It’s short for Bernadette
(another fan chimes in) “Like Bernie Sanders!”
Ginger: If he’d used his full name, maybe he’d have won. Bernadette Sanders!
I WAS GAGGING FOR DETOX’S OUTFIT those black earring dangling things look and are heavy af and when she turned around and bent over to put stuff aside…you can imagine all the cameras clamouring to get a shot. All she would say about AS2 was that it’s wasn’t really like a Rolaskatox “reunion” and that we would love the season (“I can’t say anything else, I don’t want to be sued!”). Ginger also echoed the same sentiments that the season would be crazy and to look forward to it.
Ivy’s queue ended the fastest and she was the first queen to enter so she lounged around and you could talk to her multiple times. She had on these barbie doll head earrings with red tendril blood things hanging off and it was GLORIOUS. She was really sweet and liked to high five a lot, and said she went to the Night Safari!
Manilla was really nice, I bought the Ovahness album and she signed it for me! Look at that blurry excitement in the selfie haha! She went down to the main area and I heard from my friend that she stopped for quick photos with fans before going back up.
I didn’t get a pic with her during the M&G due to time issues and her line constantly being very long. But her outfit! 😀
My loots from the show!
THE ACTUAL SHOW
DJ set was…just Pearl playing music and kind of bored because no one was actually around to listen since most of the crowd was still mingling outside. The organizers didn’t say Pearl was playing before the show started so most didn’t come in till 3/4 of her set. She got more lively when some fans ran down to the stage to snap photos and selfies but the Staff ran over and STOPPED EVERYONE. They did this the ENTIRE NIGHT which was really annoying because the screen kept playing the video cue to snap, share and tweet etc. So Pearl just like was kinda grinding waving her hands/arms around in the air for a bit then left at 6:55pm, the show only started some 20 – 30min later.
After the opening song, Manila and Ginger came out to do a short . I wasn’t a huge Ginger fan before the show but she really really really held the whole show since it was missing 2 performers and Michelle.
The order of performances was:
Phi Phi – ?? (video background was pop art Phi Phi looks)
Ginger – Adele’s Hello/mash up
I was doubled over laughing because it was so, so, so brilliant! Included mash up with Lionel Richie’s Hello, Justin Bieber and Drake’s Hotline Bling! Ginger ended it by ROLLING DOWN THE STAIRS.
Manila – ??
Ivy – I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Violet – Cut The Jazz
Detox – Mannequin and ??
Ivy – Overcome (on stilts!)
TRASH TO FASHION GAME
Manila – I’m Every Woman
Phi Phi – Jessie J’s Who You Are
Ginger – I Am What I Am
MY GOODNESS DAMN PHI PHI, GINGER AND IVY HAVE SOME AMAZING PIPES ON THEM. I was quite floored because somehow I’d forgotten how good Ivy was at singing, and never realised Ginger and Phi Phi had such powerful voices! That one note where Phi Phi was squatting down and just belting it out during Who You Are sent chills down my spine.
Ginger hosted Snatch Game AS Michelle Visage, with Phi Phi as Rickey Rat (for Copyright Reasons), Manila as Imelda Marcos and special guest (audience member Lukman who won an online contest) as Laganja Estranga. Lukman did a very commendable job, complete with death drops and splits.
Ginger-Michelle: I don’t know what trainwreck is waiting around the corner, kind of like season 7
Rickey Rat: At least people watch my season!
Ginger-Michelle: Ugly Edna is so ugly that when she goes to Mac they beat her face with _____
Audience Guest Participant (Andy): Eggs!
Ginger starts singing Eggs and high fives him for the brilliant cue.
I was kinda disappointed with Manila’s Imelda Marcos because it wasn’t that funny and I mean the shoes thing was cool and all but it’s gotten really old fast. “Ricky Rat” was throwing all sorts of shade everywhere, and couldn’t properly sit because of the tuck? or corset? or something.
Rickey Rat: They glue down her brows and draw them up to her wig line and call her Derrick Berry
Ginger-Michelle: You’re toxic (and other Britney references)
Manila: What do they beat your face with Michelle?
Ginger-Michelle: I wipe the residue off RuPaul’s asshole….that’s not brown contour you’re looking at.
TRASH TO FASHION GAME
Another audience participation game. 3 lucky VIP ticket holders were chosen to come on stage and have the queens make them a couture outfit from…trashbags. Ginger hosted, still as Michelle. “If only Alaska was here, she’d win this challenge”. Oh, don’t remind us 🙁
Detox kind of didn’t get the memo or something because she gave her outfit (and wig) to her partner and instead made a dress for herself. No complains though! Phi Phi also gave her wig to her partner and look at that crazy mop of blue hair.
AFTER THE SHOW
Waited around to see the queens leave the venue. They were really chill and asked if we enjoyed it and took photos. When Detox came over, I said “Hi Detox!” and she replied “I’m not Detox, I’m Chad Michaels!” Manila didn’t come out with the rest and Pearl had supposedly already left and gone back to the hotel.
Overall it was an amazing first BOTS for me (since I haven’t watched anything on YouTube plus also my first drag show ever) and they all put on great performances. I laughed so much, had so much fun, and was all hungover from the excitement the next day. I’m still in shock sometimes to think that I managed to meet some of the people I watched and admired from TV.
The funniest part really is that I had a dream about BOTS, where Alaska was performing and standing at the left side of the stage, and would later come down into the left side of the audience. I planned to buy a seat in the left side but the moment I clicked ‘Buy’, the seat was no longer available. So I had no choice but to buy my second choice, a seat at the right side, in the exact same spot. And cruelly enough…ALL THE QUEENS only went to the left side of the audience. There was no love, none at all for the right side so I could feel the sadness radiating off the others around me when the queens sashayed past us back to the stage. Oh well.
Hopefully one day I’ll be able to catch BOTS again, or have the $$ to travel where BOTS will be held. It was such a rush of adrenaline, just like how I felt when attending a concert and getting lost in the atmosphere and music.
You can find more photos on LA Comedy Live’s Facebook Page.
In the mean time, I’ve just been binge watching past seasons of RPDR (again) after work and getting emotional over Untucked episodes. My current earworm is “Can I Get An Amen?” and can I tell you how much that Untucked episode killed me because of how upset Alaska was? One day, Alaska, one day I will finally see you live.
I’m #TeamAlaska for AS2! Can’t wait for it to air in August.
Till the next post,