She’s the three-time RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant known for her energetic and high-impact performances. And recently, drag queen Shangela Laquifa Wadley added a Eurovision song to her repertoire, lip-syncing to Netta’s winning song “Toy”.
Footage uploaded to YouTube shows Shangela performing the song in her set for the Werq The World Tour, an ongoing global tour featuring drag queens from the Emmy Award winning, hit TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race and its All Stars spin-off. The video is from the tour’s stop in Stockholm on 15th June earlier this year.
After opening with a dramatic rendition of Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor”, the fan-favourite queen begins to unbutton her dragon-head-adorned red coat as Netta’s distinct voice is heard being played through the Göta Lejon theatre speakers. The crowd gives an initial cheer once they recognise the song and they begin singing along before Shangela throws her coat off stage and begins strutting her stuff to the Eurovision 2018 winning entry.
Using every inch of the stage, the All Stars 3 finalist gives a dynamic performance, complete with choreography, hairography, voguing, and of course a little bit of the chicken dance. Shangela further utilises the silver and black embellishments on her red body suit to provide extra motion and drive to the show, which goes down a storm with the Swedish audience, who can be heard cheering her on throughout.
Following the first verse and chorus of “Toy” the song cuts out as Shanglea completes the set with Rhianna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money”, her verse from the revamped version of RuPaul’s “Kitty Girl”, in addition to her own song “Werqin’ Girl (Professional)”.
The inclusion of “Toy” in Shangela’s set for Werq The World suggests she’s been performing it at many of her dates on the recent European leg of the tour over the summer. And while she may have thought about leaving the song on the shelf when returning to the United States, recent footage from her Instagram story shows Shangela performing the same set at a booking in Houston, Texas, on September 9th.
Shangela lip syncing to Toy. Netta couldn’t even. pic.twitter.com/7SCQzj8HiD
— Mike || MONUMENT ? || Oslo 2022 ?? (@MelloMikeUK) September 10, 2018
The clips see the All Star working her signature flair on the song once again, but this time in front of the local American audience.
Being across the pond in North America suggests the crowd is less likely to be filled with Eurovision fans (or people who know of the contest at all) than the events in Europe. However, Shangela’s decision to continue performing the song in different areas of the globe shows just how much she believes in its message and its ability to provide audiences with a party atmosphere no matter if they’re die-hard Eurovision fans or not.
Indeed, the crowd at Rich’s Houston once again cheer the queen on throughout the set, showing their love for both the song choice as well as Shangela’s fierce performance.
After initially hearing “Toy” during a trip to Israel in early April and then again in her role as the Eurovision commentator for Logo TV, it’s clear that Shangela has found a song she truly connects to and wants to share with audiences everywhere. With the queen no doubt set to appear at numerous more events and gigs across the globe, we can’t wait to see her twirl and death-drop to the song in the future (and if the Eurovision bug sticks, perhaps we’ll see her werking her magic with more entries from the contest).
Jaidynn Diore Fierce and Madame La Queer Go Cuckoo for “Toy”
Shangela isn’t the only Drag Race alumni to have a go at performing Netta’s infectious tune. Season four and seven contestants Madame LaQueer and Jaidynn Diore Fierce have both performed the entire song at weekly drag show Showgirls! in West Hollywood.
For Jaidynn’s performance in July, the queen is seen concentrating more on the chicken/bird theme of the song. Beginning by wearing a large black coat with feather-covered sleeves, she flaps her arms up and down to imitate a bird in flight. The coat is soon removed though to reveal a red and gold Angry Birds themed bodysuit with feather attachments at the back.
Jaidynn then proceeds with a high energy and stylised routine, which includes dance moves and crazy facial expressions that fit the song’s character and charm perfectly.
Back in May, on the Monday after Netta’s victory, Madame LaQueer performed the song in a more simple fashion. Donning neon pink hair and wearing a black and green patterned catsuit, given added shape from a black corset worn on top, she starts with a bit of peek-a-boo through the curtains before strutting up and down the stage having fun with the quirky nature of the song.
While drag queens lip-syncing to Eurovision songs may not be entirely new, the fact that a number of Drag Race alumni are taking “Toy” to audiences well outside the Eurovision bubble is another testament to the tune’s ability to bring the party and put a smile on people’s faces no matter where they’re from.
But whatever lies ahead for Israel’s new champion over in North America, it’s clear that Netta and “Toy” won’t be sashaying away anytime soon. And who knows, maybe we’ll see the song featured on RuPaul’s Drag Race itself as a lip-sync for your life sometime in the future.
What do you make of Shangela’s lip-sync to “Toy”? Which drag queen do you want to see werk the song next? And are you happy to see a Eurovision song being performed at venues across the globe? Sound off in the comments below!