Oh my goodness, kiddies, here I am sweating like a ‘ho in church. I always hate the summers in this part of the state, so it was with great pleasure that I was in Asheville just last weekend (along with my good friend Richard) to judge the last prelim to Miss NC America, Miss Western at O’Henry’s. Only thing is there was just one contestant, so Anjelica Dust took home the crown after she presented her categories in the show, and insisted we judges interview her for practice. One smart cookie! Joining her in the show were former Miss NC Jamie Monroe, current Miss NC Emery Starr, Natalie Smalls, Jessica O’Brien and Big Shirli Stevenz who also emceed. My thanks to promoter Doug McAllister for the accommodations and hospitality. Many of us popped into Scandals after the show to run into stars of the stage like Tyra Couture, Ashley Michaels, our reigning Miss NC EOY Manhattan and my little baby Dior, who tells me I missed what might be her last show. What a shame, but I’d rather look at her as a guy anyway. Wink, wink!

Erica Martinez of Cleveland, Ohio. Miss Gay Classique Unlimited.

The prelim before that was Latina Diva, held in Divas at Scorpio. The gorgeous, statuesque Jessica Reigns Starr won with RU Gabrielle Cooper. It was that same evening that former Miss Continental and U.S.ofA. Erika Norell performed at Scorpio and I’m sure wowed the crowd with her talents and incomparable wardrobe. I’m told she’d love to come back since she had such a nice time. I missed both events since I was in San Antonio for the July 4th weekend.

Layla LaRue had me out to judge the Miss Texas FFI and At Large contests at the Saint. Just so happens the Saturday night I got there was S.A. Pride, but I missed the parade and the Martha Wash concert! Later that night at The Heat, I saw internationally famous photographer Mike Ruiz who served as parade grand marshal earlier. Can you say yummy? I got a chance to hang out that night with my hostess, Taryn Taylor, former TX Continental, her hot friend Blake and Sierra Andrews, formerly of Dallas (and also a former Miss Dallas U.S.ofA.) Such sweet people! The Heat and the Saint were packed that night with sweating, brown-skinned menfolk. I thought I’d died and gone on, for sure. We attended an after-hours party at the home of Leandra Lang who’d just won Miss TX Continental two nights before.

The next evening, the contestants competed in Presentation and Fashion, which could be Evening Gown, Swimsuit, or Sportswear. It was so good to bump into old friends like Alexis Nicole Whitney, the super-hunky dancer R.J., former Mr. Texas USA Mark Anthony, Tersa Matthews, former Mr. TX Cont. R.K. LaRue, Denise Mykels and (in my mind) the First Lady of San Antonio, Kourtney Deveraux. I was also able to meet two new friends, Layla’s fierce sister, whom I’ll call Rachel LaRue Kardashian, and GQ, the newest Mr. Texas USA. Talk about a baby doll! Rachel was actually telling me that when she and Layla were younger, they lived in NC for a short time. I had no idea!

On final night, the contestants competed in Talent after the announcement of awards from the night before. The audience was treated to numbers by most of the formers, minus the first winners, Alyssa Edwards and Whitney Paige. The outgoing queens, an amazing Asia O’Hara (also a former Miss U.S.ofA.) opened the show along with Armani Nicole Davenport. Kelexis Davenport kept the folks in stitches with her antics, but this big gyrl can work a number, too — and a make-up brush, along with bags of chips and cookies! Ha! Layla earned a special mention here with her Adele number — fantastic! The winners that night were Desiree Brooks of Corpus Cristi (also Most Beautiful) along with Amanda LaRue of San Antonio and Fantasia of Dallas and for the At-Large, Ka’Aliyah McKim Diamond of San Antonio, Nadine Hughes of Austin and Onyx of Dallas. A special mention goes out to Gizelle Bevon Ashton, Miss TX America, and Tom, who helped Layla run the pageant. Those kids worked their butts off and made things run like clockwork!

Turns out one of the judges, Assyri, part of the Colorado Sexton family, will have a sister pageant to Miss TX out in Las Vegas on Nov. 7 — location to be determined. Assyri was proud to report that little sis Aurora had just won KY EOY the night before in Louisville.

As soon as I got back, I had the pleasure of popping in on a first — a workshop at Scorpio held by the current Miss Gay America, Coti Collins, for qualified Miss NC contestants. Never have I heard of a national queen doing a workshop for anyone! Coti gave the queens excellent, learned pointers for every category and fielded questions as well. Quite impressive and so selfless!

And, speaking of Scorpio, they keep bringing in the Drag Race stars. As you may have seen from the advertisements, Jessica Wild will kick off Pride, then I’m told Manila Luzon will be here for Labor Day and could it be that this year’s winner Raja will make an appearance around Thanksgiving? Oh, my gosh! On a side note, it sure has been good to see Elaine Davis back in the saddle, working and hosting after being under the weather for a hot minute.

In closing, a big shout out goes to an old friend from Charlotte now living in Birmingham, AL — Eddie, whose camp name is Edna Smoot. He’s just won Miss Pool Slut at a venue down in Bessemer called the Original Castle owned by drag aficionado Jonathan Edmundson. There were five contestants and Edna turned it at the pool with the Jaws theme followed by a boogie song in rocking chair shoes. Well done, Miss Crawford! : :

info: Drop me a line, OK? TheTeaMissD@yahoo.com