We loved her the first time she was on LOGO TV’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, even though she was the first contestant to be kicked off in the premier of the 2nd season. We loved her even more when she came back for the 3rd season and showed that she was a force to be reckoned! Interestingly, we rarely get to see these gals perform unless it’s at the very end and they are forced to lip sync for their life! We decided to look at footage of her performances, including her talent which helped her win Miss California Entertainer of the year and placed her as 1st runner up for the National Entertainer of the Year Pageant! We were intrigued as we read her background story on her website Shangela-Debutantess of the Deep South, especially when she spoke so openly about her male persona, DJ Pierce. We fell in love with her even more when we interviewed her and we realized she is exactly as she presents on the our televisions and on the stage; honest, sickening…and telling the truth! And no matter where she goes from here, one thing is certain…no one will ever forget Miss Shangela Laquifa Wadley anytime soon! Halleloo!
1. Who in the world is Shangela Laquifa Wadley and why should the world care?
A character like no other, Shangela Laquifa Wadley is a combination of sick’ning debutantess and street-smart pimp ho. I have a huge heart, tons of energy and live to entertain people and bring more smiles to our community. The world doesn’t have to care…but it should be aware that I’m coming to turn the party 100%.
2. Where and how was Shangela born?
I was born in Paris, TX … but Shangela wasn’t born until just over two years ago at a small club in LA. Let’s just say there was a leotard, some drink tickets, and a “Single Ladies” performance that will never be forgotten.
3. What are three things about RuPaul that most people don’t know?
She’s crafty with her secrets, that lady! Honestly, Ru is a pretty open book … like she writes in her book, “Workin’ It’s available on Amazon.com.
4. Can a drag queen get rich doing drag?
Drag queens are the Macgyvers of entertainment. For every one girl that’s been on Drag Race, there are a thousand that work for under $100 per show and somehow manage to make themselves look like millionaire divas on stage. Drag can be an expensive art, so for every dollar made, trust that usually twice is being spent. We need a drag 401k!
5. What advice would you give to a 15 year old boy wanting to do drag?
Whatever makes you happy…Halleloo! Go for it, live out your dreams, and always consider yourself a star.
6. Who are the three greatest female impersonators of all time?
There are too many to name just 3. Ru is definitely up there among the stars. In comedy I look up to Jackie Beat and Coco Peru…and who can ever forget the divas from “Paris is Burning?”
7. Besides yourself, who were your two favorite contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race?
You’re asking the girl that was there two seasons to pick only two?!? I’m an only child and I feel like I left the show with a whole new sorority full of sisters. I keep in touch with Alexis and Sahara the most.
8. Tell us about Halleloo and your stand up comedy routine.
HALLELOO! I say it a lot because it’s how I live every day. It’s a word that I’ve been saying for years that just spells out positivity, humor and joy. That’s it. When something’s going your way, you say HALLELOO! That’s why I sell all the Halleloo gear over on my website. So more people can be encouraged to live their lives every day with humor and positivity! And it makes me smile =) Speaking of smiling…enter LAQUIFA! I started performing stand up comedy as a boy about three years ago and there’s never been any turning back. I love to make people laugh and I’ve got a million stories to tell, so when the opportunity came for me to create a drag stand up character, I jumped on it. Since Drag Race, I’ve added even more to my LaQuifa routine and actually just had the amazing opportunity to perform as the opening comedy act for legendary comedy diva Mo’Nique at Milwaukee PrideFest in June. There’s more to come, so I tell fans to stay with me on Shangela.com.
9. You were a finalist at National Entertainer of the Year. Do you still want to compete in pageants and what pageant systems would you like to hold national titles?
I’m honored to hold the title as the first Miss California Entertainer of the Year and to have placed 1st runner up during my first time competing in a national pageant at National Entertainer of the Year. I love pageants. I spent a lot of time as a back up dancer for some of my favorite winning queens in Texas like Alyssa Edwards and Asia O’Hara. Yes, I want to compete again, but I have to feel inspired to do so. I’m not just chasing a national crown… my goal is to put on an unforgettable show! But you’ve gotta have the time to invest if you win, and right now my schedule’s so crazy, it wouldn’t be fair to the system if I won.
10. You wore the same outfit as Snooki and were chosen over her as wearing it best. Why did you wear it best?
That was sick’ning, right?!? Both Life & Style and InTouch magazine chose me for wearing it best, and even I was shocked because you know they like to read the drag girlz usually. So it was really cool for my Grandma to be able to go to Wal-Mart and pick up a magazine where mainstream media was supporting drag and my lil’ look.
11. How do you define SEXY?
Confidence. Humor. and a nice set of Arms….especially if they’re being featured in my new Halleloo t-shirts! t.
12. What are three things every drag queen must know to be successful?
If you’re lip syncing, know your words.
If you’re death dropping, know your wig is pinned tight.
And if you’re taking over the world, make sure you read Rupaul’s book: “Workin’ It” available on Amazon.com…. haha!
13. If you could play any character in any movie in drag, what would the movie be and who would the character be?
I would reprise Whoopi Goldberg’s role in Sister Act…they’d call me Sister Shangie Wadley and I’d lead of choir of other drag queens in the drag convent.
14. What were the most hurtful comments made towards you on RuPaul’s Drag Race? How did you learn from those comments?
Go re-watch Season 3! I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeves, so fans were able to see by my reactions when I was hurt or caught off guard….I wear it all over my face and in my reactions. But I’m no quitter, and I hope that someone out there has been inspired by what I endured on Drag Race and how I never allowed that to take my focus off my ultimate goal: being the best drag superstar that I knew how. And guess what?? I might not have won the Race, but I’m definitely Winning in life! Halleloo!
15. What would you be doing now if you weren’t doing drag?
Well, I don’t live every day in drag, and the cool thing is that now I get to dual-path it through life. There are tons of projects I’m working on as Shangela, and some great ones I’m doing as D.J., including stand up comedy acts, television projects and more.
16. What are three things the world could learn from drag queens to be a better place?
Cue the “Heal the World” dance mix track. Haha. Honestly, I think the main lesson the world could look to drag queens to learn is about self-confidence and courage in being whoever you want to be. It takes guts to throw on a pair of heels and pump through the streets or clubs knowing everyone is possibly judging or critiquing you. But when you love what you do, and you’re proud of how you are, it doesn’t matter…You just go turn it out!
17. Boxers, briefs, jockstraps…or nothing at all?
Four pair of hoes and a mean set of tucking panties….any more questions?
Nope…That does it! We love ya sexy lady!
Be Yourself. Be Fearless. Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury!
*Photos courtesy of Shangela/DJ Pierce
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