More than 150 students crept and crawled into the Otter Student Union (OSU) ballroom like spiders on Friday, Oct. 13 for the seventh annual Werk Witch Drag Show. Attendees did not leave disappointed, as their top voted contestant was also the judges’ Mx. Werk Witch.
With groups of students arriving at the OSU over an hour prior to the posted door-opening time, it was clear they could not wait for this highly anticipated event.
“I went to the last one and I loved it so much, it felt so welcoming and the energy was just through the roof,” said fourth-year Isaiah Zuniga.
Outside the OSU ballroom was a photo booth with props and a table of “Werk Witch Drag Show” stickers and temporary tattoos; students ornamented themselves and posed for a camera while waiting for the show to start.
“I’ve gone every year and I love the outfits that all the students wear and all the drag. Seeing everyone express themselves makes me so happy,” said Emily Silva, a third-year student. “[Drag] is an artform and it is about gender, but it’s not specifically binary. You can just have fun with it. [Drag is] just seeing everyone’s true form in an exaggerated way.”
The show began with judge Kochina Rude stepping on the stage with their own number, showing the crowd how it’s done with a sickening tribute to the iconic HBIC Tiffany “New York” Pollard.
Contestants followed their lead, competing for the titles of Mx. Werk Witch and Mx. Congeniality, the student-voted winner. They were judged based on honoring tradition, theme, charisma and fierceness.
When it was time for contestants to take it to the runway, Miss Mystique Lex claimed the stage as her own in a glittering dress and matching boots that shimmered throughout the ballroom. According to the judges, she knew exactly when to pause and when to strut. “I can’t think of anything to change, you killed that,” said Kochina Rude.
Sara Traline switched up the vibe and the audience didn’t hide their excitement when “Primadonna” by MARINA started playing. She wore a pink satin robe with white lace garters. “I wanted it to be super princessy and fun,” she said when judges asked about her outfit.
The show ended with a charismatic performance from Salchicha Toxica, who wore goggles, gloves and a lab coat. Their performance was as captivating as it was intense. Judges appreciated their bald head, emotive expressions as well as their taste in music. “I love the song choice, it reminds me of my waist size, XS,” said judge Tala.
And the winner was… Miss Mystique Lex! Her Beyoncé adaptation was “Heated” and subsequently stole the show. Although it was her first time performing in drag, she won both Mx. Congeniality and Mx. Werk Witch – breaking a record by claiming both titles.
“I was so scared before I got up here and y’all just ate me up. I’ll remember this forever, thank you so much,” she said during her acceptance speech, and then sashayed away in both sashes.
You better werk, witch!