Drag Race icon Laganja Estranja explains how she ‘upped the game for everyone else’
Laganja Estranja, who competed in the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race alongside winner and current Pit Stop host Bianca Del Rio, has revealed that she planned her now-legendary entrance, and that it raised the bar for future competitors.
Speaking to EW‘s podcast Quick Drag, Estranja admitted that she did rehearse the moment in which she entered the werk room and said: “Oh y’all wanted a twist, eh? Come on season six, let’s get sickening!” before dropping to the floor in one of the show’s most treasured pieces of lore.
“As someone who grew up watching the show, it was a dream of mine to be able to enter the werk room, so I took it very seriously,” she told the podcast.
“I come from a musical theatre background, we’re used to rehearsing for months and months before our final presentation, so that’s what I did. I workshopped what I would say and how I would do it.”
Laganja Estranja competed in 2014, and was much loved for her catchphrases and moments such as her entrance, as well as her more dramatic storylines, including the “I feel very attacked”, and ways in which she rubbed certain queens up the wrong way.
Estranja also said that the entrance “upped the game for everyone else” – in her “humble opinion”.
She added: “Now, having a tagline and having a catchphrase or catch movement is super popular, and I’d like to think I was one of the catalysts for that.”
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The weed-themed queen also revealed that “Team Ganja” pioneered the trend of drag queens tagging their entire entourage in every single post, long before everyone else was doing it.
“I had a bunch of friends in college who were Team Ganja, I like to call them, so we did work on it. I was one of those people back in the day, before it was popular on Instagram, to tag every person on your team. I was doing that….
“I had a team of stylists [who] came up with every look I wore, both as a boy and girl in the werk room. I had people who were managing me and helping me.”
Laganja Estranja returned as a lip sync assassin on All Stars 6 to battle Trinity K Bonet to Dua Lipa’s “Physical,” in another amazing moment.
Her entrance was a throwback to her first appearance and she jumped into the splits from out of view for her reveal.
“I told them that one of the only ways I’d do it is if I could do the big entrance I’d planned for years,” she explained.
“I wanted to do something that would top what I’d done before, and I also wanted to pay homage to Tandi Iman Dupree[‘s ceiling drop.] I asked production if they could build a platform or a ladder or suspend me somehow, so that I could drop from the ceiling.
“When I got to the werk room, the platform was on the left side of the stage, and I’m a left-splitter, so we had to move the platform to the other side so I could do my split. It required the whole crew to drill up this platform and move it. It was definitely an orchestration.”
Laganja Estranja came out as a trans woman after her tenure on season six.
“There are so many other women around me who’ve inspired me to come forward, and it’s because of their fight and their struggle that I’m able to do this and say that I’m nervous, but I’m not scared,” Estranja told Entertainment Weekly.
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