In a true colliding of worlds, Laganja Estranja auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance Season 15 on Monday. The Drag Race Season 6 alum crossed over into straight culture for a night when she performed RuPaul’s “Cover Girl” in front of judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and resident voguing expert Vanessa Hudgens, as well as guest judge Stephen “tWitch” Boss.
Funnily enough, she only refers to her drag name as Ms. Estranja — probably because they wouldn’t let her say “Laganja” on Fox. It is always a treat to watch straight people interact with drag performers. For example, the host of the show, Cat Deeley, quoted Beyoncé within 30 seconds of meeting Estranja saying, “you woke up like this.”
“When I get up on stage, I tear it up,” Estranja said in her intro video. “The floor is my mission and baby, I am on it.”
When Estranja meets the judges, they are immediately enthralled with her. She introduces herself with an“okurr” and a tongue pop and they eat it up. It was interesting to watch how behavior that made her unpopular on Drag Race was so well received among a more mainstream audience.
From the get-go, her routine is straight out of a drag show. The first thing she does when the music starts is a death drop — it doesn’t get more drag show than that. The judges’ reactions to her performance are pretty mixed. They all agree that her personality and energy are magnetic, but think her actual dancing skills could be improved. Nevertheless, through some genuine Laganja charisma, she got the votes she needed to make it to the next round of the competition.
If drag culture (and Drag Race specifically) does one thing well, it’s teaching these queens how to be entertaining on television.