10th Drag Hens Den competition shook Castletroy Park Hotel

drag hens den
Queens competed for the titles of Miss Social Media and, of course, Miss Drag Hens Den 2023. Photo by Pigtown Media.

This year’s showdown saw eleven contestants from Limerick, Cork, and even Hawaii compete for the Miss DHD crown

By Jack Butler

Drag star Nora Sinner performing at the 10th annual Drag Hens Den competition. Photo by Pigtown Media.

All eyes were on the Castletroy Park Hotel last Saturday, as it hosted the 10th annual Drag Hens Den (DHD) drag competition.

Previous winners include Mia Gold, who now operates a ten-week ‘Drag School’ course in Cork, and Blu Hydrangea, reigning champion of RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs. The World.

This year’s showdown saw eleven contestants from Limerick, Cork, Louth and even Spain and Hawaii compete for Miss Social Media (for the best online presence in the lead-up to the competition) and, of course, Miss DHD 2023.

Hosted by Limerick’s own Sheila Fitz-Patrick and judged by a panel of seasoned queens such as last year’s Miss DHD and Miss Social Media, Lucina Schynning and Charnell Clearwater, Limerick’s Elsie Cox and special guest judge Sheila Blige, standards were higher than the heels for our competitors.

Contestants were judged on their ‘best Madonna’ in the first round, walking in tandem to hit single ‘Vogue’ and showing their best strut.

This was followed by a series of lipsync battles, where contestants were paired up (with one three-way battle) and duked it out to a randomly assigned pop song, including Nicole Scherzinger’s ‘Wet’ and Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’.

In the final ‘Showstopper’ round, where queens opted to showcase their individual talents through lipsyncs, performances and outfit reveals.

In the end, Miss Social Media 2023 went to Irish-American Kara Kalua after a long night.

Speaking after her win, she said “It feels amazing, when I did the show last year I wasn’t really bothered with it but this year I was like ‘I wanna go for that,’ and I got bored resharing the posters so I just decided to make a bunch of very silly videos – promoting the show, but silly nonetheless.”

Kara also had the honour of being a heterosexual drag queen, a position of which she is proud.

“When I started in the scene, I used to be very afraid about being a straight drag queen, but since I have been honest, I remember specifically last year’s DHD, I got an amazing response and it just shows that anyone can do it, no matter what sexuality, what gender you are, drag is honestly for everyone,” she explained.

The crown went to Tewtee, who stole the show in a three-way lipsync to Girls Aloud’s ‘Something Kinda Ooh’, followed by a performance of ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ from Dreamgirls.

Speaking after her win, she said, “Winning Drag Hens Den has meant the world to me, there is nothing in life I love doing more than showcasing my art, and to win while competing in Ireland’s biggest drag competition gives me the reassurance – or more so the confidence – to actively pursue my drag career.

“Drag for me began as a result of boredom during lockdown, it opened a whole different world to me that I quickly fell in love with including makeup, wigs, sewing, and of course performance.

“For the future, I will continue to grasp every opportunity thrown at me with both hands and hopefully live up to the high standard during my reign that has been set by the amazing nine Queens that have reigned before me.”

Find out more about Drag Hens Den.

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