Shangela – Mcdonalds Breakfast Commercial
Many of your favorite gals from RuPaul’s Drag Race have gone on to do some pretty awesome things, from headlining major drag conventions, to launching music careers. It’s always a treat to the talented Dragrace contestant’s thrive and expand their brands to new heights. Based on the popularity of RuPaul’s brilliant show, many in America continue to embrace drag culture not only as camp but also the acknowledgment that drag performers are genuinely talented entertainers who take their craft seriously.
There is no better example of a drag performer breaking through the mainstream into major Hollywood success, than DragRace alumni, D.J. Pierce, professionally known by his drag persona –Shangela. Having first appeared on the show during season 2, her somewhat lackluster performances could easily be classified as mediocre at best but always with a down-home likeability that made you want to root for her. Unfortunately, she got eliminated on the very first episode of the season, but her journey was only beginning.
Out of the blue, Shangela was given a chance to return to DragRace Season 3, as a wildcard contestant. This time though, she was determined to step up her game. With quick wit, stronger makeup and costume skills, and a “ya’ll come back now ya hear” demeanor, Shangela quickly became a new fan favorite, landing in 6th place out of 12. She was then asked to return once more for Drag Race All-Stars’ where she came in 3rd place, by which time she had also amassed a large online following in the United States and abroad.
Race All Stars – Promo – Shangela / VH1
Though many contestants have gone on to do other projects, Shangela’s star turn took her into the stratosphere, stemming from a chance audition for a small drag performance role in the film, “A Star Is Born.” For the film, Bradley Cooper was casting a part for a Marilyn Monroe drag impersonator, and Lady Gaga had requested explicitly that Shangela audition. Gaga had met Shangela years prior during the filming of her video for the song, “Applause.”
For most people, Shangela is not the first who comes to mind when considering a Marilyn Monore drag performer, and even Pierce himself agrees, telling The dailybeast.com, “I was like, well, you know, sister, I don’t care how much time I spend out of the sun I’m never going to look like Marilyn Monroe,” he says. “I would love to be part of the film. I would love to audition. But I don’t think that role is for me.”
He skipped the audition completely, which resulted in Lady Gaga’s team sending a second audition request. Ultimately, Pierce reconsidered.
Pierce pulled Shangela together in her best “Seven Year Itch” costuming, complete with a blond wig, powdered complexion, and black beauty mark. He did not get the role, but he impressed Bradley Cooper so much that a more substantial part was written specifically for Shangela, to portray the drag “mother” of Gaga’s character in Oscar-nominated film.
Shangela and Bradley Cooper /Its Shangela -Instagram
Whereas a Hollywood blockbuster role might seem to be the pinnacle of success, Shangela has now gone even one step further into the mainstream, as the first drag queen to ever star in a commercial for McDonald’s.
America’s first fast-food joint has come along way on the social front when it features a drag queen promoting its breakfast menu, but that’s what Shangela is doing in this new McDonald’s campaign and I am here for all of it!
The commercial, which Shangela recently shared on Instagram, is part of a more significant campaign partnership with the Emmy-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race brand. It’s a substantial triumph for the LGBTQ community as our increased visibility helps to advance the societal acceptance of every one of different and individual lifestyles. At the end of the day, we all just want a seat at the table.
So pull up a chair as McDonald’s delivers some spicy Shangela, with an extra large Hale-loooo on the side. Over 1.2 million followers served!