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Rupaul’s Drag Race star headlines Clemson’s 11th annual drag show

“Drag Race” finalist Silky Nutmeg Ganache headlined Clemson’s drag show.

Glitter, glamor and ghoulish performances. It was a different kind of ghostly celebration.

TigerLive Entertainment hosted its 11th annual drag show on Sunday at the Madren Center Ballroom to help kick off Clemson Pride week. This year’s show included performances befitting the theme ‘Night of the Living Drag’ and creating a spooky yet riveting show.

This year’s headliner was the one and only Silky Nutmeg Ganache, who came in third place on season 11 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and has appeared in multiple “Drag Race” spin-offs since. Clad in a black leather bodysuit with cheetah print accents and sleeves of leather fringe, Ganache took the stage by storm upon her first step.

Ganache’s performance was exciting and electric as she lip-synced to numerous popular songs, including Tyla’s ‘Water,’ during which she seamlessly executed the viral TikTok dance.

Alongside Ganache, TigerLive invited multiple local drag queens to perform and bring. The night’s host was Koko Dove, who blended glamor and comedy to create a night of fun entertainment.

Dove sparkled in her sequined outfits and entertained the crowd through direct audience engagement and participation. As a highlight of the night, Dove brought five students onto the stage to demonstrate their best runway walk as the background of the crowd’s cheers and hyperpop music backed them up.

The show also included opening performances from local entertainers Don Javi and Taejah Thomas. Don Javi, a drag king from Columbia, South Carolina, performed two songs and combined his Mexican heritage with the glamor of drag by lip-syncing to a mix of Spanish and English songs.

Javi brought swag to the show through his dancing and charisma, fabulously encapsulating masculinity.

Thomas captivated the audience through high-energy and emotional performances. She entered in style, wearing a sequined bodysuit and flawlessly executing a jump into a split at the beginning of her set.

For her second song, Thomas donned a long black dress and painted tears running down her face as she lip-synced to a ballad, bringing out the audience’s emotional side.

Following the performances, the show concluded as Ganache brought five students onto the stage to lip sync against one another in a simulation of the classic ‘Lipsync for your Life’ bit from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Ganache would give each competitor a random pop song to perform, and the students would be given a minute to give their all on the stage. After all the performances, the crowd cheered for their favorite lip sync, with the runner-ups sashaying away and the winner receiving prizes from Ganache herself.

The annual drag Show is organized by TigerLive Entertainment members through a committee each year. This year’s drag Show committee met weekly throughout the semester to plan the show and market it to the student population.

Even with some bumps in the road — including two performers having emergencies the day of — TigerLive connected with local queens and put on a lively show for the audience and performers alike regardless.

This year marks the 11th iteration of the Clemson Drag Show, which is always planned for the latter half of the spring semester. After over a decade of performances, the annual event is still running strong and attracting crowds, as many students look forward to it every year.

If you missed out on this year’s performance, it’ll be back next year, and TigerLive provides many student-programmed events throughout the year to entertain and enrich the Clemson community.

Instagram: @cutigerlive

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Lindsay Kaine
Lindsay Kaine, Senior Reporter
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