Last night's 2013 Mr. & Ms. Nashville Pride Pageant was a parade of ruffles, sequins, hair, salutes to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and . . . a buncha CRAZY.
Hundreds gathered to watch this year's contestants which included Mr. Nashville Pride hopefuls: Stephen Amastud, Chase Skyy and Brett Glamm and Ms. Nashville Pride hopefuls: Giselle Nicole, Ry-Ann, Tyrah Hunter, Vivica Versace, Jaidynn Diore Fierce, Paige Turner and Taleyah Sanchez (click here for photos).
This year's Pageant, hosted by Play Dance Bar and brought to you by Mac Productions, was judged by Ms. Nashville Pride 2003 Trinity Monroe, Chyna, Ron Sanford, Veronika Elektronika and Ricky Thomas.
Mr. Nashville Pride hopefuls kicked off the night with their 80s inspired presentations. Throughout the night, it was clear that Brett Glamm stood out from his fellow competitors. Brett Glamm showed his swagger (and 80s love) with a Flava-Flav clock around his neck and followed it up with an awe-inspiring MTV mini-movie mash-up of Taylor Swift's "Love Story" and Justin Beiber's "As Long As You Love Me," complete with a well-choreographed fight scene. While Brett Glamm was a bit shaky in his Q&A, he was the obvious choice to take the Mr. Nashville Pride crown. Another highlight from the evening was Stephen Amastud's 'N Sync medley, which while entertained audiences, it suffered from poor choreography amongst the chosen backup dancers. Stephen took first runner-up.
The contestants for Ms. Nashville Pride WERKED the stage last night as they brought 80s glam-including Tyrah Hunter's new-wave inspired evening wear (a personal favorite), live singing (and of course lip-synching) and a whole mess of CRAZY. That crazy included a rabid fanbase for Jaidynn Diore Fierce. At times some unnecessarily heckled other contestants but in the words of Jamie Foxx and T-Pain blame it on the alcohol.
The presentation portion included some great 80s inspired looks including Ry-Ann's Boy George, Paige Turner's colorful hair homage to Cyndi Lauper and a unique Taleyah Sanchez who came out in maid-wear to prove she worked hard for the money.
A clear highlight from presentation was Tyrah Hunter's use of members of the community dressed in red to bring HIV/AIDS awareness to the pageant. The virus ravaged our community in the 80s and in my opinion (and no they didn't ask me to be on the judge's panel) was the clear winner in this category.
In the evening wear category, contestants floated on and off stage in a sea of 80s prom nightmares-re: ruffles. Once again (imo) Tyrah Hunter rocked a slim, red new-wave inspired dress and an updo that screamed 80s.
Crazy reared its head again in the talent portion as Giselle Nicole made me feel like I needed to go to church after her possessed performance that combined opera and Katy Perry's "ET". Ry-Ann followed with a Patsy Cline mash-up that interspersed itself with scenes from films like Mommie Dearest and the 'to this day my favorite scene from a film' the Angela Basset Waiting to Exhale monologue. Vivica Versace also performed a mash-up of film scenes (including the well-known wire hangers from Mommie Dearest) with a version of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy".
The highlights of the evening came with both Tyrah Hunter, who performed an amazingly well-choreographed routine to Beyonce's "Sweet Dreams" complete with sexy, blue suit clad dancers and Jaidynn Diore Fierce who sang "When You're Good to Mama" from Chicago (see the clip below) complete with "Cell Block Tango" backup. Her backup often broke character but in the end no one was a match for singing live.
Paige Turner performed a pre-recorded comedy routine, which it may just be me but performers who use live tracks should know it's often hard for audience members to hear with all the prerecorded laughter, clapping and cheers.
Finally, Taleyah Sanchez was ready to give us some "Proud Mary" and total Tina Turner but unfortunately her performance was clipped with technical difficulties . . . which she handled like a PRO.
And now it's time for the breakdown: Second runner-up went to Tyrah Hunter, first runner-up (and poised to take the crown if the winner becomes pregnant or unable to fulfill her duties) was Giselle Nicole. And the winner . . . (drumroll) . . . Jaidynn Diore Fierce, who accepted the crown with tears.
In a comment following the show, Jaidynn Diore Fierce said, "I am so happy and blessed for all of the love and support from the Nashville gay community. It is definitely one of the most memorable nights of my life!"
Congratulations to Brett Glamm and Jaidynn Diore Fierce.
For photos of all contestants click here
photos courtesy of Katy Parson