The RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons 2016 Extravaganza Tour rolled into London on Friday (March 25), and it was dragtastic.
Seven former contestants of the Logo TV reality competition show, along with host Michelle Visage, performed during the show at the O2 Forum, which boasted surprise guests Anastacia and Fleur East. Headlining the gig were Adore Delano, Courtney Act, Jinkx Monsoon, Katya, Pandora Boxx, Sharon Needles and Violet Chachki. The talent lineup varies each night during the international tour, which has more than 60 dates lined up through July 6, when it is scheduled to wrap in Perth, Australia.
Here are 8 of the moments that were particularly fabulous or, as one could say, gave us life, during the London gig.
1. Anastacia Surprise: Pop diva Anastacia stunned the audience with a surprise performance of her debut hit “I’m Outta Love.” Michelle Visage began the number solo, and then was joined by the unannounced Anastacia, who blew the roof off the Forum with her titanic vocals. “I’m Outta Love” peaked at No. 6 on the Official U.K. Singles Chart, and hit No. 2 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart back in 2000. Visage explained to the audience that she and Anastacia had been friends for decades, but they had never performed live before.
2. Visions of Visage: Speaking of Visage, the diva turned out a series of big pop moments throughout the night, including a duet of “Class” from Chicago with season five winner Jinkx Monsoon. While fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race are familiar with Visage as a judge on a show, and as a bestie of RuPaul, Visage has a significant Billboard chart history as a singer. As one-third of the girl group Seduction, she had five Billboard Hot 100 hits, including the No. 2-peaking “Two To Make It Right,” which also reached No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart. In addition, Visage climbed to No. 2 on Dance Club Songs as the featured act on TKA’s “Crash (Have Some Fun),” and was also a vocalist with The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. The latter reached No. 36 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on Dance Club Songs with “It’s Gonna Be a Lovely Day” from The Bodyguard soundtrack.
3. Needles as Bowie: Sharon Needles wowing the crowd in full-on David Bowie drag, performing his “Space Oddity.” Considering that Bowie was a pop chameleon, it was a fitting tribute from another shape-shifting entertainer. Needles, the winner of the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, returned later on in the show for another solo number, performing as an Area 51-ish alien diva, to sing her original number “Supernature,” from the Taxidermy album.
4. An Amped Audience: During the show’s pre-taped video introduction of each participating queen, the attendees gave a huge reaction to every performer. (As RuPaul would say, “Everybody say love!”) Even up in the balcony, the sold-out crowd sang along, swayed in time, and was generally super-jazzed to be in the room.
5. Fleur East Drops In: Pop singer Fleur East, who was runner-up on the 2014 edition of the U.K.’s The X Factor, joined the show as a special guest contestant during the ever-popular Snatch Game. On RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Snatch Game is played every season by its competitors, and spoofs the original Match Game. It always involves celebrity impersonations and off-color humor — and the live staging at the Drag Race Battle of the Seasons tour was no exception. At the show, four of the queens were panelists, with Needles turning in a notable performance as Caitlyn Jenner, and Monsoon doing a cockney-gone-ratchet version of Queen Elizabeth I.
6. Adore Rocks Out in the Snow: Adore Delano, a runner-up on the sixth season of Drag Race, performed a stand-out medley of Rihanna’s “Stay” and Delano’s new song “I Can’t Love You” (the latter from Delano’s After Party album). During the latter track, it “snowed” on the audience. (The flurry was likely the soapy foam-like substance that is used at amusement parks to approximate snow.)
7. A Vision in Day-Glo: Season six runner-up Courtney Act finished her “Kaleidoscope” number on a high note, literally. While belting out the final notes of the pop tune, Act — wearing a frilly glow-in-the-dark outfit — positively glowed while bathed in black light.
8. Rocky Horror Sing-a-Long: Half of the ensemble (Act, Monsoon, Needles and Visage) joined together for a medley of tunes from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, including the crowd-pleasing “Time Warp.” It was a hoot to see Monsoon, Needles and Visage form a girl group that briefly backed Needles during “Sweet Transvestite.”