She will appear at Hamburger Mary’s on Friday night.
By Don Maines
Janet-Fierce Andrews of Houston, the reigning Miss Gay Texas USofA, has been crowned Miss Gay USofA 2018. Andrews will make her first Houston post-crowning appearance June 1 when Hamburger Mary’s debuts a weekly Friday midnight show.
Andrews, a regular cast member in Saturday-night dinner shows at the Montrose restaurant, swept a field of 34 contestants at last week’s Miss Gay USofA Pageant in Dallas. Preliminaries were held May 20-24 in The Rose Room at S4, a gay nightclub, followed by finals May 25 at the South Side Ballroom in Big D.
“Oh my god, it was great,” said Craig Henderson, the state director for Miss Gay Texas USofA. “I was very happy, but I wasn’t surprised, because Janet worked really, really hard. On finals night, she wore a rhinestone-beaded gown that was gorgeous. She won best fashion and came in second in talent, just two points behind the talent winner.”
Andrews also tied for best interview with third runner-up Sasha Lauren. Interview and fashion contribute 25 percent each to a contestant’s score. In talent, which accounts for half of a contestant’s tally, Andrews performed an energetic mix of Janet Jackson tunes, backed by eight dancers. In last summer’s Miss Gay Texas USofA pageant at Rich’s in Houston, Andrews told judges that, while growing up in San Antonio, she left home at age 15 because her parents didn’t approve of her “lifestyle.”
Andrews moved to Houston about 18 months ago. She was mentored by the late Erica Andrews, a former Miss Gay Texas USofA and Miss Gay USofA, in addition to holding other drag titles, including 2006 National Entertainer of the Year. At EOY, the successor to Erica Andrews was DeeRanged, a female impersonator from Jacksonville, Florida, who placed second behind Janet Andrews in last week’s competition.
The second runner-up was Trinity K. Bonet of Atlanta, Georgia, and a past contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The fourth runner-up, and winner of best talent, was Qya Cristál of Boston, Massachusetts. Cristál, who competed as Miss Gay Massachusetts USofA, sang live, winning a standing ovation from many in attendance at the pageant finals, said Henderson.
Remaining contestants in the Top 12, in order of placement, were Joey Jay, Dion Summers, Vanity St. James, Britney DeLorean, Ivy Dripp, Pariis Nycole Davenport Brooks, and Widow Don’Vu.
Andrews, who is best-known for performing selections by Janet Jackson and Beyoncé, led all contestants in preliminary scoring, followed by Vanity St. James.
Joining fans in welcoming Andrews back to the stage at the Hamburger Mary’s Friday midnight show will be fellow performers Porsche Paris, Amanda Nicole, Jada Brooks, and Armani Nicole.
Andrews will crown her successor as Miss Gay Texas USofA in a pageant with about 40 contestants to be held in August at Rich’s.