She may have been “nervous and shaking inside” the first time she stepped out onto the runway seven years ago, but her tribal-inspired, warrior outfit and striking confidence told a very different story. Welcome to the gorgeous, #OriginalFish, Jade Sotomayor!
You know you’re watching TV magic when a queen is genuinely lovely and incredibly beautiful. Jade exuded confidence and gave great stage presence every time she hit the main stage. This came through stronger than ever in the second episode when she choreographed a group routine to Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child. When teaching the girls the routine, Jade was very considerate making sure that everyone knew what they were doing and had the moves down, so that they had the best chance of succeeding in the challenge. Although this was sadly not to be, Jade came back fiercer than ever wearing a stunning sparkly blue outfit that a lot of people (myself included) would give anything to look half as good in!
Jade’s confidence and nerve was questioned towards the end of her time on Drag Race. In one of the episodes, Ru asked Nina (Flowers) what advice she would give Jade. Nina said “you need to trust yourself and your instincts and be more out there. I think that you’re too shy.” Shannel added “If you thought you were as beautiful as we see you as being beautiful, then the sky’s the limit.” I think it’s safe to say that Jade has ticked all of these boxes since leaving the werk room! In the episode following Jade’s (unfair) departure, Shannel said “Jade embodies an all around, 110% beautiful person inside and out.”
Jade was introduced to the world of drag through some of her friends, who were also drag queens. Revealing in an interview that she went to see them in a show, she ended up falling in love with drag, before coming out to her mum and becoming a drag queen a week later! “I’m a big performer and doing drag is a big outlet, where I can express my talent and show how much I love to be on stage and perform.” Becoming a RuGirl is now considered to be the Olympics of drag, but it was actually close friend and season 5 contestant Monica Beverly Hillz who told Jade about the show. Admitting that the producers learnt a lot from their season, Jade revealed after the show had aired that, since they were locked in their rooms, she would often sneak out of the hotel’s window to meet up with the other girls before heading to a nearby bar to socialise. Reflecting on her experience, Jade more recently said “It’s been a whirlwind! Being able to perform all over and travel and meet so many different fans – that’s the best part, meeting the fans and just taking pictures with them.”
To kick off my weekly RuPaul’s Drag Race posts, in celebration of the return of RuPaul’s All Stars, I’m going right back to the beginning… I mean, where else would I start than with the first ever contestant to sashay away from the show. So, without further ado, let me introduce Victoria “Porkchop” Parker!
Miss Victoria Parker, whose friends call her Porkchop, was the fifth girl to enter the werk room on the first episode of the very first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, wearing a gorgeous black and red number. You could tell in an instant that she was a lovely person as she graciously greeted her fellow competitors. The episode was called “Drag on a Dime”, which sadly for Porkchop worked against her. Admitting “I can sew on a budget, I can sew a hole up in a dress and that’s about it”, she was not impressed with what she had produced for the main stage. Revealing that she hated her outfit Porkchop wasn’t going to let that get her down – “this is what I’ve got to work with so, I gotta make the best of what I’ve got”. Unfortunately, her garment landed her in the bottom two and after lip-synching to RuPaul’s song Supermodel, her time on Drag Race was cut short. Gracefully thanking the judges for the opportunity to appear on the show and wishing her competitors the best of luck, she exited stage right.
Porkchop began female impersonation on her 17th birthday, on 16 January 1987. Her friends gave her the nickname “Porkchop” because she’s a really good cook and makes, you guessed it, really good pork chops. She defines herself as a female impersonator as opposed to a drag queen as she creates a female illusion to entertain people. In an episode of RuPaul drives… (a World of Wonder web series), Porkchop talked about how appearing on the show actually resulted in her losing her job as a bar hostess. Her boss had told her that it was the worst decision of her life… it just goes to show how little her ex-boss knew! Porkchop once said that she wants to make her audience forget their problems. “I want everyone to leave all the bad stuff at home and enjoy me and the rest of the show for the hour or two that we’re there because that’s what it’s all about – it’s entertaining”.
It was clear to see that RuPaul herself was a Porkchop fan. In the RuCap episode, Ru introduced Porkchop by saying “she proved that big drag queens and big hearts go together”. For the seasons that followed, Ru will often shout “Hey Porkchop” during the majority of the finale episodes, which is super sweet to see eight years down the line. Ru always tells the truth, only saying what she believes in, which is how you know that Porkchop must be a lovely person that has a great energy about them – “I know, myself included, every at World of Wonder adores you.”
Calling her fans her Choplets, Porkchop’s departing words before sashaying away were so inspirational. “I would like to send out to the plus size community, live your dreams, don’t let anyone stop you, don’t let your size stop you. I may have been the first to go but I made it here.”
To find out what Porkchop is up to and where she is performing next, you can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
As a few of you may remember, last year I was given the opportunity to photograph the celebs on the red carpet at The National Television Awards in London’s iconic O2 Arena. I had so much fun and everyone I met was so friendly and not snooty in the slightest! This year, I’m heading back to the famous spikey dome near the Thames, just unfortunately without a red carpet pass. That said, it will still be a fantastic evening – who wouldn’t want to be at such a big live event and get access to the VIP after party?!
This year, I have voted for the following programmes and celebs who I’d love to see win:
* Most Popular Talent Show – I love both Strictly Come Dancing and The Voice in equal measure, but in the end I opted for The Voice as I was lucky enough to attend last years live semi-final and it was an absolute blast! Plus, Strictly won last year so I thought I’d give someone else a chance.
* Most Popular Serial Drama – Coronation Street won last year due to the outstanding performances from both Julie Hesmondhalgh (who played Hayley) and David Neilson (who plays her husband Roy). It was an incredible story line, which gripped the nation. However, this year I voted for Eastenders as it is the only soap that I actually watch properly and have done for many years.
* Most Popular Comedy – I voted for the same programme as last year, The Big Bang Theory! As many people already know, I am more or less obsessed with this show and desperately want to see it filmed live in LA. However, last year the award understandably went to Brendan O’Carroll’s cracking show, Mrs Brown’s Boys, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they won it again this year.
* Most Popular Drama – Unfortunately, I don’t actually watch any of the nominated drama’s that made the shortlist this year (Cilla, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Sherlock), however I think I gave my vote to Cilla in the end as Sheridan Smith is just so talented! Last year, not surprisingly (as Matt Smith was the most incredible Doctor there has ever been!), Doctor Who beat Downton to the award, although I’m not too sure they’ll be able to do that for a second year running.
* Most Popular Drama Performance – This was one of the easier votes to give. Sarah Lancashire played the most incredible character in the BBC’s captivating programme Happy Valley. Plus, she is a superb actress anyway! That said, she is up against Benedict Cumberbatch…
* Most Popular Factual Entertainment – I’ve always been a huge fan of Paul O’Grady, so to see him scoop this award for the second year, with his adorable show For the Love of Dogs, would be absolutely fantastic! However, the popular (not with myself I must add) programme Gogglebox, where you watch people watching TV (?!?!), has somehow found itself in the ‘Factual’ category… I’m sorry, but how could this programme possibly be factual?! Unfortunately, I think this one will regrettably win.
* Most Popular Daytime – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a year where This Morning hasn’t won! Don’t get me wrong, after watching Phillip Schofield’s 24 hour live TV challenge to raise money for the Text Santa appeal last year, he is one of the greatest TV presenters on our tellies. However, even with that in mind, I decided to give The Chase my vote this year as I’ve recently really enjoyed watching it and I end up learning so much from it, too. Sorry, Schofe!
* Most Popular Newcomer – This again was an easy one for me, as I think this actress brings much needed comedy to soapland. As soon as Maddy Hill (who plays Nancy Carter) stepped onto the square – or should I say carried over the shoulder of Danny Dyer’s character – I knew she would become one of my favourites and I’m overjoyed to see that she has made the shortlist! Last year I predicted correct in this category, with ‘Enders Khali Best (who plays Dexter) scooping the award – I even had the opportunity to congratulate him at the after party!
* Most Popular Serial Drama Performance – From one Carter to another, my vote was given to Danny Dyer, who again brings so much comedic value to the show as Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter. The two together are quite the double act and even though to begin with I was rather apprehensive for Dyer’s entrance, I’m so pleased the Carter family joined the cast!
* Most Popular Entertainment Programme – This was a tricky one as all four programmes are equally great in their own right. However, I think I voted for Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway this time because it’s the one I watch the most of. Either way, Ant and Dec have a 50% chance of winning this award as I’m A Celebrity is also nominated (and the show actually won last year, too).
* Most Popular Entertainment Presenter – Since Ant & Dec won this category last year, as well as the award above AND the 2014 Landmark Award, I decided to give my vote to the hilarious (and on many occasions inappropriate) Keith Lemon. I absolutely love Celebrity Juice and thanks to this programme, played the funniest party game with my American relatives… Don’t Show Keith Your Teeth!
* Most Popular Chat Show Host – This was another category in which I found it extremely tough to decide who to give my vote to – I literally enjoy watching every single nominee! Since they are all worthy winners, I had to alter the question slightly… “Who would I most like to meet?”. Even though I very briefly asked Alan Carr last year if he would have a picture with our Junior Photographers and thanked him for it afterwards, I’d still really like to meet the hilarious Chatty Man properly. Et voila!
* Most Popular Multichannel Programme – As I briefly mentioned a few categories ago, I find Celebrity Juice addictive and very much a feel good show, as it never fails to make me laugh! However, and this is probably the biggest however I will make on this post, it is up against the incredibly popular Game of Thrones. So in theory, it unfortunately has absolutely no chance on winning!
* Most Popular Skills Challenge Show – This was a coin flip between The Apprentice and The Great British Bake Off (not that I actually had a coin handy – typical!), as I thoroughly enjoy both. Thus having no coin to flip, I decided to vote for Bake Off as not only is Mary Berry the sweetest lady I’ll ever meet (albeit briefly at, none other than, last years NTA’s), but Mel and Sue’s comedy narration throughout is just pure genius!
* Most Popular TV Judge – Surprise, surprise, I voted for Mary Berry for this category, too! I don’t watch X Factor anymore since both Nicole Scherzinger’s and Gary Barlow’s departure, so that cut the shortlist in half right there (both Simon and Cheryl were nominated). I then dismissed David Walliams as I thought that he probably has lots of different awards for numerous things – although he does seem like lots of fun!
So those are my predictions/hopes ahead of next weeks National Television Awards – I can’t wait to see who wins! Also, if you’ve made it all the way to the end, thank you very, very much!
#340: You have 15 minutes to address the whole world live (on television or radio — choose your format). What would you say?
I’d of course choose TV as I have absolutely no experience in radio (although my TV experience currently exists in a handful of projects).
I’d introduce myself first briefly, explaining what I do and what I love getting up to in my spare time (just to prove I have a human side and am not just my career). But I would admittedly, then use the remaining ten minutes to express how much I want to turn my new found passion of video editing, presenting and producing skills into a full time career. Hopefully, I would be able to impress potential employers and senior video editors/producers with my enthusiasm, my strong desire to improve my skills and ultimately progress within such a competitive industry.
#310: What was the last thing you searched for online? Why were you looking for it?
The meaning of ‘subpoena’. So, for the past few months I’ve been glued to The Good Wife – I’m currently on season five, although I accidentally read a season 6 spoiler (grrr) so the sooner I catch up, the better! Since The Good Wife revolves around law firms and court rooms, people are pretty much subpoenaed left, right and centre.
Then, whilst I was swiping through today’s WordPress newsfeed, I spotted a story about Marvel subpoenaing Google over the leaking of the Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer, and rightly so. People shouldn’t be able to leak footage or information of this nature, when the team behind it no doubt put so much time, money and effort into making it’s release (and overall product) as great as it possibly can be! But, that said, it caught my eye as I actually understood and recognised the terminology… I just googled for clarification.
Since I couldn’t decide on my favourite post (with almost 300 to choose from, it’s a pretty big ask of any blogger this far into the challenge), I decided to see what the blogging communities favourite was… and ta-dah! I also changed it a little, in choosing the 5th word instead of the 4th – I think some how “was is the new carpet” just didn’t make any sense… although I agree that “lucky is the new carpet” is equally as strange.
This could mean however, since being lucky is the new carpet, that people take it for granted by simply walking all over it, showing no appreciation. Carpet provides you with warmth and comfort regardless of the situation, which could also translate as a feeling when experiencing luck.
It would be great to hear more thoughts on my new saying…
#265: Tell us about a talent you’d love to have…but don’t.
To be able to understand and use British Sign Language fluently – not a talent per se but a skill I long to possess. I know the fingerspelling alphabet but it’s not exactly going to get me very far in a conversation! My desire to learn this language was reignited whilst watching The L Word on Netflix, as from season 4 a deaf character joined the main cast (I’m still convinced, and fuming slightly, that it was a rush ending to the show as there are so many things that didn’t add up – plus with the average season consisting of 12 episodes and the final season only showing 8, there’s definitely reason to believe it came to a fairly abrupt end!). BSL is a truly amazing language and seems a complex one at that, but with over 70 million people using signing as their first language, I want to be able to communicate efficiently and remove any barriers that might have cropped up.
p.s. I’ve just realised that there are only 100 more blog prompts to go until the 365 day challenge is complete!
Since we are super close to press week and pretty much everyone I know outside of the office is at work right now, I decided to rebel against todays writing prompt. Instead I thought I’d share my TV experiences, which include Channel 4’s hit comedy programme The Last Leg and the BBC’s first live final of The Voice.
I managed to get audience tickets for my family and I to see The Last Leg on the 14th March, the Friday after my birthday, as we are all massive fans of the programme ever since it started during the London 2012 Paralympic Games. My brother met me first as he only had lessons that morning and we went to get our favourite (quick) dinner courtesy of Tortilla – a huge, deliciously fresh burrito for £5… umm yes please! We didn’t have to queue very long for this show at all as it is only a small studio, but we didn’t expect to get seats ON the set, sat opposite the host Adam Hills (who I’ve met before) and behind his co-hosts, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe! It was so exciting to be amongst the thick of it and as always, we were laughing our way through it. Plus it was quite nice to see that during the ad breaks, they talk to the audience and really keep us entertained. I’ll definitely try to get more tickets for the next series!
Then on the 22nd March we went to see the first live final of The Voice!
This was a bit of rush in the end as I only received the email the afternoon before… but we still went for it and the show was like one long party. The downside was that you had to start from queueing from 2pm – six long hours before the show even started and it wasn’t a lovely sunny day as you’d like to have hoped! I’d rung ahead as soon I’d received the email as my dad has a bad back so wouldn’t have been able to stand for the entire show. Unfortunately, this had been forgotten and we were told that the only places left were standing… so after a brief word with a lovely member of staff, she found us some seats to the left of the stage closest to Ricky Wilson. After he’d looked over at us several times within the first part of the show, it finally dawned on us after spotting the signs under our seats, that this section was reserved for his guests… eeeek! So we thank him greatly for the fantastic seats (ooops). It was amazing to hear the later crowned winner, Jermain Jackman perform his incredible cover of Bruno Mars’ Treasure. I’d loved him from his blind audition and witnessing this performance, confirmed his star potential!
Pictures: all (sneakily) taken by myself… which explains the poor quality!
As another 365 Days of Writing Prompts rebellion (don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t like the prompt, I just couldn’t think of anything I’d liked to have been different in my childhood – I know, sounds cheesy, but it’s the truth!), I’ve decided to write about what exciting things happened last Saturday.
So, as you can probably tell from my post title, I went to the VIP gala screening of Mr. Peabody and Sherman! I ended up taking my parents as unfortunately, I was going to take my best friend and her daughter but lil’un was unwell that morning, so couldn’t come 😦 We saw the film in 3D and were given the coolest glasses… shaped like Peabody’s specs! Before the film begun, we were treated to the preview of Peter Andre’s song ‘Kid‘, introduced by the man himself (if you haven’t heard it – watch it now! You have no excuse since I’ve provided the link!). The film itself is absolutely fantastic! It’s one of those kids ones that has adult humour sewn throughout, so everyone can enjoy it!
As we were leaving the screening, who did we happen to spot coming up the escalator… Peter Andre! This is when I went into full professional mode introducing myself as being from NG Kids mag (such a handy skill to have nowadays!). He was a really nice, genuine guy and we had a brief chat about how we loved the film, and of course his happy go lucky song! I also told him that my auntie would be very jealous as she’s a big fan and he kindly signed a Mr. Peabody and Sherman poster for her… d’awwww!
After such an exciting day, we headed to what is becoming a regular hangout for me and my family… Choccywoccydoodah! We had to wait a little while since it was a Saturday, but we didn’t mind as the staff are so entertaining and give you free samples (this way I got to choose which flavour cake I wanted before heading up to the cafe!). I tried a piece of their ginger cake just to be sure that I’d enjoy what I planned to order… and boy did I! Plus since there was three of us, we though we’d treat ourselves to two slices wedges; one traditional chocolate and one ginger. As always, we had to bring half of each home (there was no way we’d waste it!) and they suggested that we pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds to make it gooey… heaven!
P.s. I had to write this earlier on today and schedule it as I’m actually at a gala screening of another movie right now (which I’ll fill you in on when the embargo has passed) and afterwards, I will hopefully be heading to… you’ve guessed it… Choccywoccydoodah! In my defence, this time I’m taking my brother and we’re planning to try a slice wedge of lemon cake, so it’s all strictly for research purposes!
Image: Peabody poster and cakes – me. Peter Andre and I – my dad (hence the fuzziness).
Last night I was lucky enough to be a photographer on the red carpet at the 19th National Television Awards, in the O2 arena, London. My mission was to meet and photograph a small group of children who had won a competition to become junior members of the paparazzi for the night! Albeit rather cold, it was great fun being able to mingle with the celebrities in such an open space, as opposed to being stuck in a squished press pit, and working with such lovely, enthusiastic children. Every celeb I spoke to was incredibly polite and very friendly, and were more than happy to let our junior photographers get up close and personal for that winning shot!
The awards ceremony itself was, as expected, fantastic – although I did hope that The Big Bang Theory would win the Comedy category (as they are undoubtably my favourite thing to watch at all times) but Mrs Brown’s Boys were deserved winners as they always seem to have so much fun with the show! I was delighted for Khali Best, Eastenders’ Dexter, who won the Best Newcomer award and even congratulated him at the VIP After Party! Congratulations to Paul O’Grady for winning the Factual Entertainment category for his fantastic work on Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs – it always leaves me wanting to take a trip to Battersea to adopt one of their gorgeous pups! Even though she already had her name written all over the NTA award for Serial Drama Performance, following her highly emotional exit from Coronation Street on Monday, Julie Hesmondhalgh, who played Hayley Cropper, dragged her co-star and on-screen husband David Neilson (Roy Cropper) on stage to accept her award. This was such a lovely moment to be witnessing live as not only had they been onscreen partners since 1998, it was clear that they had become the best of friends. Corrie will not be the same without the loveable couple!
All in all, it was a fantastic evening and quite frankly one I’ll never forget! Here’s hoping that I’ll be able to do the same this time next year!
Photographs taken by myself (of course, apart from the one I’m in!) – 1: Me standing next to a giant NTA Award. 2: One of the junior photographers hard at work snapping the stars of Mrs Brown’s Boys’ Brendan O’Carroll & Jennifer Gibney. 3: Two of our junior photographers with Paul O’Grady.