This pint-sized diva, known for her fierce fascinators, certainly packed an unforgettable punch during her season. A sweetheart from the moment she entered the werk room, this queen became the first to win two challenges! Here’s Ongina…
I was routing for Ongina from the get go. Here enters this petite, feathered, high fashion queen telling all the other competitors how fabulous they were. As the introductions get under way, Ongina explains how she got her drag name – “my middle name is ong and god didn’t bless me with a certain ina.” She never failed to let her personality and quick-witted humour shine through on the main stage, whether it be through vogueing across the runway or during her interview with Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, in which they described the experience as “chit chatting with a girlfriend”. Ongina also came out with one of my favourite words of the season – “maneltoe”. During the second episode, Girl Groups, Ongina admitted that she’d forgotten to wear underwear so needed to make sure that she tucked extremely well to avoid maneltoe (the male version of camel toe).
Ongina really showed what she was made of during the MAC Viva Glam challenge. During her commercial recording, and before admitting that she was HIV+, she said “I went for the route of celebrating life and making sure that you always think positively no matter what life throws at you. You have to appreciate what life has to offer. I mean, it’s a really big deal but you can’t let that be a downer in your life.” However, it was during her lipsync in the following episode that it was clear how incredible Ongina was. After the pair had performed, Ru was seen to excuse herself momentarily (in what I think is the only time she has done so), saying “this decision is too difficult. I need a moment alone.” Upon her return, Ru was seen holding her glabella (the bit in-between your eyebrows above the bridge of your nose) clearly unsure of who should sashay away. As Ru said “though this breaks my heart to say…” I was screaming at my iPad “well, don’t say it RuPaul!” but sadly those were the days before Ru kept both contestants.
We may all know Ongina as a fierce lip-sync performer, but she actually has a full-time career as a visual merchandiser… well, Ryan does anyway. In one of her many revealing interviews, she admitted that she recently bought a barn which has 400 animals on it (although I can’t determine whether she’s joking or not). Making all her headpieces and fascinators, Ongina says “It really depends on what song I’m performing and what look I’m trying to pull together, but I make them… the one’s you see on the show, I’ve made”.
I can’t deny that I had hoped to see Ongina appear on All Stars 2 as I feel that she should have (at the very least) made the final two, alongside Nina Flowers. In an interview a few years back, Ongina admitted that she would have loved to have popped out a box in a subsequent season. “I would’ve liked to come back for a different season to re-compete to show I am capable of doing more.” Here’s hoping we’ll see her gorgeous, smiley face in All Stars 3 in a couple of years time!