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Final Miss Thing Pageant will determine ultimate winner

Chi Chi and Chonga at September's Disco Miss Thing. Photos courtesy Just Out

Emerging from an occasionally painful adolescence Portland is finally enjoying the freedom of young adulthood (and college parties, whew!) and there’s no better example of this than our catty but loving drag scene. This year saw one the introduction of a truly well crafted drag competition called Miss Thing and this Friday brings its outrageous finale.

“I think drag has gotten somewhat of a bad name in Portland because there is so much sameness and traditional drag going on,” Co-creator Heklina Heklina has said. “Audiences and performers want to be challenged by ideas—another great thing about Miss Thing. There are no rules—no rules as to gender, what you need to look like or how you dress. All that matters is what you do onstage.”

Not that we’ve ever cared about a bad reputation, but we’re happy that now it’s a thematic, originally bad rep. And it’s all coming to a climax when the year’s best of the best take the stage to win 500 dollars and a trip to San Fran to perform with Trannyshack. And competition is fierce.

I’m certainly going to have a hard time deciding who to root for with such superstars as Kaj-Anne Pepper, who won the GagaDonna edition, Feyonce‘s scary HallowQueen performance, Little Tommy Bang Bang‘s dissection of disco and the 80s and 90s decade duke outs between Bulimianne Rhapsody and ChiChi and Chonga. I really can’t wait to see all these contenders in the pageant’s stricter themes such as the swimsuit category, a group dance performance, an interview by the judges and a talent portion. I could see Kaj-Anne as a very convincing Jon Benet.

Little Tommy Bang Bang at June's Miss Thing

Needless to say, even though it might be fashionable to be late, you want to give up your cool points in favor of a good seat for this one. To warm you up MT judge Fannie Mae Darling introduces Fannie-Oke, a gun slingin’, bull ropin’, rough ridin’, extravaganza on the Fez’s second floor at 8pm.

The drag out, knock down competition with be judged by Fannie Mae, Artemis Chase, Marty Davis (Editor for Just Out), and Scott Tanner (Raging Stallion) and the whole evening will be given a hot soundtrack by DJs Juan Garcia and Chelsea Starr.

And what were some of co-creators Heklina and Juan Garcia’s favorite moments over the course of the contest? Check out these juicy bits from JO:

My favorite moment was when the entire ensemble (contestants, judges) sang “Happy Birthday” to me back in June. I felt so accepted by these great queens! Another favorite moment was when porn star couple The Jarics were judging in July and then got into a fight afterwards. It made the press and one of them was booked for assault–the mugshot was priceless!

JG: The Jarics fiasco was a little rough. Those guys are actually friends of mine so the breaking news was a little scary. One of those boys was a dancer for me in San Francisco when he was 18. Now he’s all grown up and in the gay tabloids. I’m so proud.

I loved moments like when ChiChi and Chonga came out of nowhere and snatched the 90s (contest) sash from the other contestants. The Siamese twin number by Max Voltage and Devan McGrath was so good, too. I wish we could have them back for more. I also loved that Saturn Saturn lost every month. Loved it. But really, my favorite thing is watching Heklina work. I have yet to meet anyone that can turn any moment into riotous comedy with such ready athleticism. I fucking love her.

And I’m secretly in love with Kaj-Anne Pepper.

With moments like that you know the final smack down is going to be legendary.

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