Miami's Top Drag Queens Lip-Synced for Their Lives at the Hangar's Celebrity Deathmatch

Wigs and weaves were snatched when Miami's top drag queens battled in character as some of the world's biggest pop stars at the inaugural Celebrity Deathmatch at the Hangar.

The music world has always had its rivalries, both authentic and fan-driven. There's the Beatles versus the Stones, Biggie versus Tupac, Britney versus Christina. At Celebrity Deathmatch, named for the MTV show, it's drag queens who face off and lip-sync in the tradition of the lip-sync battles on RuPaul's Drag Race, and they got some help from Drag Race alumna Shangela. Miami drag queen Athena Dion cohosted as another iconic music persona, Cher.

The night got off to a slow start, with organizers stalling for too long between the first and second battles, but those were growing pains that we hope will be worked out as the monthly event takes off. Celebrity Deathmatch has the potential to become Miami's next must-see LGBTQ event.

Up first in the ring were Aaliyah Jae as Britney Spears facing Jane Bell Royalty as Christina Aguilera during her Back to Basics era. Jane Bell pulled out all the stops with her doe-eyed pinup look, and Aaliyah Jae turned it out with some impressive splits. Drag queen Patent Pending made an early appearance as Madonna and re-created the iconic Britney-Madonna kiss and the less iconic Madonna-Christina kiss. "She actually got some air time for this one," Athena Dion said. Audience applause voted XXXtina as the winner, largely because her look remained true to the "Dirrty" singer.
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Athena Dion (left) cohosted as Cher alongside RuPaul's Drag Race alumna Shangela.
Photo by Carina Mask
Some of the night's other battles were Kat Wilderness as Ariana Grande versus Fkatwink as Mariah Carey, and Patent Pending as Madonna versus Regina Black as Lady Gaga, but the main event was Dang-Ho Yu Sickning as Nicki Minaj versus Bria Mason Deluxx as Cardi B.

Deluxx was a worthy opponent, learning Cardi B's features on G-Eazy's "No Limit" and her verses on "Motorsport," the hip-hop artist's collaboration with Migos and Nicki Minaj. But Cardi and Nicki Minaj were not collaborators inside the ring, with Dang-Ho Yu Sickning twerking and landing into splits like her life depended on it. By the end of the match, she was cape-less and bald, but she had a new championship belt to rock.

The next Celebrity Deathmatch is scheduled for January 27, and there are so many battle options: Beyoncé versus Rihanna, Lil' Kim versus Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez versus Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus versus Hannah Montana, maybe Britney versus bald Britney? The possibilities are endless.
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Celia Almeida is the digital editor of American Way and the former arts and music editor of Miami New Times. Her writing has been featured in Venice, Paper, and Billboard; and she co-hosts Too Much Love on Jolt Radio.
Contact: Celia Almeida

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