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Listen to Drag Stars Alexis Michelle & Dusty Ray Bottoms On ADD THIS TO YOUR LIST Podcast

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Official Pride marches may have been canceled this year due to COVID, but that didn't stop entertainment podcast Add This To Your List from celebrating. Episode 97 of the show welcomes drag queens, activists and real-life friends Alexis Michelle and Dusty Ray Bottoms to talk about Pride 2020, RuPaul's Drag Race, Dragnificent and more.

The "good Judys," who met on Fire Island during a competition long before they competed for the crown on Drag Race, say that they were "shot out of a cannon" when they did the Emmy winning VH1 reality show. Like many drag queens, both had studied and pursued musical theatre before doing drag professionally. Alexis, who competed in season 9, watched the first season of the show and thought, "I want to do that" and auditioned multiple times. Dusty, who competed in season 10, became tired of waiting tables and auditioning in New York City, and knew she found her artistic community when watching Bob the Drag Queen and Thorgy Thor shows.

Both queens tell the podcast hosts that the experience of shooting Drag Race was tough. Alexis explains, "It's not what you expected it to be. It's easily the hardest thing I've ever done." The mentally and physically draining shooting schedule had them up at all hours, to the point where they really had no concept of time. Alexis reveals that the producers actually took their watches so they didn't know what time it was. Dusty adds, "I had a good time but it wasn't everything I wanted it to be. I hope I get to go back and change some people's minds." Drag Race All Stars producers, are you listening?

Speaking of All Stars, listeners get to hear in the episode which queens Alexis and Dusty are hoping to win on the current 5th season, airing Friday nights on VH1.

The two go on to say that although they are very blessed with the platforms they now have because of Drag Race, they do hope the show will include more members of the diverse drag community. "I wish it was a little more complete in its representation of what drag is. It has some expanding to do," Alexis says. Dusty goes further: "'Expanding' means we need our trans sisters on the show. We're leaving them out completely."

The two have also done big things on their own: Alexis is part of the "sisterhood" of drag hosts on the recent TLC makeover series "Dragnificent!" while Dusty, who had a very tough experience coming out to her religious family, works with The Trevor Project and the organization Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky. She and other activists are pushing to make conversion therapy illegal in the U.S., where less than half of the states ban the practice. Dusty says, "It's very important that our youth have an outlet to reach out to know that they're perfect, that they're seen, and loved and important." Alexis echoes that by stating, "Living our truth authentically has real power and inspiration for people."

Up next for the duo is an appearance this summer on season 2 of TruTV's "Hot Ones." We'll see them in full drag on the show trying to answer trivia questions while eating hot wings covered in very hot sauce. They tell listeners that the audition experience for the show involved signing waivers, meeting with EMTs, and not feeling so well on their way out the door.

At a very difficult and divisive time in American history, Alexis Michelle and Dusty Ray Bottoms urge listeners to not lose focus and to not become complacent. "The fact that protest is so alive is a return to what Pride used to be. Let this energize you to rally the troops, to mobilize and to vote your asses off!" exclaims Alexis, wearing a Judy Garland T-shirt during the Zoom interview (note: don't miss when she shares her thoughts about Renee Zellweger's Oscar-winning performance film in this episode). Dusty reminds us that it wasn't always a fun parade and dance party: "It was a Pride march. It was a riot. We keep that energy all year long. Every day is Pride Day for us."

Add This To Your List is hosted by Tom Ciuba, Mark J. Parker and Funmi Sunmonu, who help listeners decide which films, TV shows and other entertainment are worth their time. In addition to recommendations and warnings, the trio discusses the latest entertainment headlines and topics. Other special guests in past episodes include actor Mark Patton and the filmmaking team behind the documentary "Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street"; Wyatt Smith, film editor for the Oscar-nominated "Harriet" and Disney's upcoming live adaptation of "The Little Mermaid"; and Davita Scarlett, writer of TV series "Evil," "Truth Be Told," "Queen Sugar" and "The Good Fight." The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and addthistoyourlist.com.


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