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Two Atlanta drag queens compete on "RuPaul’s Drag Race"

by Conswella Bennett
Contributor
Wednesday Feb 17, 2010
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Two Atlanta drag queens have taken a leap of faith in hopes of being chosen to participate in an ultimate competition to become America’s next drag superstar.

Sonique and Nicole Paige Brooks made the cut to be a part of the second season of "RuPaul’s Drag Race" on Logo.

For them both, it was the dream of a lifetime.

"The experience of being on the show was not like any other," the sensual Sonique told EDGE. "It was kind of like a dream."

A 15-year drag queen veteran, the stunning Nicole Paige Brooks was also happy about the opportunity to show people the artistry behind the glam and glitter of what it takes to transcend into her alter ego. She does her own make up and makes her own costumes, but the sassy and brash Brooks wanted to do more than hopefully land the title of drag superstar. She wanted to give her four-year-old son Lucas a look into her show business-like career, which is more than the bar scene.

Drag was, ironically, not Brooks’ first career choice. She at one time had hoped to become a Macy’s district manager by the time she was 30. Brooks’ career goals have obviously changed. And the 36-year-old has no regrets.

"I’m happy," she noted. "I’ve had a blessed life and met some amazing people."

Like the other queens, Brooks was proud to be a part of the show, even though she lasted only two weeks before she was asked to sashay away after a poor pole dancing performance.

She was surprised to be one of the bottom two and have to lip sync for her life against Raven. Brooks admitted, however, she was excited when she found out there was the possibility she could go home.

"I wasn’t doing well not speaking to my family," she added as she said the biggest challenge for her was not being able to talk to her son. "Once I thought I could go home, I don’t think I gave up, but I was excited about seeing my family."

While Brooks, who describes herself as a fake tea girl, won’t bring the title home to Atlanta, she continues to root for Sonique to bring home the crown. Brooks still thinks she should have won and feels she had the best personality to carry on the legacy of her idol, RuPaul.

So one Atlanta queen remains in the running and after three weeks, Sonique has not had to lip sync for her life.

Showcasing her familiar class and grace, Sonique said she was honored to be a part of the show. She credits RuPaul as one of her biggest inspirations, but she added one of her favorite singers, Pink; with helping her get her start in drag. After buying one of her CDs, she dyed her hair pink and a friend landed her a gig at a little gay bar in Albany--the rest is history.

A true RuPaul fan, Sonique has all of RuPaul’s DVDs, posters and CD’s. She had everything but the RuPaul dolls until recently. To her surprise she received one from her partner on Valentine’s Day.

While watching the first season last year, Sonique knew she would be on the popular show one day. So, she prepared - working on her make-up and design techniques.

"I tried to make myself better," she noted.

Sonique also credits the show with helping her make some positive changes in her life.

"I’m not the same person now that I was," she said of life before "Drag Race." "It has definitely changed me for the best."

Like Brooks who had family support, Sonique’s mother proved to be a source of encouragement. But, it wasn’t always that way.

It wasn’t that long ago that her mother was sending her son off to military school in the hopes of having a soldier in the family. She eventually came around and has become Sonique’s biggest supporter. And her mother is at every show when she returns home to Albany to perform.

"She’s proud of me and tells all of her friends to watch the show," Sonique added proudly.

This is all a part of the dream for Sonique, who always wanted to become a movie star or a recording artist. She said settling into a Los Angeles hotel room--away from her friends and family in Atlanta--was a necessary adjustment to fulfill her long-time goal. And as her fans watch the show, Sonique wants them to have fun watching it.

"It’s a positive thing, and I want people to see the fun we had making the show," she said. "We’re doing things that have never been done in front of the world. I want people to see that there is more to life than Ray J (the VH1 reality show "For the Love Ray J") finding another girlfriend. It’s more to life than just getting up and going to a job that’s 9-5. There’s so much more."

Sonique, like Brooks, said she wants viewers to "see what we do is an art."

"It’s a way of life, and it take you anywhere in the world," Sonique added. "All you have to do is believe in yourself."

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