As the LGBTQ community mourns the horrific mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Shangela closed out the 31st season of Dancing With the Stars with a powerful statement.
The RuPaul’s Drag Race alum and partner Gleb Savchenko were among the four pairs of finalists competing in the season finale, and although they came in fourth place by the end of the episode, they took the opportunity to put drag in the spotlight at a time when drag queens have become a target of extremist right-wing rhetoric.
For their first dance of the night, the pair both wore white tuxedo-inspired outfits, adding a layered element of gender-bending to their performance.
“The emotions have been heavy because there’s a lot going on in our world and in our country,” Shangela said early in the show. “There was a mass shooting, a horrible tragedy that happened in Colorado Springs. And baby let me tell you something, an attack on the LGBTQ community cannot be supported.”
“This moment right here is about sharing more love and less hate, and hopefully we can start celebrating each other’s differences and not being divided,” she continued. “My heart and condolences go out to everyone whose lives were lost, who was affected. But just know, there is hope, baby.”
Of the pair’s show-stopping freestyle dance, Shangela promised to bring “everything I know about the world of drag into this performance.”
And she didn’t disappoint. The star of HBO’s docuseries We’re Here brought big-budget showgirl energy to the number, set to a medley of Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” and RuPaul’s “Call Me Mother,” and introducing her new “drag daughter.” Shangela had previously praised Savchenko for allowing her to step “into your world,” and returned the favor by inviting him into hers: In their final number, the Russian-American pro dancer and choreographer performed in full drag alongside his partner.
The performance earned the duo a perfect 40/40 score, with Shangela declaring for all the world to hear that “Drag belongs everywhere… we promised you a show and we gave you a show!”