By Laura Latzko, Jan. 15, 2015.

Although the first Miss Gay Diamond of the Desert USofA Newcomer regional prelim for the Miss USofA Newcomer pageant already took place on Nov. 16, female illusionists can still compete for a shot at the national title.

The statewide Miss Gay Arizona USofA Newcomer pageant will take place Jan. 25 at the Rock and the Miss Gay Supernova USofA Newcomer regional pageant will be held on Feb. 22 at Cruisin 7th.

For the past three years, the statewide newcomer pageant was held along with the Miss Gay Arizona USofA and

Arizona USofA Classic pageants; however, 2015 is the first year it will take place as a stand-alone event.

According to Josh Kline, Arizona newcomer pageant promoter, DJ and performer also known as Sasha Sinclair, the changes this year will result in a shorter,

more contestant-focused pageant.

As local contestants prepare to be judged in interview, fashion and talent categories, here are a few facts about the state, regional and national newcomer pageants for spectators.

Newcomers Welcome

The newcomer system is open to drag queens who are at least 21 years of age and who haven’t already won a state or regional title, or been a national finalist in other USofA pageants or in another systems. Contestants can only compete in the newcomer pageant for up to three years. And, in addition to bringing their best interview, fashion and talent to the competition, newcomers are also judged on their willingness to continue to grow as performers.

The Statewide Pageant

This year, the statewide pageant features a “Latin Passion” theme and red color scheme, in honor of reigning Miss Gay Arizona USofA Newcomer titleholder Diamond Dallas’ Latin roots. Other previous Arizona Newcomer titleholders include Khloe V. Monroe and Adriana Galliano.

The pageant, which showcases an average of four contestants, will feature performances by Kimberly V. Devin, former state newcomer titleholders, reigning Arizona USofA titleholders and Miss Gay Arizona America Grecia Montes D’Occa.

The Regional Pageant

Arizona drag queen Kira “Tic Toc” Daniels, also known as Topher Freeman, is currently representing the system as the national newcomer titleholder. Because contestants do not necessarily have to live in the state to compete in its prelims, Daniels competed at the national level in 2014 for her third and final time as Miss Gay New Mexico USofA Newcomer. Felicia Minor and Samiya Minor have also represented the Supernova USofA Newcomer system.

Catia Lee Love, former Miss Gay America and Miss Gay USfoA Classic, will host the 2015 Supernova pageant, the theme of which will be “Feathers, Feathers, Feathers.”

The National Pageant

As with all newcomer pageants, the Arizona USofA Newcomer pageant will have a panel of seven judges, including a promoter, non-drag professionals, a former titleholder and reigning titleholders from the USofA and other pageant systems.

The winners and runners up in the Arizona’s statewide and regional pageants advance to the National Miss Gay USofA Newcomer Pageant, which will take place Aug. 4-7 in Dallas. Thus far, Arizona drag queens Kimberly V. Devin and runner-up Jade Summers from Texas have qualified for nationals.

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