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Tempest DuJour selected for RuPaul’s Drag Race new season

By Laura Latzko - Jan. 15, 2015

Photos by Ed Flores

When RuPaul’s Drag Race kicks off its new season this month, Arizonans will see a familiar face among the 14 female illusionist contestants hailing from all around the country.

Tucson’s Tempest DuJour’s selection for the competition – now it its seventh season – makes her the first drag performer to represent Arizona on the LOGO network’s popular TV show.

DuJour, also known as Patrick Holt, said she feels honored to represent Arizona and expose the show’s diverse audiences to her signature brand of “campy” drag.

“On a very personal level, making the show was a benchmark of ‘you’ve achieved a certain level of your craft.’ The other part of it was, I don’t know any other queen like me, and I think that’s cool,” DuJour said. “People, to me, have this idea in their mind of what drag should be. Hopefully I can help show … [them] an alternative.”

DuJour, 47, auditioned four times before making it onto the show and openly admits she is the oldest contestant in “Drag Race” history.

“It is something I wear proudly. I’m not ashamed of my age,” said DuJour, who started doing drag in 2007. “To me it’s a normal situation: As a professor I’m working with 18 to 21-year-olds everyday anyway, so to be in a cast of 20-year-olds feels like another day at work for me in a lot of ways.”

In recent years, the former Miss Gay Tucson America and Miss Gay Tucson USofA, has performed in shows with other queens from Drag Race, including two of her favorites: Latrice Royale and Chad Michaels. And, the best advice she said she’s received from the former contestants is to “be authentic.”

This season, a number of drag queens on the show hail from places outside of major cities, such as New York and Los Angeles.

“Anyone who knows drag really well and understands the drag world basically knows there are these pockets of amazing drag all over the country that aren’t in these metropolitan areas, Arizona included,” DuJour said. “Arizona has amazing drag, and is well respected nationally in the drag community, but it’s not where you’d expect to go looking for the best drag … until now.”

DuJour, known for her humor and flashy costumes, especially her self-made headdresses, admits that she’s always stood out among other drag queen because of her 6-foot-6 stature.

“I’m never going to be the pretty one. I’m never going to be the fishy one. No one’s ever going to ever mistake me for a girl,” she said. “My taste was always very campy and kitschy and comedy. That’s what I loved, and it worked really well with my size.”

And, although her signature style has evolved in some ways because of weight

loss in the last few years, DuJour continues to embrace and enjoy the more exaggerated style of drag.

“Now I think I have a little more leeway with what I can get away with because I’ve lost so much weight,” she said. “I think I’ll always see myself as a camp queen because that’s what feels the best to me, and that’s what I love.”

DuJour, who has hosted Southern Arizona’s Pride in the Desert for the past two years, said she continues to perform songs from different genres because she doesn’t want to get boxed into one category of drag. Adding that she regularly tries to surprise her audiences her eclectic selections that range from pop and country to classic rock and classic hits.

“Sometimes I will choose a song because it’s unexpected from me, just as a twist,” she said, adding that this variety could help her in the competition. “It keeps me interested, and I think it keeps the audience interested as well.”

Although DuJour’s audience and career have grown to include hosting the monthly Retro Game Show Night at Hotel Congress, in addition to her TV debut, she’s continued to help raise funds for the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network.

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