Meet the Queens Entering this Year’s Miss Sink The Pink

The date is set, this Friday will see seven queens battle out beat, contour and tuck to become the victor in the superfluously glamorous title of Miss Sink the Pink 2017.

Previous winners have seen the likes of Georgie Bee, (one time HISKIND writer) Rodent Decay and ShayShay all rise through pink glory. Far from your typical drag pageant, expect colour, charisma and the kind of hedonism you just can’t get enough of. An Easter weekend spent any other way would not be as sweet, trust us.

The cause and motives of Sink the Pink are plain and simple, to throw one hell of a party, oozing in guilty pleasures, with drag to die for and moments you probably wouldn’t tell your grandma about. Birthed in the shadows of Bethnal Green’s Working Men’s Club, the collective have captured the queer audience, celebrated their identity and discourse and beamed it out for all to enjoy. Want a glimpse of what a STP lifestyle is like? Check out our photo series from their recent Toy Ball at Troxy.

To tickle your fancy a few days before the big night, we caught up with all the contestants hoping to bag themselves this year’s title.

Tickets available for Miss Sink the Pink here.


Asttina Mandella

Tell us about your first time in drag? My first time in drag. I was around the age 18 or 19. Me and my friend decided that it would be fun to go down to Brighton Pride in drag. We got up ridiculously early to do our faces as you always want to look your best, even though looking back at it we really didn’t.

What would winning Miss Sink the Pink 2017 mean to you? Winning Miss Sink The Pink 2017, I guess for me, it’s recognition. It’s having that title that says what I do and deliver, people enjoy and love and Sink The Pink are giving me that platform to showcase that. It would mean a lot plus, everyone like to win and winning would mean that i slayed the competition.

What are your drag pet peeves? It has to be when I see make up that’s not blended well or super rough lines. It’s okay to have visible lines but you have to blend and buff your make up out. There is no wrong or right within make up but you have to blend so you don’t have harsh lines it’s seamless.

Who are your drag idols? I don’t really have drag idols, but more people who I appreciate and admire their aesthetic and their art form in what they do and perform and create. One of the competitors Grace Oni Smith, is very close friend to me and I’m inspired by her creativity and art. My drag mother Raven Mandella has a fire and passion that I see in myself and is a huge inspiration to me. If we’re talking about RPDR Queens. Pearl, I love her. Nina Bo’Nina Brown and Kim Chi, their aesthetic, I think, is incredible.

Crystal Beth

Tell us about your first time in drag? About 10 years ago in Montreal, my sister and I dressed up as twins to perform Two Ladies from Cabaret (kinda weird looking back as that song is definitely about a threesome). After that, it took a long break until Crystal Beth was born in 2014.

What would winning Miss Sink the Pink 2017 mean to you? Winning Miss Sink the Pink would be an amazing reward and recognition of 3 years of hustle! Mostly, I’m just excited to live out my pop-star fantasies on that stage!

What are your drag pet peeves? Misogyny, the way eyeliner runs into my crow’s feet, and the constant struggle to keep a wig on your head when you’re hanging from the ceiling.

Who are your drag idols? Elvira, Xena and Cristal Connors (Showgirls) – technically women, but honorary drag queens all.

Just May

Tell us about your first time in drag? I don’t really remember my first time in drag, I think I never really had an ‘outing’. I started dressing up in uni for projects, parties and then in my own practice. It just kind of integrated itself into my life without me realising.

What would winning Miss Sink the Pink 2017 mean to you? I’m making a film about Geri Halliwell at the moment (Just May Does Geri), no clues as to what I’ll be performing on the night.. but winning would give my film a huge boost. I’d also love to have the title so that I can join the incredible cast of previous winners, all of whom are amazing performers.

What are your drag pet peeves? Being touched. I’m not a massively tactile person, so I really hate being touched by strangers, especially when performing.

Who are your drag idols? That’s easy, Geri Halliwell. She created the biggest drag character that I know, Ginger Spice. Taking elements of her existing character and emphasising it to become this iconic, powerful entity that we still talk about today, also 20 years after she stoped being that!

Holly Styrene

Tell us about your first time in drag? It was my best mate’s birthday party and I convinced to have a theme (I convince everyone, because everyday is Halloween to me). He decided the theme was America – this was before the craziness that is happening now. We decided to do drag and go as Gaga and Beyoncé in the American outfits in Telephone. We did a pretty good job. We were super late, but our looks were so on point that we were forgiven.

What would winning Miss Sink the Pink 2017 mean to you? Winning Miss Sink The Pink would be crazy crazy, like I wouldn’t even know what to do with myself. I’ve only been performing for under a year now and I’m still a novice in my eyes, and it would be a genuine honour. I was like “but I’m trash from whitechapel” but winning and getting to be a part of the Sink the Pink family would be so amazing!

What are your drag pet peeves? Everyone has a different aesthetic so I can’t judge anyone really, but personally I don’t like seeing the boy side, I like the illusion to be there, I don’t mind if it’s messy or crazy or not completely tucked, I just like to see a complete transformation, because I think drag is transformative.

Who are your drag idols? I admire loads of different people in the drag community. Meth is amazing, I met her when I was just starting out and she’s been so supportive and lovely and what she has been doing for the drag artist community is wonderful. But I have to say most of the girls I meet are fantastic and they deserve to be idolised more than someone with fame, one in particular that is booming and deserves it is ShayShay, she’s an incredible performer and person, I truly look up to her and we had a massive chat about my persona and my drag performance and style, she deserves my idolisation and she’s a former winner!

Grace Oni Smith

Tell us about your first time in drag? My first time was when I was about four. Despite facing all the trials of being a working class trans kid, I had an incredible mother who always nourished my creativity and my imagination. I used to love playing dress up and had so many amazing homemade costumes.

What would winning Miss Sink the Pink 2017 mean to you? Winning Miss Sink the Pink would give me an opportunity to become involved in the London scene and be part of the best party in the big smoke. My life’s goal is to be the counter voice for young queer people everywhere who feel isolated and lost. I didn’t have anyone from my generation to look up to and winning Miss Sink the Pink, I hope to be an example to young queer people that may be struggling that you can be the minority of the minority and be succesful and celebrated for who you are.

What are your drag pet peeves? Drag has become so self-referential. Drag for me is about absorbing art, fashion, pop culture and filtering it through your own creative spectrum. I see a lot of young queens who look like the latest IT girl from RuPaul’s Drag Race. I believe drag is a form of queer storytelling and is an incredibly powerful tool to inform the younger generations of our rich and diverse history. If the only reference you have is RuPaul’s Drag Race, then it’s only a matter of time before the art form of stagnates.

Who are your drag idols? My inspirations change almost daily but I’ve always been ispired by the people who aren’t afraid to go against the grain and express themselves unashamedly. I am inspired by powerful people who are incapable of fitting into a box.

Miss Craig

Tell us about your first time in drag? With friends in Manchester. We had a diva evening and I went as Amy Winehouse. I know she isn’t a classic diva but I just thought she was fab so I did it. I had the biggest hair and I really got into character. I loved how differently people reacted to you as a person, they were drawn to you and asked you the strangest questions, it was so nice, it broke down lots of barriers for them which in turn broke them down for me. It’s the part of drag that I find the most alluring, being whoever you want to be.

What would winning Miss Sink the Pink 2017 mean to you? I really love the Sink the Pink crew. When I chat to them they talk about how much they love the madness of those parties, I would love to be a part of that. Also the scale of what they do is very different to my art, I live intimate spaces with small groups, this change would challenge me as a performer.

What are your drag pet peeves? I hate it when people are rude or unkind. For me an audience will always have different degrees of knowledge and comfortableness about what and how much drag they have been exposed to. It’s so varied and different. I hate it when drag is used to make people feel uncomfortable or a joke is at someone else’s expense. With me I’m always the butt of joke or the punch line. Drag should make people happy, curious, wanting more, it should make people want to see more of you and other performers.

Who are your drag idols? When I first moved to London I was sat outside a little cafe in Dalston and was chatting with my friend. As I looked up this incredible human zoomed past me. A blur of Lycra and roller skates. I presumed to a nearby bar and it was none other than John Sizzle, the funniest of them all.

Knockout

Tell us about your first time in drag? My first time in ‘drag’ was Halloween 2015. I threw on a red lip and a pair of snake skin heels and I thought I was the shit. I looked a lot less gross then than nowadays.

What would winning Miss Sink the Pink 2017 mean to you? It’d just be right camp wouldn’t it? I’ve been going to sink for a while so getting the title would be fab!

What are your drag pet peeves? Queens that are afraid to get messy. If your makeup hasn’t slipped down to your chest whilst you’re throwing up in a kebab shop are you really doing drag?

Who are your drag idols? Oh lord, so many. Christeene, Cheryl Hole, 2013 Smiley Vyrus, Carol my primary school dinner lady who got told off for wearing too much blue eye shadow – the list goes on…

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