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《TAIPEI TIMES》 Nymphia Wind becomes first Taiwanese to win ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’


Nymphia Wind from Taiwan performs in the reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race on Friday.
Photo: Screen grab from Nymphia Wind’s Instagram

Nymphia Wind from Taiwan performs in the reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race on Friday. Photo: Screen grab from Nymphia Wind’s Instagram

2024/04/21 03:00

/ Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s first drag queen to compete on the internationally acclaimed RuPaul’s Drag Race, Nymphia Wind (妮妃雅), was on Friday crowned the “Next Drag Superstar.”

Dressed in a sparkling banana dress, Nymphia Wind swept onto the stage for the final, and stole the show.

“Taiwan this is for you,” she said right after show host RuPaul announced her as the winner.

“To those who feel like they don’t belong, just remember to live fearlessly and to live their truth,” she said on stage.

One of the frontrunners for the past 15 episodes, the 28-year-old breezed through to the final after weeks of showcasing her unique style, which often tapped into her Asian background.

All three of the contestants facing off in the final looked at times as if they could clinch the top spot with excellent performances and lip-synching.

Only seven Asians have ever made it to the top four since the show premiered in 2009.

Throughout her run on the show, Nymphia gained strong support from home and abroad, which only grew as more episodes aired.

On top of mastering Taiwanese style with her traditional opera makeup, Nymphia also perfected Japanese butoh, European Rococo style and even went as far as dressing as a flower in a pot.

Nymphia often uses yellow in her costumes, which she says is a mix of camp and pop art, and is also a nod to a well-known sexual innuendo — the banana.

Despite making it big in the US, Nymphia still considers her home bar to be Cafe Dalida in the “Red House” area of Taipei — the birthplace of a number of the city’s drag queens.

The bar’s owner, Alvin Chang (張原韶), who hosts weekly screenings of RuPaul’s Drag Race, said he is proud of Nymphia and what she has achieved.

“She’s not the kind of person who waits for people to give her opportunities. She creates them herself,” Chang said.

In an interview in December last year, when the show first revealed its list of competitors, Nymphia said she was excited, but also stressed because she “didn’t want to let Taiwanese people down.”

Reflecting on the show, she wrote on social media that “drag lets me reconnect with my culture; it teaches me to be a proud Asian.”

“The talent show was definitely an opportunity for me to showcase something I didn’t think I would be able to in a competition setting — traditional Asian sleeve dance,” she said. “So, of course, I had to take this chance to really show what us Asians are made of.”

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday congratulated Nymphia Wind, the first person from East Asia to win the crown.

“Congratulations to you, Nymphia Wind, for being so accomplished in the difficult art form of drag, and for being the first Taiwanese to take the stage and win on RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Tsai wrote in English on Instagram.

“Right after being crowned queen, you said: ‘Taiwan, this is for you.’ Taiwan thanks you for living fearlessly,” she wrote.

Additional reporting by Reuters

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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