Spend Independence Day with ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Winner Jaida Essence Hall

Jaida Essence Hall will be home in Milwaukee this 4th of July.

You won’t see fireworks light up the lakefront this July. But you can stream equally explosive episodes of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Milwaukee queen Jaida Essence Hall competed in the most recent season of the show and took home the coveted crown after an all-out finale performance that aired in late May.

Because the episode was filmed after the coronavirus outbreak, Hall and the other contestants had to perform their final numbers in isolation. “It was tough, because I thrive o the live energy,” she says. “But there was a lot on the line, so I had to bring it.”

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Hall created a couple of particularly patriotic looks for the show, including a glittery red, white and blue costume that won her top marks from the judges. “I wanted to look like the most American woman in the world,” she says. “They told me I looked like an American superhero.”

And she’s happy to be spending the Fourth of July in the city where she grew up. “There are so many people like me, from Milwaukee, who think they have to leave the city. I hope that me being on the show,” she says, “will show them that you can stay here and still be successful.”


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s June/July issue

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Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.