The first New York City queen in the history of the Miss Gay America pageant to take home the coveted crown, Andora Tetee has proven herself to be a drag force to be reckoned with long ago thanks to her brilliant handmade costumes, crowd pleasing choreographed numbers and makeup looks ranging from glamour fish to sea monster. Thotyssey gets to know the reigning queen of the season!
Thotyssey: Andora, hello! We’re delighted you can find the time for us today. Are you still in St. Louis, where the pageant was held?
Andora Tetee: I’m back In NYC!
Welcome back! This must all be some crazy whirlwind of activity since you won Miss Gay America! How do you feel now?
I’m so excited about this. I’ve wanted to be Miss Gay America for years!
You’re the first NYC queen to win this national pageant, which many call the most prestigious drag title in the country.
New York is a very creative place, and brings out the best in me.
I see you thanked a lot of people after you won. It really does take a village to make a successful pageant package, doesn’t it?
I’ve been doing drag for 18 years, and along the way I have met some of the most talented people. I called in lots of favors, and begged friends to help me
for their help.
I love that white and purple, scaly presentation look. You’re very involved in the design and construction of these Pageant looks?
I’ve made them all.
That’s extraordinary… and cost effective! And as for your talent, you included eight seamless costume changes during a multiperson dance number. The discarded outfits just completely vanished, it was extraordinary! That must take a ton of troubleshooting and rehearsal.
i worked with an amazing choreographer from Chicago.
Well, it was stellar. So, just a little background on you…. where are you from, and what came first for you: fashion / makeup or performing?
I’m from Taneytown, Maryland. I started drag in Baltimore. I actually started all three at the same time! I was doing floral design when I met my first drag queen “Rick” aka Stacy Maxwell. He said he could get me into the bar under 21 if I go in drag…. I got in, and I was hooked.
I stared making my own clothing because I’m 6.2 and nothing off the rack fits right. I’ve always been artistic and creative, but drag brought out fashion, makeup and performance.
Aside from pageant glam, you also do really intricate effects looks. That Shape of Water fish creature look you did that one time was extraordinary! How did you pick up those particular skills?
I just get an idea and I figure it out! Failure is never an option… do it ‘til it’s right.
Well, you certainly hit that look out of the park! How did you come up with your drag name, by the way?
“Andora” is a mix of my grandmothers’ names, Anna and Dolores. “Te’tee,” my friends from work made up.
I am! We will be raising money for charity together my entire year as Miss Gay America. I’ve been working with them for 11 years.
Another successful drag sister of yours, whom you used to co-host a show with back in the day, was Aquaria, Drag Race Season 10 winner! Were you surprised to see her accomplish that?
Absolutely not! Aquaria has so much talent, even more than I knew.
One thing that always impresses me with these national pageants is how well all the contestants seem to get along. Did you know a lot of these queens beforehand?
I knew a few, like FiFi DuBois from NYC…but MGA teaches you from the beginning that this is the sisterhood, and we respect the person that is crowned and we respect our fellow competitors… save the competition for the stage and leave the drama there.
I will still continue to do shows when I’m not traveling as Miss Gay America…This weekend [Saturday, October 13th], I’m doing The Food Network‘s Wine & Food Festival drag brunch with Countess Luann from the Real Housewives of New York. I also do Brandon Voss’ Queen of the Ride.
Last question… what’s the best advice you can give to a new queen who is considering a go at national pageantry?
Find out what talent you do best, and build your package around that. It’s hard work, but in the end it’s all worth it!
Thanks Andora, and congratulations again!