Since its inception, HBO Max has been the home for a number of high-profile projects surrounding LGBTQ+ talent. The reality competition series Legendary is in that category, focusing on ballroom culture and the vast creative and dancing abilities of its community. Season 3 recently ended, and Legendary host Dashaun Wesley recently spoke to CinemaBlend about the shade, the competition, and the community of the HBO Max series.
Season 3 of Legendary ended June 9th, just in time for Pride month. To celebrate Pride and the show’s success, I had the privilege of speaking with the Ballroom Icon himself, Dashaun Wesley. We did a deep dive on Legendary’s life over the past three seasons (opens in new tab), and what it’s really like on that high stakes floor. I started asking Wesley about how it feels to have the Ballroom culture celebrated through the competition show, saying:
In a time where representation is such an important topic, Legendary features a stellar cast of contestants which includes queer folks, people of color, and trans excellence. The ballroom community has been alive and thriving since the 1970’s, helping to shape pop culture from the shadows. But Legendary puts the Houses on display, and lets both icons and newcomers from the voguing world have their time in the spotlight.
Legendary debuted back in May of 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the show barely managed to wrap Season 1 before sets were shut down around the world, with the finale (and Season 2) being filmed noticeably without an audience. But Dashaun Wesley seems to think the timing of Legendary’s release on HBO Max might have helped more eyes land on the competition series. As he put it,
Indeed, Legendary’s first season hit when folks were still spending a lot of time self-isolating at home. It’s for this reason that the show has such a special place in some audience’s hearts, myself included; it provided a place of joy and comfort when the world needed it.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows on Legendary, as the stakes are high and the tension can sometimes boil over. Both the judges and the contestants have had thrilling spats on camera, all of which Dashaun Wesley has been able to observe as the show’s Master of Ceremonies. I asked about what it’s like being in the room when shade is thrown over the action on the floor. He told me,
The reads can be severe in Legendary, thanks to the authentic and hilarious critiques from judges like Law Roach and the Icon Leiomy Maldonado. And while there’s been some wild confrontations throughout the three-season run, there’s still a sense of love within the community. Dashaun affirmed that, telling me:
He’s not wrong. Recently in Season 3 Law Roach and Keke Palmer had words, but were able to appreciate being read by the other. As Dashaun Wesley points out, that’s simply a form of communication within the Ballroom community, including on the set of Legendary.
In addition to being the MC and providing much-needed work on the mic during Legendary’s redemption battles, Dashaun Wesley has been able to show off his own Ballroom skills during a few choice performances during the show’s run. As a reminder, you can check out one such performance below,
But Dashaun and Leiomy didn’t duet in Season 3 of Legendary, much to my own disappointment. As such, I asked Wesley if we’re going to see his spins and dips in a future season. He responded, saying:
Honestly, sign me up. Of course HBO Max will first have to renew Legendary for Season 4 before we might get this opportunity. Hopefully this happens sooner rather than later, as an announcement would be a great end to Pride month.
Dashaun Wesley has such a unique place in Legendary, as he’s the MC without having to issue critiques or scores as a judge. Since he’s such an icon in the community, he knows countless contestants and houses that have graced the stage. I asked about what it was like to see people he loves competition on the show, with Dashaun explaining:
Hopefully this is a process that will continue if/when Legendary gets a fourth season on HBO Max. Dashaun’s energy truly buoys the series, with an endless supply of puns that accompany each of his segues between performances. Not to mention the looks he’s turned in Seasons 1-3.
Legendary is currently streaming in its entirety on HBO Max. Be sure to check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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