Manila Luzon Totally Had A Drag Race Flashback While Filming Huluween Dragstravaganza

Spooky season is upon us, leading many people to watch and re-watch some of the best horror movies of all time. Some exciting Halloween content is arriving for those with Hulu subscriptions, including the new Hellraiser movie and the streaming special Huluween Dragstravaganza. The cast includes plenty of iconic drag performers including the great Manila Luzon, who totally had a RuPaul’s Drag Race flashback while filming her part in the holiday special.

Manila Luzon is a three-time competitor on RuPaul’s Drag Race, first debuting back in Season 3. During this time she won a newscaster challenge, serving as the interviewer for the fictional QNN. So it definitely piqued my interest when Manila was once again behind a news desk for Huluween Dragstravaganza. As you can see in the video above, I had the privilege to speak with her and Ginger Minj (who also has role in Hocus Pocus 2) about their roles in the new spooky special, where I asked Miss Luzon how she felt about the new project mirroring her time on the Race. As she told me,

It’s so funny because on Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race I specifically chose the interviewer role because I was too afraid to read a teleprompter. But in the Huluween Extravaganza I loved getting to read off of the teleprompter because I didn’t have to memorize my lines!

Clever girl. It’s been a number of years since RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3 was filmed, and Manila Luzon has grown as an artist and drag performer. And while she once feared teleprompters, she now sees the luxury of not having to memorize one’s lines. Talk about a life hack.

Manila Luzon’s comments help to get a peek behind the curtain on projects like Drag Race and the Huluween Dragstravaganza. While she got her biggest feature performing the track “The Next American Slasher” alongside Jujubee and Mo heart, Manila and the rest of the cast also did other side sketches and features throughout the holiday special’s 41-minute runtime. or one of them Manila plays ZNN newscaster Fluffy McDaniels, to hilarious results.

Later in our same conversation, Manila Luzon further explained why it was important to overcome her Drag Race fears when portraying Fluffy McDaniels for the Huluween Dragstravaganza. Namely because while using a teleprompter made her exempt from memorizing lines, it also made sense for the character. As she told me,

I’ve gotten really good at reading off a teleprompter. And because it was a newscaster it had to have been read off a teleprompter. It went with the character. I really did kind of feel like I was back reliving my QNN beginnings from Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race for sure.

“QNN News” was the fifth episode of Drag Race Season 3, and saw Manila Luzon in the same team with her fellow Heathers Raja, Delta Work, and Carmen Carrera. Manila interviewed reality TV icon Kristen Cavallari, and ended up being the winner of the maxi challenge that week. Much to the dismay of co-star Shangela, who is currently competing on Dancing with the Stars.

Manila Luzon in Drag Race's QNN episode

(Image credit: World of Wonder)

In the end this one would be one of three wins for Manila Luzon in RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3. She would be the first runner-up and would later compte in both All-Stars and All-Stars 3. She also participated in multiple seasons of Drag U, and had a small role in the holiday special The Bitch Who Stole Christmas.

Huluween Dragstravaganza is currently streaming on Hulu, and Season 15 of RuPaul’s Drag Race is no doubt coming soon. In the meantime, check out the TV premiere list to plan your next binge watch. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. 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 favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.