DWTS’ Shangela Speaks Out About Being The First Male And ‘Drag Diva’ Couple On The Show

Shangela on Dancing With The Stars
(Image credit: Disney+)

Dancing with the Stars seems to be as big as it's ever been in its 31st Season, despite (or because of) the surprising move to Disney+. The hit dancing series continues to make strides in inclusivity as well, with the latest season featuring the first male and “Drag Diva” couple on the show with Shangela and Gleb Savchenko. Shangela recently spoke about being one of the first drag icons on the show and what that means for future hopefuls who have similar backgrounds and are also eager to compete. 

Series host Alfonso Ribeiro spoke to Shangela following her rousing performance on Dancing with the Stars' “Elvis Night” and asked the RuPaul’s Drag Race star about performing as the first male couple on the long-running series. Shangela wasted no time in gently ribbing the co-host for using the wrong terminology but then explained what it meant to her to have the chance to be a part of the iconic show (via TikTok): 

Well, first of all, it’s male and Drag Diva, but yes, indeed [laughs]...Honestly, you know what? To be anyone who gets to walk through a door, there’s a responsibility. Not only to walk through there fiercely but also to push it open for the others coming behind. And that’s what we’re hoping to do tonight.

Shangela delivered an A+ response, which served as a perfect chaser to the 28 points she and Gleb Savchenko received for their quickstep routine. The dance performance of “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” was among one of the top performances of the evening and kept them safe from elimination heading into Bond Week. 

The star is setting the standard for future drag contestants on DWTS and setting quite a bar in the process. Bond Week was another impressive performance for her and Gleb Savchenko, and their latest score of 30 separated them from the bottom of the pack, and only a few points away from being the top performers of the night. The A Star is Born alum hasn’t had a weak performance since the beginning of the season, so it’s looking like she has what it takes to reach the late rounds of the game (unlike consistently unlucky pro Pasha Pashkov). 

With that being said, Week 3 of Dancing with the Stars definitely showed that the gap is rapidly closing between the contestants. Even those who are more widely known for flexing than foxtrotting like Joseph Baena are showing that they could pull an upset in the coming weeks, and with the way DWTS voting often goes, I’d count on at least a couple of contestants leaving this season earlier than they should (especially as Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnino showcases his Chippendale’s skills). Hopefully, Shangela is able to hold her own and remain a favorite with the help of the fandom and serve as a beacon of inclusivity that opens the door for change in future seasons. 

Anyone with a Disney+ subscription can check out new episodes of Dancing with the Stars on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Tune in to see Shangela’s latest performance, or catch up on all of the other previous episodes, which are also available to stream right now. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.