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Cornish Graduette Monsoon Storms RuPaul’s Drag Race

Cornish Graduette Monsoon Storms RuPaul’s Drag Race

: Used with permission of the photographer.. Photo by Tim Harmon (

RuPaul’s Drag Race is a hot national commodity; now fabulous & stunning Cornish graduette Jinkx Monsoon (Jerick Hoffer [TH ‘10]) is looking to win it.

PICTURE: Jinkx Monsoon courtesy of Seattle Gay Scene; photo: Tim Harmon (

RuPaul’s Drag Race opens big on cable television January 28, 2013 with a 90-minute special; featured in the cast and going for the $100,000 first prize will be actress and model Jinkx Monsoon. Monsoon, the creation of 2010 Cornish theater grad Jerick Hoffer, intends to win the competition and has thrown down the gantlet—presumably white satin, evening, full-length—to the other contestants. Says Jinkx: “Get ready bitches, it’s Monsoon season.”

The winner earns the coveted title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” as well as the cash prize. To find the next drag superstar, RuPaul’s Drag Race employs progressive elimination to reduce the initial field of drag queens to a final three. At that juncture, there is a final challenge to see who will grab the gleaming tiara of the best-of-the-best.

According to the producers, “Each episode (with the exception of the casting special, ‘recap’ episode, and reunion special) follows a format consisting of a mini challenge, a main challenge, a runway walk (where the contestants model fashion on a runway, usually in a theme based on the main challenge), and the judging panel.” In “mini challenges,” the ability to rise above adversity oneself in various embarrassing scenarios and to “read” (or heap insult on) other contestants is on full display. “Main challenges” are created for each show, and involve “a new theme and outcome.” Challenges can include impromptu costume design or impersonating celebrities. At its base, RuPaul’s Drag Race is “reality television,” though the term seems a bit constricting, considering.

Jerick Hoffer graduated summa cum laude from Cornish, but, as he has written, “his overbearing and impudent persona, known as Jinkx Monsoon … didn’t go for the academic hype.” In his “boy” mode, Jerick recently starred at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in a new staging of Jonathan Larson’s modern rock-opera classic RENT. With a cast of Seattle’s young rising theater stars, Hoffer was joined by fellow Cornish grads Angel Dumott, and Diana Huey (TH ‘08), Lindsey Hedberg (TH ‘12) and Jimmie Herrod Jr. (MU ‘13) in the ensemble.

Listen to Jinkx lay it down in her “Meet the Queens” video from the RuPaul’s Drag Race site:


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