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Maddy Morphosis, the Fayetteville contestant on season 14 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” makes debut

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” introduced its Fayetteville-based contestant tonight, Maddy Morphosis, who strutted in sporting a Guy Fieri-inspired minidress aflame at the hem, signature spiky hair pointing to the clouds. Maddy, who’s performed a ton regionally, knew one of the other queens, Daya Betty; they greeted each other coolly, Daya quipping at one point that Maddy had a lot to show viewers — “a LOT.” Ever edited for max suspense, Daya elaborated. “I know that Maddy identifies as straight cisgender, and these girls are gonna be shook.”

Then, in Maddy’s one-on-one with RuPaul, the show’s matriarch broke the news to the contestants in the Werk Room.

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“You have made history being our first straight contestant,” RuPaul said. Maddy described how he’d caught the drag bug growing up watching “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” with his grandmother. “I’m so impressed with you,” RuPaul said. “Because you are someone who says, ‘You know what?’ That interests me. I’m gonna get into it.”

“To my knowledge,” Maddy said, “I am the first cisgender heterosexual man to compete.” This is how that went over with the fellow queens:

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“I think this is a community built around love and acceptance,” Maddy said. He explained he didn’t wish to be judged on his sexuality alone, fielded questions warmly from the fellow contestants and talked about toxic masculinity and masculinity in the South. “Growing up in Arkansas, I thought it was illegal to be gay,” Maddy said. “I didn’t even know.”

In short, much was made of Maddy’s straightness. And much has been made in previous months about it, too; make no mistake, the LGBTQIA+ community is not of one accord on whether Maddy’s drag fame deserves a celebration, indignation or an eyeroll. But, in keeping with Ru’s tone (as all the show’s snippets are carefully edited to be), the controversy was gestured at, given some time to simmer in a momentary dressing room interaction and then set aside. Maddy went on to play an electric blues guitar solo for the talent portion and she played the guitar strings WITH HER TONGUE. In front of Alicia Keys. It was wild!

Maddy Morphosis

The runway look: a bloody Marie Antoinette number that blended French history and Maddy’s signature camp. The judges dug it, dropping lines like “Guillot-Tina Turner” and “Chin up, sweetie.” Judges poo-pooed the makeup job, though, and thought the blue business suit Maddy wore during her talent performance was underwhelming. 

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In the end, Maddy neither topped nor bottomed the rankings, but got quite a bit of airtime with Drag Race fans nonetheless. Onward!