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Marina Summers’ journey to Top 4 in ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs. the World’

by Joanna Deala

FILIPINA drag queen Marina Summers has just been announced as one of the Top 4 finalists in the competitive second season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs. the World,” and Pinoy drag fans and artists couldn’t be more proud of her for raising the Philippine flag and showing what Filipino drag is all about in the international stage.

This season has put the spotlight on 11 drag queens hailing from different countries, but only one of them will reign as the “Queen of the Mothertucking World.” 

The winner is expected to be chosen among Marina and the three other finalists: Hannah Conda of Australia, Tia Kofi of the United Kingdom, and La Grande Dame of France. This will be announced on the finale episode of the hit reality competition television series on Friday (Saturday in Manila time).

But before this, here’s a look back on the journey of our Filipina Winnah, including her looks and performances that ate and left no crumbs in the competition.

Participation announcement

It was in January 2024 when Marina was announced to be among the contestants in this year’s international edition of the Emmy Award-winning series, being the lone Asian drag artist in the show.

On social media, “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” posted a photo of Marina in a formfitting royal blue gown, which was inspired by the winning gown of Filipina beauty queen Pia Wurtzbach when she won the Philippines’ third Miss Universe crown in 2015. Marina and Wurtzbach’s gowns were made by designer Albert Andrada.

Marina entered the competition with the goal to “show the universe, the WORLD rather, that I am a true Filipina Winnah.”

Her participation did not come as a surprise to drag fans, as some eagle-eyed netizens noticed the tattoo that Marina has on her right arm based on her teaser image that “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” released a few days before the official announcement of its contestants.

Iconic entrance 

Filipino netizens went gaga when Marina finally set foot on the “RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs. the World” stage, showing that she was ready to slay on the battleground in her Katipunera-inspired look.

For her debut look, the Pinay drag queen donned a bronze slit dress with a gold veil, while carrying a bolo or a long single-edged knife used in the Philippines. 

Detailing the outfit, Jude Macasinag, Marina’s designer, said that the drag queen was clad in a “custom ‘off-balance’ tightly corseted draped dress in bronze sequins with asymmetrical crushed butterfly sleeves,” partnered with “a gold chainmail hood.” The designer narrated that he started working on the dress in late 2022, just when he started exploring historical corsetry.

During her iconic entrance, Marina wielded her bolo and said, “It’s time to give these colonizers the chop!” This received cheers and applause from her fellow drag queens, with Choriza May saying, “Wow, polished. Head to toe. She’s a powerhouse and definitely one to watch out for.”

First talent show

Marina maintained how she started her journey in the show strong, as she fired up the stage with her own rendition of “Amakabogera” by Filipina singer-actress Maymay Entrata for her first performance during the talent show segment. 

The drag artist titled her version “Amafilipina,” where she proudly talked about having morena skin and being born and raised in the Pearl of the Orient Seas.

The chorus part of “Amafilipina” goes: “Amafilipina; I’m rising like a winnah; Ain’t nobody bringing this morena to the ground; Amafilipina; They fall for my charisma; Uniqueness nerve to T, I’m bringing home the winning crown.”

She further wowed the judges and other contestants as she showcased her poi dancing skills during the chorus part. “Marina makes me nervous because this is the best goddamn performance I’ve ever seen on the main stage of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’” Tia Kofi said of Marina’s performance.

This also received praise from Maymay who sent a congratulatory message to Marina for her performance.

For those who couldn’t get enough of this, Marina released the official music video of “Amafilipina” on YouTube.

Tribute to hometown, farmers

Marina’s representation of her home country in the international competition wouldn’t be complete without her paying homage to her roots.

The Filipina drag queen, who hailed from Cagayan Valley, brought the farm to the runway with her Banaue Rice Terraces-inspired ensemble as her way to honor her hometown and Filipino farmers.

Roman Sebastian, Marina’s designer, used indigenous textiles from the Cordilleras for her runway outfit, accompanied by a basket containing crops. Marina’s look was completed with her palayok-inspired hairstyle.

As she strutted the runway in this outfit, Marina said she felt “very proud” to showcase her Filipino heritage and culture to the international competition.

“I grew up surrounded by farmers, and to be wearing this in front of the whole world gives me so much joy and pride,” she said.

First RuPeter badge

Following her “Amafilipina” performance, Marina went head to head with La Grande Dame in a lip sync battle where they performed “Dreamer” by Livin’ Joy. The two queens were in the Top 2. 

Marina won the battle with her flawless and powerful moves and eliminated Mayhem Miller from the competition. Her performances also won Marina her first RuPeter badge.

The Happy Ending Ball

The Filipina drag queen brought audiences under the sea as she sported various looks for “Lady Prince Charming,” “She-vil Queen,” and “Drags to Riches Eleganza” runway categories.

For the “Lady Prince Charming” category, Marina walked the runway wearing her sexy siren prince-inspired outfit, made by fashion designer Ehrran Montoya. 

Marina left the judges mesmerized by her regal blue mermaid-cut dress that she made herself. She said that this was the first dress she had ever sewn, leaving the judges in disbelief.

“Can we have the trap door open now?” RuPaul said in jest.

But what really surprised the judges was her “She-vil Queen” look where she paid homage to Dugong, the iconic sea witch and antagonist in the 2004 Philippine fantasy series “Marina.”

Describing her Dugong-inspired costume, Marina said that Dugong was one of the scariest evil queens that she grew up watching on television. 

“She has kind of a very fugly body, but she has a very beautiful face, I must say,” she said.

These looks secured her a spot in the Top 3.

Volcano-inspired, cruise ship-inspired looks

Marina set the runway on fire again with her fiery red dress inspired by the lava gown worn by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray when she won the Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe crown. The lava gown, made by designer Mak Tumang, got its inspiration from Mayon Volcano.

Marina’s version of the lava gown was also made by Tumang himself. This was hidden under a volcano outer dress made by designer Job Dacon. The dress was black with cracks and red lines, imitating an erupting volcano.

The Pinay drag queen strutted the runway removing the cracks until she finally ruveal her version of the iconic lava dress.

In the third episode, she also sported a cruise ship-inspired outfit with her long silver hair serving as the anchor. The bosom part of her dress featured transparent balls containing water.

Second RuPeter badge

Marina became the first contestant to earn two RuPeter badges after her performance in the show’s Rusical episode where each drag queen wrote their own verses on “Seven: Confessions of a Drag Queen,” which was inspired by the hit comedy musical show “Six.”

She made sure that she would catch the eyes of the judges as she showcased her rap and dancing skills during her verse.

It went: “I’m a Filipina diva with a confession. I’m a little Asian from a faraway nation. Never heard about it now Marina ’bout to make it right, like it’s summertime. I can be a lot of danger pull up an invasion. Ready to take over, Filipina domination. Manila to the world, drop it hot like it’s made of ice, like sticky rice.”

Marina also donned a glittering milkfish-themed costume made by fashion designer Axel Que for her “Terno She Better Don’t” look. Milkfish, locally known as Bangus, is the Philippines’ national fish.

Her performances in this episode earned Marina her second RuPeter badge, as well as compliments from the judges with RuPaul telling Marina that she was “born to be on stage” and “do drag.”

Third RuPeter badge

The Filipina drag queen continued to prove that she was a winner by having the most number of RuPeter badges after she received her third win in the sixth episode of the series.

This episode showed the drag queens being paired up, with Marina and Hannah collaborating with one another for their samba performance. The two gained positive feedback from the judges, while Scarlet Envy and Choriza landed in the bottom.

Marina and Hannah eventually competed with each other during the lip sync battle where they both gave off heartfelt emotions as they performed “Release Me” by Agnes. The Filipina contestant ended up winning and decided to send Choriza home.

In the same episode, Marina wore a Karaoke-inspired outfit for the “Business in the Front, Party in the Back” runway challenge. She was clad in a black coordinated suit with a makeshift karaoke on her back, made by designer Neric Beltran.

According to the designer, this outfit was “one of the most complicated things” he has ever done in order to make the speakers work.

Road to finals

Last weekend, it was announced that Marina was among the Top 4 finalists who will compete for the “Queen of the Mothertucking World” title.

In the latest episode, the five remaining drag queens, including Scarlet, showcased their wit and comedic side during the “Michelle and Graham Haters Wedding Roast” challenge. 

While Marina gained positive comments from the judges, it was Tia and Hannah who emerged as top queens of the week. 

For the runway challenge, Marina relayed her “love letter” to her home country by wearing a traditional Yakan wedding ceremony attire for her “Take Me Up the Aisle” look.

The same episode also showed Tia and Hannah competing in the lip sync battle where they performed “Euphoria” by Loreen, with the latter winning her first RuPeter badge. Hannah sent Scarlet home, making Marina and La Grande Dame enter the finals.

One of the final four contestants will succeed Blu Hydrangea, the first-ever winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs. the World.”



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