Onya Nerve crowned Mx. Zephyr at Zephyr Drag Takeover


Berkeley Chadwick

Onya Nerve being crowned Mx. Zephyr by judges Jade Uzumaki (left), Bella Sin (middle) and Agata Why (right) in the first Zephyr Drag Takeover at the Zephyr bar in downtown Kent on June 17, 2022.

Berkeley Chadwick, Reporter

After hours of performing, weeks of competing and a final elimination lip sync battle between Onya Nerve and Monica Mod, Nerve took first place and was crowned the first Mx. Zephyr.

“I found drag when I was really in such a dark place and it’s flipped my life around entirely” Nerve said. “I’m in love with this art form and I love this competition.”

Over the past six Fridays, The Zephyr Pub and Jade Uzumaki, event organizer and judge, hosted the Zephyr Drag Takeover, a drag competition that allowed performers to use self-expression and express internal identity as well as celebrate their LGBTQ+ pride in a competitive atmosphere.

Stevie Aura performing in the first Zephyr Drag Takeover at the Zephyr bar in downtown Kent on June 17, 2022. (Berkeley Chadwick)

“The Kent drag scene has multiplied since Mx. Zephyr,” said Cara Bowdit, contestant ambassador for the event. “We are making people feel comfortable to be their authentic self and getting people to try drag for the first time.”

The six-week event allowed 10 contestants to battle for the chance to be crowned Mx. Zephyr. Each week contestants performed using their skills and creativity to prove they’re the best, but at the end of each night, one contestant is eliminated.

“They’re all so insanely talented every single week these competitors that have been doing drag for mere months are pulling out these amazing shows,” said Uzumaki. “It’s been so hard to send each one of them home.”

A panel of three judges, Bella Sin, Agata Why and Uzumaki observed three different performances that had a different theme.

Stevie Aura competing in the first Zephyr Drag Takeover at the Zephyr bar in downtown Kent on June 17, 2022. (Berkeley Chadwick)

The themes of each performance were the contestant’s star sign, birthstone and heavenly bodies. Each contestant designed three outfits and routines for each theme. Judges scored each event to decide who, of the final four, would take the title of Mx. Zephyr and a package of prizes including three wigs designed by Uzumaki, $1,000, a full Bella Sin cosmetics package and a custom costume.

“I really love seeing the event and it really is such a beautiful art form,” said Madeline Burkholder, first-time attendee of the event.

More than 500 attendees were entertained, well past midnight, by the performances of contestants, games the judges played with the crowd and routines performed during intermissions. Each performance was met by tips to show support and help the performers pursue their career in drag.

“When you think of an event like this you think it’s going to be easy but it really does take a lot of effort to run something like this,” Uzumaki said. “We all have to put in so much time, effort and money into this to make it a reality. I’m so glad to be a part of it.”

Berkeley Chadwick is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].