Halleloo! Shangela has slayed in the ballroom. The iconic drag performer, born D.J. Pierce, has been dazzling us week after after week taking on styles of ballroom dancing in hopes of winning the mirrorball trophy at the end of Dancing With the Stars season 31.
Shangela and DWTS pro Gleb Savchenko have become one of the most beloved pairs of season 31. Shangela knows a thing or two about competitions, so it’s no surprise she’s made it to the finale. HollywoodLife has rounded up 5 key things you need to know about Shangela.
1. Shangela and Gleb Savchenko have made DWTS history.
Shangela and Gleb are the first-ever all-male pair in Dancing With the Stars history. “I was absolutely thrilled and still am,” Shangela told reporters after the casting news was announced on September 8. The pair follows Jojo Siwa and Jenna Johnson, who were the first-ever all-female pair to compete on the show. They came in second place.
2. Shangela is the first celebrity to compete in drag on DWTS.
“I’m the first person to ever be able to compete in drag on Dancing with the Stars in the history of the show here, so I hope that we show people that it’s all about the heart and soul of who you are as a person,” Shangela also said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s two men dancing together, if it’s a man or a drag entertainer like myself dancing together. It’s about the spirit of dance and the fun, and the ability to connect and to learn more about other people’s worlds.”
Shangela added, “I’m not a technically trained dancer, but I’m not afraid to be in this space because I’m willing to learn. I’m excited to learn from Gleb and hope that I can teach him a couple of things, too.”
3. Shangela is a RuPaul’s Drag Race alum.
Shangela first appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race in season 2. The drag entertainer returned to compete in the third season. Shangela also appeared in the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars.
4. Shangela is a co-host of We’re Here.
Shangela has been the co-host of We’re Here since 2020. The critically-acclaimed series follows Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen, and Eureka O’Hara as they travel across the United States to recruit small-town residents to participate in one-night-only drag shows. The show has won two Primetime Emmys and been renewed for season 3. Shangela has also appeared in Glee, A Black Lady Sketch Show, and A Star Is Born.
5. The actor and drag performer grew up in Texas.
D.J. was raised in Paris, Texas. He graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University and serves as an advisory board member, according to his official website.