This was what “Drag Den Philippines” fans exclaimed after Naia was crowned the first-ever “Drag Supreme” of the Filipino-produced drag competition on Thursday.
The 26-year-old “sassy youngster of Las Piñas” bested finalists Maria Cristina and Shewarma in the national costume round, swimwear round, evening gown round and the lip-synch battle of “Kilometro.”
Naia also impressed the judges with her farmers-inspired national costume, detailed evening gown and her response in the competition’s final question and answer portion.
Each finalist was given one minute to answer the following: “What is the one — and only one — quality that makes you the true drag supreme?”
“I’ve stumbled and I’ve gone through so much hardship, especially in this competition, and Manila, you’ve opened my eyes to what drag can truly be,” Naia said.
“It is free of expression and I can’t be more happy to be here. I hope that my story inspires young queer artists who are afraid of putting themselves out there because I was afraid. But thank you, Manila, for giving this platform because I was able to prove that growth is what you need to become the next drag supreme,” she added.
Naia will take home P1 million worth of prizes after winning the drag show, which premiered on Prime Video last December.
It was hosted by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alumna, Filipino-American drag queen Manila Luzon.
Fans took to social media to express their warmest congratulations to Naia, who is Brian Black out of drag.
“To be fair, she’s been consistent after that basketball shorts and slippers fiasco. She found herself… Congratulations, NAIA! You really deserve this! #DragDenPH #DragDenFinale,” a Twitter user exclaimed after the coronation night.
“Now, THAT WAS GOOD TV! Congrouch, baby girl @brianblack_, our first ever Drag Supreme!!! Thanks for representing not only Pinoy drag artists, but also the underdogs and young queer artists!!! #DragDenPH #DragDenFinale,” LGBTQ+ rights advocate Ben Bernabe wrote.
“It’s really empowering to see @brianblack_ be crowned as the next Pinoy drag supreme. As a young queer artist, it’s really inspiring to see someone as young as you take pride [in] what they are fighting for huhuhu, congrats NAIA… balik ka sa CMC plsss,” another Pinoy commented.
“SPOILER ALERT! She really deserved it because of her growth throughout the competition. Any from the top 3 did great, but I felt that she was the most compelling. Congratulations @brianblack_, been rooting for you from the start! #DragDenFinale #DragDenPH #PrimeVideoPH,” YouTuber Gus Agustin of The Gus Station said.
“OMG YASSSS, NAIA ,GRABE ‘YUNG COMEBACK FROM [EPISODE] 1???” another Twitter user exclaimed.
Naia had earned buzz in the series’ pilot episode after showing up in simple basketball shorts and slippers in the theme wear drag test, where contestants are supposed to dress as Pinoy national symbols.
Others rocked colorful and flamboyant attires expected of drag artists while Naia came without makeup, saying the look represents the “national activity of Filipino male teens” or “B.A.T.E.” (Basketball, Axie, Time Out, Enjoy).
Naia’s victory in the drag show came despite never winning a challenge in its eight-episode run. However, she always managed to be among the frontrunners throughout the competition.
The “sassy youngster” is relatively new to the drag scene, only learning to do makeup in 2018.
READ: ‘Drag is political’: A brief history of drag’s political nature amid ‘Drag Den Philippines’ buzz
Reports said she initially performed as Tanya Sativa before changing to her current name.
After being stuck doing online performances at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Naia became a regular performer at the famous Butterboy drag brunches.
According to her, she saw the drag competition as an opportunity for her to find herself and her voice.