No ‘originality?’ Veruschka Levels’ ‘bakunawa’ finale look for ‘Drag Race Philippines’ S2 earns attention

October 5, 2023 - 1:42 PM
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Veruschka Levels
Drag artist Veruschka Levels in this screengrab from "Drag Race Philippines" Season 2 from WOW Plus Presents (Screengrab from Drag Race Philippines Season 2/WOW Plus Presents)

Drag Race Philippines” Season 2 contestant Veruschka Levels earned mixed reactions when she showed up in an outfit resembling Miss Universe 2021 finalist Bea Luigi Gomez‘s national costume in the show’s finale.

The drag artist appeared in an outfit resembling Bea’s attire for the 70th Miss Universe where the latter wore a golden costume inspired by the “bakunawa,” a serpent-like dragon who is a moon-eater in Philippine mythology.

The Cebuana’s national costume was designed by Axel Que, who said that Bea’s look was the bakunawa in its final form.

“This is a personal, hypothetical envisioning of what the Bakunawa would look like had it succeeded in devouring the last moon,” the designer said before of Bea’s attire.

“I chose gold to render the whole piece in because aside from its divine beauty, it is considered as the perfect element (because it’s chemically one of the least reactive), and to hopefully imbue this characteristic to the wearer, much like an enchanted armor,” Axel added.

 

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A post shared by Axel Que (@axlaxelque)

RELATED: The evolution of Bea Gomez’s national costumes: From blue sea serpent to golden lunar dragon

Meanwhile, Veruschka in the final episode of the drag show appeared in an outfit similar to Bea’s national costume.

Veruschka Levels
Screengrab from “Drag Race Philippines” Season 2 from WOW Plus Presents (Screengrab from Drag Race Philippines Season 2/WOW Plus Presents)

This didn’t sit well with some viewers who thought that the Hong Kong-based drag artist did not have “originality.”

“Jusko [Diyos ko], hanggang final ep [episode], pull out si Veruschka Levels, nasuot na ‘yan ni Beatrice Luigi Gomez,” a user on the X (formerly Twitter) platform commented with a skull face emoji.

“Shutang finale look ‘yan, Verushka? Gamit na gamit,” another user commented with a facepalm emoji.

“NOT VERUSCHKA WEARING YET AGAIN ANOTHER PULL OUT FOR HER FINAL LOOK. THAT WAS MX. BEATRICE LUIGI GOMEZ’S BAKUNAWA NATIONAL COSTUME DURING THE MISS UNIVERSE 2021,” exclaimed a different user with emojis of confounded and loudlly-crying faces.

“Finale na lang, pull out gyapon. Where’s the couture, oi,” another user wrote.

“Walang originality, cinareer pagiging pull out, sheesh #DragRacePH,” commented a different user.

A “pull out” in this context refers to a borrowed dress.

Others, meanwhile, thought that there was nothing wrong with Veruschka’s look.

“Well, I don’t see any problem with wearing a pull out, lalo na kung sobrang iconic naman nung costume. Plus, doing drag is so expensive at hindi madali magkaroon ng ganyan kalakas na connection (on a budget siguro si Veruschka kaya ganyan),” a Pinoy wrote with emojis.

“Can we not shame queens for wearing pullout looks? Daming chika, eh ‘di naman drag queen. And FYI, [di na ‘yan] bago sa mga Drag Race franchise for queens to wear pullout looks! As long as it was graced beautifully on the runway,” another user commented.

Veruschka previously got called out in the series’ second episode when she appeared on the runway wearing an outfit that resembled Miss International Philippines 2023 Nicole Borromeo‘s national costume.

Some of her fellow drag contestants were not amused, especially since Veruschka claimed to wear couture looks. “Couture” is associated with high-end custom-made fashion.

“Drag Race Philippines” host Paolo Ballesteros, who goes by “Mama Pao” in the series, also pointed out the similarity.

“Maganda ‘yang outfit na ‘yan. Kaya lang, nakita ko na ‘yan eh, sinuot na ni Nicole Borromeo, our Binibining Pilipinas Miss International (2023). She wore that as a national costume,” Mama Pao said.

Veruschka had defended her runaway looks before by claiming that they fit into her drag, albeit borrowed.

“Drag Race Philippines” recently concluded its second season, with transgender drag veteran Captivating Katkat winning the reality competition series.

The second season of “Drag Race Philippines” premiered on HBO Go last August.

The rest of the drag queens who joined in the latest season were Nicole Pardaux, Astrid Mercury, Tiny DeLuxe, Matilduh, DeeDee Marié Holliday, Hana Beshie and ØV Cünt.