The cast and crew of RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race may have been celebrating its upcoming premiere at the Abbey in West Hollywood last night, but the evening was tinged with sadness.
Second-season contestant Sahara Davenport passed away just two weeks ago. Sahara, whose real name was Antoine Ashley, was just 27 when she died of heart failure at a Baltimore hospital.
Her longtime boyfriend, Manila Luzon, is among the drag queens competing on All Stars.
"I really kind of shut down for a while," a somber Manila, whose real name is Karl Westerberg, told us at the Abbey party. "It went crazy on Facebook and Twitter and everywhere. It shows how being on this show has really brought us out there to people all over the world. I think it's really cool. [It's] a lot of love."
Producers are not cutting references to Sahara in All Stars, which was filmed when she was still alive. The season premiere airs on Logo on Oct. 22.
Manila said Drag Race only showed "a fraction" of Sahara's talents. "YouTube her," Manila said. "She was amazing."
RuPaul said Sahara will not be forgotten. "I was shocked," Ru said her passing. "I couldn't believe it…But the truth is her legacy lives on in her friends and family and our show. It's on in 25 countries around the world. Her legacy lives on."