Who better than a comedy queen to stir the pot?
HBO Max's 12 Dates of Christmas finally came to an end on Thursday, with a juicy reunion special hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race royalty Shangela. The event brought us updates about the dating lives of all three leads: Garret Marcantel remains single; Christian Faith Fernandez and Anthony Assent are a little rocky; and Chad Savage scored a fairytale ending after becoming engaged to Kate Steinberg.
And while the biggest revelations came from the finale itself, some of the best gossip wouldn't have been shared without Shangela's help. "Shangela is the Nancy Drew of drag so I'm always gonna get to the bottom of the tea!" she told E! News in an exclusive interview. "I'm a diva that loves love, so when I got the invitation to come and be a part of the reunion I was like, ‘Oh, good! I'm about to be the Andy Cohen of drag. Being a fan of the show there were a lot of questions I still had, so I was able to act like a fan and be like, ‘OK, level with me boo, what happened?"
Shangela absolutely made everyone gasp when it was revealed that Chad's Kate actually kissed Tyson, one of Faith's proposed suitors, during a never-before-seen date. Naturally, she was a little nervous to bring that up. "I am a fan of love and I thought that Kate and Chad's connection by the end of the show was so beautiful," Shangela said. "I was like, ‘Oh, lord, I don't want to break up nobody's proposal with this revelation. But the people deserve to know! I thought it was fun. And hey, all is fair in love and searching ‘cause Chad was no stranger to lip locking during that season."
To prepare for her hosting duty, Shangela stuck to the holiday theme. "I could go on and on about my gown," she said, noting she worked with Angel Ayala and Nick Vosian on the look. "I was like, ‘OK, I'm coming up in here, they've been in this winter wonderland, I also want to be the ice princess myself, so what kind of ice princess wouldn't be dripping in diamonds, darling? Swarovski crystals, OK?"
Like any 12 Dates fan, Shangela said she has a soft spot for Chelsea, Chad's polarizing date, because she's someone you'd want to hang out with and "chat about boys and her collection of them just for fun." And she was especially fond of the way Garrett wrapped up the season by inviting all his gays back home.
"Even though he didn't find love, I think his mom saw another side of the community that she opened up to even more," she said. "In any show we would love to see a real fairytale ending but that's just not how real dating works. Sometimes you get in a room full of suitors and walk out empty-handed and that's what happened with Garrett. I loved seeing our representation right along the heterosexual journey. It wasn't like, ‘Oh, here's the gay part.' It was a beautiful space in which Chad embraced Garrett. It was what part of my reality is and it was nice to see that laid out on television."
Would Shangela ever search for love on national television? "It's something I would have to think about for a long long time," she said. "Here's the deal about Shangey. Yes, I love love. Do I think I would find it in a reality setting? I think some people can but I just don't know if I would. In my mind, I'm very Kate but in reality I'm more New York Tiffany Pollard. It just depends how many shots of tequila we've had before that night ceremony!"
As for projects outside of 12 Dates, Shangela has been giving back to the LGBTQ+ community amid the coronavirus pandemic. She recently partnered with The Actors Fund to create Feed the Queens, a non-profit organization that fights hunger and helps out-of-work drag performers secure a meal.
"It was difficult to see the shutdown of nightlife because look, I don't live in a bubble," she said. "I am connected to all my fellow drag entertainers and so many of us have been out of work. The unemployment levels hit everybody including the drag world." So far, the organization has raised nearly $100,000, providing food grants for over 250 queens across the U.S.
If you're interested in helping, one way to do so is to shop her other project, Shanitizer, a line of hand sanitizers that includes three scents: ProFRESHional, HalleLemon, and Sugar Daddy. Appropriate, right? A portion of proceeds for every product sold will be donated to Feed the Queens.
And just like all of us, Shangela's pumped for the season 13 premiere of Drag Race in January. "I love this new buffet of drag that we're gonna get coming up," she said. "I think I'm most excited to see what the new class—I call it the freshman class—of drag queens will bring. I'm one of the seniors—not senior citizens girl, OK? But I love seeing the fresh energy. It's like a sorority at this point."
The 12 Dates of Christmas reunion special is now streaming on HBO Max.