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Drag Star "Pearl" Returns To Tampa Bay

May 12, 2016

A national tour of men dressed as women is coming to Ybor City this weekend.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” is a reality television competition to crown "America's next drag superstar." The show is in its 8th season and is a popular download on iTunes.

Last season’s runner up is Pearl, who grew up in St. Petersburg.

The 25 year old returns as part of a touring “Battle of The Seasons” show that will be at The Ritz in Ybor City Sunday night.

After four years of performing in drag shows, Pearl said the drag stage is a young person's game.

“I think that it’s smart to, you know, think about your future outside of dressing up like a woman and having to show up and dance around in heels. It’s a lot of fun and I want to do it as long as I can, but I know it’s not going to last forever.”

Pearl said this is why she has branched out. She's released an album of dance music, marketed a fragrance and created a doll. “Vladonna" is an alternative fashion doll with outrageous proportions only attainable though a combination of extreme corsetry and plastic surgery.

Pearl said the doll’s look pokes fun at beauty standards for women.

“You look at a Barbie and we’re supposed to think that’s considered normal for women, but Vladonna’s sort of, like, mocking that,” Pearl said.

People who might really appreciate Vladonna's appearance are RuPaul's Drag Race fans, who've been packing the live tour's shows across the country.

Sunday's show starts at 9 p.m. and doors open for a meet and greet and DJ set by Pearl at 6:30 p.m.