Miss’d America 2019, Adriana Trenta, talks about pageant experience, and her goals for 2019
Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa glittered and sparkled brighter this past Saturday when they hosted the 2019 Miss’d America pageant. Carson Kressley hosted the event and served as ringmaster to this always dynamic event. The Pageant has raised over $375,000 to numerous organizations over many years. They include thew South Jersey AIDS Alliance, as well as many others.
Categories ranged from Evening Gown, to Bathing Suit, to Talent, and when the dust settled, Adriana Trenta snagged the title of 2019 Miss’d America. From her “Wicked” themed intro to her scorching talent to the tunes of Rihanna’s “Shut Up & Drive”, Trenta roared ahead of the competition and was crowned by departing queen, 2018 Miss’d America, Pattaya Hart.
After the pageant, Adriana Trenta was still floating on air. She spoke about the arduous road to Miss’d America and what she wants to accomplish during her reign.
Michael Cook: You are officially Miss’d America. How does it feel?
Adriana Trenta: It feels all too surreal. It truly feels like an out of body experience, and that I’m simply watching a movie about someone else winning.
Take me back to the competition; what was your preparation like? How hard was it to take the ideas that you had for each category and execute them so seamlessly?
AT: Thank you for calling it all seamless! It didn’t feel like that at all! (laughs). I started prepping for this pageant with initial sketches of gowns and revisiting talent ideas back in June. I was aiming to redeem myself after not placing the year before. When I submitted my application, I had already begun setting aside finances for what I assumed would be a very ambitious package. Fast forward to August and I have my package solidified, my team picked out, and at that point it was all about getting to the starting line in Atlantic City. There were some extremely close calls in the prepping stages, due to limited funding for the pageant. But I found that it motivated me to work harder to make my creative vision a reality. As a recent college grad still paying loans and rent, and living on ramen, I had to really focus and plan every single detail to ensure I could even make it to the day of the event.
The Miss’d America crown is yours for the year. What do you plan on doing with this amazing platform?
AT: I want to focus my efforts on empowering the LGBTQIA youth. The next generation is the future of this country, and they need to be well equipped to make sure that we as a nation can thrive. Growing up, I was so fearful of being disowned or shunned for my queerness. And I want to abolish that fear as a far off fantasy that never happens in our society. Education is also an extremely important subject to me. Without a chance at higher education, I’d never have gotten to move to New York City for college. I would likely still be in the college lacking any sort of “gay awakening” or internal growth.
Is there anything that you want to do that you think may be new to Miss’d America that may be a little out of the box?
AT: I want to work on promoting the unity of our community. I find that our community tends to splinter off into various subcategories. And that it’s breaking new ground as Miss’d America to focus on the social climate and promoting the crown as a symbol of unity.
Now that you have won the crown; why should girls take a crack at the competition next year?
AT: The organization is amazing for starters. I think that anyone and everyone should have the opportunity to experience the rush of a national pageant. Beyond having the luxury to perform whatever you desire, it is probably one of the best stages on the east coast. They have some of the best staff and crew. You get to experience true tests of professionalism, creativity, craftsmanship and organization while competing. Every queen should want to run through a gauntlet like this at least once to prove to themselves, that they can do it all. In addition, it’s an amazing cause to work with. The organization is so incredibly welcoming, the money being raised is going to amazing causes, and it’s an honor to be a part of something bigger than you.
So, Adriana Trenta.. how did you get your start in drag?
AT: I started one faithful Halloween night back in 2015, and then quickly said “absolutely not” after a night in heels. And then pride came around, and the Pulse tragedy happened. At the time, Sutton Lee Seymour, an NYC legend, made it a point to host a drag virgin show as a form of community building to help bring everyone together after everything happened. Having been around nightlife as a backup dancer for queens, and through working in the scene as a boy, I felt inspired to be there for my community. So I entered and a little over 2 years later, here I am.
What have been some of your favorite moments as a drag performer?
AT: Getting to compete in and place in the top 4 of “So You Think You Can Drag”, which was essentially a live version of Drag Race, at 2 months into drag was certainly an adventure like no other. In addition, winning my first title as the original Miss Cheer New York, which is also deeply rooted in charity work, really put things into perspective as to what I could use my drag as a platform for. And finally, I will never forget the good that came out of producing and hosting my very own benefit show at the legendary Stonewall Inn for the victims of the Manchester bombing. Having people from Manchester in the audience being healed by the power of drag, and raising money for families of the victims and those who lost their lives was my proudest achievement to date.
RuPaul’s Drag Race has been tremendously successful for a number of girls; any interest in taking a crack at that competition?
AT: You know I love me a good competition. New York tends to breed talent like nobody’s business, and growing into the scene surrounded by these greats like Bob the Drag Queen, Aquaria, Monét X Change, Yuhua Hamasaki, Dusty Ray Bottoms, Miz Cracker (and many more) has certainly lit a fire under me to strive for greatness. Whether that means applying or not, that’s something time will tell. But I’m certainly open.
What inspires you as both a performer and as a person?
AT: I am inspired as a performer by all sources of femininity and women in society and pop culture. I choose to let my drag evoke the essence of various women who are not afraid to play by their own rules, and not the ones society places on them. The women across music, film, art and pop culture that aren’t afraid to be bold, daring, sexy, beautiful or even dangerous are my idols. As a person, I am inspired by the love and support of my chosen family within the community.