A softball pageant fit for kings & queens [photos]
Hundreds of people packed Jungle on Saturday for a sometimes raunchy, oftentimes comical pageant to name the king and queen of the Hotlanta Softball League.
The Mr. & Ms. HSL Pageant—the most well-attended yet of the annual event—also served as a fundraiser for the league, its teams heading to the Gay Softball World Series and even CHRIS Kids, which received about $360 from raffle tickets sold during the festivities. (Fortunately, the kids stayed home. It was an R-rated affair.)
More than 30 people competed for the two titles, meaning the evening offered more drag and production numbers than an episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Nicole Paige Brooks, a contestant on the Logo reality show this season, was on hand with Ruby Redd to help judge the performances. The league stressed team participation and choreography for this year’s event, which amped up the production values and the fun.
“We’ve moved away from the traditional beauty pageant format,” Randy Dobbs, HSL’s Commissioner, told Project Q Atlanta ahead of the pageant. “It’s not runway categories as much as it’s several different performances and acts, and the contestants get points for having more people involved on stage.”
Who took top honors? Rhoda Vespa was crowned Ms. HSL, while Brandon Massello bested a studly field to take the Mr. HSL title. Yhon Sanchez, who wowed the crowd with an energetic and provocative dance routine in a skimpy swimsuit, won the People’s Choice-HSL Star award.
The league takes the next two weeks off before returning to action on June 13. It’s also preparing for the Big Peach Softball Tournament, which will attract teams from across the country for competition over the Fourth of July Weekend.
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