The official first runner up for America’s Next Drag Superstar, as of Friday’s Season 14 finale, is San Francisco’s own Lady Camden.
It’s been a long and mostly disappointing road for SF drag fans who tune in year after year to Rupaul’s Drag Race, only to see our hometown girls (only three to date! in 14 seasons!) mostly fail to thrive. Honey Mahogany was the first, appearing on Season 5 — it’s still upsetting that Ru featured four dozen queens from around the country before even giving SF some recognition — and it took another eight years for there to be a second, with Rock M. Sakura in Season 12. Neither made it beyond four eliminations.
But finally, finally! on Friday, a San Francisco queen made it to the show’s finale, and made it all the way to the final two in the competition — only to be bested at the last minute by another favorite queen throughout the season, Willow Pill. Rupaul herself had been a fan of the weird and witty Willow from Episode One of the season, but Lady Camden slowly emerged as a frontrunner, turning in hilarious and professional performances — including a bawdy impersonation of William Shakespeare — week after week.
Camden, who originally hails from Camden Town in England but got her start in drag in her new home of San Francisco a couple of years ago, relocated to Sacramento in the early pandemic to save money on rent. But as she discussed when the season started, she had already moved back to SF by the time the season’s episodes began airing in January.
On Monday, by way of celebrating her second-prize win on the world’s biggest drag franchise, Camden posted a new music video to YouTube and social media, set to the PH Electro dance remix of Scott McKenzie’s classic “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair)”. And rather than take the spotlight all to herself at this pivotal moment in her career, Lady Camden decided to have a party with a swath of the city’s drag scene, including Oasis club owner D’Arcy Drollinger (the video was shot there), Sister Roma, and two dozen other queens about town including Nicki Jizz, Bebe Sweetbriar, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, Donna Sachet, KaiKai Bee Michaels, and more.
Calling the video “a love letter to my favorite city in the world,” Camden posted to Instagram saying she’s actually, at present “across the pond” in the UK.
“I’m proud of my journey and to be representing Sacramento and the UK, two places that have totally shaped who I am today. But San Francisco is the place [where] I truly found myself,” Camden writes. “Ru talks about finding your tribe and althought it took me a while to do so, the wait was well worth it. This video celebrates just a slice of the SF pie… There are so many Kings and Queens that I wish could’ve been on set too but you’ll just have to come and discover them yourself.”
The video was produced, directed, and edited by Luke Willis.
Also, back in March, Willis helped Camden to make the video below following her Snatch Game appearance as Shakespeare, set to the Scissor Sisters’ “Let’s Have a Kiki,” which was shot at The Academy in SF.
Previously: For the Third Time Ever, an SF Queen Has Made It Onto ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race’ — and Maybe This One Will Go the Distance?