Prizm News / January 24, 2019 / By Bob Vitale

Nina was on the first cover of Prizm, back in October 2017. (Photo by Staley Munroe)

‘This is my time. I’m ready,’ she says.


By Bob Vitale

What everyone has been speculating about for seven months is now official: Nina West is part of the Season 11 cast for “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

The queen of Columbus, who’s Andrew Levitt offstage, was introduced along with 14 other contestants on a VH1 special streamed live on YouTube.

Watch Nina West’s introduction as a Season 11 cast member on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

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“This is my time,” she told host Adam Rippon. “I’m ready.”

Nina will be the fourth drag queen from Ohio to compete on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Cleveland’s Akashia was on Season 1 back in 2009. India Ferrah of Dayton competed on Season 3 in 2011. Penny Tration of Cincinnati was on Season 5 in 2013.

“I’m really thrilled that I get to represent Columbus, Ohio, my hometown, and the West family, my drag family,” she said, adding that she had auditioned for the show eight times before.

Nina’s drag mother, Virginia West, said via Facebook that she is “so proud and so excited for my best friend and drag daughter.”

“I love you so much and cannot wait to watch America fall in love with you!” Virginia said. “I’ve been #TeamNina for 20 years and will be for 20 more when we are both 30 years old.”

The two-hour YouTube special featured each contestant sitting down with Rippon for a brief interview and then completing a challenge chosen by viewers. Nina wore a blue and neon pink beaded and sequined mini-dress, “as vibrant and bright as my personality,” she said.

She wore a high blond wig—this season’s tag line is “Go Wig or Go Home”—and makeup that matched her dress.

The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” website is updated with the new cast’s photos. Nina West is in the upper left. (From vh1.com)


Rippon introduced her as “she-larious” and told Nina that she was the performer when he went to his first gay bar. Nina told Rippon that made her feel really old but remembered meeting him before.

“Now look at us. We’re getting married,” she joked.

In the challenge moderated by Season 10 winner Aquaria, Nina then had to wrap a RPDR intern in toilet paper.

The rest of the Season 11 cast is:

• Shuga Cain of New York

• A’keria Chanel Davenport of Dallas.

• Honey Davenport of Philadelphia

• Silky Nutmeg Ganache of Moss Point, Miss.

• Mercedes Iman Diamond of Minneapolis

• Scarlet Envy of Louisville

• Brooke Lynn Hytes of Toronto

• Vanessa Vanjie Mateo of Tampa

• Kahanna Montrese of Panama City Beach, Fla.

• Ivie Oddly of Denver

• Rajah O’Hara of Dallas

• Soju of Chicago

• Plastique Tiara of Dallas

• Ariel Versace of Cherry Hill, N.J.

Bob Vitale
Bob Vitale is the editor of Prizm. A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, he has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield. Contact: BobVitale@prizmnews.com