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PHOTOS: Best in Drag Show Raises Over $400K for HIV Charity

It was a night of alien invasions, ice queens, and oompa loompas at last weekend's Best in Drag Show, an annual drag queen beauty pageant and fundraiser for people affected by HIV.

The 2,000-seat Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles was sold out for the glitzy affair, which featured celebrity judges such as Kathy Griffin, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Coolidge, Josh Henderson, Mary-Louise Parker, Dot Jones, and Kathy Kinney.

Hosted by Patrick Rush, the Best in Drag Show showcased the talents and glamorous attire of contestants Marcus Barela (Miss Washington: Willamina Wonka), Seth Hancock (Miss Alaska: Tastee Freez), Todd Wing (Miss Maine: Dotty Rae Johnson), David A. Flores (Miss New Mexico: D’vida Loca), Nicholas Mancini (Miss New York: Po Mi Saki), and Sean Kim (Miss Hawaii: Suh Nami).

Highlights (and standing ovations) of the evening included a perfect lip-synched performance of "Let It Go" from the Disney film Frozen by Miss Alaska, whose ensemble transformed mid-performance into a shimmering white gown. Miss Washington wowed the audience with a trapeze act assisted by an oompa loompa, and Miss New York vanquished a computer-generated foe in a killer karate dual, which turned into a poignant metaphor for the fight against HIV. Moreover, Miss Maine's muscles also caught the audience's attention, as she threw a few onstage axes at a cardboard cutout of reigning queen Vava Fanculo.

Flying high in a winged dragon ensemble, Miss New York ultimately won the day, crowned by Fanculo, who brought down the house in last year's competition by painting Marlon Brando as the Godfather onstage. Miss New Jersey reprised her winning act at this year's event, creating a four-panel self-portrait that glowed in the dark.

But the real winner was the Alliance for Housing and Healing, as the event raised more than $400,000 for its Aid for AIDS program from the generous donors in the audience. The take, which will go toward shelter and food for in-need Angelenos living with HIV or AIDS, marked a record for the fabulous fundraiser.

See photos from the event below, and learn more about the AHH's lifesaving work here.

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Kathy Griffin

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Seth Hancock (Miss Alaska: Tastee Freez)

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Sean Kim (Miss Hawaii: Suh Nami)

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Todd Wing (Miss Maine: Dotty Rae Johnson)

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Marcus Barela (Miss Washington: Willamina Wonka)
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David A. Flores (Miss New Mexico: D’vida Loca)

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Meet the contestants!

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Melanie Griffith

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David A. Flores (Miss New Mexico: D’vida Loca)

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Marcus Barela (Miss Washington: Willamina Wonka)

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Marcus Barela (Miss Washington: Willamina Wonka)

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Seth Hancock (Miss Alaska: Tastee Freez)

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Swimwear

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Stephen Molinaro (Vava Fanculo: Miss New Jersey), Best in Drag Show 2013

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Klean Treatment Centers are a generous supporter of Best in Drag Show and its mission.
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Marcus Barela (Miss Washington: Willamina Wonka)

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Seth Hancock (Miss Alaska: Tastee Freez)

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Nicholas Mancini (Miss New York: Po Mi Saki)

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David A. Flores (Miss New Mexico: D’vida Loca)

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Seth Hancock (Miss Alaska: Tastee Freez)

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Seth Hancock (Miss Alaska: Tastee Freez)

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Sean Kim (Miss Hawaii: Suh Nami)

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Todd Wing (Miss Maine: Dotty Rae Johnson)

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Nicholas Mancini (Miss New York: Po Mi Saki)

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Formal wear

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The Patrick Rush Service Award provides the recipient $5,000 to further their education.

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The event raised more than $400,000 for the Alliance for Housing and Healing.

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Vava Fanculo crowns Nicholas Mancini (Miss New York: Po Mi Saki).

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Nicholas Mancini (Miss New York: Po Mi Saki) takes home the crown.
 

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