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"June Bops...!" Playlist

Our official June 2018 playlist is out now on Apple Music & Spotify.

 Photo by Derek

Photo by Derek

"June Bops...!" is the second in a monthly series of unique playlists curated by DerekPlease.com!

Stream the playlist on Apple Music

Also available for free streaming on Spotify

Enjoy a musical journey through different genres like pop, old school and R&B. There's a lot of surprises! Things like "Jungle Kitty" by Bebe Zahara Benet and "Thru Your Phone" by Cardi B transition surprisingly well. 

Stay tuned for next month's series installment, "July Jams"! Stream last month's "...May Flowers Mix" playlist here.


What's your favorite song on the playlist? Hit me up: @DerekPlease on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram

"...May Flowers Mix" Playlist

Our official May 2018 playlist is out now on Apple Music & Spotify.

 Photo by Derek

Photo by Derek

"...May Flowers Mix" begins a monthly series of unique playlists curated by DerekPlease.com!

Enjoy a musical journey through different genres like pop, country and R&B. Older songs like "Run Along" by Erika Jayne blend perfectly into newer tracks like "Ooh La La" by Tinashe.

Stay tuned for next month's series installment, "June Bug...!"

Stream the playlist on Apple Music

Also available for free streaming on Spotify

Flip Phone Superstar 2018: Michelle Visage Hosted A Night of Jaw-Dropping Drag

The May 6th competition at First Avenue beautifully showcased the talent and inclusiveness of the Twin Cities drag community.

It was described as the biggest Flip Phone event of the year.

Upon arrival, it was immediately obvious how excited everyone was; the line to get in was stretched long down the sidewalk on both sides of the iconic First Avenue venue. People of all ages were there, including a group of moms with their daughters, and cross-generational drag families. Minneapolis-St. Paul event promoter Flip Phone had another success on its hands.

The pre-show meet & greet with singer and RuPaul's Drag Race judge Michelle Visage included excited hugs, conversation, and autograph signings. When my husband Jacob and I had our turn, I thanked her for inspiring this blog's creation; I made it using SquareSpace after hearing advertisements on "RuPaul What's the Tee with Michelle Visage." Ru & Michelle later featured DerekPlease.com in a SquareSpace ad on episode 54 of that podcast. 

Thanks to all that, I'm attending RuPaul's DragCon as press on May 11, 12 and 13. Michelle was a sweetheart and invited us to bring our copy of her book to her DragCon booth to be signed. She also complimented Jacob's Todrick Hall hoodie, describing "Toddy" as being like an adopted son to her.

 Michelle Visage wearing a Cherry Moon pin 

Michelle Visage wearing a Cherry Moon pin 

Flip Phone Superstar 2018's large, diverse crowd included beautiful people of all varieties. There was a friendly atmosphere that seemed perfectly in line with event sponsor ThisFreeLife, an initiative working to end cigarette smoking in young LGBTQIA+ adults. Representatives from ThisFreeLife were on site offering free Michelle Visage posters, prizes, drink tickets, face paint and photo opps in exchange for a simple email list sign up. 

Gigi Berry's Cherry Moon pins had a booth on site selling a variety of fun, pop culture-inspired pins. This included pins inspired by Rihanna, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, '90s boybands, queer culture and Beyoncé.


Dragula season one contestant Meatball opened the show with a seriously impressive lip-sync performance. It began with a scathing spoken word clip from Designing Women character Julia Sugarbaker. The classic sitcom rant ends in the declaration, "that, just so you will know, and your children will someday know, was the night the lights went out in Georgia!" This led into an exciting performance of the country classic "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia."

Hostess for the evening Michelle Visage then walked on stage to thunderous applause. It was the type of reaction only a true LGBT icon would get at a queer event. Her hilarious opening monologue explained how the competition would work. 20 contestants would be scored based on one performance each; two finalists would later lip-sync for their life for the "Flip Phone Superstar" title and prize package. 

Visage joked that the prize package reminded her of RuPaul’s Drag Race season one; it included a $1000 cash prize, a $500 gift card for Sigma Beauty, a $100 certificate from Midwest Makeup, a beautiful Casa Glam wig worth $250, and a pair of luxury eyeglasses from Eye Bobs at Mall of America. 

Visage introduced the judges panel: Meatball; GO 96.3 radio host Giselle Ugarte; fashion designer Samantha Rei from season 16 of Project Runway; and Julia Starr, the 2017 winner of the Flip Phone Superstar title.

Flyer photos by Darin K

The contestant performances began with Lala Love-Iman performing a high energy Missy Elliot medley in a pink glitter jumpsuit. Mercedes Iman Diamond wore a gorgeous shoulder-padded costume while tackling “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna and “Blow” by Beyoncé. Local moon-pop musician Symone Smash It gave an amazing performance of her original song “Meet Me Online,” featuring live singing. Her LED eyelashes and rhinestoned... strap-on... gave the crowd life.

Drag king Dexter Maine-Love did a rousing lip-sync performance of Adam Lambert's Glee cover of "Marry the Night." Later, Rosie Bottoms came down a staircase to Lana Del Rey's cover of the Disney classic “Once Upon a Dream," before launching into Avenged Sevenfold's “Nightmare" - a first for Michelle Visage, who said she hadn't seen a queen perform a Sevenfold track before. 

Utica Queen stunned the crowd and judges' panel in full rag doll drag. Wearing a massive patchwork gown with her lips sewn shut, Utica conveyed the emotion of Sanna Nielsen's "Undo" completely non-verbally before finally ripping the stitches off her mouth for a ferocious lip-sync. There were major Sally from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas vibes as Utica teared at her rag doll limbs to expose her insides. 

Another showstopper was local favorite Tygra. I even saw people wearing her merch. She drove the crowd wild in a flawlessly executed, physically demanding rendition of Todrick Hall & RuPaul's viral smash "Dem Beats." Considering Michelle Visage considers "Ru" and "Toddy" family, it was a ballsy move for Tygra to do their current single in front of her. The risk paid off! Tygra's backflip and death drop-filled number only got one critique: the fact she was wearing sneakers.

Other gag-worthy moments included Lila Vera performing the brand new track “One Kiss” by Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa - on roller skates - and Puffy rapping the Ja Rule classic “Always On Time (feat. Ashanti)” live.

Judging was mostly positive, but some constructive criticism and playful shade never hurts. The audience lapped up all those moments.

All told, every performance was interesting. Performance styles ranged from classic solo numbers to layered choreography with dancers. There wasn't a dull moment in the night, which is quite a feat with so many acts in the mix. CIS queens in the lineup received special shoutouts from Visage, who admitted she's never identified as a CIS or "bio queen," but simply as a drag queen.

 Giselle Ugarte,  photographed by Darin K

Giselle Ugarte, photographed by Darin K

While the judges' final scores were tallied, Julia Starr gave her Flip Phone Superstar title step-down performance to a seriously underrated song, "Controversy" by Natalia Kills. Although released in 2013, the pop banger hauntingly fits Trump's America. It's a song truly ahead of its time, perfectly performed by Ms. Starr, who made it clear she is a force to be reckoned with. 

After that, the final two was announced: Utica Queen and Tygra. This made total sense, as they were the obvious crowd favorites of the night. It all came down to their epic “lip sync for your life” showdown. Song selection? Taylor Swift's "Reputation" album deep cut “I Did Something Bad."

Tygra served confidence with a tight lip sync and classic drag dance moves. Utica Queen performed as a murderous bride, and made her performance memorable. Shocking moments from Utica included slowly destroying a bouquet of flowers, pulling two bloody meat cleavers out from inside her dress, and revealing a blood-splattered outfit under her gown.

After the song ended, Michelle Visage humorously confessed she is not a Taylor Swift fan. She then asked the audience to cheer for the winner. Flip Phone used a decibel meter to accurately detect this, but the deafening cheers for Utica made it obvious - she stole the show, and the crown! After she received her title and prizes, the judges and competitors celebrated to "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston.

All in all, Flip Phone Superstar 2018 was an inspiring live experience that left me already looking forward to next year’s edition.


Be sure to follow Flip Phone across social media! Their Minneapolis-St. Paul events and drag brunches are must-sees.
Instagram@FlipPhoneEvents
Twitter: @FlipPhoneEvents 
Facebookhttp://facebook.com/FlipPhone
Snapchat: FlipPhoneMPLS
Official Website: http://flipphoneevents.com

Vinyl: Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time" Inside Urban Outfitters Stores

"They want more? Well I'll give them more" - Britney Spears

 Friend of the blog  @KevinMichaelT  submitted this photo.

Friend of the blog @KevinMichaelT submitted this photo.

Being the generous Princess of Pop that she is, Britney Spears is bringing "...Baby" back! Late last summer, pre-orders for the prized Limited Edition vinyl release of her iconic debut album "...Baby One More Time" sold out twice. 

The demand was unprecedented and Urban Outfitters mostly remained silent despite thousands of fans begging for more. Traditional media outlets even covered the frenzy. 

November 1, 2017, I was one of the first customers to receive the LP, having ordered with rush shipping. Fans such as myself experienced a lot of heat for being one of the lucky few to secure a copy at face value.

That was understandable, as it came to light that literally hundreds - if not thousands - of the 2500 were purchased by eBay scalpers. A single listing on eBay currently states over 100 copies have been sold for $99+. Crazy!

A "Sold Out" placeholder page for the album sat on Urban Outfitters website for months until just recently disappearing. 

Today, friend of the blog @KevinMichaelT found three copies under the "S" tab in a Toronto location. The photo above depicts the "Glory"-ous scene. When he said "you should have seen me run for it," I could literally see it in my head, because... same. He bought all three, and is shipping one to another fan - what a sweetheart!

Personally, I see this as Urban Outfitters leveling tilting the odds of getting a copy in favor of the fans. Another online listing (though possible) would definitely attract scalpers, but an in-store sale is lower profile and more likely to get into real collectors' hands. 

Our local Urban Outfitters does not have the coveted LP in stock yet, so this expanded release is likely still in its rollout stage. Stay tuned on Twitter for updates! 

Follow @DerekPlease on Twitter

UPDATE #1 - 3/7/2018 7pm CT - @LuisKrayenhagen confirms to DerekPlease that Urban Outfitters in Seattle, WA has also had the vinyl in stock recently. 

12 New Holiday Gift Sets from Britney Spears Fragrances

On the twelfth day of Britmas...

Each year Britney Spears Fragrances delights our nostrils with another array of holiday gift sets. Usually they're focused on primarily on the original Fantasy. There may be some "candy lotion," or a lip pencil, but usually nothing too far outside the box.

This year is different. Team B is taking advantage of her strong return to relevance by sending at least a dozen new kits to stores. These kits include Private Show, Curious, Radiance, Fantasy, Midnight Fantasy, and Intimate Fantasy scented items.

This expansive collection joins her recently unveiled Hot Topic, Target, and Urban Outfitters store exclusives.


Hot Tip

Buyer beware of eBay and Amazon Sellers perfume purchases! These are often faux... or real bottles refilled with inferior, copycat formulas. #fakenews


Target.com has listed all the gift sets, including both of the ones I found at Walgreens. Looks like Target is your safest bet if you want to purchase these drop dead beautiful sets online.

Check out the full gamut below! Click the photos to be linked to their Target listings. 

 Britney Spears Private Show Fragrance Bath Set - 5 Pieces  $14.99 at Target.com

Britney Spears Private Show Fragrance Bath Set - 5 Pieces

$14.99 at Target.com

Private Show Britney Spears™ is an irresistible fragrance that incorporates Britney’s favorite scents: whipped crème coffee is addictive, empowering and energizing while dulce de leche and luminous amber add a modern gourmand richness and seductiveness. A touch of nectarine on the top gives an extraordinary juiciness to the first impression that transports you to a place of pure pleasure.
 Fantasy By Britney Spears Fragrance Bath Set - 5 Pieces  $14.99 at Target.com

Fantasy By Britney Spears Fragrance Bath Set - 5 Pieces

$14.99 at Target.com

Capturing love’s ability to overwhelm when you least expect it, Fantasy weaves a tale of modern romance. Britney channels the elusive playfulness of the chase, and the carnal excitement of seduction to create a flirtatious scent for the empowered woman. Britney Spears™ Fantasy combines succulent fruits and Britney’s favorite white florals to create a sensual fragrance. The alluring mix of lush red lychee, golden quince, and exotic kiwi playfully intertwines with a delectable cupcake accord, jasmine petals, and white chocolate orchid. A surprising finish of creamy musk, enchanted orris root, and sensual woods will leave you—and everyone around you—captivated all day.
 Private Show by Britney Spears Fragrance Gift Set - 3 Pieces  $38.00 at Target.com

Private Show by Britney Spears Fragrance Gift Set - 3 Pieces

$38.00 at Target.com

 Private Show by Britney Spears Women's Fragrance Gift Set - 2 Pieces  $21.99 at Target.com

Private Show by Britney Spears Women's Fragrance Gift Set - 2 Pieces

$21.99 at Target.com

 Fantasy By Britney Spears Fragrance Bath Set - 4 Pieces  $9.99 at Target.com  Previously found at Walgreens & unboxed exclusively on DerekPlease.com

Fantasy By Britney Spears Fragrance Bath Set - 4 Pieces

$9.99 at Target.com

Previously found at Walgreens & unboxed exclusively on DerekPlease.com

 Fantasy by Britney Spears Fragrance Rollerball Ornament   $4.88 at Target.com

Fantasy by Britney Spears Fragrance Rollerball Ornament 

$4.88 at Target.com

 Fantasy by Britney Spears Fragrance Bath Fizz - 2 Pieces  $5.00 at Target.com

Fantasy by Britney Spears Fragrance Bath Fizz - 2 Pieces

$5.00 at Target.com

 Fantasy & Private Show by Britney Spears Fine Fragrance Mist - 2 Pieces  $14.99 at Target.com

Fantasy & Private Show by Britney Spears Fine Fragrance Mist - 2 Pieces

$14.99 at Target.com

 Curious by Britney Spears Fragrance Gift Set - 2 Pieces  $21.99 at Target.com

Curious by Britney Spears Fragrance Gift Set - 2 Pieces

$21.99 at Target.com

Britney Spears Curious captures the romantic, independent, and mischievous spirit of the Curious woman. This fragrance has a free-spirited scent that blends white floral notes with hints of vanilla and musk. Curious opens with fresh lotus, mouthwatering pear, and magnolia and then blooms with an intensive floral heart of tuberose, jasmine, and pink cyclamen. Alluring and feminine, Curious has a sensual base of musk, vanilla, and precious woods.
 Midnight by Britney Spears Fragrance Gift Set - 3 Pieces  $35.00 at Target.com

Midnight by Britney Spears Fragrance Gift Set - 3 Pieces

$35.00 at Target.com

Midnight Fantasy is the fragrance that puts you at center stage. This casual, citrusy scent, has a moderate, fruity bouquet that fits women of all ages. It has a careful balance of framboise, vanilla, black cherry, plum, night-blooming orchid and freesia, among other notes.
 Britney Spears Fragrance Sampler Stocking Stuffer - 3 Pieces  $21.99 at Target.com

Britney Spears Fragrance Sampler Stocking Stuffer - 3 Pieces

$21.99 at Target.com

Fantasy Intimate Edition celebrates being beautifully bare and confident in your own scented skin. A romantic fragrance of seduction where sensual florals and sweet notes delicately embrace the skin, ready for your intimate fantasy to begin. A mix of juicy lychee, violet leaves and a touch of Italian lemon exudes sensual fun. A seductive interplay wraps around the heart of muguet, delicate jasmine and brown sugar, giving in to your most secret desires. Dreams become reality as vanilla, heliiotrope, and white musk dance in the background.
 Britney Spears Fragrances Sampler Gift Set - 4 Pieces  $38 at Target.com

Britney Spears Fragrances Sampler Gift Set - 4 Pieces

$38 at Target.com

Britney Spears Radiance is a blend of luscious berries and dewy petals that unfolds to reveal a radiant heart of luminous pure white flowers, lit from within by the glow of precious amber, woods, and sexy musk. Radiance offers top notes of luscious wild berries and soft dewy petals to convey a feeling of unparalleled allure, a pure white bouquet of tuberose, jasmine, orange flower, and iris to exude an unforgettable feminine aura, and captivating cashmere woods and luminous amber to wrap you in the sensual glow of skin musk.

Additional sets from last year are available at Target.com


What's your favorite Britney Spears perfume? Hit me on social one more time! @DerekPlease everywhere. 

Mine is Believe... a long forgotten, underrated and unisex-friendly Britney Spears scent from 2007. I wrote a high school English class essay on its ad campaign. It received an A+! #JusticeForBelieve