Atlanta crooner Aria B. Cassadine wows TV’s first drag singing competition

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VH1 and Paramount+ made one of its gayest entrees into the streaming world yet with the December debut of “Queen of the Universe,” a live-singing drag competition from none other than producer RuPaul.

To sweeten the pot for local fans, Atlanta’s own Aria B. Cassadine is one of the crooning queens vying for the show’s inaugural crown. The honey-voiced beauty brings what she loves – and what Atlanta audiences love her for – to the show.

“The stars have aligned,” Cassadine said of the casting.

Call us biased, but we agree and think she has the right stuff.

With titles including Miss Gay Black America 2018 to name just one, Cassadine is beyond ready for a show like this.

For its first season, Cassadine groups with 13 of the world’s fiercest queens as they vie for the titular Queen of the Universe crown and a cash prize of $250,000.

Each episode showcases the contestants’ vocal prowess as they debut a new musical performance in front of a live audience.

And speaking of stars aligning, check out these judges. Actress and singer Vanessa Williams, RuBestie Michelle Visage, RuGirl and recording artist Trixie Mattel and pop star Leona Lewis are on hand. Your host? Britain’s favorite gay TV emcee ever, Graham Norton.

To say it’s a lively mix is an understatement, including Visage as – shocker – the toughest critic.


Modern televised singing competitions are about 20 years old, and you thought you’d seen it all – touring auditions, blind auditions, costumed celebrities and more. But leave it to executive producer RuPaul to add drag to the formula.

The show was filmed in London with contestants from all over the world. All of them were stunning in their performances, proving that this was a competition ready to happen. But wait. Was that only seven queens? You didn’t see Cassadine?

No, you’re not going crazy.

They split the queens into groups, and Cassadine appears in the second set of queens.  Look for a great personality profile segment to rival any title-holding, adversity-facing, beauty-serving queen, and for a vocal performance to bowl you over.

Queen of the Universe streams on Paramount+ with new episodes each Thursday. Visit

This article also appeared in Q ATLus Magazine. Read the latest issue online here:


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