Night Crawler

Crown Performance

"For your collection, love," he says in a Brit boy voice.

Electro hustles by, a blur of bad '80s stereotypes -- sleeveless red vinyl shirt with zippers, parachute pants with zippers, a red sparkly headband, a blond disco mullet with a single long braid -- trailed by his fiancee and dance partner, Lady Sergio.

"I really think Electro is coming into his own," says 25-year-old Electro. "Really beginning to feel his masculinity, as you'll see. Tonight's routine is inspired by Staying Alive.Not Saturday Night Fever. Staying Alive. (It's an important distinction.) It's sort of a really horrifying '80s dance thing. We're very excited."

S.F. Drag King 2000 Electro.
Erin O'Neill
S.F. Drag King 2000 Electro.

Not nearly as excited as the crowd, which is barely contained when Leigh Crow (Elvis Herselvis in a plumed mack-daddy hat) steps onstage with The Shack (a wrestler of questionable proportions and reputation) to announce the first contestant: Davey Bones performing a really groovy pop number with go-go "girls," which goes smashingly until he is outted as a chick. Timmy Swagger -- a short, balding preacher in a crisp new suit -- comes out clutching a Bible in one hand, spewing fire and brimstone until Marya Taylor gets it into her mind to crawl up onstage and strip him. Quickly enough, the stage is swarming with lascivious femmes, and it's all that Swagger's wife can do to pull him to safety. The next act, Jolie Blonde, Yolo County's answer to Romeo and Juliet, tries to sing an acoustic duet, but the sound system gives out and all we can hear is the thup-thup-thup of "Club Universe" next door. No matter. Hip-thrusting car mechanic Rusty Steel offers free lube jobs to the tune of "Little Red Corvette"; 40-year-old Buster Cherry brings a little sophistication to the affair with a swinging zoot suit and Louis Jordan's "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens"; Angus Mustang shakes his polyester-ensconced detective can to the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" before hurling doughnuts and getting shot in the gut; the Marquis fa Cade sings opera and whips his girlfriend, who is lashed to a stake, but this is San Francisco so no one really cares about a mild lashing. Bad dancing is another thing. The very mention of Electro's name brings a round of applause "rivaled only by Riverdance." As a standing fan blowing cloth flames sets the stage, Electro enters wearing a one-sleeved tiger-print tank top with a shimmering black headband on and leather cords tied around his calves and biceps; Lady Sergio enters in a gold tank top, a leopard skin bikini, and leg warmers. And they dance! Oh boy, do they dance -- jazz hands, cat eyes, and gratuitous floor humping. It's a tough act to follow. Dick Little gives it a go, lip-syncing and hip-pumping until he's suddenly interrupted by Vlad Sucker -- the reigning "Mr. Trannyshack" as a vampire -- and the ominous strains of "Bela Lugosi's Dead." Vlad rips out Little's throat and basks in a spooky blue spotlight until Little Orphan Annie bursts onstage with a bloodcurdling rendition of "Tomorrow." Vlad has no choice but to bite Annie and rip off her little dog's head, sucking blood from its neck until the reanimated orphan drives a stake through his heart. This gruesome display is followed by the more gruesome Grinder, a leather-boy rock band performing "Proud Mary" with suggestive stances.

While the Dragstrip Dancers perform "Life in the Fast Lane" in pink spandex and coke-whore shades, the judges tabulate. Third runner-up, Rusty Steel; second runner-up Grinder; first runner-up Dick Little; and the winner, S.F. Drag King 2000, is Electro. 1999's Barry "Fresh" White hands over the crown and WWF-sized belt, and Lady Sergio kisses her man.

"I think I liked Vlad better," coos a girl standing near the stage. "I like my men tall, dark, and undead. Actually, I might just like my men without fiancees."

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