Nina West is the stage name of Andrew Levitt, a drag queen, performer, comedian, the 2008 national holder of the "Entertainer of the Year" title, as well as one of the Season 11 contestants of RuPaul's Drag Race finishing in 6th place and being voted Miss Congeniality.
Prior to Drag Race
Since starting her career in the theatre program at Denison University back in 1999, Nina West has been performing for over 20 years. She has been in over 35 main stage productions and currently writes and produces her own show. West auditioned for "RuPaul's Drag Race" nine times before she made it on Season 11. Besides drag, West started the Nina West Foundation and has raised more than $2 million dollars for organizations benefiting the LGBTQ youth and families. West is an advocate and leader for the LGBTQ community in Ohio.
"Nina" comes from the singer Nina Simone, while "West" comes from the fact that she's part of the "Haus of West".
RuPaul's Drag Race
|Season Competed||Season 11|
|Maxi Challenges Won:||2 (Eps. 3, 10)|
|Mini Challenges Won:||2 (Eps. 3, 7)|
|Times as Team Captain:||1 (Ep. 3)|
|Times in Bottom:||1 (Ep. 11)|
|Episode Eliminated:||Episode 11|
Nina West is a comedy queen and strives to be as authentic and true to herself as she can be in a televised setting. In an interview, Nina states how "she didn't want to feel like she was over-producing and she wanted to still be authentically herself but it's hard to be yourself in front of the camera."
Nina became known on the show for her kindness, her leadership skills, her social activism, and her comedy - all of which helped her snag 2 challenge wins, and her eventual Miss Congeniality win. Despite receiving exceptionally high praise for her 'Facekini' look in particular, her runways were often criticized for being sloppy and unflattering, with the term 'proportionizing' (first used in her season by Michelle Visage) being to help her out in future runways.
Despite her vast improvements with her runways, she landed in the bottom 2 in Episode 11's Makeover Challenge with Silky Nutmeg Ganache. Unfortunately, both queens gave an underwhelming lip-sync performance to the song 'No Scrubs' by TLC, and controversially, Silky was saved and Nina was asked to sashay away by RuPaul.
"Welcome to Season 11. It looks like things just got... elevengendary."
RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11
- "21? I’m still gagged by that." (referring to Plastique Tiara's age)
- "More like a Buick." (referring to Mercedes Iman Diamond)
- "It's a maternity test, she's my mom."
- (crying) "I would like to see my mom!"
- "Thank you Miss Vanjie! I just thanked myself!" (impersonating Vanessa Vanjie Mateo)
- "It doesn't look like she needs to eat but..." (referring to Raven)
- "Why are we yelling?" (during Untucked)
- "I CALL HER PAULA AND I KEEP HER HIDDEN!"
- "I can feel the wind go up my ass, which is amazing, I haven't felt that in weeks."
- "She's getting ready for a busy day of, sitting."
- "Meh." (after winning Miss Congeniality)
- "It is our responsibility to create the world that we wanna live in."
- "Be kind."
- "Go West!"
- Nina West has been doing drag since 2001.
- West is a national holder of the 2008 "National Entertainer of the Year" title. She won the title after her moving dress performance, which was later copied by Sia at the 2016 Coachella Festival (she gave Nina credit for the dress).
- Before being cast for Season 11, she auditioned nine different times.
- She is the second oldest contestant on Season 11, after Shuga Cain.
- She is the third ever contestant to have the name "Nina", following Nina Flowers and Nina Bo'nina Brown.
- She is the first queen named "Nina" to not win the first challenge.
- She is the second Nina to win Miss Congeniality, after Nina Flowers in Season 1.
- She is the second Nina to place sixth, after Nina Bo'nina Brown in Season 9.
- She is the first Nina to win two maxi challenges.
- Coincidentally, all three Ninas placed in the bottom for the Makeover Challenge, and Nina Bo'nina Brown and Nina West were eliminated on it.
- She is the second Miss Congeniality to place sixth, after Monét X Change.
- Her favourite past-contestant is "All Stars 3" winner Trixie Mattel.
- She was paired with Raven for Episode 1's mini-challenge, a photoshoot.
- She appeared in Kahanna Montrese's music video for "Scores".
- She, Ivy Winters,Cynthia Lee Fontaine, and Heidi N Closet are (so far) the only Miss Congeniality winners to not return for an All Stars season. However, since Cynthia later competed on Season 9, Nina, Ivy, and Heidi are the only three Miss Congeniality winners to have competed on only one season.
- She is the second queen to do two characters in Snatch Game, after Bob The Drag Queen. She was later followed by Widow Von'Du.
- Nina's Season 3 audition tape was shown on the casting extravaganza, along with Alaska, Katya, Thorgy Thor and other future contestants.
- Nina is the third Miss Congeniality to be eliminated in the Makeover Challenge, after Pandora Boxx and Monét X Change.
- Nina is the first queen to have a direction in her name.
- Nina is tied for the longest run before her first time in the bottom 2, competing in 11 episodes.
- Nina will be starring as Edna Turnblad in the National Tour of Hairspray.
Season 11 Looks
Season 12 Looks
Celebrity Drag Race 1 Looks
Season 13 Looks
|Runners-Up||2nd: Brooke Lynn Hytes • 3rd & 4th: A'keria C. Davenport & Silky Nutmeg Ganache|
|Other Queens||5th: Vanessa Vanjie Mateo • 6th: Nina West (Miss Congeniality) • 7th: Shuga Cain • 8th: Plastique Tiara • 9th: Ra'Jah O'Hara • 10th: Scarlet Envy • 11th: Ariel Versace • 12th: Mercedes Iman Diamond • 13th: Honey Davenport • 14th: Kahanna Montrese • 15th: Soju|
|Judges||RuPaul • Michelle Visage • Carson Kressley • Ross Mathews|
|Pit Crew||Jason Carter • Bruno Carvalho • Bryce Eilenberg|