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Sasha Velour (RU: Саша Велюр) is the stage name of Alexander "Sasha" Hedges Steinberg (RU: Александр "Саша" Хеджес Штайнберг), a drag queen, performer, visual artist, and hostess of Brooklyn "Nightgowns" show, as well as the Season 9 winner of RuPaul's Drag Race.
Drag Name Origin
Sasha's parents named her after Alexandra Kollontai, a Russian feminist leader, but for most of her life, she’s went by Sasha, a common Russian nickname for either Alexander or Alexandra. Because she was told her whole life that she had a girl's name, she kept it. "Velour" comes from a fabric often used as a cheaper substitute for velvet, which Sasha thinks is the perfect metaphor for drag.
RuPaul's Drag Race
|Season Competed||Season 9|
|Maxi Challenges Won:||2 (Eps. 4, 9)|
|Mini Challenges Won:||1 (Ep. 11)|
|Times as Team Captain:||0|
|Times in Bottom Two:||0|
On the first episode of Season 9, "Oh. My. Gaga!", the queens had to showcase a hometown look and a Lady Gaga look. Sasha's hometown look was inspired by New York's "queer art" and was well received, but criticized for an unnecessary use of props. Her Gaga look was from the "Applause" music video and it received high praise. Sasha was one of the top three of the challenge, but Nina Bo'nina Brown won.
Sasha was criticized by the judges and placed low on Episode 7, "9021-HO", for failing to stand out with portraying the comedy of her character on a parody of "9021-O". On other comedy challenges like on Episode 8, "RuPaul's Roast," and Episode 6, "Snatch Game," she did better works and placed high.
Although she was considered to be overlooked on many Season 9 challenges and her friends Shea Couleé and Trinity Taylor were considered the frontrunners for the crown, Velour's unique style of drag, charisma, clever wit, and astonishing and emotional lip-sync for the crown performance on Episode 14, "Grand Finale", helped her win the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar".
"AAAAAAAAH! *cough* HUUH."
RuPaul's Drag Race Season 9
- "Don't joke about that." (to Eureka)
- "Jaymes Mansfield looks scared and confused when she walks in. Like, 'am I in the right room?'"
- "This is 'RuPaul's Best Group Therapy Race'."
- "I've taken a classic silhouette and updated it with a commitment to showing women who are strong." (Sasha on her White Party look)
- "Thank you so much for having me, RuPaul, on your 'Drag Race.'" (as Marlene Dietrich in Snatch Game)
- "I promise that teutonic bisexuals make the most forceful and unforgettable lovers." (as Marlene Dietrich in Snatch Game)
- "Well, I found this question very unfair because, as you know, I don't know these things, I rarely leave my house, and I died many decades ago." (as Marlene Dietrich in Snatch Game)
- "Thank you, JonBenét Ramsey." (to Farrah Moan)
- During the Roast of Michelle Visage:
- "Thank you Shea Couleé, that was extremely edifying humor. Sorry, am I using that word correctly? Oh, not edifying, I know that one, it was humor that I'm not sure worked in this context." (After Shea Couleé's set)
- "We have an out and proud lesbian comedian, thank you so much, Ross Mathews."
- "Ross Mathews has the face of a young gay man and a voice of an adult woman, so the opposite of Tamar Braxton."
- "Michelle is so Jersey, her idea of classical music is Lisa Lisa."
- "I have more of these."
- "Michelle is so Jersey, she calls her pubic hairs 'The Garden State Expressway' And don't even get me started on the 'Holland Tunnel.'"
- "Oh well, that one worked in my mind."
- "You now have lice."
- "Mommy is taking you to church for the first time?"
- "Wearing white after International Day of Labor? If you were my mother's daughter, she would drown you in river!"
- "How else can I make myself look like strong woman?"
- "Please don't jump!"
- "I like fisting, glory holes, horse play...That's where you have sex with Nina Bo'nina Brown! Couch play...That's where you have sex with Nina Bo'nina Brown's padding!" (During the Everybody Loves Puppets mini-challenge)
- "Bright eyed and bushy browed! Be the strange you wish to see in the world! Sasha Velour relies on brains, beauty be damned, let monsters reign. If you wanna join the revolution, innovate, that's my solution! Wear a crown, fuck with gender, bend the rules, don't surrender. A thinking queen speaks to heart, she's stranger than fiction, better than art. I'm, I'm more true than real, I'm a magical bitch, darling that's how I feel!" (verse in Category Is)
- Sasha is known in the drag scene for using audiovisual equipment for her performances.
- Her drag is inspired by Warhol, Haring and Basquiat.
- Sasha is of Russian-Jewish descent and did her Fulbright scholarship in Russia. She was in the airport on the way back from visiting Russia when she received her callback to the show.
- Her favorite song to perform is "Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush.
- Velour is the director of a magazine entitled "Velour: The Drag Magazine".
- Her bald looks are done in tribute to her late mother, who lost her hair during cancer treatment.
- Sasha has a Italian greyhound dog named Vanya (short for Ivan The Terrible).
- She is allergic to cats.
- Sasha is the 8th contestant to make it to the finale without ever placing in the bottom two.
- She is the mother of the drag family "House of Velour." Members include Sasha's boyfriend Johnny Velour, drag kings Vigor Mortis, Mr. Lee VaLone, Dandy Velour and the drag queen Olive d'Nightlife.
- Sasha won "Drag Queen of The Year" and "Best Visual Artist" at the 5th Annual Brooklyn Nightlife Awards in 2017. Additionally, House of Velour won "Event Producer of the Year".
- She had previously posted on her Instagram account that she had thrown out the dress she wore on the runway for the "Draggily Ever After" challenge in episode 3. But, in the first episode of the Logo series "Out of The Closet", she revealed she's kept the dress for sentimental reasons.
- Sasha is the first winner not to have won the most challenges on her season. She was succeeded by Trixie Mattel, Monét X Change, Yvie Oddly, Jaida Essence Hall, Shea Coulee, Priyanka, and Lawrence Chaney.
- Sasha is the only winner to have won the 'Everybody Loves Puppets' mini-challenge in the same season (though two other winners of the mini-challenge, Chad Michaels and Alaska, later went on to win their respective All Stars seasons).
- Sasha is the fourth winner to never place in the bottom two, along with Tyra Sanchez, Bianca Del Rio and Violet Chachki. She was followed by Aquaria, and Envy Peru.
- Unlike all of them, she only won two main challenges.
- Sasha is the second winner to not win her first main challenge within the first three weeks of the competition, winning for the first time during week 4 (ep. 4). The first was Jinkx Monsoon, who won her first main challenge on week 5 (ep. 5), and the third was Aquaria, who won her first main challenge on week 4 (ep. 4).
- Her favorite piece of art of all time is Keith Haring's "Radiant Baby", which was represented in one of her earrings on her Hometown Look.
- Sasha is the first main series winner to never win a solo challenge. She has been succeeded by Yvie Oddly.
- Sasha hosts a show called "NightGowns" in New York. She has a docuseries on Quibi about the show.
- Sasha is the first winner to place below safe in an acting challenge.
RuPaul's Drag Race Season 9
RuPaul's Drag Race Season 9 Looks
RuPaul's Drag Race Season 10
RuPaul's Drag Race Season 10 Looks
- "Category Is... (Season 9 Remix)" by RuPaul ft. Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Trinity The Tuck & Shea Couleé
- Apple Music
- Website (Sasha Velour) | WebSite (Smoke & Mirrors)
|Runners-Up||2nd: Peppermint • 3rd & 4th: Shea Couleé & Trinity Taylor|
|Other Queens||5th: Alexis Michelle • 6th: Nina Bo'nina Brown • 7th: Valentina (Miss Congeniality) • 8th: Farrah Moan • 9th: Aja • 10th: Cynthia Lee Fontaine • 11th: Eureka (Departed) • 12th: Charlie Hides • 13th: Kimora Blac • 14th: Jaymes Mansfield|
|Judges||RuPaul • Michelle Visage • Carson Kressley • Ross Mathews|
|Pit Crew||Jason Carter • Miles Davis Moody • Bryce Eilenberg|