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James Ross is a makeup artist and retired drag performer. Under his former drag name Tyra Sanchez, he won Season 2 of RuPaul's Drag Race. During their time on Drag Race, Sanchez was also given popular nicknames, The Other Tyra & The New Tyra.
In 2020, James announced on his social media that he actively desires to detach himself from the Drag Race series. He is also retiring his 'Tyra Sanchez' alter ego, and now preferably goes by He/Him pronouns.
Tyra's drag mother was Angelica Sanchez Jones, an Orlando-based performer, part of the Haus of Sanchez (founded by Tyra's drag grandmother, pageant legend, Stasha Sanchez). His drag name was Tyra-Symoné Sanchez. "Tyra" means "God of Battle" and came from his niece's name, Tyra Nicole. Tyra was born prematurely, and her fight for her life greatly inspired him. "Symoné" as from from Raven Symoné, who he admires. "Sanchez" is from his former drag family.
|Season Competed:||Season 2|
|Mini-Challenges Won:||1 (Ep. 9)|
|Times as Team Captain:||0|
|Times Placed High:||4 (Eps. 1, 2, 7, 8)|
|Main Challenges Won:||3 (Eps. 3, 5, 9)|
|Times Placed Low:||1 (Ep. 6)|
|Times in Bottom:||0|
During his season, James spoke candidly about his periods of homelessness and personal challenges prior to auditioning for the show. Although his acerbic personality earned him the disdain of his fellow contestants, Tyra's glamorous old-school drag-style made him a favorite of the judges.
- "I'm not a bitch. I'm America's Sweetheart."
- "No, not Tyra, James is in the bible."
- "I actually based it off of my own son. He wakes up in the middle of the night to ask for a glass of water, and by the time I bring the water back to him, he's asleep again."
- "Beyoncé is just like me."
- "If you have a problem with me, address it."
- "It's almost like saying 'shut the fuck up or I'll make you shut up'."
- "Then why are you talking?" (to Tatianna)
- "Maybe next time I will sing and maybe she'll wear another horrible dress like she got on now." (referring to Tatianna)
- "Is this Jujubee here let me get to your level. Oh Ru, we got an undergrown orangutan." (reading Jujubee)
- "Wow! I didn't even know I was nominated."
- "The fuck is that mean?" (referring to Raven's lipstick message)
- "I am a star. I am America's Next Drag SUPERstar."
- "Raven lost. TWICE."
- "Which one was that one?" '(referring to Season 9 Winner Sasha Velour)
- James has a biological son, being one of six contestants to have children. The others are Nicole Paige Brooks, Tempest DuJour, Mrs. Kasha Davis, Tamisha Iman and Megan Schoonbrood.
- RuPaul often called him "The Other Tyra", referring to her sharing a name with Tyra Banks.
- Tyra was the drag mother of The Vixen.
- Tyra was the first winner...
- ...to have never ended up in the bottom two.
- ...of Drag Race to retire from drag.
- ...to win more than two challenges.
- Tyra still holds the title of being the youngest winner, winning at the age of 21.
- In 2012, a Kickstarter campaign was set up to help fund "Drag Dad", a documentary that would center around James' life as a single father and a drag performer. The Kickstarter raised $20,641, surpassing its initial goal of $14,000. However, it was never announced and has most likely ceased production.
- During his drag career, James was part of many controversies with fellow Drag Race contestants:
- In 2017, James made a sarcastic post announcing the death of Morgan McMichaels in an attempt to "throw shade" on her, for her bad behavior with him and other drags in nightclubs, and to promote his SoundCloud account. Morgan denounced the fake announcement and James underwent backlash from fans. Following the controversy, James released her first spoken word EP titled "Dear Drag Race Fans Book I".
- In late May 2017, James leaked Tatianna's phone number on her Instagram, leading Tatianna to leak James's number too. After receiving calls, James went live on his Facebook while answering them.
- In April 2018, he was banned from DragCon after threatening Tatianna, Phi Phi O'Hara and some fans online. After that, James started making sarcastic posts saying for people not to go for the event because something bad would happen there. This made some fans believe he would really do something bad.
- However, in October 2019, James issued a public apology for his negative behavior via social media and had begun to be accepted into the folds of the Drag Race fandom again as a result.
- In June 2020, James leaked Raven's phone number on her instagram.
- On March 26, 2020, as a part of quitting drag, James deleted all of Tyra's Instagram posts and changed her name on Instagram to James Ross, but later created a new Instagram due to being unable to change his Instagram username. He indirectly confirmed this in a reply to a comment made by The Vixen on Instagram, and he later confirmed quitting drag on April 2, 2020, on his old Instagram.
- Later on Tyra's Instagram page, in a letter dated February 13, 2020, James expresses his discontent of people scrutinizing Tyra, and the lack of concern for James, citing difficulties in close relationship when people kept referring to James as Tyra, feeling like Tyra, "a fictionary character," has been living for James for over 10 years. He saw being a drag queen as a quick and fun way to earn a living but did not intend to deal with hate in order to be a role model as a drag queen for his fans, the future generation, or his son. James also added that he desires to not worry about whether he looked too masculine in drag, and that he wants to look masculine as he did as a child. James notes that Tyra will only continue to live through his art.
- On January 24, 2021, James announced that should he decide to perform as the character 'Tyra Sanchez', he wishes to be viewed as James Ross. James also announced that in drag his name should remain as James Ross, and his pronouns should remain He/Him as he is just "James Ross wearing makeup!"
Season 2 Looks
|2010||RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 2||Winner|
|2010||Drag Race: Untucked!|
|2010||2010 New Now Next Awards||TV special|
|2011||RuPaul's Drag U||Episode: "Looking for a New Job"|
|2012||RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 4||Episode: "The Final Three" (Guest)|
|2013||RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 5||Episode: "RuPaullywood or Bust" (Archive footage)|
Episode: "Lip Synch Extravaganza Eleganza" (Archive footage)
|2015-2017||Hey Qween!||Episode: "Tyra Sanchez" (2015)|
Episode: "Tyra Sanchez" (2017)
|2016||Skin Wars||Episode: "Miss Skin Wars"|
Episode: "Last Looks" (Archive footage)
|2016||RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 8||Episode: "Keeping It 100" (Special guest)|
Episode: "Grand Finale"
|2017||"Dear Drag Race Fans"|
|2011||"Look At Me"|
|2016||"Why Are You Talking?"||Tatianna & Tyra||"RuPaul's Drag Race: The Rusical"|
- James Ross' Site | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Old Instagram
- Tyra Sanchez on SoundCloud | Apple Music | Wikipedia
4th: Tatianna • 5th: Pandora Boxx (Miss Congeniality) • 6th: Jessica Wild • 7th: Sahara Davenport • 8th: Morgan McMichaels • 9th: Sonique • 10th: Mystique Summers Madison • 11th: Nicole Paige Brooks • 12th: Shangela Laquifa Wadley
Emanuel Palmer • Max "The Body" Philisaire