“RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Chad Michaels epitomizes what it means to be a professional drag queen. Before Michaels achieved national television prominence, Michaels had worked as a respected drag queen and female impersonator on the West Coast in San Diego, California. She devoted herself to impersonating the singing icon Cher; Michaels even underwent plastic surgery to look more like her!
When Drag Race Season 4 premiered in 2012, Michaels wowed audiences with her fierce looks, pageant sheen, and Killer Cher impersonation in the Snatch Game. Although she dominated in the challenges and on the runway, Michaels lost the crown to Sharon Needles in the Season 4 finale. So it came as no surprise when Michaels walked through the doors of the Werk Room when it came time for the very first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars. Michaels went all out in the “All-Stars” competition, ultimately taking the win and entering the “Drag Race” Hall of Fame.
When asked by Equality 365 in 2019 if there were any downsides to her Drag Race fame, Michaels replied, “I don’t think there’s really any downsides to being an RPDR winner. Social media can be difficult for anyone who has appeared on the show. If you’re not prepared for mass criticism, don’t do the show. That just goes to show how professionally Michaels handles everything. So what’s the Cher lover up to since Drag Race?
Chad Michaels is constantly adding to her extensive resume
A pro by and by, Chad Michaels has worked hard as a drag queen while also branching out into film acting. After winning the crown, Michaels often returns to her home base at “RuPaul’s Drag Race” to challenge photoshoots and crack jokes as she is considered the OG All-Star. Outside of Drag Race, she has also garnered many IMDb credits for cameo pop-up roles on TV shows such as 2 Broke Girls and Jane the Virgin.
In 2020, RuPaul selected Michaels to guest-star in Netflix’s AJ and the Queen, which RuPaul created and starred in. Michaels then played Cher in a 2021 film called The B**** Who Stole Christmas. (If you can’t afford the real Cher, why not the next best thing, right?) Michaels most recently filmed a cameo for a 2021 episode of American Horror Story: Double Feature, but was sadly pulled from the finale edit, according to Entertainment Weekly.
But Michaels is a hometown hero at heart, so she continues to host drag shows at a San Diego nightclub on a recurring show called Dreamgirls Revue, which often attracts other alum performances from other “Drag Race” colleagues. According to an interview with Equality 365, Michaels has appeared on the Dreamgirls show since 1992.
Cher actually knows who Chad Michaels is!
That’s right – the legend himself is in! In fact, Chad Michaels told Billboard in 2017 that “[Cher’s] was always so sweet and kind and at least acted like she was into it… She’s a sweetheart.” We first found out that Cher knew about Michael’s spot-on impersonation of her in 2012. “I’ve seen him, he’s AMAZING! !” Cher gushed on Twitter (via Logo) in reference to Michaels.
‘I made my own reputation on ‘[RuPaul’s] Drag Race’, but people love Cher,” Michaels told Billboard.[When] You come on stage as Cher and you’re good at it, you make a lot of people happy.”
And it seems that love is mutual! Michaels got a chance to actually perform live for Cher in West Hollywood for the first time in 2013, and Cher absolutely lived for her. “Chad was genius!” Cher tweeted after the show. “Almost cried, he said such nice things!” At this point, Cher is well acquainted with Michaels as the Queen has performed for her on a number of occasions. Cher follows Michaels on Twitter, so they’re basically besties at this point.