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New York City drag queen takes home national crown as Miss Gay America

Andora Te'tee wowed the judges with her singing and costuming skills.

The crowning of Miss Gay America 2019 Andora

The crowning of Miss Gay America 2019 Andora Te'tee with Miss Gay America 2017 Deva Station (left) and Miss Gay America 2000 Catia Lee Love (right) Photo Credit: BjKj Illusions

New York City queens reign supreme.

Hell's Kitchen's Michael Collins, aka Andora Te'tee, who won the regional Miss Gay New York America pageant in March, took home the national crown during competition Saturday night, proving his skills in drag and the city's prominence in the scene. 

After grueling preparation, including costume design, coming up with choreography and polishing his skills in drama and presentation, Collins' work has paid off with a $50,000 prize, a year's supply of cosmetics, custom garments from Catia Lee Love and Scott Marchbanks, a one-week stay in Key West, Florida, and a whole lot more.

"It was like a huge 'Thank God! It's finally all paying off' and the tears start welling up," Collins told amNewYork about his winning moment. "I was trying to talk myself into 'It's OK if I don't win,' ... it's a huge relief."

Collins, 39, dressed up as a queen fairy with a laser-cut headdress and scepter with dragon-like wings for the "fantastical creatures" -themed creative costume category, which he won.

He also took first place in the talent section with a performance of "I Enjoy Being A Girl" from Broadway's "Flower Drum Song" with eight dancers and eight costume changes.

As Andora, he faced off against 43 other queens.

"The girl from Nevada made me very nervous," Collins said. "She was very sexy, Spanish and gorgeous. She won the evening gown category. Some people have crazy talent and can walk out on stage and sing a gorgeous song and move everyone."

Collins said he was preparing himself for the worst and planning to keep his cool if he didn't win.

"This was something I did solely for myself ... it is the best thing I could've ever asked for," he said. "Now I have to represent a whole group of very talented girls. It's a lot of pressure."

His job as Miss Gay America includes going to every preliminary, both state and regional, for next year's competition to oversee the judging and encourage the contestants, he said. 

He'll also continue to use his drag work to benefit The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual And Transgender Community Center Of Baltimore And Central Maryland and Cheer New York, an adult cheerleading team that raises money for charities.

His first appearance as Miss Gay America will be on Saturday at the Food Network’s Drag Brunch during the NYC Wine and Food Festival, benefiting No Kid Hungry.

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