Don’t be fooled: this is in fact a drag queen.
Piers Morgan was doing an interview with LL Cool J on July 6th for his CNN show when the topic turned to the late Miss Whitney Houston. They were discussing the tragedy of her death and what a beautiful person she was, and all that, and CNN threw up some stock footage of Whitney performing to accompany the interview. Except that they didn’t. The footage they showed was of a drag queen by the name of Ikenna Beney Amaechi who has played Whitney in his act for the past 21 years. The footage was from the 2008 Reel Awards Show in Las Vegas — an event dedicated to celebrity impersonators, and the subject is 5’9″, from Berlin, and super-duper excited not to be clocked by a major network:
“I was just sitting at home and at first I didn’t realize it, but then it hit me like BOOM! It wasn’t Whitney…it was me! I feel very honored that I was mistaken for the real Whitney Houston on CNN … is there EVEN a bigger compliment for a tribute artist?!”
Yeah no. There honestly isn’t. This is every little drag queen’s dream. It’s what they dream about when they close their eyes at night, when they gaze up tearfully at the full moon, and when they blow out the candles on their Liza Minelli-themed birthday cakes. Being actually mistaken for your idol who you perform as means you’ve officially made it. Especially when it’s CNN doing the mistaking, because they’re supposed to be all on top of their shit and shit.
And yeah, speaking of you, CNN, let’s just do a recap. It wasn’t even necessary for you to provide footage in the first place, but ya did, so let’s talk about it. Out of the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of hours of footage of Whitney, you chose a clip that was a. Not Whitney Houston and b. Not even a woman. Not quite batting a thousand there, CNN. Maybe give my boy Anderson Cooper a ring and see if he can come down and give the ‘ol gaydar a tune-up.