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Taylor Sheesh: The Taylor Swift drag tribute dazzling Asia



Taylor Swift’s been wowing the world with her spectacular, record-breaking Eras shows.

Well, most of it, at least.

For the South East Asian leg of her tour, the US singer’s only stopping in Singapore – leaving many fans from the area without a chance to see their idol.

But for those unable to make the trip, a 29-year-old drag queen from the Philippines has been providing an equally glamourous alternative.

Mac Coronel, also known as Taylor Sheesh, has been impersonating the Midnights star, with an impressive collection of fringed outfits and bejewelled leotards, since 2017.

But it was a performance at a shopping mall, attended by 10,000 Swifties, that went viral and propelled Sheesh on to TikTok For You Pages around the world.

Mac, who uses male pronouns when he’s not in character, says he decided to throw the gigs, knowingly called the “Errors tour”, to allow fans to “recreate the Eras tour at least as much as possible”.

“We Filipinos actually expected there would be no tour dates here since there is no venue to cater to her big production of her concert,” he tells BBC Newsbeat.

There’s been a renewed focus on Taylor Swift’s South East Asian shows this week after it was suggested she’d signed a deal with Singapore to skip the rest of the region.

That includes the Philippines, where the singer regularly ranks among the country’s top Spotify streams.

On Tuesday, Singapore’s culture ministry and the Singapore Tourism Board said they had provided a grant to help bring the Eras Tour to the island state.

The country’s government told Newsbeat it was unable to share further details about the deal because of “business confidentiality”.

And while plenty of Swifties have bagged tickets to the Singapore show, making plans to travel by plane, train and boat, Mac says it’s a shame many Filipino fans won’t be able to see the real thing.

“Yeah, we’re totally very sad,” he says.

“Especially some Filipinos who can’t afford it or didn’t have a chance to watch the Eras tour outside the country.”

But Mac isn’t surprised that the Philippines didn’t manage to secure Taylor.

“Actually, when Taylor announced the Asian leg will be in Japan and Singapore only, we already expected it,” he says.

“There is a big difference between the economy of Singapore and [Philippines capital] Manila.

“That’s why Taylor’s team chose Singapore to be the only stop in South East Asia.”

Sheesh has become so popular that Mac has brought her to fans in other countries who’ve also struggled to get into the real Taylor’s sold-out tour.

Mac followed the singer to Australia last week, and performed his own show to an audience of thousands.

He says it was an “iconic and unforgettable” night.

“So we didn’t expect that Australian Swifties or other Swifties would come,” he says.

“There was around 9,000 people, the estimated crowd, and there were also Filipino Swifties supporting me.”

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Mac says Sheesh’s favourite tracks to perform are two classics – Love Story and You Belong With Me – which always light up the audience.

“Everyone is jumping, someone is proposing to their girlfriend or boyfriend, kneeling like they’re proposing to their loved ones,” he says.

“Yeah, that’s so very cute to see in the crowd.”

And Mac holds no hard feelings over suggestions that Taylor was drawn to Singapore by the offer of a cash grant.

“It seems her, her team, is working hard for the tour, the dancers, the producers, the sound engineers and everything,” he says.

“They want to be paid fairly.”

Newsbeat’s approached promoter AEG for a response.

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