We have known for some time now that FX’s Pose held a gem in one Elektra Wintour. Ok Electra ex Abundance, ex Evangelista, ex Ferocity Wintour. She came out swinging in the first episode of season one. In a scene that showed the writers came to do what needed to be done, she read down her daughter and then house member, Blanca (then Abundance) in a scene that set up the rest of the show.
Had it not been for that seminal read, which itself was styled after a now-infamous read captured on film in the 1968 documentary The Queen, we would not have the House of Evangelista. And very much like the inspiration, if we didn’t have Crystal Labeija’s inspiring read, we wouldn’t have the ballroom community as it stands today. But this was only the beginning of Eletrka’s shining moments.
Ahead of Pose’s season 2 finale, we take a look back at her top reads thus far.
Elektra Abundance vs. Blanca Abundance
This is what got the show hot, what got it all started. “So no! No bitch!” Elektra yells at Blanca, after being asked for her blessing so Blanca can go start her own house. “I do not give you my blessing! I give you what every mother gives a baby bird who has feasted off the scraps of her sisters and gotten too fat, a push out of the nest. You are not on my level!”
“You are jealous and petty and you show your true color,” Blanca says walking towards the door.
“I have a right to show my colors,” Elektra says, in a lift from Crystal’s iconic read. “You’re not ready, you’re a second banana. I give you that, but no more.” And we are off to the races, my dear friends.
Elektra Abundance vs. Blanca Evangelista
Not long after that first read, Elektra saw herself getting beat out for grand prize on the ballroom floor. It was … a surprise to everyone to say the least. But also rightfully deserved. That said, she was chomping at the bit to reclaim her title. And when Blanca found herself in police custody for standing up for herself at a transphobic gay bar, Elektra wasn’t going to let a little jail time stand in her way. “You are not being beaten within an inch of your life in that jail because I need you to be at the ball tomorrow so I can reclaim my honor!” she told Blanca who originally thought her former mother was supportive of her cause.
Elektra Evangelista vs. Lulu and Candy Ferocity
After Elektra’s house crumbled, she found herself welcomed into the house of her daughter Blanca Evangelista. With Blanca struggling to pick up a few grand prize trophies, Elektra decided to help the house out. But before the categories began, there were a few things mother needed to get in order. “House of Ferocity? You two are about as fierce as my morning corn flakes,” she said to her two daughters in front of a crowd of onlookers. “You may have left my home, but you can’t leave me. I’m in your mind, that voice saying you’re not good enough little girl, you’re not smart enough or tough enough, or glamorous enough to make it in this world, and that little voice is going to eat away at you like termites until your whole pathetic house comes crashing down.”
“You think you’re on the way to being legends but you couldn’t make it from here to the door without me pointing the way.” Understandably, there was very little they could say in response — and yes, the House of Evangelista did a clean sweep of the categories.
Elektra Wintour vs. Nosy Hudson Valley Neighbor
Elektra didn’t put much elbow grease in the Condom caper that Pray Tell and Blanca had the ballroom children plan up, but what she did provide was invaluable. On one hand, she provided a considerable amount of the finances to turn their dreams into reality. And on the other? Well she served up a read that will forever live in our hearts. “You should be arrested for showing yourself in that ratty old house dress,” she said after the neighbor announced she was calling the cops. “Now run home Wonder Bread, and take your ugly dog too! This ain’t the yellow brick road. Bitch!”
Elektra Wintour vs. the Clam Chowder Customer
There are few who even attempt to verbally spar with mother Elektra, given … well given who she is. But when the crew took a trip to the beach, and decided to have drinks out, a nearby diner thought (thinking was her first mistake) that it would be wise to try her hand at it. “I know a man pretending to be a woman when I see one,” she says leaning forward. “And I see three right in front of me.” The woman clasps her hands in front of her, clearly believing that she’d delivered the perfect one-liner. And then … Elektra stood up.
“God may have blessed you with Barbies, a backyard with a pony, a boyfriend named Jake, and an unwanted pregnancy that your father paid to terminate so you could go to college and major in being a basic bitch … none of these things make you a woman,” she says. To start! She “lubricates” the vocal cords, as Lulu says, by downing a glass of water before continuing. “Your uniform of J. Crew culottes, fake pearls, and 50 cent scrunchies can not conceal the fact that you do not know who you are. I know our presence threatens you. We fought for our place at this table, and that has made us stronger than you’ll ever be.”
Privilege can protect you from a lot of things, but Elektra Wintour is not one of them.