I may be a full time student with a part time job, an internship, a house to keep clean and a relationship to maintain, but RuPaul’s Drag Race has taught me that I am a magician; I can make time to watch this show, even when I have none. In fact, my boyfriend and I have managed to watch two seasons in one week. If that ain’t magic, then I don’t know what is.
Firstly, let’s begin with the legend that is RuPaul. He has revolutionised the Drag scene and continues to be one of the most influential figures in the LGBT community. More than that, he is an advocate for equality in all contexts and challenges the status quo by presenting identity as fluid, not fixed. Also, did I mention that he defies beauty both in an out of drag?
The show itself can be defined with one word; iconic. However, if you are looking for a little more of a description than that, it goes like this; 13 aspiring Drag Queen legends are brought together to compete in a competition that will crown only one winner. Week by week, the Queens have to complete a series of mini and main challenges which can include anything from throwing shade at each other to starring in a Kardashian musical. They are then judged by the panel and the bottom two have to compete in a lip synch battle, with RuPaul ultimately choosing who is eliminated. Now I know the structure of this show may sound simple, but the content is anything but.
The challenges celebrate popular culture while simultaneously critiquing it. The judges constantly allude to shit-show that is Trump’s presidency. The Queens discuss discrimination, cancer, depression, eating disorders and anything else that is usually seen as taboo. Above all though, the show explores Drag Queen culture and finally presents it not as a freak show, but as an exploration of identity. The fact that it is currently in its ninth season, is a testimony to its success. People have taken to it like new Snapchat filters, and it has become a defining part of LGBT culture.
It’s all good and well to describe to the greatness of this show, but I think it’s about time that I illustrate it. So without further ado, here are my top 5 favourite moments, in no particular order, from season 8 and 9.
- ChiChi Devayne’s legendary lip sync performance of ‘And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going’ by Jennifer Holiday.
- That time Lady Gaga was a guest judge and proved that she literally do anything, whether it be singing, acting, or slaying on Drag Race.
- Naomi Small’s legs. Need I say more?
- The Kardashian Musical that involved the best impersonation of Kris Jenner to date.
- When Valentina comes on the show, after only 10 months of doing drag, and completely slays everything and everyone.
This is the kind of show that you don’t know you need until you watch. However, after one episode, you will fall down the rabbit hole and become obsessed with all that you find. Bitch better jump down that rabbit hole before she gets pushed.