In Season One's premiere episode we gasped at the audacity of RuPaul telling the contestants that the 'Next Drag Superstar' needed to possess "Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent". But this year that sly joke has turned into the show's credo. Logo's ad campaign for the show tells us "Mondays Are A Drag!" but at this point, they may as well move the show a day later and change the slogan to "RuPaul's Drag Race: C U Next Tuesday!!"
The season started off with promise; during the Casting Special, I was delighted to see that Ru chose not one, but THREE plus-size girls! But it became apparent this week that that decision was made to ensure that there would still be some fatties around in week 7 for RuPaul to humiliate during the nude photo challenge. Alas, Delta and Stacy (and a sweetly modest Alexis) didn't let the challenge get the better of them (or so it seemed....the whole sequence rushed by in curiously hyper-edited time).
And since when is posing naked part of being a drag queen? I don't want to see my drag queens naked. I want to see them on stage, in a fierce outfit (without those freaky fake breasts), lip-synching gay anthems and cracking wise. I guess I'm just old-fashioned that way.
|The winner. Whatever.|
[And, by the way, isn't RuPaul's Drag Race the only reality show where the Nude Photoshoot would be the mini-challenge , while the 'Dress-As-A-Cake' is the main challenge?!?]
RuPaul seems to delight in putting the contestants in uncomfortable situations. Mentoring has been thrown out the window, and Ru is slowly morphing into Jigsaw, coming up with new ways to watch her victims torture themselves and each other, until one survivor remains.
I realize it's a competition, but does it have to be so ruthless? [And wouldn't Ruth Less be a good drag name?]
Indeed, there was so much untapped bitchiness that the producers had to create an evil sister series, Untucked, to instigate more catfighting. The girls are plied with alcohol (I think it's a contractual requirement that you have to be seen sipping an Absolut cocktail on-camera) in the "Interior Illusions Lounge", where they are encouraged to talk smack and throw shade. It gets ugly. Real ugly. By the end of the half hour I need a drink myself, just to calm my nerves.
|Please don't hurt us.|
Most frustrating of all, it appears that we're heading toward Raja being crowned the 'winnnnnaaaahhhhh!' (as RuPaul would say). Raja is this year's Raven, who was her year's Shannel. They're all cut from the same casting cloth–that's how reality shows work. Raja is Head Bitch this time around, and just in case we didn't get it, her Mean Girls clique gets the cute idea to call each other 'Heather'. Ha ha ha. Fuck me gently with a chainsaw.
|Quick! Which one is the drag queen?|
As for the other Heathers, Manila Luzon was rewarded–REWARDED!–with a win for her offensive Asian caricature during the 'QNN' challenge. Personally, I was more offended by the lack of originality of her stereotypical portrayal than by the racist overtones.
And Delta Work? Well...not since Judy Blume's Blubber has a fat girl ascended to popular [mean] girl status so swiftly. So...condragulations?
Which brings me to my point: Don't you wish there was an Ongina or a Jujubee in this year's cast? Or a Pandorra Boxx or a Tammie Brown?? What happened to the fun? I'm all for some bickering and backstabbing, but in moderation. If I wanted to see a bunch of useless bitches, I'd watch one of the 'Real Housewives' shows. I'd like to see more of a sisterhood among the queens. Is that too much to ask?
Look, I know every reality show needs a bitch, because that makes for good TV, but here's a suggestion for next season: you might want to have more than two likable contestants. Because after Shangela and Alexis inevitably sashay away, who is there to root for? Can I get an amen up in here?