RuPaul’s Drag Race: Save A Queen

Posted on February 06, 2022

The queens are tasked with doing the bare minimum of a spokesperson challenge and the results are a little concerning! But first, another sad goodbye to a fallen Drag Race comrade:

 

We don’t know, you guys. Given the history of this sort of thing happening (and how it almost always happens to plus-sized contestants), maybe Drag Race should take a look at what it’s asking of the queens and make more reasonable challenges for them? Just a thought. The only other non-athletic reality competition we can think of where competitors regularly wind up leaving because of injuries is Dancing with the Stars and that one, at least, makes a little sense. Anyway, we’re sorry to see Kornbread go. Like Victoria Scone’s sudden exit from the UK franchise for the same reason, we suspect her absence left a hole in the season that the producers didn’t prepare for. Barring a disaster, Kornbread was going to go the distance. Well, hello disaster.

 

Before we get to the main challenge, a pause that refreshes. We think this may be the best use of the Pit Crew on the American show since the Before Times. We’ll repeat a point we’ve made many times over the years, especially during the promotion of our book:

 

There are times when RuPaul’s Drag Race

 

… is just so refreshingly, joyously, uncomplicatedly…

 

GAY AS FUCK.

And without making too big a deal out of it, Maddy deserves a small round of polite applause for knowing how to act in a queer space as a non-queer person. A big pantomime display of how squeamish he might have felt would have been unwelcome and unfunny. We still think his drag is dicey, but as a contestant, he’s been very good so far.

 

Porkchop’d queens Tempest DuJour, Jaymes Mansfield and Kahmora Hall swallowed their pride and came back to serve as the punchlines for this week’s challenge. They were good sports and we’ll refrain from being mean in deference to that, but we simply have to tsk all three of them for showing up looking like they were stopping by on the way to the supermarket.

 

The queens were split up into three teams and assigned the task of producing a Public Service Announcement regarding a “serious” issue of their devising regarding the three classic queens. For some reason, it all had to rhyme? And it had a song at the end? It felt like another instance where the show was (possibly deliberately) extremely vague about what it wanted from the queens. We suspect more than a handful of them didn’t even know what a PSA was and basing it off a 15-year-old Sarah McLachlan SPCA ad didn’t seem to give them much inspiration. What they did wound up looking way more like a telethon.

 

We can’t remember which team was assigned which queen or what color they used to designate themselves, but does it matter? The results across the board were decidedly low-key and po-faced — and not in a funny, satirical way. Just a bunch of sad queens being overly earnest to the camera. No one landed a decent joke. We couldn’t help feeling that the judges over-praised the few queens who stood out and under-criticized the queens who were noticeably worse in order to camouflage the fact that there was only a minor difference in quality between the winning queen’s performance and the eliminated queen’s. Jorgeous stood out for being among the worst. Deja was fine, but never really funny. Ditto Kerri, whose look confused us, especially since she said she was going for ugly. Angeria has a natural way with a line, so she did okay for herself.

 

Orion was simply terrible. She tends to explain away her performance deficiencies by referring to her own low-key personality, but she doesn’t seem to understand that’s not a viable defense in a competition like this. You’re essentially saying you’re not qualified to be here. Willow also stood out, partially because she has a highly developed sense of camp and knew what she was supposed to do with the material. Her look here is hilarious, right down to the palazzo pants. Maddy is once again distinguishing himself by trying really hard and mostly not fucking up. There’s not a lot of dazzle to him, though. And his drag remains painfully un-stylish. There’s a way to do “lady in a pantsuit” drag and make it look…well, draggy. Those white socks and Mary Janes are making us cringe and the jacket doesn’t even look like it fits. We honestly have no idea what Jasmine was going for, either in her performance or her look.

 

Daya was okay, but again: we don’t get the look she was going for. Lady Camden was low-key funny because the combination of her earnestness, her near-whisper, and her accent just naturally made anything she said sound funny. Bosco stood out the most because of how he approached the delivery of his lines. He went straight for “open mic night poetry slam” and while it didn’t make any more sense than the rest of the bits, he committed to it and sold it better than the other queens. Don’t quite get his look either. Everyone kept trying to do “serious lady” drag and, except for Willow and Lady Camden, most of them missed the mark.

 

The runway category was Springtime and once again, it’s interesting to see how some of the queens interpreted such a broad theme. Skipping the guest queens and focusing on the safe ones first: Kerri Colby’s look was so terrible that we’re starting to reconsider our earlier assessment that she’s a looks queen. Deja’s bunny drag was weird and dowdy. Maddy’s rain cloud was an interesting costume, but didn’t feel like drag. Willow’s look was adorable and hilarious. Daya’s was an utter mess. As for the tops and bottoms…

Jorgeous’ look was well-executed but basic. Angeria’s was shockingly terrible. We thought she and Kerri were just going to automatically slay that runway every week, but we guess neither of them are as good in that area as we thought.

 

Jasmine’s look is just okay. The body suit is nice enough, but those gloves look all wrong for it.

 

Orion’s bunny look is basic, but well executed. She doesn’t have the personality to do anything with it, though. Lady Camden’s look was really cute, although we think the table could have been constructed a little better and the whole thing rendered in a print/color story that pops more. Bosco’s reveal was well done and we loved her hair and makeup.

 

While we don’t think anyone truly wowed with their work this week, Bosco did what she set out to do (put “points on the board”) and she’s definitely a frontrunner at the moment.

 

Jorgeous and Orion were sent to the lip sync and there’s no way for us to get decent screencaps because Jorgeous flipped a switch on the first note and became something akin to a drag Tasmanian Devil for the remainder of the song. To say she ate is to underplay it. Bitch was on fire.

 

She didn’t stand a chance.

 

Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life, a New York Times “New and Notable” pick, praised by The Washington Post “because the world needs authenticity in its stories,” and chosen as one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR is on sale wherever fine books are sold!

 

 

[Photo Credit: VH1 via Tom and Lorenzo]

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