RuPaul’s Drag Race is assumed by many to be just another reality show or competition series. You know what us Drag Racers say to that? Sashay Away! There is so much more to Drag Race than meets the eye and it’s vastly becoming one of the most entertaining, unique and optimistic series on television. With 11 seasons available on Netflix UK (new episodes of Season 11 arrive weekly from 1st March 2019), we count down the reasons why everybody should be watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Gentleman, start your engines and may the best woman win!
“Bring back my girls!” Where would RuPaul’s Drag Race been without the queens themselves? They are the true heart and soul of the competition, all of whom work damn hard to get where they are and never leave on a bitter note. There have been dozens of notable queens throughout the years, all of whom we’d be fools not to admire, but some do shine under the limelight more than others: notable past queens include Miss JuJuBe, Sharon Needles and Alaska Thunderfuck – the latter might possibly be the most prolific contestant in drag history. Their costumes, their make-up, their hair – all of which they do entirely themselves – and their sheer talent make them all memorable queens and Cover Girls for all to see. Put the bass in your walk, head-to-toe, let your whole body talk! And what?
One of the greatest and truly profound things about Drag Race is its celebration of diversity; basic is boring and no show better encourages that than this. While many assume Drag Race to be another reality competition show like America’s Next Top Model or Project Catwalk, there is so much more to Drag Race than meets the eye and when you dig below the surface you can truly witness the incredible support system that the drag and LGBTQ community holds. Of all shapes, sizes, gender, race, age and sexual orientation, RuPaul’s Drag Race truly celebrates the beauty to be different and strongly encourages you to be true to who you are. RuPaul consistently encourages her girls to dream big, love others and love yourself – don’t be sorry, be fierce!
Lip Sync For Your Life
The time has come for you to lip-sync for your life! RuPaul invented the Lip Sync Battle before there even was one and every episode of Drag Race concludes with an almighty roar, as the two lowest-ranking queens must lip sync to stay in the contest. Memorable performances include Raven killing it against Nicole Paige Brookes with En Vogue’s Never Gonna Get It, Manila Luzon vs. Delta Work with her incredible rendition of Donna Summer’s MacArthur Park and, unforgettably, DiDa Ritz bashing out Natalie Cole’s This Will Be in front of Natalie Cole herself. If you ever need a confidence boost, just watch Ritz slay with all her might.
RuPaul is more than just a drag icon: she is a mogul, an empire, a Queen. As well as being the world’s most famous living drag queen, she is also an entrepreneur, an author, an actor, a presenter, the host of a podcast and a music star. Throughout all nine seasons, viewers have been lucky enough enjoy to immerse themselves in RuPaul’s own music, enjoying walking down the catwalk to instant classics such as Champion, Don’t Be Jealous of My Boogie and, lest we forget, Cover Girl. In addition, the three finalists of each season must appear in RuPaul’s latest music video and do justice to the queen herself. Let the music play!
The library is open and one academic lesson all queens must remember is that “reading is fundamental”. In one of our favourite challenges, each of the remaining contestants must “read” each other and “throw shade” and whoever makes everyone laugh the most wins. One of the most memorable reading sessions is from Season 2’s JuJuBe who will “read ya to filth!”, with comments including “you think you’re so soft? Not by the hairs of your chinny chin chin” and “legendary? Looks like leg and dairy”. Be sure not to leave the house next time without your reading glasses. Ya dig?
Where would we be in the world of drag without some sarcasm and a little silicone? Nowhere, and while Miss RuPaul is queen of the catwalk, the dance floor and just about everywhere else, another forte is her use of puns when on the judging panel. While other competition shows offer insight and constructive criticism, Drag Race offers something way more fun. Examples of this include Season 4’s space-themed pun, C3PHoe, with other honourable mentions including “you’re a queen for all seasons…just not this one” and “impersonating Beyonce is not your destiny, child”. If you’re a lover of puns, then Shante, you stay.
The Snatch Game
We come to what is possibly the most iconic of all RuPaul challenges: The Snatch Game. Every season, contestants must imitate a celebrity head-to-toe, whilE answering a series of panel questions – whoever answers questions most truthfully as their celebrity persona wins. Notable and exemplary imitations include Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and, of course, Cher, portrayed by the incomparable Chad Michaels, who went on to form a career out of his uncanny and quite frankly dragulicious imitations. Various LGBT and cabaret venues hold their very own Snatch Game in a tribute to RuPaul and all the queens that he has spawned. It’s dragnificent!
A lot has happened in the year before writing this. With Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and another dreaded election vastly looming, it’s safe to say that what the world needs now is love, sweet love – and what better place to experience that than RuPaul’s Drag Race? There’s no denying that the series is one that accentuates fun, laughter and positivity. In an age in which we can view any kind of entertainment by the click of a button, these elements can be somewhat taken for granted. However, watching RuPaul’s Drag Race can be a truly therapeutic and cathartic experience, as it offer laughs, love, dance and diversity in the space of 45 minutes. Every episode ends on a high note, leaving you feeling energised, happy and full of life. Many underestimate the power and impact of RuPaul’s Drag Race and fans of the show needs to spread the word. After all, we’re all born naked – the rest is drag. Can we get an Amen up in here?
Fans of Drag Race have one person to thank and one person only: Ms. RuPaul Charles. Ru is 6-foot-4-inches of dark beauty, intense wit and incredible talent and it’s safe to say any person in their right mind only lives the lifelong dream of becoming her best friend. Not only does she look better than most people in a 4-foot wig, 5-inch heels and couture gown, she is a unique, intelligent and compassionate human being who has only ever encouraged all individuals all over the world to truly love yourself for who you are. And if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?
Season 1 to 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race are available on Netflix UK, with new episodes of Season 11 arriving every Friday, within 24 hours of their US broadcast.
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