Film & TV

“We’re All Born Naked And The Rest Is Drag”

Image credit: VH1
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 2
Image credit: BBC

by Georgia Glenn

When the 1st season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK sadly faded from our screens in 2019, I thought “how on earth will they top it?!”. I mean, we had “Much betta!”, the Frock Destroyers and Divina’s red wig and a silver dress drama… 

Then, as a glimmer of hope, season 2 arrived to grace us with its fabulous, inspiring and comical presence! This season truly stands out above the UK and US seasons, with its amazing drag queens,  storylines, and costumes which make me sit on the edge of my seat with every episode! I have absolutely loved seeing each queen grow (and watching a representative of the West Midlands! We love you, Ginny Lemon x) although there, of course, has to be a favourite or 2! 

With Tayce’s beauty, our Welsh Goddess, and Lawrence’s hilarious comedy gold, these 2 queens really stole the show for me. I loved watching them as people and glow as drag queens, they truly are some of the best representatives of the drag community and I for one am so glad they have been able to share their talent with us. One moment which I must share is Veronica Green’s transformation from an unlucky housewife to a golden robot… right before our eyes! Everything about it was just so clever, from the hidden robot disguise to the burnt cookies contrasting with the picture-perfect gown. This season has been amazing (apart from the small issue of Covid-19) and I cannot wait to see who will be crowned as the next UK Drag Superstar!

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4

by Leona Franke

Although season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race may not be the most recent – being originally broadcast in 2009, it remains one of the most dramatic and entertaining seasons of all, due to its varied mixture of queens and their personalities.

The crowned queen, Sharon Needles, got under the skin of the other queen’s, particularly PhiPhi O’Hara’s, and their tensions only grew to erupt into one of the most explosive arguments in the show’s history. Whilst getting ready to do the runway, PhiPhi exploded at Sharon, telling them to “Go back to Party City where you belong!” – Party City being a famous costume and party store in America. This line remains echoed through fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race even now, over a decade later.

Even with this tense rivalry taking up screen time, there was no shortage of personality with the other queens. Who could forget when Willam threw up on  stage, due to their shock of being disqualified from the show for breaking rules? Who could forget Jiggly Caliente’s so-bad-it’s-good first runway look, made up of so many materials that it hurt your eyes? And who could forget Latrice Royale – one of the biggest fan favourite’s of the entire programme? Her famous line in an acting challenge “Get those nuts away from my face!” – coupled with her deadpan look into the camera has been an adored moment in the show, and is one that will always bring hysterical laughter to many fans, myself included. 

Season Four? Shantay, you stay!

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 and 10
Image credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race

by Clarissa Boon

Who would’ve thought that we’d all copy Valentina and not want to remove our masks in 2021 either? My RuPaul’s Drag Race addiction started a few years ago when I discovered that I could lose myself in a world full of glitter, lip-syncs, and outrageous outfits. A world where I could procrastinate my deadlines, and although I might’ve not finished my seminar reading – at least I knew how to perform a death drop on my living room floor. I found myself integrating the glitz and glamour of drag into my daily life. Inspired by the ‘Werk Room’ stations, I started looking at how I could rejuvenate my own wardrobe. Armed with a glue gun in hand, I found myself thinking – would Sasha Velour care if they were the most OTT here? No. Well nor should I! I put down my monochrome palette and found myself reaching for the fluorescent fuchsias, and outrageous oranges. 

I aspired to be as quick-witted and outgoing as Eureka (season 9 & 10). I watched them sashay across the stage, oozing confidence and I learnt quickly that these Drag Race stars represented so much more than just the extrovert personas that beguile our screens. One of the moments that I like best during the show are the conversations that happen in hair and makeup. In between the sass and drama, you learn of the hardships and journeys of the people behind the  drag personas. Their honesty and vulnerability is juxtaposed against their extrovert performances on stage. The main thing I’ve learnt from Drag Queens is to worry less about what other people think.

After all, the street is your catwalk and if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else! Oh, and Valentina, you can finally reuse that mask now.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8

by Dominic Bramley-Carr

Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race US gave us some legendary moments, not least of all the debut of the endless legs of Naomi Smalls. From iconic looks to insane lip syncs, it was one of the most entertaining seasons to date. Some highlights include the salute to Empire, with Bob the Drag Queen giving us an exceptional Chocolate Chip Cookie, the cast of Little Women: LA getting made over by the queens, and the Madonna runway ending in Kimono-gate. Not to forget the drama of the double elimination of Dax ExclamationPoint and Laila McQueen after a vaguely lacklustre performance to a quintessential lip sync song, ‘I Will Survive’. 

Honourable fashion mentions go out to Naomi’s pink jumpsuit and Kim Chi’s black and white clown-esque look. The two also served incredible creations in the Book Ball, with Kim giving us a floral storyline and Naomi a beautifully structured paper dress. We saw an iconic lip sync from the late Chi Chi DeVayne in her performance of ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, with the dramatic casting off of the beads hanging from her gown and the sheer emotion which she portrayed. Her recent death was a great loss to both the queer and drag community. What made season 8 so fantastic was extraordinary queens like Chi Chi with a wide variety of talent, not to mention charisma, uniqueness, and nerve.

All I have to say is purse first, darlings.