Tuesday, March 23, 2010

RuPauls' Drag Race - A Commentary

I am an intelligent, thoughtful and introspective person so it seems perfectly natural that my first-ever blog should be about RuPAUL'S DRAG RACE! You see, I adore RuPaul's Drag Race and I really have no idea why. All I know is that it has me actually looking forward to Mondays! I think the hour show and its half-hour follow-up are meant purely as an amuse bouche and I would love to have the entire banquet; two, three hours of the Drag Race and an hour or two of Untucked. Or just combine it all and call it awesome!

********************SPOILER ALERT********************

Since we've gone through 7 queens so far... Shangela Laquifa Wadley, Nicole Paige Brooks, Mystique Summers Madison, Sonique, Morgan McMichaels, Sahara Davenport and (oh-so-sadly) Jessica Wild - I feel that I've come far enough with the remaining girls to actually offer a worthy opinion. And here they are, in no particular order:

  • Pandora - I love her quirky sense of fun and her sense of humor (see her audition video, including Crazy Britney). Her humor is subtle and it's sly and I think that might be why not everyone catches it; it's hard when one suspects the joke might be on them. The other remaining girls are visceral, they come from their bellies, acting from their gut but Pandora comes from her mind, her thoughts. She's very cerebral and she just might be laughing at all of us. Joining her in her subtle mocking is part of the fun!

  • Tyra - I saw one decent, human moment from Tyra and that was her press interview in episode 7, Once Upon a Queen. For one who usually speaks as if her tongue is taking a nap, she enunciated remarkably well. She engaged her interviewer and was upbeat and personable. However, Tyra exists only for the peaks - the entrances and the exits; she has no idea how to exist while in the room. It's like she's playing connect-the-dots with nothing to actually string the dots together. She is the beautiful entrance, the dramatic exit, the striking pose and the beautiful face. I have seen no substance behind her style.

  • Raven - Like Tyra, Raven can produce glorious peaks. Raven also exists for dramatic moments, with her statuesque pose and piercing gaze over pouty, snakebit lips. Unlike Tyra, Raven can walk the path between those peaks. What she lines the path with, however, is venom and bile. She is intelligent and astute (I do not believe she has ever been wrong about who will end up in the bottom two) but her steel-trap mind has been set to snare the soft, the naive, the vulnerable - in short, those who are not Raven. She has been broken, she is flawless; and so she protects her shards behind perfect armor.
    One bit of advice - stop spewing bile at Tatianna, simply because it is beneath you. Stop thinking of her as sharing your stage and stealing your spotlight. With your cool dignity and yet still sultry statuesque presence, you cast too much shade in that spotlight for anyone else. Own that and leave her be.

  • Jujubee - Jujubee has been a friend and a lady throughout the contest, even when discussing golden showers she offers up helpful advice. Jujubee is talented and her book signing party look was amazing. Jujubee has been warm and thoughtful while still being open and honest. She's made no bones about how she feels and offers up her opinion as easily and honestly as she offers up support. I love that she wears wigs simply because she has a head and needs no other occassion. Her reading of the other girls was absolutely hilarious and demonstrated a quick wit. She has said that she knows the other girls' weaknesses and she showed that she had them spot on. Her insight even seems to extend to herself; she realizes that in offering up support she occassionally forgets to support herself and yet she loved and supported herself enough to ask for it. Jujubee is a chameleon, finding that part of herself that matches what the judges are asking of her and offering it up with sass and passion. Jujubee is deep and intricate and shines like a superstar.

  • Jessica - I realize that we lost Jessica and it hurts (she can be followed on Twitter). But I have stuff to say, so she goes on this list. Jessica was truly a lady throughout. I was sad to read in her exit interview that she did not feel comfortable enough to ask for clarification when she did not understand something because she didn't want to be a bother. I loved her sense of fun and adventure. She is fearless. Jessica never had a derisive thing to say about any of the other girls, even occassionally asking the hard questions (asking Raven about Morgan's chances, for instance), and though she never talked trash, she was never cornered (like Tatianna) and pressed for her "honest" opinion. Also, she was never derided for not having a personality or offering up politic answers when she wouldn't insult another queen. Jessica's sense of fun was infectious and her fearlessness was inspiring. She was willing to offer herself up without that obsession over "perfection", "flawlessness" or "not being messy" that several other girls have professed. Jessica has been the most human of all the girls. I honestly thought that Tatianna was my favorite until I realized that Jessica might actually have to sashay away. And when she did, I realized, too late that...

  • Tatianna - is smart and well-spoken. She plays ditzy and sexy equally well, even at the same time. I like her "think what you want" attitude and her refusal to accept the other girls' attempts to define her to herself. Tatianna has a very strong sense of self that is great to see. She has talent, unfortunately, her performances seem to all be variations on a theme. She needs to trust her own ability to bring it more. She wears that asymmetrical wig far too often and frequently makes disastrous fashion choices. I applaud her ability to overcome her fear of singing and to rock out her performance of "Ladyboy" on Rocker Chicks and I think it is safe to chalk up her inconsistency with her style to inexperience. And while Tati has found her voice and is able to use that voice, she has simply not yet learned how to embody that voice. When she does... *BOOM*!

Overall, I can see why these contestants made it this far. Watching the show, it's easy to forget we're watching a parade of MEN! These are my opinions and, as you can see, I have spent WAY too much time thinking about it. Feel free to disagree, even if you are wrong :)