So as one of those homos who has been known to throw on a frock every now and then (for the entertainment purpose only you understand) I have been addicted for the past few weeks to RuPaul’s Drag Race season II. As usual the candidates displayed where of various standards. Some shone, some stank, but some really sparkled. I had my favorites pretty quickly as I am sure most did, Raven, JuJu B, and Tatiana. I even thought Pandora box was a quirky but entertaining queen.
My understanding of the aims of the show is to find America’s next drag superstar, like anyone could replace RuPaul Supermodel of the world. Let me say at this point I have ultimate respect for Ru and I feel this trend setting forward thinking momma has paved the way for equality and opened a brand new space for gay people in the field of entertainment and continues to do so. Having said all of that that certain elements of the finale did not sit right with me.
The three finalist where JuJu B, and Asian American queen who looked the part and in fact is beautiful, very talented and improved the most in my opinion. Then there was Tyra Sanchez referred to as the other Tyra but girl tacky is the word that springs to mind. Although she improved and gained experience she just didn’t cut it in my opinion, Good performer, pretty but bad demeanor.
Raven was the other finalist and boy is she good she looks amazing, lip synchs to perfection but is a little on the bitchy side. A bitchy drag queen I hear you say, doesn’t that go with the territory? Yes you would think so as it wasn’t a Sunday school picnic.
The confusion began when JuJu B was eliminated for reasons only known to Ru. None of the usual dissemination and dissection of what was wrong in the judge’s opinions. I have to say a word or two about the judges. I love Merle Ginsberg she is an author with a very classic style and I can just about forgive her for co writing Paris Hilton’s semi auto biography, but Santino is a different story. Santino Rice is a fashion designer from Missouri of Project runway fame, whose dress sense clearly makes no sense and often resembles a homeless guy, Go figure.
Then came time to “Lip Synch for your life” and although Tyras lip sync was slightly more energetic I am at a loss as to how she won. On the whole taking the series into consideration Raven and JuJu B where clearly the best and I would have had difficulty choosing between the two. Tyra wasn’t a patch on these two and although last seasons winner was a surprise to me as clearly Nina Flowers was front runner, at least Bebe Zahara Benet had star quality. Breathe Tyra breathe lol.
The difference between this show and say American Idol is that the public gets to decide who should win. In this instance the final say goes to RuPaul and I can maybe understand this on a week to week basis but for a finale to avoid accusations of bias maybe a broader deciding factor would be more helpful.
There have been many suggestions that the decision was made on race rather than talent and I have to admit that this was in my thoughts too. It is easy to look for other reasons as to why your favorite contestant did not win however Tyras lack of personality and talent when judged next to the other finalists called into to question the fairness of the decision.
I feel this comes back to the theme of the show and clearly the philosophy is RuPaul’s brain child and her decision is final. Did Tyra meet the criteria for winning the competition? Clearly not in my opinion if the criteria is Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. Tyras M.O was all a about poor me and give me sympathy as I wine, when surely a drag queens M.O should be fuck it and actually have something tangible.
As Winston Churchill said you can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people some of the time, but you cant please all of the people all of the time. Regardless of all I have said in my commentary I thoroughly enjoyed the show but felt the finale was an anti climax. Re watching the show I had to laugh when Ru said does She (meaning Tyra while hyper ventilating) need to breathe into a paper bag? No Ru she needs to put it over her head and shut the fuck up. (Joke)
We will see how good Tyra actually is when she as part of her prize hosts the Aboslut Pride tour up and down the country. Don’t fuck it up! Personality and the ability to speak to the crowd is not something you can pull out of your ass and I believe her shyness will unfortunately be her undoing. I do wish Tyra well and hope that she, Raven and JuJu excel in all they do and use the opportunity they have to build on their celebrity.
Finally RuPaul Supermodel of the WORLD, My dear RuRu. Although I did not agree with your final decision and wish a few things would change about the show, like telephone voting, (which would also increase revenue and reduce accusations of bias) and maybe replacing Santino Rice with either myself or Kathy Griffin, I bow to your expertise, as the show is called RuPaul’s Drag Race and NOT Xander Gibbs drag race! The final decision was RuPaul’s to make.
Thank you for an amazing feast of entertainment, I look forward to Season III and wish all of the contestants the very best in their careers and in all they do. Start those engines bitches!
Peace and Luv, Xan x
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Xander Gibb has written for many publications and writes with an unapologetic response to the world around.