The new season kicks off with our first group of queens, who do their best to stand out (mainly by flattering the Ru’s brand).
Since the closing ceremonies of RuPaul’s Drag RaceIn the thirteenth season in April 2021, RuPaul Charles set out to expand his media empire around the world. Over the course of a calendar year, Her Majesty’s Gay and Allied Government has released a slew of programs that should rock Marvel Studios in its super jumpsuit. We had our sixth US All stars, a lackluster second season in Canada, a greatly improved second season from Holland, a nice third British series, and created a curious outpost Down Under, as well as vibrant ports in Spain and Italy. With engines barely installed, it’s time to restart our engines for season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The search for America’s Next Drag Superstar always begins with a search for how to look at the search for America’s Next Drag Superstar. The episodes of The Rupire are divided between Hulu, Paramount +, VH1 and its host platform WOW Presents +, none of them host current episodes for subscribers. Those who can’t catch it live at home or at a bar during a pandemic must pay to play. Hauntingly, the cost of access will be brought up once in the episode as a grim reminder of what makes the series possible.
Amidst the desperate search for catchy slogans, light a candle every time a Queen says ‘bitches’ in her entryway. “[The show] is a billboard, “the (hilarious ??) Ross Matthews would later tell the queens as if they weren’t quite aware that branding has become a central focus in the” Olympics of Drag ” eponymous Each queen enters with her preliminary label which may or may not develop as the competition progresses.
They give us labels like âproud Puerto Rican Pageant Queenâ (Alyssa Hunter), âskanky altâ girl (Bosco) or âtall, baked and blackâ (Kornbread). Others will sell the product as a “twisted doll” (Willow Pill), a “full-bodied tranny” (Kerri Colby), a “southern savage” (June Jambalaya) or a speculative “first fembot” (Orion Story). But wait, it’s just seven queens.
As in previous seasons, this will be a split first with half of the queens participating in challenges and a weeklong elimination with a new batch of queens doing the same next week. The groups then meet on the third week. All in all, this is an effective strategy for getting to know queens a bit more and forming group alliances that are good for TV. However, this gives the impression that it takes some time for the competition to start.
For the first mini-challenge, the queens must meet themFerristake photos while spinning on last season’s final wheel. It’s a test of how one can keep a glamorous calm and of course the queen whose whole vibe is the sculptural beauty twirls around with the best shot.
With victory comes no additional privileges in this week’s maxi-challenge, as the queens are tasked with performing in the Charisma and Nerve Talent Show (All that’s missing is ‘U’). I love the talent show as a maxi challenge for the opening of the season. A talented performance well done lets us know the life and spirit of a queen and many queens have used this to their advantage to come out of their shell a bit. This is still the case this season.
We get a whole range of talents from these queens. RuPaul, 62, performs even the most elaborate one we’ve seen from her in an age. The queens offer us skipping rope, African dance, burlesque, an original song, a stand-up sketch, lip / guitar synchronization and an absurd performance. The challenge does its job and clearly separates queens with a sense of concept from those who don’t. to gain in RuPaul’s Drag Race, message, medium and market value must meet.
to gain in RuPaul’s Drag Race, message, medium and market value must meet.
And there is nothing RuPaul finds more marketable than RuPaul. True to form, Kornbread takes victory in this episode because it pays homage / reference to Ru and the legacy of the series. “There is something about this original recipe,” she says beaming at her new batch of American queens. After a long stay abroad, Mother seems happy to be back on her original throne, where it all began.
The problem is that she exported an âoriginal recipeâ which is more than a show structure, it’s a whole aesthetic that can be found almost everywhere. It’s as if Coca-Cola claims American Coke is original when its business model relies on a can that tastes the same everywhere.
All the stock that Ru puts in the âoriginalityâ of American queens has been diluted by the expansion of American cruising abroad. Although the international iterations have shown regional variations in theatrical genre play which are thrilling to see, there has been a pervasive cloud crawling across the globe that standardizes what is considered “high” drag and it is entirely based. on the taught, scintillating, crisp white girl with the Texas longhorn eyebrows that were acclaimed on the show.
The cost of this aesthetic sparkles like the specter of debt during Untucked. As the Queens reflect on the surrealism of this experience, their preconceptions of each other, pressure from a national audience, and criticism from the Signature-Showstopping-Drag Runway judges, Kerri Colby casually says something. very enlightening thing.
Exclusively Untucked, we are shown a moment during reviews in which Ru rightly covets Kerri’s gorgeous mahogany thigh-high boots. As the Queens joke that Kerri sells them to Ru and the other judges who also love her outfit, Kerri mentions that she might have to sell her Leo statement coat to special guest judge Lizzo just to finally pay for the coat.
We all pay to play in Ru’s Empire, it seems. I paid to be able to watch the show not quite live. Kerri does not have the coat on her back. She and most likely all the girls took on debt to participate. As the elimination of Orion Story reminds everyone after a soggy performance of “Water Me” by Lizzo, only one Queen can win the $ 100,000.
As we enter our fourteenth season, we must ask ourselves if the show is still the âinvestmentâ for artists that it once was. In previous seasons, queens were part of an emerging market and were still new in a niche demand. There were jobs. Now Ru Girls must compete with ever-expanding local and international markets led by a production company that proudly demonstrates its intention to (over?) Saturate, if not outright monopolize, the drag entertainment market.
Sorority becomes of the utmost importance to these queens in the future if they are to survive, let alone thrive after their streak ends. If the internal sabotage move from the show’s final boss to the recurring lead actor is any indication, these queens are feeling increasing pressure over the talent pool they are entering. As they are asked to continually face their antagonist for the cameras, there is a disturbing feeling this season could reveal that the biggest cost of citizenship in Rupire is emotional.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 airs on VH1 Fridays.