Joining me this week for The Drag Race Illustrated is the fabulous Kim Chi, one of my favorite queens in the world and a good friend of mine! She’s known for her elaborate and enormous headpieces, a keen editorial eye, and her exceedingly kind personality. So don’t expect us to get too shady!
Chad: By this point in the season, we’ve spent a good amount of time with the queens. Do you feel like you’ve gotten to know all of them pretty well, or are there still some that haven’t gotten enough screen time?
Kim: This season, I feel like they’ve done a great job of giving most queens evenly distributed screen time. The only queen I still feel like I don’t really know as a human being is Courtney. Perhaps she’s too self-aware to show her vulnerability on screen?
Chad: That’s an interesting thought–I was struck by her scene in the workroom with Ru! I thought it was pretty ballsy to seek advice on how to stand apart from the others in the competition.
Maybe it’s in that ambition that we’ll get to know her better–she’ll push herself harder, and we’ll see the results!
Kim: What I REALLY want to know about Courtney is how she managed to get that giant wing to the workspace!
I’ve worn a wing before that was only half the size of what Courtney had on the runway, and that still took up a full car to transport to the venue.
Chad: Ha! I’ve heard that LA queens can sometimes have an advantage, since they’re local and can bring their whole wardrobe. But you’d think there must be SOME restrictions.
Kim: It does seem a bit unfair to the queens who have to bring everything over the plane…
Chad: Well, they could rent a U-Haul, I suppose.
So, you are well known for wearing outrageous (and magnificent) headpieces and costumes–do you think that helps you appreciate wild props like Courtney’s wings, or have you seen it all before?
Kim: Television is the best venue to showcase larger and over the top costumes like the wing Courtney had on! If she were to wear that giant thing in the club, she’ll be bumping into the party guests left and right, and those wings will be soaked in whiskey, Coke, and other random liquids by the end. Depending on how big the stage is, she might not even make it up the stairs! Wings are really expensive and time-consuming to make, and the one she had on was definitely one of the best ones I’ve seen in my lifetime! I nearly died when the whole thing opened up.
Chad: With someone like Courtney, I just assume she’s wildly rich and famous, and she has a whole costuming team to craft these crazy looks. Should that diminish my appreciation for her runway looks, or not? Does it matter if a queen creates her own looks?
My friends Danielle Mnop and Jo Control (of Plastic Factory) recently helped me complete a look for a GayGlow party.
Same with Courtney, I’ll bet it was a creative collaboration between her and the artist that created those wings? If she has the resource and the vision, I don’t see anything wrong with artists collaborating to help a vision come to life. I’ve certainly learned a lot of skill sets by collaborating with other people.
There are a lot of famous queens who don’t even do their own make up, but it certainly doesn’t make me appreciate them less. They know what their strength and weaknesses are, and if they have the resources to bring up their polish level, by all means, they should go for it!
Chad: Eloquently put! In Untucked, there was discussion about Joslyn and Adore’s outfits, which other queens dismissed as “store bought.” Do you think that sort of criticism is justified?
Kim: For the audience, television or in the club, I do believe you have to sell them a ‘fantasy’ and show them something ‘special’. Personally, I don’t want to see a beautiful queen in an outfit that could’ve come from a department store. They can purchase pieces from those stores, but how they alter and style them is what creates a fantasy. I do love Joslyn Fox. She seems fun, sweet, and someone I’d like to party with, but her runway presentations to me always feel like 20% away from being absolutely fab.
Chad: So, funny enough, when I asked my initial question about which queen haven’t we gotten to know well, this is who I had in mind: Darienne!
Kim: Darienne was a sweetheart when I met her in person when she came to Chicago. I completely understand her sarcastic sense of humor, but when she’s making her snarky remarks, a lot of the times it’s a joke without a punchline, which in turn translates to being bitchy.
Chad: Yeah, I definitely agree that her humor can cut too deep, though I’m sad that it’s defined her time so much on the show. Honestly, I’m glad the other queens called out her negativity on Untucked–although she sort of laughed it off, I think she got the message.
Kim: Hopefully we’ll be able to see more of her sweet, funny side!
Chad: So, when we get this far into the season, some of the challenges can get really tight–do you agree that Adore and Trinity should have lip synched? I have mixed feelings about that decision.
Kim: I love Adore’s personality. She always seems like she’s genuinely having fun with everything they do on the show. She really brings the joyous spirit of drag.
Trinity is very polished, and I love that she’s able to completely change her make up with every challenge. It was such a pleasure to see her grow throughout the competition, and I wanted to see more from her. This week wasn’t her time to go. Both of their lip syncs were hella entertaining to watch. I think both of them have a solid career lined up post-RPDR.
Chad: I really hope that’s the case. I agree that Trinity grew tremendously throughout the show, and she’s proven herself to be talented, ambitious, and a class act.
Chad: I agree with everything you said about Adore, too–though her playful personality hurt her in the interview challenge.
However, I expected Joslyn and Trinity to be lip synching–any idea why that didn’t happen?
Kim: I think in terms of reality television, that would’ve been way too obvious for the viewers?
Chad: Yeah, that may be true–I couldn’t help but feel like Ru decided Trinity’s storyline had been pretty much wrapped up. And they wanted to light a fire under Adore’s ass.
Kim: They’ve done an underdog story the past two seasons, so perhaps this season they’re looking to reward a seasoned queen?
Chad: Well, Bianca certainly seems to have some unstoppable momentum. It was interesting to see her fall short in the talk show challenge.
Kim: She’s an insult comic (in her own words) and perhaps not being able to insult/crack a joke at the expense of her talk show guests hindered her?
Chad: She doesn’t seem to have any trouble expressing warmth and wisdom in the workroom, but maybe you’re right. I was actually surprised at how many queens struggled with this challenge–who would have guessed that it’s so hard to make it look so easy?
I have to tell you, I was SO relieved that Dela did so well. We only saw a short section of her interview, but she certainly seemed at ease and relatable.
Kim: I thought Darienne might be able to nail this challenge – she came across very comforting and nurturing when I met her.
Chad: Yeah, these sort of challenges can be totally unpredictable that way! And next week is the makeover challenge, which could be even crazier! I feel like those ones always end badly.
Kim: Whoever gets Bianca will be super lucky! To be able to wear that amazing custom lacefront….
I mean that hairline is so ridiculously good!
Chad: So, tell me, WHAT is your obsession with these wigs?? These are, like, some fancy custom jobs?
Kim: A lot of the times, queens have to spray their roots to hide the hairline, but you can tell Bianca’s lacefronts are customed to her head, strand by strand.
Her hair game is unclockable!
Chad: Ha! Add it to the list!
Kim: No $11 wigs from Amazon on Bianca’s head!
Chad: I really loved this week’s runway–you know I love those outrageous costumes! Aside from Courtney’s wings, were there any others that stood out?
Kim: I loved the holographic glitter on Darienne’s eyelid. It pulled the sparkles in her gray dress nicely. I loved Trinity’s look — also made me wonder how she brought that delicate thing over the plane. Ben’s was my absolute favorite. Her runway look was odd but pretty, and the way she walked it out sold the whole package for me.
Chad: I loved Dela’s outfit, though it’s so elaborate and outrageous that it was really, really hard to draw!!
Chad: If you had been in this runway challenge, what animal would you have been?
Kim: I think I would’ve chosen the bird of paradise, giraffe, or a pig. Probably the pig, though.
Chad: Ha! Only YOU could make that glamorous! Would you have a pig snout? Ears? A tail???
Kim: I would probably make a giant wire head, kind of like the ones seen in Thom Browne’s fall 2014 collection. With a giant, glittery snout.
Chad: Oooooh wow!
Kim: But so big that I can barely fit through the runway doors.
Chad: HA! See, THIS is why I want to see YOU on the show.
Thanks so, so much to Kim Chi for chatting with me this week!
Kim hosts DRAG CARNAGE, a monthly drag show in Chicago that she produces with NEVERLAND, an amazing group of artists and designers. Their next events are DRAG CARNAGE CARIOCA at Hydrate on May 2nd, followed that night by the “WE LOVE BRASIL” Carnaval extravaganza, which Kim describes as “a tribal circuit party that infuses party and art.”
(I believe they’ll also be debuting some fabulous new shirts and merchandise there, designed by yours truly!)
You might also recognize Kim from my own work drawing the CHICAGO QUEENS, and she shows up as a superhero in my comic THE QUEENS, which makes its print debut this Monday, at TRANNIKA’S MOST WANTED. We’ll have a pre-show release party with many of the girls who appear in the comic, like Shea Coulee, Trannika Rex, Ruby Dee, and of course, Kim Chi! Oh, and this shady queen named Raja will be there, too, if you’ve heard of her.
Joining me this week is Tim “TinTim” Jones-Yelvington, a fabulous Chicago queen and popular commentator on the Drag Race!
Chad: So, I thought these two episodes told a particularly interesting and INTENSE story–most notably about Trinity, Joslyn, Dela, and Laganja. It was almost a relief to get through them in one week! I wouldn’t want to endure Dela’s rough patch any longer than I had to.
TinTim: It was like a little movie, whole storylines began and spun out all in an evening. I wouldn’t call it cathartic exactly, but it was… intense.
Chad: I was truly a nervous wreck for about three straight hours, seriously. Seeing my favorite girl Dela go through those tortuous challenges, the lip sync, the HECKLER! Wanna dish on Dela first?
TinTim: For sure, since she’s my favorite as well. I could tell in advance they were building up for a no-elimination episode, but Ru STILL had me after that lip sync, for a split second I felt pure terror in my heart.
TinTim: What do you think about the whole Michelle thing, asking to see more of the “real” Dela?
Chad: Well, I think character queens have an interesting path to take on this show. Previous queens who’ve come onto the show with a strong character (Like Jinkx, even Sharon) ended up mostly dropping the character, except for certain challenges. As Trinity put it, when Dela’s in drag, she’s Dela. Do you think Dela’s character is holding her back?
TinTim: Well… it’s super weird at first hearing Michelle say she doesn’t know how to connect with her, given that I feel a stronger emotional connection with Dela than I do with most of the other queens who have been on the show… that probably sounds crazy and stalkerish, and it kind of is. But… I think we have to remember that she isn’t privileged with the kind of information we have about Dela — she doesn’t know that her whole aesthetic is about finding truth and authenticity THROUGH artifice. I think Dela may have a different way of thinking about the distinction between self and art and character and identity and all that, which is part of what I’m attracted to. Like, to Dela, to play a character is potentially more true than his supposedly “true” self.
Chad: I agree–with Dela, it’s crucial to understand that her character has been carefully cultivated over years. Some queens in the past have been criticized for the fact that they keep the exact same voice and attitude in drag as out of it. Dela changes so much when in drag that it’s understandably unnerving, especially when, as the judges do, you largely see them when they’re “on.”
She’s clearly FAR more self-aware than Laganja, who somewhat bewilderingly demonstrated a complete and utter ignorance of how she acts on set.
TinTim: SERIOUSLY. I think with Laganja, it ultimately doesn’t really matter whether she was “putting on an act” or not, the problem was that she was immature and irritating and alienated the audience. I think Joslyn nailed it when she said, “You demand attention instead of commanding it.”
Chad: Yeah, I can’t help but feel a deep sympathy for Laganja, even though I found her affect as annoying as anyone. Some people withdraw when they’re anxious or uncomfortable, others talk fast or aggressively. Laganja does a bad Alyssa Edwards impersonation and punctuates her non-jokes with a deathdrop or two.
I was really moved when, amidst the somewhat jaw-dropping UNTUCKED after Episode 8, Adore spoke up and essentially said, “The Laganja I love is NOT the queen I see when the cameras turn on.”
Did you expect Laganja’s arc to turn out this way?
TinTim: Not at all, actually. Like a lot of people, I thought they were setting her up for a fall followed by redemption after she confessed some kind of childhood trauma, and that she was one of the young ones they were investing in. Also, like a lot of folks, I thought Trinity and Joslyn might be “cannon fodder” and not as complex and cool as they’ve turned out to be.
Chad: Yeah, I was pretty shocked–despite how much I love Joslyn, I assumed she would be the queen to leave. I didn’t expect Laganja to make it to the final 3, but I definitely expected her to make it to the top 4 or 5. And where was the inevitable lip sync against Adore that all of us expected? My one hope is that Laganja sees how she came across on the show and is able to learn from it. She’s a fiiiieeeerce queen, and I can imagine that she left the show feeling shattered and bitter from the experience.
TinTim: I hope she can earn her diva stripes enough to be able to get away with lines like, “I want the whole world to hold my hand.” Because truth be told, she had some of the best dialogue of the season, I feel like somebody like Alyssa could get away with saying something that ridiculous. It’s very “C.C. Bloom is a deeply feeling person.” Except unlike C.C. Bloom, Laganja hasn’t proven herself enough to talk like that.
Chad: You mentioned that Joslyn and Trinity have grown to be more complicated and capable than a lot of us had assumed. I’m totally on board, though it makes the remainder of the season excruciatingly intense. With only seven left, it only takes one blunder or misstep to land in the bottom two, and at this point, I’ll be sorry to see any of these queens leave!
What do you make of Joslyn’s growth throughout the doubleheader TV movie we saw Monday?
TinTim: Hm. I wouldn’t say she grew exactly… although I guess she became more confident in herself in relation to her idol. But mostly I thought she continued to show that she is smarter and funnier (even if her stand up was a mixed bag) than we anticipated. But I’m actually kind of worried about how quickly everyone turned against Courtney Act for her comments… I didn’t think they were that bad. She didn’t say Joslyn was unpolished, she said she thought she was less polished, and it seemed like she did it relatively honestly and without any mean-spiritedness. I get frustrated sometimes with this show’s fans, at least the ones on the internet — because while a lot of the time, they seem really smart and savvy, moreso than producers seem to give them credit for, sometimes they also, like, turn on a dime and become all about hating an individual based on one or two onscreen moments. It seems really unfortunate.
Chad: I think the dynamic between Joslyn and Courtney has been fascinating, though I agree–we should always be aware of the show’s editorial spin. Courtney’s essentially reaching out and saying, “Here, let me help you,” and Joslyn is upset that Courtney would think she needs the help.
TinTim: Which on the one hand I understand, because I am an artist and I get ego, but at the same time, she is the one saying she has idolized Courtney, so isn’t that an acknowledgment that she has something to learn from her?
Chad: Good point!
You mentioned that fans shouldn’t make too much of a single comment–but what about the simmering animosity Darienne keeps expressing toward Dela? That seemed rooted entirely in one throwaway comment Dela made after her second win!
TinTim: Yeah, that whole thing is so weird and uncomfortable to me. It seems like maybe it’s just a combination of Darienne not much liking Dela’s personality, and perhaps also seeing her as her most direct competition. But again, it seems like a lot has been made of very little, even with reference to Darienne — she has expressed her opinion, but she hasn’t DONE anything problematic, other than be mildly unpleasant, she stays semi-professional.
Chad: Yeah, I find the Darienne/Dela dynamic unsettling, too, particularly since I like both queens a lot. Darienne has had a rough go of it this season– she lip synched in her first episode, and she’s been consistently criticized on the runway. I can see why she’d be particularly sensitive toward anyone else who’s been shining on the show.
Although I hated seeing Dela stumble through both of this week’s challenges, I think it’s the best thing that could have happened to her as a contender for the crown–she was too successful too early in the season, and now this has us rooting for her! Jinkx gained the most rabid fans last year when they (and I) felt compelled to stand up and defend her!
TinTim: Yeah, but I have also really appreciated Dela’s swagger in contrast to Jinkx (not that it’s fair to compare them), it just feels… draggier, more queenly. But I have also heard that Dela has really explicitly stated that she did that deliberately to avoid getting characterized as weak and unable to stand up for herself the way Jinkx did.
Chad: So, the last queen I wanted to discuss is Trinity–she had the most startling transformation over these two hours of television. At the start of Episode 7, she was practically dragged into that workroom, hiding behind those shades. Girl was over it. Ru and Bianca coaxed her out of her shell to give a pretty good performance in the commercial challenge, but I was most impressed with her stand-up set! Besides the jokes, it was her confidence and poise that really struck me, the ease with which she interacted with the audience. I was stunned.
TinTim: Yeah, this turnaround was so startling I almost distrusted it. But at the same time, as a viewer, I was totally sucked in and full of feels, I felt legit proud of her. I always respected her, but for the first time, I felt like I would be okay if she stuck around through the top 3. But then also, looking back, I don’t think her performances in some of the early challenges were as terrible as they were made out to be. She was very uncomfortable, and voiced her discomfort too much, but in the musical challenge and the horror challenge, for instance, she pulled it together and behaved professionally. I think this is because she has discipline and is a perfectionist. So in light of that, combined with the mentorship from Bianca, the transformation wasn’t AS unbelievable to me. But I am glad that people appreciate her now, I hated how mean they were being to her on social media and such.
Chad: I agree, a lot of her earlier performances did turn out pretty well, but it was the grumbling and uncertainty that preceded each of them that was the problem. Especially since pretty much all of the challenges so far have been with teams, her attitude has kept any queen from wanting to work with her.
Aside from her stand-up set, her shining moment this week was in Episode 7’s UNTUCKED, when she stood up for the other queens who had been picked apart–Joslyn, Laganja, and Dela. She spoke to each of their strengths, bolstering their spirits. Is she… the anti-Bianca??
TinTim: That was AMAZING. She should become the Iyanla Vanzant of drag. Does anyone remember Iyanla? It was as good or better than anything Ru has done on Drag U or in the Tic Tac lunches. Yeah, she and Bianca could team up to do a great good cop-bad cop schtick, where Bianca breaks people down with her tough love, then Trinity builds them back up like a life coach.
TinTim: I’m curious what you thought of the makeup challenge in general. I feel like every season, there’s at least one of these challenges — in the past, I’ve called it the “WTF” challenge — where it’s really hard for the queens to know what to shoot for tonally — if you go too funny, you risk not taking the product seriously enough, but if you go too earnest, then it can flatline like Courtney and Joslyn’s. I always have mixed feelings about these “sell a product” challenges — on the one hand, I think it’s interesting to see them try to learn how to code switch the way Ru has had to in order to function and have a long career in mainstream media. On the other hand, it’s kind of gross and like the opposite of drag’s more underground or transgressive spirit.
Chad: Well, you’re right–it’s a tricky balance. Last year, we were treated to Alaska’s unforgettable “Red for Filth” commercial, but that commercial challenge succeeded precisely because the queens were called upon to sell their own (made-up) product, not the latest thing Ru’s hawking.
I thought that the pairing of the queens for the challenge was diabolically brilliant, and it almost seemed too easy that each team was assigned their own theme. Dela and Darienne’s commercial wasn’t terrible, but their deranged, drugged cougars were a little too offbeat to make for a good commercial, or comedy.
TinTim: I thought it was kind of like a Cecily Strong-Vanessa Bayer SNL sketch that failed.
Chad: Yeah, the skit needed a straight man. Like, Dela would be a normal cougar, and Darienne would show up swaddled in bandages from her extensive plastic surgery, trying to act as if everything’s normal. Dela makes everything better with some thoughtful application of RU’S MAKEUP NAME for COLORLOTION.
Ultimately, I was shocked that Bianca and Trinity didn’t win–the whole arc of the episode seemed predestined for it, and nothing will ever beat the image of succesful CEO Bianca Del Rio literally juggling her babies on television.
Were you surprised by any of the performances in the stand-up challenge?
TinTim: Trinity surprised me, very pleasantly, as we have discussed. I thought Dela’s delivery would be a lot stronger. Other than that — not really, I don’t think. I appreciated that they gave it to Bianca… American reality television has such a tendency to reward underdog stories and relatability over actual skills, so I always kind of like when the most truly qualified person wins, rather than the “most improved.”
Chad: I had the same feeling! I thought it would be another case of “Coco” from last year’s Roast of Ru! Bianca killed.
Tim “TinTim” Jones-Yelvington is an author and performer in Chicago, where he walks children in nature.
He posts thoughtful (and extensive!) videos on his Youtube channel about most episodes of the Drag Race.
It takes a playful look at gender in a way that any Drag Race fan will enjoy, so please take a minute and read the whole thing for free!
A lot of you are probably reading this because you follow my illustrations of RuPaul’s Drag Race, right? Well, I make comics, too! And a few months ago, I got the itch to explore some elements of gender and youthful imagination in a new comic that I co-wrote with my friend Jay Fuller. It’s THE SORCERESS NEXT DOOR, and it’s about a young boy who’d rather be an EVIL SORCERESS! It’s a short, all-ages comic exploring gender identity and backyard magic!
I had a lot of fun drawing the comic, and I hope you’ll give it a try! You can read the whole thing right here!
You should read Jay’s adorable all-ages webcomic The Boy in Pink Earmuffs, too!
Joining me this week is Megan Marie Metzger, DePaul grad student and lady arm wrestler. She’s writing her thesis on the Drag Race, and so I was excited to hear her thoughts on the show!
Chad: So what’s your particular focus with the Drag Race?
Megan: Drag Race negotiates gender, class, sexuality and race constantly. It’s also a sharp critique of the reality TV genre, where everything is for sale. Reality TV is often devalued as trash TV, and Drag Race is anything but trash. It totally elevates the genre while also bashing it.
Chad: How do you think Season 6 is faring so far?
Megan: Ru has completely flipped the script. We are no longer rooting for the unlikely underdog. Before the season premiere, I was Team Milk.
Chad: A lot of us were! Do you think this season is going to emphasize the importance of polish and professionalism? Bianca, BenDeLa, Courtney?
Megan: And being adaptable. Being able to succeed in any milieu because the queen has perfected her look and persona so much she doesn’t have to think too hard about how she would handle a challenge.
Chad: Yeah, that’s a really smart way of putting it.
Megan: Bianca is anything but the loser or the underdog. She is polished and professional and her best realized version of herself.
Chad: When you said “adaptable,” I thought… “Adore.”
Chad: Adore ISN’T polished, nor super professional.
Megan: No. But she could be.
Chad: She rolls with the punches, puts on a good show, and makes for great TV. She even makes her screw-ups funny.
Megan: I love her humor. Her “drop dead” read during the library challenge was everything.
Chad: We had a lot of fun at the library this week! Those girls wrote those jokes ahead of time. Or their friends did. Maybe it was Lil’ Poundcake.
Megan: At this point, if you don’t come to the show with an arsenal of reads already stowed away in your Caboodle, you’re doing it wrong.
Chad: I was interested in the rap battle–and how incredibly uncomfortable some of these queens were with it.
Megan: Honestly, it could have been a lot worse than it was? I kept thinking back to the Body Beautiful, Carmen Carrera’s unfortunate reggae song in season 3? Yikes.
Chad: I guess as an awkward white boy from Wisconsin, I cringe at the thought of ever being filmed trying to rap.
Megan: Like Run DMC said, “it’s tricky.”
Chad: I did love Eve and Trina’s input–it was unusual to have two guest judges directing the challenge, rather than Ru herself, wasn’t it?
Megan: Yeah, where was B-girl Michelle?
Chad: There was a lot of false bravado on the film set, but I was riveted by Adore. She brought an easy confidence to the challenge–despite her lyrical missteps, she dominated.
Megan: Adore’s short asymmetrical wig–so cute.
Chad: Yeah, it was striking and so different from her normal looks
Megan: I love when she said she wanted to be Salt n’ Pepa, not N Sync. Adore knows what’s up.
Chad: We’re starting to see an interesting dynamic emerge between Laganja and Adore–I would bet that, in the clubs where they’ve met, Laganja tends to outshine Adore. Laganja’s presence, fashion, and WILD dance moves are true showstoppers.
Megan: They really are. And Adore is this funny hot mess.
Chad: Adore’s fashion isn’t as consistent, and her live-singing doesn’t always work well in a club with a shitty sound system and rowdy audience.
Megan: Exactly. But this show works to elevate drag as a performance. It’s not just lip synching in a bar for a dollar.
Chad: This show loves to surprise us with a queen who emerges late in the season as a serious contender. Last season, Jinkx emerged a few episodes in, and then Alaska really only gained momentum during the second half of the season. Do you see any queens who have been overlooked that will pick up steam as the season progresses?
Megan: Definitely possibly Joslyn. But I have to say I can’t imagine anyone surpassing Bianca. Dela has a shot, mayyyybe.
Chad: Courtney has barely gotten any attention the past two episodes–do you think she’s got anything up her sleeve?
Megan: She is going to be a star for sure, I’m not worried about that, but, as far as this competition, Bianca has it on lock.
Chad: I love Bianca as much as anybody, but…. I’m suspicious of that. Like, WHY are the producers letting us fall in love with her from the start? WHAT ARE THEY PLANNING??
Megan: They want her to win our hearts.
Chad: But they’re also building up Adore. Do you think the top 2 will be Adore and Bianca?
Megan: I do. I think it’s going to be Adore, Bianca and Dela as the top 3.
Chad: Me too. Dela is my personal favorite right now. I’m just not sure if she’s building the momentum she needs with the show’s viewership to get the crown at the end!
Chad: What are your thoughts about Milk’s departure?
Megan: Like I said, I was Team Milk all the way, but I was frankly a little disappointed by her performance on the show. It just wasn’t the right environment for her, maybe, and that is perfectly fine. Milk was weird, but she unabashedly owned it.
Chad: I adore Milk as a person and as an artist. But he hasn’t had the years of experience like the older queens, and he doesn’t have the rabid ambition of the younger queens.
Megan: Yeah, and he is a gorgeous tall man who works at Marc Jacobs, and has a super hot ballerina boyfriend. He is doing better at life than any of the other queens, really.
Chad: I do really admire what he does with drag, though.
Megan: Me too. I love that someone who is that good looking likes to get weird. Being weird is usually a defense for people who have been told by society they are ugly (speaking from experience!) and it’s great to see a guy who looks like a Calvin Klein model destroy that whole notion.
Chad: I’m excited to see what Milk does as he gains more polish and notoriety.
Megan: I don’t want to admit that I was Team Milk because he was so dreamy but…I can’t help it! He is fine!
Chad: And he made SUCH a great first impression. That matador look will forever be one of my favorite first looks ever, ranking right up there with Raja in my book. Literally, when I compile a book, I’ll put them together in a double-page spread.
Megan: Yeah, his looks I’ve seen since the show taped are pretty impressive, too. He reminds me of the girls in the Batman movie with Joker smiles after they inhale the Joker’s poisonous gas.
Chad: I’ll miss Milk. He did us good.
Thanks so much to Megan Marie Metzger for the fabulous chat about this week’s Drag Race! You can find her on Facebook , Instagram, and at CLLAW events (Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers), where she wrestles as Divine Tragedy, their premiere drag queen wrestler.
Next week, there are TWO episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race airing back-to-back. I’m not sure how I’ll handle that, yet. Maybe one batch on Wednesday, another over the weekend? We’ll see!
Hello, and welcome to the SNATCH GAME! We’ve got special guest Oliver Sava from the AV Club for an exciting discussion about drag queens, jokes, and superheroes! I’ve been reading his work about RuPaul’s Drag Race for years, and when I saw that he’s also one of their top writers about comic books, I knew this was a guy I had to meet.
Chad: First of all, EVERYONE is excited about the Snatch Game each season. But pretty much anyone would agree that the actual event is usually a shit show. Any ideas why it grabs our imagination so much?
Oliver: It’s usually the moment that we really see which queens are going to cut it each season. Because it’s an all-around test. They need to be able to capture the celebrity’s look, their behavior, and show some semblance of wit in their responses and interactions.
Chad: I agree with that, but here’s what I think the real hook is: It’s all about the build-up, the guessing and anticipation: which character will each queen pick? Will it be a total trainwreck? Oh god, WHY would she choose HER? And the pay-off is the TRANSFORMATION, the one queen who totally blindsides you with her brilliance.
Oliver: Yeah I think that’s why each Snatch Game is such a thrill.
I loved Bianca on the Snatch Game. The look was flawless. The puppet was genius. And Judge Judy gave her free reign to interrupt and read a bitch because that’s just who Judge Judy is.
Chad: See, I love Bianca, she’s totally Top 3 material. Girl should get her own damn show. But frankly, I’m surprised she DIDN’T dominate the Snatch Game. She had the character down, the aggressive, in-your-face attitude. But it mostly felt like an insertion of catchphrases rather than the sheer improv genius that other queens like BenDelacreme came up with.
Oliver: Dela was just so clever and so graceful. There was something so smooth about her and Adore’s performance. While Bianca is harsh and abrasive, but so entertaining. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…