Rupaul’s Drag Race: Season 5, Episode 2on February 6, 2013 at 10:18 am
So, when Ru said this episode would be all about drag herstory, I got so excited! Finally, they’re bringing in a historical context! What will they be referencing, Paris is Burning? Pink Flamingos? Stonewall?
Nope. Past seasons of the Drag Race.
Which, admittedly, was a lot of fun! Although the lip synch challenge might have seemed strange, I have seen drag queens incorporate that spoken word style into their stage acts, so it’s at least as relevant to the art of drag as any of this show’s other outrageous challenges.
Plus, it gave me an excuse to dig up some of my favorite old pieces, like Raja’s stunning powdered wig costume.
I loved the queens who brought a little something special to their lip synch performances–like Jinkx, with her sadsack rendition of Mimi, even though I wish she would have gotten rid of that troublesome lampshade! (It was, however, a funny homage to Mimi’s original and unforgettable headpiece, which I depicted in one of my very first Drag Race portraits!)
I couldn’t help but be tickled by Detox and Alaska, who definitely bring a sense of spontaneity and edge to these challenges. Who could resist that bloody, outrageous kiss between their Sharon and Phi Phi?
We’re still so early in the season that there are just too many damn queens on this show! And they really are all so good, it’s hard for any but the most outspoken to stand out. I’m hoping we continue to see a lot more of Jinkx, Honey, and Ivy, who’ve all suffered from lack of screen time.
The show didn’t seem to establish any particular theme for this week’s runway challenge, so a lot of queens seem to have brought out their craziest outfits, vying for attention. Most of them were totally fabulous, and it was hard picking just a few! (I mean seriously, I didn’t even have time for Ivy’s crazy butterfly outfit!)
First, Jinkx Monsoon! Yes, her outfit this week was very simple, but it was sleek and wonderful, and I adore this queen. Get used to it, girls!
Next, Alaska! Was this a showstopping outfit? No, but it was nice to see Alaska showing off a sleek, dark look.
Although some people might get sick of her raucous brand of humor, I think she’s smart and sharp enough to keep us guessing. If you doubt me, check out the preview for next week’s episode, where she slips in some delightfully twisted humor during an otherwise silly mini-challenge.
Serena ChaCha caught a lot of flak for her claims about bringing a unique, intellectual edge to the show–but in fact, I think it’s queens like Sharon Needles, Alaska, Jinkx, and Detox who are already bringing their own brands of self-aware, thoughtful, and transgressive sensibilities to drag, expanding its boundaries and categories. And, you know, having fun while they’re doing it!
Detox’s costume this week was all kinds of crazy–I can only guess that she was dressed as some sort of evil fairytale queen? But it was fun as hell to draw.
I was utterly transfixed by Honey’s runway look this week–something about the way she worked that flowing pink fabric made her seem otherworldly! I live for Honey’s sleek fashion, so I’m hoping we see a lot more of her.
And finally: Roxxxy Andrews! I thought this was a STUNNING look–Ms. Roxxxy is really growing on me. I’m guessing she’ll have a lot of variety and sophistication in her runways looks this season, and that they’ll leave all of us gagging.
Inevitably, the episode dedicated to revisiting the most dramatic scenes from past seasons led to one of the most unforgettable Untucked sequences in Drag Race herstory, featuring the utter annihilation of a drag queen. (Poor Serena!) If you missed it, you must go watch it now. Despite that cringe-inducing pile-on of Serena, the message from Monica’s mom was pretty special.
As always, you can buy prints and book collections of all my best art from past seasons of the Drag Race, and I’m hoping to make some Season 5 work available soon!