This is an all-time classic episode of Drag Race, with a difficult marketing maxi-challenge, a stunning runway theme, and a helping of drama (if you like that sort of thing) (and I don’t).
This episode’s feather-themed runway is one of the strongest themes in the history of the show. The majority of these looks would be winners against any other runway lineup, and a two of them will probably go down as a pair of the most memorable looks in Drag Race history.
Behind the scenes in Untucked, the queens get into a serious discussion of Drag Race and race when Aquaria suddenly turns timid after coming for The Vixen’s borrowed red wig. The debate isn’t that Aquaria’s argument is valid (and it’s not, really), but that their confrontation is the perfect model of how white queens never get the blame when it comes to drag drama while queens of color get vilified for clapping back.
Vixen really appeals to me here as a queen who understands the tragedy that playing the game her way – which includes calling out bullshit where she sees it – is going to earn her hate just because of the color of her skin. A white queen with the same strategy would be an all-time fan favorite, but she will inevitably go down as a more divisive contestant.
Yet, instead of playing the coquette, she chooses to lean into her personality. That recontextualizes her “here to fight” entrance line. It’s not that Vixen is mean or messy. It’s that she is unequivocally herself, and she’s not going to back down from that.
I have zero interest in the petty side of Drag Race, which means a contestant who is “here to fight” is a total turnoff for me no matter the color of her skin. Yet, I’m conscious enough of my implicit bias to understand that I can be quicker to dismiss a black queen who is being messy even without intending to be racist. Just because I love Bob, Shangela, and Chi Chi doesn’t mean I don’t have my own racism to confront.
By contrast, Aquaria now looks extra-bad for her equally deliberate confrontational nature from these past three episodes. She’s a brainy queen who knows exactly what she’s doing whens she provokes Vixen or Cracker, but she also knows she can squeak by on the power of being an easily-forgivable pretty white queen.
Wow – that got heavy pretty fast! Let’s get light as a feather with this stunning runway and another week of major shake-ups in the rankings compared to the previous rundown.
Start your engines, readers. And may the best woman … win! [Read more…] about RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 Power Rankings, Episode 03 – Tap That App