This week brings back an interesting conundrum I last faced in my Season 8 and All Stars 2 recaps, but never this early in the season: What happens when the judging completely diverges from my take on the performances?
And, for bonus points: what happens when despicable personalities get rewarded by the show?
I came to Drag Race in Season 6, which you could accuse of being the beginning of “RuPaul’s Best Friends’ Race.” Sure, Gia had her shady moments and Darienne had it in for BenDelaCreme, but it was mostly a sweet season about being great at drag – and I loved it. There was no villain and everyone pretty much got exactly as far as they deserved to get.
That became my model for Drag Race – that it was a total meritocracy and that it had evolved past the nastiness I glimpsed when going back to prior seasons. Even if her fashion was aces, how could I love Raja when she was a mean girl who labeled other people “Boogers”? Even if their fashion was stellar, why would I root for RoLaskaToxxx if their sole reason for being became bullying Jinkx?
We haven’t really seen a serious villain since then, but it’s not a coincidence that the two seasons I quit ranking before the finale were the two that really turned my concept of drag meritocracy on its ear. I couldn’t understand the departure of Acid Betty and the lack of rewards for Thorgy in Season 8, and I was puzzled by the EZ-Pass given to Alaska (and, sometimes, Detox) in All Stars.
A broken meritocracy and the return of villainy have converged here on Season 10. This is the third week in a row the judging hasn’t even commented on an obvious challenge winner in order to serve a heavy-handed narrative. We have Monique Heart being criminally ignored and the early emergence of an “always a bridesmaid” story for Miz Cracker. Meanwhile, the judges fawn over any decent look from Aquaria, and Eureka gets a comeback narrative while she comes off as the nastiest queen we’ve had since original-flavor Roxxxy.
I love drag and I love this show, but I can’t get excited about parroting misguided rankings based on the judges’ feedback and the edit. From this point out, I’m going to simply write this up as “Krisis’s Drag Race,” and boost the queens I am personally living for – which so far has not included Aquaria.
Start your engines, readers. And may the best woman … win! [Read more…] about RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 Power Rankings, Episode 04 – The Last Ball On Earth