Every May, I feel a pang of sadness, despite how much I love Spring and the Summer that follows. The reason? May marks the end of one of my favorite shows, Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Most Mondays between January and May are spent watching or chit-chatting with friends about the bevy of queens Ru has assembled to compete for the title “The Next Drag Superstar”.
The first few episodes of this season made me think we weren’t off to the best start. But then about episode 4 or 5 things started to get more interesting, the challenges more difficult, the runway outfits more fabulous. But what’s always most fascinating to me is the transformation of these guys into amazing feminine creatures. I don’t have any interest in doing drag but the show certainly gives you an appreciation for how much is involved.
The season finale was this past Monday and for anyone in the know, the winner was RAJA, who I was fortunate enough to meet the weekend before. Most people agree that she most deserved it and was the clear favorite from the very beginning. She wasn’t, however, without competition. As the weeks rolled on, there was marked improvement in some of the weaker queens, and the “runner up”, Manila Luzon, could have also taken the crown. One of my fellow Drag-race-watching pals said: “I’m actually more disappointed than I thought that Manila didn’t win”. He was a big fan of Manila Luzon. The queen in third place was Alexis Mateo, who does great justice to more traditional drag. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, FL, so I hope to see her sometime when visiting my mom in nearby Clearwater.
The Advocate did a great interview with Raja and below is one of the most hilarious questions the magazine asked her:
Let’s play a game of “screw, marry, kill” with your fellow competitors. OK, go.
Screw Carmen Carrera, marry Delta Work, and kill Shangela.
Raja later mentions that she and Shangela are friends and calls her hysterical and brilliant. It’s a great read as you get some insight into the show’s editing process, etc. Read the full Advocate article about RAJA.
Whether you’ve seen the show or not, this video—posted on manilaluzon.com—will give you an idea of two of the drag race queens’ senses of humor, Manila and the “infamous” Shangela. They are both hilarious as they describe the celebrities they’d like to transform into drag queens, giving each of them drag names.
So another season of one of television’s most fun shows has come to an end. At least we have the reunion special to look forward to this Monday, May 2. It’s at 9:00p.m. EST on LOGO. You can also view it online at logoonline.com.