Drag Race is tak­ing over

Ru­paul and his clique of queens are the new main­stream

NW - - Nw News -

If you can’t love your­self, how the hell you gonna love some­body else?” If these words don’t ig­nite some sort of pas­sion within you, chances are you have yet to be ini­ti­ated into the Ru­paul’s Drag Race fan club.

The re­al­ity gameshow – which streams on Stan in Aus­tralia and sees drag queens com­pete for the ti­tle of Amer­ica’s Next Drag Su­per­star – is a phe­nom­e­non. Hav­ing picked up 10 Emmy nom­i­na­tions over its nine years, Drag Race’s 10th sea­son is its most-watched yet, while host Ru­paul Charles re­cently be­came the first drag queen to be awarded a star on the Hol­ly­wood Walk of Fame.

In order to snatch the crown, con­tes­tants need to display Ru­paul’s de­sired qual­i­ties of “Charisma, Unique­ness, Nerve and Tal­ent” – and the acro­nym those words spell out should give you a sense of the show’s sass.

Ru who?

But let’s back­track. “What is a Ru­paul?” we hear some of you cry. A singer, ac­tor, TV per­son­al­ity and su­per­model of the world, dahh­ling, Ru­paul has worked as a drag queen for decades, paving the way for gen­er­a­tions af­ter him to be ac­cepted and adored.

Naomi Camp­bell summed up the in­ef­fa­ble at­trac­tion of Ru when he was cho­sen as one of TIME’S 100 Most In­flu­en­tial Peo­ple of 2017, say­ing, “I first met Ru in the e ’90s ’90swhen when I was do­ing a shoot t on 14th Street­treet Street in New York City. ty. As soon as I saw him I wanted d to know where wherew he was go­ing be­cause ecause that was wasw where I wanted ted to be.”

Her­sto­ryryy in the mak­ing king

While other TV chan­nels in the he US are strug­gling, gling, Drag Race is s do­ing won­ders for its little-known net­work VH1. Ex­ec­u­tive ive pro­ducer Tom m Camp­bell Camp­bel ll says that the de­ci­sion to o move “the gayest ayest show on tele­vi­sion” ” to VH1 was wasw “not only brave ave but, based bas sed on our record-break­ing d-break­ing rat­ings, it was as ge­nius”.

And the show how is a work wor rk of ge­nius, sim­ply ly be­cause, at its heart, it’s about out ac­cep­tance, ac­cep­tan nce,

love­landds ti ck in­gik­it­wofi fin­gers up to the sta­tus statu quo. “Drag has al­ways served se a pur­pose. We mock iden­tity, iden we’re shapeshifters,” shapeshifters Ru­paul, 57, af­firms. “At its it core, it’s a so­cial state­ment statem and a big ‘F**k you!’ to male­dom­i­nated cul­ture.” cu

Throw in hi­lar­i­ous h chal­lenges, jawja drop­ping out­fits outfi and end­less sass, s and you’ve got go

your­self a hit. hi

They came to slay

From hum­ble hu be­gin­nings as a cont con­tro­ver­sial show with a cult c fan­dom, Drag Race R has gone on to be­come a so­cial me­dia sen­sa­tion and an int in­te­gral part of pop cul­ture. Think T you’ve man­aged man­agedd to es­cape its reaches? Nuh-uh, hunty. Sea­son Six run­ner-up – and for­mer Aus­tralian Idol star – Court­ney Act won this year’s UK Celebrity Big Brother and joined Drag Race alums Wil­lam and Alaska in the video clip for Little Mix’s Power. Sea­son Six win­ner Bianca Del Rio just re­leased her new movie, the “she­quel” Hur­ri­cane Bianca: From Rus­sia With Hate, while Mi­ley Cyrus – who was in the au­di­ence at Sea­son Eight’s fi­nale – per­formed with past queens at the 2015 MTV VMAS. Cur­rent Sea­son 10 queen Aquaria be­lieves drag go­ing main­stream is a good thing. “It’s al­lowed tons of tal­ented per­form­ers to be recog­nised for their work on a much larger scale. Peo­ple are becoming more com­fort­able with the con­cept of drag, and what gen­der means [or doesn’t mean] in to­day’s so­ci­ety. If see­ing me on tele­vi­sion makes you feel brave enough to live your life con­trary to how so­ci­ety thinks you should, then I have done my job. And you have the main­stream­ing of drag to thank for al­low­ing me to do that.”

So while some might rather keep drag a club for the “cool kids”, see­ing a sub­cul­ture in­flu­ence pop cul­ture is pos­i­tive progress, re­ports Heat mag. Plus, who doesn’t love to gaze upon the won­ders of glama­zo­nian queens?

Adding a ton of glit­ter to the world can only make it brighter. And if Drag Race is tak­ing over the world, then we’re sure as hell gonna let it. Af­ter all, as Mamma Ru says, ”We’re all born naked, and the rest is drag.” n

Drag Race fan faves Ben­delacreme, Aquaria (cen­tre) and Shangela are all tour­ing Oz later this year

Thanks to the suc­cess of Drag Race, Ru­paul won’t be sashay­ing away from the spotlight any­time soon! Af­ter mak­ing it to the top three in her sea­son of Drag Race, our very own Court­ney Act won UK Celebrity Big Brother ear­lier this year Mi­ley per­formed at...

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