#RuPaul

3 Things I DON’T Want to See on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11

There will be little to no time to waste in the RuPaul’s Drag Race universe later this month, as season 11 of the long-running series will premiere only two weeks after All Stars 4 has finished. VH1 has also moved the show to a new night… Thursdays, beginning February 28. Just giving the heads up in case a gaggle of my fellow gays show up to a local gay bar that Friday expecting to say “yasssss” to the TV screen, but they are playing gay porn instead.

This show has been on for a decade and has succeeded at many things that has led it to be where it is today. Unfortunately, there are aspects to the program that need to stop ASAP. This was evident in AS4 and I’m hoping that it doesn’t continue in season 11.

RPDR could be in danger in jumping the shark if they continue with these three things in my opinion. So relax, untuck, and read on for what RPDR should not do when season 11 premieres very soon.

Way too many comedy challenges.

The amount of comedy challenges in each season is a bit much. It’s good to show the comedic abilities with many of these queens, but that doesn’t define what makes them great. All Stars 4 had: Snatch Game of Love, Lady Bunny’s roast, Sex and the Kitty Girl 3 and Jersey Justice. It’s… a lot. There must be other things that these producers can come up with to showcase the strengths that they all have.

Force storylines.

We can see fake drama from a mile away… Gia Gunn. I get that this show must be dramatic somehow, and we don’t need it to be RuPaul’s Best Friend Race, but there must be a way to create several episodes where the frustrations, tears and comradery can come organically.

No more lip sync for the crown.

Lip synching for the crown is an insult to any queen that participates on the show. It means that you only win because of how your body and mouth moves for two songs. This negates everything you’ve done up to this point… not to mention how you excel outside the show. It started in season 9, where the arguable final two of Shea Coulee and Trinity Taylor (now the Tuck) were eliminated in the lip sync battle royale over two queens who expertly revealed what they did in order to win (Sasha Velour and Peppermint). It’s kind of the Drag Race equivalent of spending months doing research on an assignment that someone wings last minute and gets a higher grade. It needs to stop, as the season 10 finale one was a f***ing mess from start to finish and I really don’t want to see who will win RuPaul’s Best Reveal Race… hunties.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

 

Who Has The Best Shot at Winning All Stars 4?

I stated last week that I’m pretty much over All Stars 4. I still would’ve said that regardless if the queen who should’ve won the whole thing, Manila Luzon, hadn’t been eliminated. This show has quickly become overkill in terms of how often it’s on, and the special aspect that it used to have is starting to dim regardless of how talented these queens are.

That being said, we reached our penultimate episode on Friday night. The beginning of it was about how some of the queens were shocked about Naomi Smalls’ choice to send Manila home. Turns out… Monet would’ve done the same thing. So the season 3 finalist and overall legend was screwed no matter what. Meh.

The maxi-challenge is another tired formula that this show does practically every season: a spoof or parody. This time it’s Sex and the Kitty Girl 3, which… I don’t even have to say the iconic program they are referencing.

This spoof, just like the one they did for AS3 (My Best Squirrelfriend’s Dragmaid’s Wedding Trip) was bad. The judges acknowledged this too. It was painful to watch minus a couple funny moments from Trinity the Tuck (sex-crazed Kim) and Monique Heart (the girl who fell out the party window. Kristen Johnston much?). I felt bad for Felicity Huffman, an Emmy award-winning actress, that she had to sit through such a mess.

Trinity and Monique were in the top, which meant everyone else (including Latrice Royale) was in the bottom. Spoiler alert: Latrice got sent packing again after Trinity won the lip sync to Janet Jackson’s classic “When I Think of You.” Love Latrice, we all do, but it didn’t make any sense for her to be top four just like it would’ve been pointless for Morgan McMichaels to do so in AS3.

So now we are left with our final four… which I would’ve never predicted when the season began. I had my sights initially set on Manila and Valentina in the end, however one was screwed and the other appeared to just give up. So it’s Trinity, Monique, Monet and Naomi battling for the crown? Meh. Meh.

For me, it’s Trinity’s game to lose… with Monique and Monet right behind her. Naomi is great, but they barely gave her a winner’s edit let alone an edit this season. Come to think of it, no one really had that great of a winner’s edit from my POV… so maybe they did that on purpose so the audience couldn’t clearly figure out who scored the win in the end?

Trinity statistically did the best. She’s still criminally underrated in the Drag Race universe but did so well in both seasons and was able to shine quite a bit in AS4minus a comedic slip up during the Lady Bunny challenge. If the whole “lip sync for your legacy” thing didn’t begin in season 9, she would’ve had a better chance for the crown as the final two should’ve been her and Shea Coulee that year (still love all four finalists though).

Monique and Monet have had shining moments, but to me they oddly cancel each other out. Maybe because they came from the same season and aren’t as seasoned as some of the vets before them. I said this in the past: you can’t be an All Star if you just came off the show. You have to build an audience for years, become known for something other than a sponge or a brown cow, In order to even qualify for a show like this. Yes, Naomi didn’t really get much attention this time around but she’s built a huge brand in the years since her time on Drag Race with the popular YouTube series M.U.G. alongside Kim Chi and so much more.

So… Trinity for the win. Oh and season 11 premieres in three weeks, so if you need be I’ll be untucking until the next round starts right back up again.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

Opinion: All Stars 4 Has Been a Huge Waste of Time

I went to a friend’s place on Friday night to watch the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4. This season hasn’t been that fun to watch, but this is the kind of show that you have to see its way to the end no matter what the outcome may be.

This particular episode revolved around the popular makeover challenge. Each of the remaining queens were joined by their best “Judy’s”, where they dragged them up and did a choreographed dance with them to a song inspired by the late & great Judy Garland.

It was a cute show. The “Judy’s” were fun to watch, as each had an emotional impact to the competitors in very different ways. Latrice Royale’s “Judy”, for instance, has known her for 25 years and helped get the legendary queen through her time in prison. Manila Luzon and Trinity the Tuck both had their significant others there, which brought out the tears of joy in each of them.

In the end (spoiler alert), Naomi Smalls won the challenge. It didn’t come as much of a surprise given that fashion is what she excels in the most. She rightfully took home the win with her Sonny & Cher inspired ensembles.

The bottom two ended up being Latrice and Manila, where Naomi dared to do the smart thing (in my opinion) and send home Manila. The season 3 veteran has arguably been the one to beat this season, so Naomi taking her out when there are still so many girls left was a great move and one that doesn’t come across as something personal.

The episode ended, and I turned to my friend’s and said “this season has been a huge waste of time.” They laughed, but I further explained why I felt this way… and it had nothing to do with Manila being eliminated as I don’t let those sorts of decisions affect my life like how it does to many others.

All Stars 4 is something that arrived way sooner than it needed to. It’s sort of like when you just sit down to the dinner table and order your food and its ready in 2 minutes. Woah there, hold on. This isn’t needed yet. We just finished several months of this show, as All Stars 3 and season 10 of RPDR aired back to back.

There’s a consistent need and desire to keep this show running in our minds all year round, as not only do we have two different shows now but DragCon and endless RPDR-related events as well. It’s fantastic that this has become a well-oiled machine, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a little bit of time for at least one part of that machine to work effectively before it burns the f**k out.

All Stars is a concept that started horribly and came back beautifully (talking AS1 and AS2 here). Then All Stars 3 happened a year later, and it flopped (for so many reasons). For them to then air season 10, take a break for maybe four or five months and bring in All Stars was not a good idea.

Here is why All Stars 4 really hasn’t been that great:

  • Way too many comedy challenges. This is like season 5 all over again. Not every queen is designed for comedy, they have other strengths. And for them to do several of these in a row just became a bit redundant and uninspired.
  • You can’t really be an All Star if your season just aired. This is a note for future All Stars seasons: WAIT YOUR TURN. An All Star to me is someone who has developed a major career for a long time outside of what initially made you famous. Casting queens from the past two seasons really doesn’t make any sense, as they are still developing their brand.
  • The forced drama could be seen by a blind person. The only drama that occurred this season was with Gia Gunn, who either knew what she was doing (Farrah Moan) or didn’t (Snatch Game of Love). It was boring, awkward and unnecessary. Perhaps that can be seen as a plus as this was a pretty mature group of queens, but there has to be something else besides an attention grabber wanting the spotlight for all the wrong reasons that keeps the viewing audience captivated.
  • The elimination concept is dull. It was exciting in AS2 and AS3 but it has sort of become predictable at this point… minus Naomi’s choice. It would be more interesting to see the regular RPDR format, as it feels like the bottom two queens really do try harder than the top two given what they are up against.

Overall All Stars is beginning to jump the shark for me just like Project Runway has done with their All Stars version. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: don’t do too much. This show would be better done once every three years as the pickings would be that much more meaningful. Otherwise the same ol same ol that the past two seasons have provided will grow old, and nobody wants a bitter Drag Race audience.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Premiered 10 Years Ago Today

February 2, 2009 was the beginning of something new, brilliant, sensational, and phenomenal.

RuPaul’s Drag Race made its official debut on television. The now iconic show was considered something fresh on LOGO way back when… with very little pandemonium compared to what it gets today.

Season one of Drag Race was incredibly simple and basic, however it needed to be in order to get to where it is today. It only had 9 contestants compared to the traditional 14 that the show has used since season 5 (minus the 12 in season 8).

It aired for little over a month, ending on March 23rd where Bebe Zahara Benet became the first ever crowned queen of RuPaul’s Drag Race over strong competition from runner up Nina Flowers. The reunion that followed featured the first ever major argument. It happened between host RuPaul and Tammie Brown, where the latter uttered the now infamous phrase “I don’t see you walking children in nature.”

This was a season that had that Barbara Walters filter, a stage that looked to be the size of my bedroom and a judge named Merle Ginsberg (she stuck around another season). Regardless of its look and feel, the show had something. The producers, queens and everyone involved made it a program worth seeing and gave our community an incredible amount of exposure during a time where we were still finding our footing on television, the movies and life.

That “something” proved to blossom into a beautifully tucked creature that shows no signs of slowing down. Here are just a couple of things that have happened for the show since it premiered way back when:

  • Won multiple Emmys including Outstanding Reality Competition Program last year. RPDR is one of only four shows to ever win in that category since its debut in 2003 outside of Top Chef, The Amazing Race and The Voice.
  • DragCon, a bi-annual gathering of some of the fiercest drag talent in the world, was created. Taking place each year in Los Angeles and New York, this 3-day weekend sells thousands of tickets to people who have traveled all over the world to see their favorite RPDR stars, buy some merchandise and experience something that would’ve never existed if this show didn’t come into play.
  • Created larger-than-life careers for 140 queens (including the 14 just announced for season 11). The S11 queens are in the quiet phase of what will eventually become pure superstardom, as this show has helped each queen heighten their career to levels that have made some of them 7-figured bosses.
  • Brought key figures back into the spotlight, notably RuPaul and Michelle Visage. There was a lull for both before this show started, and now the future is nothing but bright due to the energy each brings to the program alongside current mainstays Ross Mathews and Carson Kressley.
  • Catchphrases that many of us use on a daily are from RPDR. “Henny”, “Oh no she betta don’t”, “Halleloo,” “Back rolls?” The list goes on forever.
  • Some of the queens have taken their talents to the big screen, notably Shangela and Willam in A Star is Born and Ginger Minj in Dumpin.
  • The show has reinvigorated the gay nightlife across the world, as several gay bars host RPDR-themed nights where fans come in just to watch.

There are so many more aspects to what this show has achieved over the past decade. Bottom line is this: RuPaul’s Drag Race has been nothing but a positive force and energy for our community and my hope is that it continues for many years so that future generations can feel what we have felt.

If anything, “Shante you stay” RuPaul’s Drag Race. For a long, long time.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

Is Drag Race Overdue For Their First ‘Big Girl’ Winner?

Is Drag Race Overdue For Their First ‘Big Girl’ Winner?


Silky Nutmeg Ganache Is Coming For The Crown!

RuPaul’s Drag Race is the gift that keeps on giving. Since the series jumped ship from Logo to VH1, we haven’t gone but a few weeks without having a new season of Drag Race on our televisions and mobile devices. I’m not drag fan #1, but I enjoy being in “the know” and catching up on the latest buzz. Currently, Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars season four is wrapping up and then the new season will be here with fourteen new queens , plus the return of first boot and viral sensation Vanessa Vanjie Mateo.


We have seen a variety of stereotypes take the win over the years: the kooky outcast (Sharon NeedlesJinx Monsoon), the fashionista (RajaViolet Chachki), the comedian (Bob The Drag QueenBianca Del Rio), the professional (Chad MichaelsBebe Zahara Benet), and other forced, fabricated variations of those previously mentioned. Although there is some variety in the queens crowned, shockingly, we haven't had a person of color deemed winner since Bob in 2016 - once the series headed to VH1.  Even more so, why haven't we had a big girl winner yet?!


Through Drag Race Herstory, we've had numerous larger than life, "big" queens who have garnered a fan base. Some that come to mind are Porkchop (the famously first booted off the series), Latrice RoyaleEureka O'HaraStacy Layne MatthewsDarienne Lake, Ginger Minj, and so many more queens who are considered plus-sized enter the competition to high praise of the judges and fan base. These queens, with all of their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent, always seemed to come up short for the crown. Even though they didn't win the ultimate trophy, most have been used in following seasons as either a gag or a contender to finally take home the W. When is it going to be time for one of these girls to win?! Have we only seen O'Hara and Ginger Minj to be the only "big" girls to last until the finale? some put Roxxxy Andrews (Season 5) in the curvy girl category, but not the big girl grouping. Many will argue Eureka should've won, but point to her controversial language on social media. Then again, there was so much focus on Eureka being a big girl in the running for the crown.  Do we remember any of that when Ginger was in the finals of Season 7 to be beaten by Violet Chachki?  Her being "full of love" size didn't really become a huge talking point like it did with Eureka's season finale.  Minj was invited back to Season 2 of All Stars, but was the third to be eliminated.


The upcoming season provides us with a "big" girl who owns her size and commands attention. She's already creating a buzz on social media. 

 


Silky Nutmeg Ganache is stepping into the ring to become America's next Drag Superstar. Okay, I may be a little biased: I've known Silky for almost a decade as we've partied in college, yet I have always believed she had the absolute X factor to win this competition. With Eureka's recent loss, and knowing Silky was possibly on the show, immediately I had a thought...Silky is going to be the first "big" girl winner. She is a great representative for her niche of drag. Ganache is a pageant queen and southern belle who admittedly doesn't want fans, but family. She's going up against heavyweight social media stars such as Plastique Tiara and Brook Lynn Hytes, but her determination to win combined with her lust for entertaining the masses may put her on top. We all need to keep a close eye on Ganache, because as Sharon Needles changed the face of drag, I believe she's going to challenge and change the image of our previous Drag Race winners.

But then again, this will be all moot if when Latrice Royale wins this season of All Stars.


Don't forget to check out Ganache's "Get to know you" video below.

 


 

Writer's Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine Contributor and does not reflect the views of fellow Contributors or Instinct Magazine itself.

Here They Are: Meet The Cast Of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11

The cast of RuPaul's Drag Race season 11 has arrived!

The newest group of contenders vying for the coveted Drag Race crown was announced live on YouTube Thursday at noon eastern by Olympian Adam Rippon and season 10 winner Aquaria.

The fifteen queens competing to make their mark on the Drag-tastic 11th season include:

A’keria C. Davenport (Dallas, TX) |Instagram: @mizakeriachanel, Twitter: @A_doubleC_D From the legendary drag House of Davenport, A’keria’s slick, shiny look makes you sit up and pay attention. The current reigning Miss Black Universe, this super accomplished pageant queen is doing the Davenports proud with her signature aesthetic: “fit, fashion, mug and body.” Expect big hair, big attitude and big results from this competitor.

Ariel Versace (Cherry Hill, NJ) |Instagram/Twitter: @arielversace A life-sized Bratz doll, this queen's Jersey-licious Disney princess aesthetic is already a hit on social media, where she has a significant following. But don’t be fooled by a pretty face with a poppin’ Instagram presence – Ariel can sing, act and put on a fully entertaining show. You’ve been warned.

Brooke Lynn Hytes (Nashville, TN) | Instagram: @bhytes, Twitter: @BhytesBrock Brooke Lynn grew up in Toronto, Canada before traveling the world as a professional ballet dancer. Much of her drag centers around dance and movement and she is a prestigious former Miss Continental pageant winner. Will Brooke Lynn dazzle the judges with the same polish she brings to the dancefloor?

Honey Davenport (New York, NY) |Instagram: @honeydavenportofficial, Twitter: @Honey_Davenport New York City’s crown jewel, Honey is the second cast member hailing from the legendary House of Davenport and cites “Drag Race” alum Sahara Davenport as a mentor. With parts in Off-Broadway plays, an electro band and 18 pageant crowns under her belt, queens know to bow down to this talented diva.

Kahanna Montrese (Las Vegas, NV) | Instagram/Twitter: @kahannamontrese Las Vegas’s hip-hop showgirl, Kahanna merges edgy street influences with upscale high fashion couture. After seeing Kahanna perform just one time, “Drag Race” legend Coco Montrese adopted this spitfire performer and Kahanna’s drag identity was born. Will Kahanna finish the job that Coco Montrese started?

Mercedes Iman Diamond (Minneapolis, MN) | Instagram: @mercedesimandiamond This African princess moved from Kenya to the USA when she was 11, but Mercedes wasn’t “born” until 10 years later at the world famous Gay 90s club in downtown Minneapolis. All about the “body-odyody,” Mercedes owns any stage she sets foot on, dazzling the crowd with her graceful presence and the expensive bling she is named after.

Nina West (Columbus, OH) | Instagram/Twitter: @ninawest This comedy queen has a big reputation preceding her into the competition. Nina has won the national Entertainer of the Year pageant and writes and produces her own spectacular shows complete with showstopping dance numbers. She’s also an advocate and fundraiser for LGBTQ causes. But can this local legend live up to all of her hype?

Plastique Tiara (Dallas, TX) |Instagram/Twitter: @plastiquetiara Originally hailing from Saigon, Plastique takes a lot of drag inspiration from Vietnamese pop stars. Stunningly beautiful, her popular Instagram drag photos have even been reposted by Tyra Banks. With none other than “Drag Race” superstar Alyssa Edwards for a drag mother, all eyes will be on Plastique to see if she can deliver in the competition.

Ra’jah D. O’Hara (Dallas, TX) | Instagram: @therajahoharashow Ra’jah is from Dallas, Texas, where everything is bigger, better and bolder. A dancing queen known for her kicks, splits and tearing up the dance floor, the “D” in Ra’jah’s name stands for Davenport: this season’s third cast member from the Davenport dynasty. A high energy performer, Ra’jah warns her competitors to watch their backs when she is lip-synching.

Scarlet Envy (New York, NY) | Instagram: @scarletenvy, Twitter: @ScarletEnvyNYC Southern beauty mixed with New York City grit, Scarlet pulls from references as varied as movie stars of the 40s, Andy Warhol superstars of the 60s and supermodels of the 80s. A self-described “natural beauty,” Scarlet has worked with fashion photographer Steven Klein, Harper’s Bazaar magazine and even appeared in a musical number on Saturday Night Live.

Shuga Cain (New York, NY) | Instagram: @missshugacain, Twitter: @ShugaCainNYC A relative newcomer to drag, Shuga quit her sweet six-figure corporate job to become a full-time drag queen. But talent rises to the top, and within 18 short months Shuga has already established herself as a key fixture in the competitive New York City drag scene where she relies upon her performance background in opera and musical theater to stand out from the crowd.

Silky Nutmeg Ganache (Chicago, IL) | Instagram: @silkyganache The life of the party, you always know when exuberant “Big Silk” is in the building. But scratch the surface of this gregarious queen and you’ll find a softer side to Silk– one who was raised in the church, has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and is even on her way to becoming a Doctor of Philosophy. Let’s hope her accolades translate into success in the competition.

Soju (Los Angeles, CA) | Instagram/Twitter: @shotwithsoju Raised in Korea, Soju brings Korean influences into her drag, be it colorful crazy K-Pop aesthetics or Taekwondo martial arts weapons. Producer and star of the popular YouTube show “Shot With Soju,” where queens spill the beans about their time on “Drag Race,” Soju comes into the competition fully prepared for her own shot at the crown.

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (Los Angeles, CA) | Instagram/Twitter: @VanessaVanjie Miss Vanjie. Miss Vaanjie. Miss… Vaaanjie! Never have more iconic words been uttered by a departing queen. Despite being the first queen eliminated from season 10, Vanessa's mesmerizing backwards exit inspired memes, tweets and celebrity shout-outs and an overwhelming demand to see more of this charismatic queen. She’s back with a Vanjeance, but can the queen live up to the memes?

Yvie Oddly (Denver, CO) | Instagram/Twitter: @oddlyyvie Denver’s “commodity of drag oddity,” shock queen Yvie bucked her boring local drag scene and brought conceptual artistry into the mix. Tall and weird (her words), Yvie draws inspiration from fashion muses like Thierry Mugler, and drag stars like Christeene. Known for bringing her brain to the table, anyone who encounters Yvie is guaranteed to end up with their jaw on the floor.

For more information on RuPaul's Drag Race and up-to-date news, go to http://www.vh1press.com/series/rupauls-drag-race-season-11 and follow @RuPaulsDragRace and #DragRace across all social media for all the latest tea.

Oh Baby, Baby! Is Britney Spears Dropping By Season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race?

RuPaul’s Drag Race has had some legendary icons stop by their judging panel over the past ten regular seasons plus four for their All Stars spinoff.

The diva factor within that has been quite large, as everyone from Natalie Cole (RIP), Shania TwainLady Gaga and Christina Aguilera have all taken their turns as a judge on the Emmy-winning series. All Stars 4 has seen its share of younger divas in the making guest star on the show including CiaraRita Ora and Kacey Musgraves.

One name in particular has yet to make an appearance on the long running reality competition series. That would be Britney Spears, who is rumored to be making an appearance on the show’s upcoming 11th season (the queens from s11 will be Ruvealed this Thursday).

Andy Cohen pressed host RuPaul about Britney potentially being on RPDR during Sunday night’s Watch What Happens Live alongside Real Housewives of Atlantastar Cynthia Bailey.

“I cannot deny nor confirm!” he said, leaving things a bit ambiguous over if she will be stopping by later on this year.

Given that the past two seasons have kicked off with Gaga and Christina respectively, it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise if Britney were to be next. 

Matthew Wilkas To Play A Macho Gay Cop In Upcoming Comedy "AJ And The Queen"

Matt Wilkas is joining RuPaul’s new Netflix show.

Deadline reports that Wilkas is the latest to join the team led by the famous drag star and 2 Broke Girls co-creator Michael Patrick King. Together, the two are creating AJ And The Queen, a 10-episode comedy to appear on Netflix.

Set in the 1990s, the show will star RuPaul as Ruby. Ruby is a drag queen who’s hit rough times but still hasn’t given up on life. She then ends up taking a road trip and club tour across America. But unbeknownst to her, a 9-year-old stowaway named AJ (played by Izzy G) has hidden herself in Ruby’s 1990’s R/V.

And how does Wilkas factor into the equation? He’ll be playing a NYC cop named Patrick Kennedy.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

So INSANELY EXCITED to be able to share this news! It’s a dream!

A post shared by Matthew Wilkas (@mwilkas) on

The synopsis for this Kennedy role says that Wilkas will plays a macho and charming police officer who’s also gay.

RuPaul Charles, Izzy G, and Matthew Wilkas will be joined by Josh Segarra, Michael-Leon Wooley, Katerina Tannenbaum, and Tia Carrere.

AJ And The Queen is still in pre-production, so there’s no current release date for the Netflix series.

Would the LGBTQ Community Be as Tight if RuPaul’s Drag Race Never Existed?

I was walking through RuPaul’s DragCon in New York City back in September and was quite taken aback by just how populated the 3-day event turned out to be.

Outside of the press area it was hard to get around, especially when you walked by some of the bigger queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race like Alyssa Edwards and Trixie Mattel who had lines that seemed to go to another country.

I’m not stupid, though. I’m fully aware that any sort of DragCon could’ve barely fit my New York City apartment ten years ago (right before the show began) if something like this ever existed. It’s clear that RPDR has categorically changed society overall, but are they also responsible for uniting our community?

When RPDR started it was designed more for the gay man in mind, as the first couple of seasons were a tad quieter when it came to the overall audience of who watched it. As the show went on, it grew in popularity, so much so that it went beyond the LGBTQ community and into the heterosexual world where straight men and women were watching and quoting the show.

The insane part of this was that the world of drag was somewhat considered to be the “scarlet letter” of our community (a Jinkx Monsoon quote) in that it was embarrassing to reveal that you did this art form. Many gay men would think that you wanted to be a woman or had a hard time wrapping their brains around hooking up with a drag queen even in their regular clothes. The ignorance ran deep within many men who saw them as separate or below from the rest of us, unless you were on an iconic level like RuPaul or Lady Bunny.

Then the cultural phenomenon known as RuPaul’s Drag Race began, and things started to shift. Drag queens became the new “it” celebrity in the LGBTQ community. Millions of people from all walks of life wanted to take a selfie with them, hang with them, be their friend and just enjoy their presence. It’s like they became our movie stars, where Julia Roberts in this case was Bianca Del Rio or Katya.

Would Bianca or Katya’s careers fared as well if this platform didn’t exist? Sad to say but probably not, even though they are infinitely talented just like the rest of the girls who have been on (and off) the show.

The popularity of this show has also immensely helped LGBTQ businesses let alone our community. Bars across the nation have thrived when new episodes of this show have aired. Merchandise has also skyrocketed for several queens from the show. It’s also created immense opportunities for RuPaul, the judges and everyone involved. Heck RPDR even swept at The Emmy’s this year.

Never has a queer show like this been so positive and forthright for our community. We still have our divisive issues within each section of the LGBTQ world, but a show where queens excel in comedy, fashion and more has done better than bad for us in the ten years that it has been on. Has it ultimately unified us though?

I took to the streets (AKA social media) and asked my friends the same question.

“I feel like people don’t miss what they’ve never experienced so if it never existed they wouldn’t miss but they may think of something similar conceptually without realizing it.”

“LGBTs are so culturally adroit we’d create a different touchstone even if RPDR didnt exist.”

“Well, we certainly wouldn’t be as FABULOUS!!”

Do you think RPDR has brought our community together?

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

The Most ‘Beloved’ Queen in RPDR History Gets Sent Home On ‘All Stars 4’

This season of All Stars 4 might be just be the best as it really is unpredictable at this point as to who will win let alone make it to the top 4.

Several of these girls (minus the ones already sent home) are clearly here to play the game as each of the ones remaining have unique strengths that could easily propel them to the end.

The latest episode of All Stars 4 picks up where the last one left. The girls discuss Gia Gunn going home courtesy of Manila Luzon. Trinity the Tuck also revealed that she would’ve sent home Gia, which was obvious given her attitude about the situation last week.

There was some minor chat about the whole Manila thinking about sending Valentina home thing, which I would’ve done if I was her. Screw fearing her fans or whatever, it would’ve been a bold and daring move given what a front runner the season 9 fan favorite is.

This episode appeared to be on the same level of Snatch Game regarding the girl’s talents when it comes to improvisation. They had to act in a fake court show called Jersey Justice, where South Plainfield’s Michelle Visage acted as the judge. In an even funnier twist, the original “henny” Stacy Layne Matthews acted as the court stenographer, where the cutaways to her during each scene was nothing short of hilarious.

The girls were split up into three groups with three separate acting assignments. Manila and Naomi Smalls’ performances revolved around one of them getting a terrible haircut from the other. Monet X Change, Monique Heart and Latrice Royale had to do a scene about a cake incident gone wrong and Valentina and Trinity’s were about a case of “Snooki” identity theft.

This is a very difficult challenge, as the girls had to make things up as they went. They had time to prepare in the werk room, but it had to be tough on each of them as they had to keep the energy going between their teammate while also standing out for being hilarious.

Most of them did a superb job. The best team was Manila and Naomi, as they really worked their storyline to a tee. Naomi is really doing her best to get away from being just a pretty face with long legs type of queen by excelling in these acting challenges. She did great last week during the Snatch Game of Love as Wendy Williams and is considered by some to be a low-key threat in this competition at this point.

Monet, Monique and Latrice’s was a hot mess. Monique excelled as she’s already a big and bold personality and did her role as the scorned bride to be who was insulted on a cake made by Latrice’s character very well.  Here’s the problem… the other two have similar personalities to Monique’s, so why didn’t they step their game up? Latrice simply stared at Monique during their one-on-one performances and Monet tried to make up for lost time as she entered the scene late but it all just came across as sloppy.

Trinity and Valentina did well. They were in the middle for me out of these three groups. Trinity’s outfit was not Jersey, more Real Housewives of a different state. Valentina did a great job, as she should given that she’s a trained actress outside of the show. The scene just really didn’t come together that greatly, but it was enough for the two of them to be in the safe zone.

The runway challenge revolved around padding and showing off your curves. Tops for me in this were Monique (although I’m SICK of the brown cow thing at this point), Latrice, Naomi and Trinity. Low ones were Monet and Valentina, with Manila in the middle.

It comes down to Monique and Manila in the top, which I agree with to a point, but I keep hoping that Naomi would score a win. Latrice and Monet end up in the bottom two, which was the right decision.

Here’s where things get juicy. Monique and Monet are BFF’s as are Latrice and Manila. Manila has a nervous breakdown in the werk room as the thought of Latrice going home terrifies her. She vows to do her best in the lip sync in order to keep her there. It’s kind of the same thing for Monique and Monet, however Latrice really tries to drive the point home that she’s the most “beloved” queen from RPDR of all time and that should warrant her staying. She also says that she feels there’s a void in her career regarding her not having some sort of crown from the show.

Here’s the thing. Yes, Latrice is beloved, although its arguable that she’s number one out of the 100 plus girls who have been on this show. That doesn’t mean you should be saved. Love Latrice, but she hasn’t really done well on AS4 minus her stellar performance in the Variety Show during episode one. Track record being what it is, she should go home as Monet has at least won one challenge so far.

After the girls discuss, they return to the stage where Manila and Monique lip sync to Tina Turner’s version of Elton John’s “The Bitch is Back”. It was a decent showing by both, however Monique pulls out her first win ever. She then decides to make the tough decision to send Latrice home, which makes Manila lose her s**t again. Will she be back though? There hasn’t been talk yet about a queen returning, however in the next episode RuPaul says that All Stars rules are suspended for now.

Did the right queen go home?

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

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