Rupaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons

I am in love with Rupaul’s Drag Race. I’ve been a diehard fan since Season 2 (I missed ‘The Lost Season 1’ the first time it aired). My favorite queens are Raja, Willam, and Raven (in that order) and I’m currently in a Rupaul Drag Race Season 6 Fantasy League with like-minded co-workers. My team, Fierce Fishes, comprised of Courtney Act & Gia Gunn is holding down second to last place. Damn you Gia!

YASSS!

It was actually John (not a RDR Fantasy Leaguer) who told me that Rupaul was coming to San Francisco. He was slightly misinformed in that Rupaul was not, but I was delighted to find that Rupaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons was! I immediatley told Tony, Janine, and (of course) Chris – who were all pumped… ok maybe not Chris, but Janine & Tony totally were. I was on the N Muni Line texting with Janine when we made the deal: I would buy the tickets to Battle of the Seasons if she bought tickets for Peaches Christ presents Clueless. Done & done. I immediately went to buy the tickets and Chris stopped me. The best, most understanding man in the world already bought two tickets. As a Valentine’s Day gift, he bought one for me and one for a friend that was not him. What a guy.

Michelle Visage hosted instead of Ru.

The line for the event was wonderful. So many different types of people – drag queens, gays, nerdy white ladies… all who knew the queens by heart. Once in, Janine and I stood as close to the front as possible. There was a fenced off VIP section right in front of the stage, so we planted ourselves against the fence about 5 feet away. It was essentially a variety show. Each queen had a single act, then some did songs together, walked on stilts, juggled knives, answered audience questions, or held up giant player cards in scandally clad bikinis.

Willam Belli singing her version of ‘Scream & Shout’.

Detox in black light.

Manila Luzon as Tweaker; a character from an acting challenge on her season.

Ivy Winters never really shined on the show, but stunned everyone with her amazing lip-sync performance to Little Mix’s ‘Wings’ while dancing on stilts.

Sharon Needles performed her song ‘Call Me On The Ouija Board’.

Janine and I were disappointed by her post-show plastic surgeries.

DWV minus the V.

DWV, comprised of Detox (Season 5), Willam (Season 3), and Vickie Vox, is my favorite drag band. Detox and Willam sang 2 DWV songs (Boy is a Bottom & Chow Down) that night with a cardboard cutout of Vickie in the background. I died.

Ivy Winters as Maleficent was AMAZING! She juggling knives and, in other shows, breathed fire while it snowed around her. Badass. All in all, I think it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. The variety of performances and outfits kept me entertained the entire night. Janine agrees.

What’s that? You’ve never watched Rupaul’s Drag Race? Before you write it off as a show full of questionably talented female impersonators with a flair for the dramatic, let me drop some knowledge. Drag Race outshines every other reality competition series with hilarious challenges and over-the-top contestants. No matter how mocking or campy, the queens are challenged to be more talented than any other show. They need to be gorgeous (America’s Next Top Model), sew their own garments (Project Runway), make & wear prosthetics – flawlessly (Face Off), sing and perform (American Idol), and create and portray multiple characters (…I don’t even know if they have an acting reality show equivalent). Watching ‘Untucked’, the behind the scenes portion of the show, is a shallow dive into drag culture. Over time phrases like ‘serving fish’ (a drag queen who looks like a convincing woman), ‘throwing shade’ (talking shit), and ‘squirrel friends’ (friends who tuck their nuts) become a part of your every day vocabulary as well.

One of my favorite aspects of the show is overall positivity, as Ru would put it “if you can’t love yourself – then how the hell are you going to love somebody else”. No matter how much shade they throw at one another, they’re always sisters in the end. The result is a hilarious & heartfelt show that introduces you to drag culture and leaves you truly believing that you are awesome, exactly how you are. All T, no shade – it has done wonders for my self-esteem.

If you’re into reality competition shows, give it a shot – you’ll never know until you try.

Linzi

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