Have you been keeping up with the most fabulous drag queens on primetime television? RuPaul’s Drag Race is back with a brand-new eighth season and the fiercest competitors yet.
#RuPaulDragRace is an American reality television competition that has been described as a mix between a drag race, America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway. Each queen is battling to create a unique and “iconic” character that will continue to generate star power following her appearance on the show. The series can essentially be considered a launching pad for the drag queens to sustain a long-term drag career.
Each queen focuses on a different range of talents. For example, although some of the competitors focus on their aesthetic strengths (such as hair, makeup and costuming), others steal the show with their charismatic performances. In general, the diversity of the competitors has increased as the show has gone on. The competitors are now composed of a variety of performers including celebrity impersonators, models, comedians, cosplayers, and more.
#RDR was produced by World of Wonder specifically for Logo TV. RuPaul (who initially gained prominence in the New York club scene) acts as host, mentor and muse to the series’ contestants, presenting them with weekly challenges aimed to decide whether they will remain in the running for “America’s Next Drag Superstar”. Results of the challenges are decided by a panel of judges composed of RuPaul, Michelle Visage, and other various celebrity guests. The winner of the series receives a one-year supply of Anastasia Beverly Hill cosmetics, as well as a cash reward equaling $100,000 USD.
#RDR premiered in the United States on February 2nd of 2009 and has since become the highest-rated program on all of Logo TV. Last year it was announced that the series would be returning to the air for a brand-new eighth season, which ultimately premiered on March 7th, 2016.
This first episode marked both the 100th episode of the series, as well as one hundred queens having competed in the drag race. It begins with an inspirational montage composed of highlights from the previous seasons. A reviewer notes that this montage is all about “amplifying the stakes for the new girls by constantly reminding them of the greatness that came before, which is the standard they’re being judged by both in and out of drag”.
However, it’s doubtful that this season’s group of girls required any reminding. Acid Betty (Jamin Ruhren’s persona) is the oldest queen of the bunch and acts as the resident mean girl of the season. Amongst her competitors are Derrick Barry (a Britney Spears impersonator who fans may remember from season three of America’s Got Talent), Dax ExclamationPoint (Dax Martin’s cosplay queen persona), and Naomi Smalls (a fan of the show since age sixteen and this season’s youngest competitor). Additional competitors include Bob The Drag Queen, Chi Chi DeVayne, Kim Chi, Naysha Lopez, Robbie Turner, Thorgy Thor, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, and Laila McQueen.
Naysha Lopez was the first eighth season queen to be eliminated from the competition. The second episode then featured a shocking double elimination where both Dax ExclamationPoint and Laila McQueen were sent packing.
The most recent episode of #RuPaulDragRace, entitled “Ruco’s Empire”, aired on March 21st, 2016 and the episode’s challenge, modeled after the Empire television series, has been described as “misguided” by some fans. One reviewer notes that the “racial implications of having non-black men appropriating
Unfortunately, there has yet to be any news regarding a ninth season of RDR. In the meantime, be sure to catch the next episode of the current season, entitled “Supermodel Snatch Game” scheduled to air on Logo TV on April 4th, 2016.