Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We have a winner!

Last Night, Drag Queen and Supermodel of the World, RuPaul crowned season 4 winner of the hugely popular reality show "RuPaul's Drag Race." After a messy season of highs and lows, questionable challenges, even more questionable runway looks the winner of this season was revealed during the reunion episode by popular vote. And while the winner was named by popular vote (fans could vote through Facebook) ultimately, it was up to RuPaul to choose the next "face of drag." And what a face it was. In the final three viewers were left with Chad Michaels, Phi Phi O'Hara and Sharon Needles. Each had something unique to bring to the table, so to speak but it was Sharon Needles who won over America's imagination with her dark camp. It was not really a shock, but RuPaul played into fan fear by postponing the winner instead of announcing it outright. I'm suspecting this was done to bait fans to watch the reunion special. Feisty queen and sometimes wolf-in-sequins, Phi Phi O'Hara garnered clout as the villain of the show early on due to her ruthless competitive edge nicknaming and popularizing Sharon by giving her the nickname "Party City." And then there was Chad Michaels, the solid, showgirl, old guard queen who week after week delivered consistent results but failed to surprise the judges. Personally, I wanted Chad Michaels to win. Michaels represented drag in all its beauty and adorning glory and was very talented. Case in point? During the election episode, Michales dared to create a bizarre Lady-Pimp character who created the catchy "Up-Do," political slogan. Michaels was engaging, warm and personable. Aside from Michaels, a crime I simply am not ready to forgive Ru for was the elimination of LaTrice Royale at the hands of keeping Phi Phi O'Hara. All I can say Ru is, the shade of it all. Yet in the end it was 'spooky' queen Sharon Needles who won. I understand why Needles was picked. She's lively, immensely creative and talented and likely to stir trouble. And stir trouble she already has. Before she was even announced as the winner, information surfaced that Sharon Needles used racist words and imagery during some of her shows, and was even using racial slurs on her facebook. The entire scandal was problematic. I believe that Needles is a talented performer and was Team Sharon until this information surfaced, however, I don't see why a talented queen like her would need to use racial slurs and or imagery to elicit shock. There are other ways to draw out discussions on race in America that don't revolve around using words. In her defense, Needles claimed that it was just a word, but this argument is not appeasing. I hope that with her newly acquired fanbase that includes people of all backgrounds, experiences and such that this will give Needles a much needed look at her repetoire of drag and improve. She definitely has the talent. The decision was indeed controversial and I think that is what Ru intended. As Needles was quoted saying in a recent interview : "It means RuPaul has lost her G-d damn mind!"

No comments: