Raj Kaur, writer and editor of Reviews by Sarbat.
It is fair to say that RuPaul’s Drag Race has become somewhat of a phenomenon in recent years and has accumulated a mass following from the LGBTQIA+ network. The show recently wrapped up season 12 and has had multiple spin offs from its inception in 2009 including: RuPaul’s Drag U, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race. The show is so popular that it regularly features on the Netflix Top 10 Most Popular TV Shows in multiple countries and in 2019 a UK version of Drag Race was released!
The show is an American reality competition which can loosely be described as a spoof of Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. RuPaul is searching for “America’s next drag superstar” where he presides as head judge alongside Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews and Carson Kressley. Each week the judging panel are joined by two celebrity guest panelists (the list of celebrities that have graced the Drag Race screens is unreal). The judges opine and decide between the top and bottom queens of the week; this is based on a number of mini challenges, maxi challenges and runway walks. The bottom two queens have to “lip sync for their lives” and attempt to outperform one another for another chance at the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar”. The drag queens are exceptionally talented – whether it is acting, dancing, designing, singing or stand-up comedy, these queens seem to be able to do it all (well… it varies week on week!)
RuPaul’s Drag Race is funny and campy but it is so much more than that. You get a real insight into the sacrifice and hard work drag queens put into their art and performance. There are raw moments in the workroom where the queens share their experiences of coming out, the hardships they have gone through and the things they have had to overcome to get to where they are. It is honestly inspiring. The show has always promoted self-love and acceptance of others, the essence of which is captured in the famous RuPaul quote “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen?” Honestly, this show meant so much to me when growing up and helped me a lot in my own personal journey.
If you have not yet had the chance to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, I would strongly urge you to do so as it is a beautiful expression and celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. It truly has a little something for everyone.
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