And then there were three. Well, first there were four. Then there were three. Last night's episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race ru-vealed the top trio, but it also left me feeling a little underwhelmed with the gals we got left.
I don’t blame the queens. I don’t think this season featured less talented performers or otherwise inferior contestants. However, I do think it’s time, seven seasons deep, to revisit the show’s format. The simplest solution is making sure the challenges aren’t so team heavy in the beginning. I understand it’s an effort to maximize time while the contestant pool is still large, but it totally makes it difficult to let folks break away from the pack. We won’t get tons of screentime with everyone, but the cream, as they say, will rise to the top. The other thing to consider is making sure there is a healthy mix of challenges (acting, comedy, singing, sewing, dancing, etc.) from the get-go. This season felt heavy on the scripted acting challenges, and, sorry writers, but punny scripts aren’t nearly as entertaining as you think they are. Plus, they keep us from seeing what the girls are really like.
A more complicated approach would be to take inspiration from other aging reality shows and introduce a few gimmicks. We’ve already got All Stars, but what if next season was “Comedy Queens vs. Pageant” or “Mother Daughter Pairs” or “Queens of the World.” Things like that have kept Survivor, the granddaddy of contemporary reality competition, feeling fresh. (Counterpoint: Top Model: British Invasion.)
But enough about the future, let’s talk about what happened last night, AFTER THE JUMP …