As America prepares to crown her Next Drag Superstar, whether you are #TeamSasha, #TeamShea or #TeamTrinity, here are some of the gaggiest moments in RuPaul’s drag Race herstory!
1. Bianca Del Rio’s Hawaiian Runway (Season 6, Episode 2)
Do you guys remember that scene in the animation The Lion King when the sassy meerkat Timon asked one of those questions we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives: “What do you want to me to do, dress in drag and do the hula?” Well Bianca does. And she did just that. The Season Six winner, probably the most undisputed winner of all time (read: she never had to lip sync for her life ever), gagged audiences on the main stage of Momma Ru’s second big opening in her Hawaii-Five-Ohnoshebettado fantasy. The comedy queen, who is also a trained costumer, cemented her first win when she combined all the sultry eleganza of a 1960s Hawaiian Barbie doll and a tall glass of ice cold piña colada on the runway. And we can all drink to that!
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2. Coco Montrese Lip Sync Against Alyssa Edwards (Season 5, Episode 9)
Whether you love to hate her or hate to love her, whether her make up is however orange, the time pageant queen Coco Montrese sent the matriarch of the House of Edwards – fan favourite and her arch nemesis from the pageant circuit – Alyssa Edwards (the former stole the latter’s crown) home during the lip sync for their lives, was a rarefied moment in fashion. Shakespeare once said that clothes maketh man, well, wo-man in this case. Coco was not joking when she came hard and fast for the inventor of the tongue pop – the much beloved Alyssa – in an epic face off. In what looked like it just sashayed out of a Mert & Marcus campaign for S/S 2013 Gucci by Frida Gianini (ahh, memories), the mesmerising undulating jumpsuit that Coco wore made her extremities look like moving petals of an exotic flower – an exotic orange flower. So how’s that for a face crack of the century?
3. Valentina Lip Sync Against Nina Bo’Nina Brown (Season 9, Episode 9)
In all the years of Drag Race herstory, there is a beauty with talent that remains unrivalled like Valentina’s. She made us weep from witnessing sheer visual perfection when she first walked into the workroom, made us giggle at her adorable accent when she spoke of her mother’s wedding, and made us clutch our damn pearls when she had the audacity to be impertinent towards the Supermodel of the World, Glamazon of the Cosmos and Mother Superior RuPaul during the lip sync for her life.
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Having seriously botched her foray into creating a television pilot with fellow racer Nina Bo’Nina Brown during the main challenge, Valentina barely redeemed herself with her club kid couture getup on the runway. The judges were not living for her masked matador crusader, but when she she refused to remove that face piece during the performance because she forgot the lyrics – baby girrrrl. Sashay, away. Is it too late for Ru-pologies?
4. #KimonoSheBetterDont (Season 8, Episode 5)
You know #tfw when you walk into an office cocktail party in a cute little number that you spent hours picking out the night before, only to realise that Sally from Finance is in that exact halter Hervé Léger? Well take that – multiplied by four, subtract bandage dresses, and add kimonos – and you will solve the equation for a Madge-jor fashion faux pas played out on international television. In the “Night of a Thousand Madonnas” themed runway, four queens sissied their walks in their takes on the Material Girl’s Alexander McQueen kimono in her “Nothing Really Matters” music video – one right after the other. Audiences were speechless. Judges were #shook. And RuPaul ran out of kimono puns. Brooklyn’s finest Thorgy Thor first came out in one that boasted cut-aways, then Britney impersonator Derek Barry walked out in a painted white mourning number (foreshadowing their demise) right after Kim Chi’s promising wedding kimono with elegant cranes, before the leggy Naomi Smalls coocoocachooed in a sexy kimono negligee. So who wore it better, you ask? Well, in the immortal words of Miss Ciccone, nothing really matters, love is all we need.
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5. The Season 8 Finale (Season 8, Episode 10)
Have you ever watched the cult Spielberg masterpiece Raiders of the Lost Ark? You know how the ill-fated characters in the film, who were unfortunate enough to look at the beautiful radiant light emanating from the Ark, got instantly vaporised? Well, in what also felt like staring directly into the glory of the sun, the Season Eight finale took the audience’s breath away when the Orpheum theatre’s stage curtain lifted to reveal all winners of past and present in the flesh! To christen the new winner, the entire royal family, present and accounted for, posed like goddesses in a pantheon – with the supreme deity herself RuPaul right in the middle.
But the gown that the winner of Season Seven Violet Chachki wore during her final march as reigning queen was so gag-worthy, it upstaged everyone – as a heavily embellished hood transformed into a coronation-appropriate neckline. Oh, the pomp, the spectacle, the eleganza! We are not worthy!
By Adriel Chiun