Toronto Diary
3 min

The Drag Race Rutrospective: Everyone hates everyone!

Given how remarkably tame the last RuPaul’s Drag Race reunion was, it’s easy to forget just how vitriolic these things used to be. Sure, Season 5’s capper was an overly positive cheer fest, but if the lost season’s reunion is any indication, the girls have been harbouring knives since the show ended, and they’re just itching for the opportunity to pull them out. Tonight, there is no shit that werked; there is only the shade. The shade of it all.

[Image via NewNowNext]

Ru kicks off the night by bringing in the first four eliminated queens: Victoria PorkChop Parker, Tammie Brown, Akashia and Jade. Since few of them made much of an impact, we get some pretty fluffy questions, as Ru asks them how they felt about getting wet or being called a slut or how big their penis is. Ru doesn’t even dignify Akashia with a question, which is a good call: her Afro Sheen stained dress makes her look like a football player, and the less time spent looking at the frock, the better.

Next up are Ongina, Shannel and Rebecca Glasscock, the last of which opens up the floodgates of bitchery. Ongina offers up a moment of sweetness, though, talking about how revealing her serostatus on TV has affected her life. But as soon as she’s done, the girls pounce all over Lady Beige Face, taking her to task for failing backward to the top when other much more deserving queens were sidelined.

And yet, the epic dog-piling on Rebecca is cut short so that Nina Flowers and Bebe Zahara Benet can come out and show everyone what class looks like. Say what you will about Bebe, but there’s a certain level of decorum a winner should display, and she shows it. But it’s honestly pretty boring because no shade is being thrown, so ON TO THE NEXT DOG PILING!

After some fan questions, Ru brings out Santino Rice and Merle Ginsberg so that everyone can blame them for not winning. I’m not sure what happened, but apparently, the queens didn’t seem to realize that entering a reality TV competition would involve them being scrutinized by a judging panel. And how could they? It’s not like that’s the basis for literally the entire genre.

[Logo TV / via Tomandlorenzo]

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Shannel, having not yet purged the “I SHOULD HAVE WON” bit from her mind, launches press-on-claws-first at the judges, chewing them out for going way harsher on her than a certain other queen who cannot walk in heels. While I can’t disagree with her, she undermines her point a bit when she uses the price of her clothing as a barometer of how good she looks. A pair of pants can cost $500, but that doesn’t always mean they’re worth $500.

Probably the oddest outburst of the group comes from Tammie. Apparently, under the quirky demeanour and the snakeskin headband in lieu of eyebrows (what was up with that anyway?) Tammie’s been harbouring a lot of resentment about how things went. Normally, a bitchy queen is something I love, but there’s just something about Tammie’s meltdown that reads less funny and more bitter. Yes, the line about walking in nature with children seems funny out of context, but the whole thing is uncomfortable to watch.

To her credit, Ru can usually hide her anger behind a veil of polite smiling and makeup, but it’s at this point that Ru finally cracks. Ru blows up on her girls, screaming and gesticulating about how to deal with criticism. I’m guessing being one of the first drag queens to achieve mainstream fame came with its own share of criticism, so Ru’s words aren’t just hollow platitudes; they’re the experiences of someone who was told again and again that she’d never make it. Comparative to that, being critiqued by the second runner-up of Project Runway Season 2 seems like a cakewalk.

Of course, most of it flies over Tammie’s head, so instead she attacks Ru for dropping a few F-bombs. Hey, if you can’t dispute someone’s argument, the least you can do is dispute the way they delivered the message, right? Either way, Ru’s grievances have been aired, so she gives the title of Miss Congeniality to Nina and calls it a night before any of the other queens can destroy the good will they built up over the season.

[Logo TV / via Tomandlorenzo]

I guess that was a bit of a mess, wasn’t it? Honestly, most of the queens ended up coming across worse than before, although it was a pleasant surprise to see just how endearing Victoria can be when she’s given some camera time. But for now, it’s time to start waiting for Season 6. Let the music play!