RuPaul’s Drag Race has fans feeling let down

Written By Ana Bellamy, For The Globe

RuPaul’s Drag Race, a show that has been a fan favorite for the LGBTQIA+ community since 2009, is on its 15th season. RuPaul’s Drag Race is a competition show where Drag Queens from around the United States compete for a cash prize (this season – $200,000) and a year’s supply of Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics. Local drag queens who compete on the show are able to gain national, and international, fame. The show is responsible for catapulting drag culture into the public eye.

Viewers have been gearing up for the new season since it is a milestone anniversary for the show and commercials showcase special guest judges like Ariana Grande, Ali Wong, Janelle Monáe, and Orville Peck. The first couple of episodes has been underwhelming for years-long drag race watchers.

The main reason behind the letdown is that MTV has cut RuPaul’s Drag Race from an hour and a half to just an hour, further cutting the queens’ screen time immensely. Mini-challenges have also been condensed or entirely cut from episodes depending on how time-consuming the main challenge would be. Drag queens do not get a chance to show off their unique personalities and talents as much due to the lack of screen time, either during their interviews or their final runway looks.

To make up for the lack of time, RuPaul has added a bunch of surprises to the season.
To connect with younger audiences, RuPaul, the casting directors, and the producers chose queens who have gotten famous through social media. Half of the queens are young influencers from TikTok, a few of them having little-to-no experience in live performing; the most famous of these contestants are twenty-three-year-old twins Sugar and Spice. Social media has been a crucial method for drag queens everywhere; it is useful to share events and gain a cult following. It has also been a hot topic for drama between the contestants since there are a bunch of drag queens that do not utilize social media as much.

RuPaul scheduled the fan-favorite challenge “Snatch Game” early in the season to keep the viewer count high. “Snatch Game” is a parody of the dating TV show “Match Game”. The contestants impersonate a celebrity of their choice. Usually, the Snatch Game is played to distinguish which contestants are successful at performing, impersonating, and riffing off of other people. This Snatch Game was not as funny as last season since there were only a few performers that were better than the rest. The top impersonations from Episode four’s Snatch Gamer were Loosey LaDuca’s Joan Rivers, Marcia Marcia Marcia’s Tim Gunn, and Mistress Isabelle Brooks’s Rosie O’Donnell.

The impersonations that did not win over the judges during Snatch Game were Sugar’s impression of Trisha Paytas and Spice’s impersonation of Miley Cyrus. Sugar’s impression of Trisha Paytas did not receive any laughs and came off as confusing and annoying to RuPaul and the judges. Spice’s impersonation of Miley Cyrus was all over the place. The judges decided to put them up against each other to Lip Sync for their lives. Sadly, Sugar was eliminated and had to give an emotional goodbye to her twin Spice as she walked off the stage. Viewers and the other contestants were not shocked by the elimination, however, it left the audience questioning how long the other twin will last in the competition.

Even though the first few episodes have been disappointing for viewers around the globe, people are optimistic that the new season will gain momentum and that the winning queens will become fan favorites.