So I’ve had a couple of days to digest what I thought was the expected result of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I was #teamalaska since the first episode when she answered the question about how she’d dealt with Sharon Needles winning the crown that she had so longed for.

Well, in fairness, I think Alaska’s aim was only ever to be on the show. Winning the crown probably seemed like a distant reality. But whatever. I’d had a taste of her in season 4 and thought she was probably a nutjob. Jesus God was I right about that. All the best drag queens are.

Actually, back it up. I truly felt for her when she couldn’t sink. After years of trying to be on the show, it seemed tragic that she couldn’t complete the first mini challenge and I fretted that after all of that pining, she’d be out in the first without ever getting to shed the shadow of Sharon Needles.

Pretty compelling and dramatic stuff.

As the weeks went on, I fell more and more deeply in love. Not just with her spirit, but this sincerely punk rock vibe she brought and her genius writing and character ability. Rolaskatox was formed early and my expected favorite, Detox, was part of that. Yet, it was always Alaska’s performances that caught my attention and always Alaska whom I chewed my nails to the nub over.

Because, let’s face it. Those first weeks were seriously rough. She wasn’t in the bottom two but she was definitely in the bottom three. It seemed like just a matter of time before something went wrong for her and it all blew up in her face.

Except, it didn’t.

She ditched Rolaskatox, which I’d suspected that instead of being a meangirl clique, was mostly using Alaska’s originality and writing to see them through. Not that Detox should’ve needed the support but she did seem decidedly distracted through the second half of the season. Maybe it was exhaustion. She mentioned her father being sick and I do think that Ru’s triggering really did throw a lot of queens off. Except for Alaska. Needle’s appearance seemed to focus her.


Along the way, Jinkx also caught my eye. Not just for her performances and her improved fashion, but because Coco seemed to target her. Earlier in the season Coco tried the same sort of shit with Alaska. Lineysha Sparks called Alaska a disaster. But she did not fold, she did not cry. She deflected and called them rude. It was no fun to pick on Alaska Thunderfuck, who may not have been that self-assured, but she wasn’t letting those bitches see her sweat.

Jinkx was a little more vocal in her complaints. It was clear that when Coco came for her that it bothered her. It didn’t thow off her performances, but she was visibly upset. I believe that this is where Jinkx gained the upper hand. Queens that were mean to her represented every bully we’ve ever had and we all wanted to be Jinkx for standing up to them.

Roxxy called it Jinkx playing the victim, but that took two to tango. Jinkx let them see her sweat and the thing is, she did it in front of them and when the rabbit yelped, the foxes didn’t show up to help. I don’t personally believe that Jinkx was “playing” anything. She was genuinely hurt. And while I’m sure that people on the internet rising to her defense was flattering, if she’s half the person I believe her to be, her schadenfreude probably lasted right up until someone said that Roxxy’s mother was right to leave her at the bus stop.

And at a certain point, protecting Jinkx probably feels offensive. She’s a grown ass man. She stood up for herself. She didn’t let anyone put Baby in the corner. That’s why she’s worthy of the crown.

I just happen to feel that there was someone else worthier. Alaska stood up for herself. She accepted her partner’s success and rose above it to make her own. She came out in boy drag. She was hilarious in challenges and in the workrooms. She cried when it was appropriate, but never when it felt manipulative. She was, in general, a warm, awesome human being as well as crazy talented.

And, for me, Alaska is what I want from drag. Sass. Political incorrectness. Wild. Punk rock. Dirty subversive tempered with determination and a singular force of personality. I could argue that much of this is true to Jinkx, but reading other posts from people, I didn’t get the feeling that those are the reasons they voted for her.

The Cult of Nice is probably going to have a lot of the same problems with Jinkx as they do with Sharon Needles. Drag is, by nature, subversive. Edgy. It’s not JUST a guy in a dress but it is, more or less, a guy in a dress. By their very nature, they’re performing a revolutionary act in our culture to even go there in a dress. They’re meant to be provocative. They’re wired for it. If you’re not questioning your preconceived notions, they really are just a dude in a dress.

Speaking of… Roxxy. What the fuck. Not only, in the end, did she miss the point of drag, but her real tragedy wasn’t getting on the wrong side of Jinkx fans. It was not embracing the fact that she can be FUCKING FUNNY. As hilarious as Alaska and Jinkx, no. But Tossya Salad? That was awesome! As Taymar Braxton? Holy crap. Work it girl.

It’s not RuPaul’s Comedy Skit race. Roxxy didn’t have to be the funniest. She just needed to be funny enough. Instead she got all twisted and it affected her ability to be funny. She could be so much more than she is, she doesn’t even begin to comprehend her power. I hope this show taught her a lesson because with her polish and humor, she could rule it.

But, as it is, it’s Monsoon Season. I hope it’s a year that treats her with all of the love and kindness she deserves. And I hope that I get to meet Alaska Thunderfuck for reals at Woodlawn in October. I have a little something for her. I couldn’t afford her a crown but I have something that I think she’ll like better.

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4 thoughts on “Season 5 RuPaul’s Drag Race thoughts

  1. You know I’m inclined to agree with most everything you said cause we talked about this ad nauseum. I think the cult of nice thing is especially relevant. I don’t even know what that’s about or where it’s going, but… I think as we move into next season, we’ll be seeing unprecedented levels of it from the viewers. I wonder at which point Ru will push back in a gentle, humorous way, because it seems antithetical to Ru not to remind everyone what drag is about. As Noodles pointed out last season, Ru is not the sanitized, family-friendly queen some people assume if you judge by the long history of Ru’s ascent.

    1. I see a lot of so-called heroes and idols who are torn down and I think there’s a huge difference between someone who presents themselves as a moral leader and, you know, a drag queen. This isn’t to say that drag queens can’t be moral or moral leaders but I don’t think someone like Sharon Needles (SHARING NEEDLES!) ever tried to present as that. Jinkx may well come closer to being that “ideal” but…Jinkx is an edgy performer, not Miss America. So I dunno.

        1. No kidding. I guess it’s harder for me to wrap my head around the pageant queens as being old skool when my early drag queen experiences was Divine and in New Orleans.

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