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October 13, 2015

Why Drag Race is better than Top Model

by Michael Pascua, posted Mar 26th 2009 1:00PM
RuPaul's Drag RaceAmerica's Next Top Model could learn a few things from LOGO's reality show Rupaul's Drag Race. Although the two shows are different beasts (one is about models that accidentally look drag, the other intentionally looks drag), the competitive qualities of the show remain the same. There is still runway walking, working in different fashion themes, and looking fierce.

RuPaul has said that the two shows aren't interchangeable and it's true: Drag Race is colorful, fun, and intriguing; qualities that Top Model has lost after all these years. Here are several good reasons why Top Model isn't on top anymore.

Santino Rice – After watching his ventures in the second season of Project Runway, you knew Santino had an eye for the dramatic and who better to judge drag outfits? Santino has had that combination of a sharp wit and actual criticism so he's not just a judge pastiche. He knows his opinions and sticks to it. To make it better, Santino has walked in heels before so he knows what it's like for men.

It's Intriguing – I can't help but point out the scene where the cameraman is asking Rebecca, how she tucks everything in. It's so mind-blowing to watch these men become these larger than life performers. It's a combination of watching makeup, clothing choices, and being convinced by the illusion of drag. Normal America is not exposed to things like this and it's almost educational explaining that not all Drag Queens want to be women; many are men who love to perform.

Insane Names – I always had a soft spot for Wholahay on Cycle 8 of Top Model, but when I heard the names of the contestants on Drag Race, I couldn't help but wonder how this show even made it to air. My personal favorite has to be Ongina, but you can't doubt the overt sexuality of a name like Rebecca Glasscock. The funny thing is that the contestants barely knew each other by their real male names, just their drag characters.

The Catchphrases – Any show who's catchphrase is "Don't F*** it Up!" gets kudos in my book. Then to make it even better, there were several phrases heard and none of them got annoying. The two heard at the end of the show, "Shante, you stay" and "Sashay away" are a funny play on the RuPaul classic song. I couldn't help but laugh whenever I heard "Extravaganza, Eleganza!" Then Bebe inspired the phrase "Cameroon." Anytime that RuPaul would put the Oprah accent in her words were funny.

Fashion – After the Drag Challenge in Project Runway, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to have a whole season of drag clothing. This show got me my wish. Everything was covered, from old Hollywood to African queens. Everyone had a different fashion taste that was unique to them. Even budget drag clothing was interesting and original.

It was Serious when it needed to be – There were moments within the insanity that showed genuine performers. Most notably when Ongina won the Mac commercial challenge for HIV awareness, she was in tears because she has been living with HIV for two years. She found the prize as a way to point out something that was dear to her heart.

Lip Sync for Your Life – The song choices came from classic drag influences like Eurhythmics, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, and RuPaul herself. It is an interesting element that American Idol and Dancing with the Stars uses now, but this show helps show an area that drag queens also are involved with.

Seasoned Professionals – Even though Rebecca Glasscock was less experienced, she had her own image and drive to succeed. Each character has evolved from years of performing. This should be the case for a show like Project Runway (where they get somewhat seasoned designers), but that always disappoints. The drag queens know their character and only give it tweaks. Each performer has a memorable signature.

Fortunately for any fan, RuPaul announced another season at the last episode. Hopefully more fierce queens will show up, more funny catchphrases will be yelled, Santino will come back, and Charo will guest judge again.

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well DUHHHHH of course it's better! it's RU! so much more fierce in every way...

my big fierce ass is applying for season 2 of rupaul's drag race... and i WONT fuck it up...

Challenge me. I DARE YOU.


April 28 2009 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Even though Nina Flowers, didnt win (loved her)!. I stilled enjoyed the show. I Can't wait until next season.

April 07 2009 at 7:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

great list. but charo was not a guest judge, just a guest. ; )

March 30 2009 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fred Smilek

This show should be banned from TV!!! This is why our society is the way it is. It is a shame that men want to dress up as women. If you want to be Gay thats fine but dressing as a man and flaunting that on national TV is complete lunacy. The Society to Save Endangered Species was formed by Fred Smilek and two of his colleagues; Charlie Mack & Jonathan Korny. Fred Smilek stays active in raising awareness for this cause. [www.fredjsmilek.com]

March 27 2009 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And you forgot my favorite catch phrase-- "Creativity, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent".

I'm still astounded that they could get away with that one repeatedly!

March 27 2009 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick loiselle

I love this show!!!

March 26 2009 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Suburbia Steph

Drag Race has become my new fav show! I'm SO happy to hear it'll be returning! I'm sure it will be better than ever!

Hold on to your tucking panties, girls! It's gonna be a bumpy ride!

March 26 2009 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

COVER GIRL!!! Put the bass in your walk!

I knew RuPaul's Drag Race would be a hit. Can't wait for season two. Top Model pales in comparison, but mostly because these performers are seasoned entertainers. I like Top Model because Trya really wants these young girls to succeed, and she's very constructive in every interaction with them. Not to mention, Jay Alexander is off the chain!

I agree, the shows are different beasts...but RuPaul's Drag Race is more entertaining.

March 26 2009 at 7:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Deej

If only they'd stop overlighting the crap out of the show. I understand it's to try to soften the girl's looks but it hurts my eyes to watch this show.

I will continue to watch, I just wish I didn't have a headache afterwards.

March 26 2009 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i LOVED rupaul's drag races!! so much better than top model. rupaul is FIERCE! :)

March 26 2009 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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