What a reunion! Remember the good ol' days, when we got some real drama and closure at the end of each Drag Race season? Well, actually, I hadn't remembered how good they were, so watching this week's was a very pleasant surprise.
Tammie is a legend, and I'm so glad she was on this first season... even if she isn't. She admitted that she was relieved to go home so early in the season, and I don't blame her. The crazy interchange she had with Ru at the end of the reunion got clouded by weird metaphors and tangents, but I think she was basically saying: Why does there have to be judging, why do we have to compete?
You get a bunch of talented queens together, they get to know each other, and then you pit them against each other for a moderate amount of money and fame. It can be brutal, which wasn't for Tammie. And I've sometimes felt the same way--particularly during the toxic drama of Season 5. I'd much prefer to see the queens hanging out and getting along.
But that doesn't make for compelling TV. There's just something so tantalizing about the classic reality show competition format. Despite how arbitrary, maddening, and convoluted the structure of the show, it hooks you.
Ru's rant in response was also a little hard to follow. I think the gist of it was something to the effect of: You've gotta be tough and strong, bitches, 'cause the world's a rough place for all of us. And something about Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz.
In any case, it was fabulous to visit with each of the season's queens. All of them looked good, too. Ongina's headpiece was pretty terrifying (was that alligator head real??) but her attitude was sunny as ever.
Nina's sleek hair and spooky eyes accented one of her more distinctive looks, and they inspired my favorite portrait of her!
Throughout the season, Bebe has inspired some of the most detailed, elaborate, and realistic Drag Race portraits I've ever done, but for my final piece, I tried to scale it back a bit, sticking with a simpler style. And I'm glad I did! When people talk about my "Drag Race style," they're usually thinking about the more minimal, "flat" look that they see more often in my earlier work. ...But it's nice to trot it back out every once in a while!
Thanks so much for checking out my weekly updates for Season 1! I plan to collect the work into another art book, so keep an eye out for updates!