Bonjour bonjour bonjour, mes chers lecteurs! Welcome to my review and power rankings of the sixth episode of Drag Race France Season 1 – Un Parfum de Drag, which revisits one of the all-time classic Drag Race branding challenges from Season 5.
(Now that All Stars Season 7 has concluded, Drag Race France will have the Saturday spot for its final three weeks to give me time to watch Drag Race Down Under! I’ll be back with my first Down Under post tomorrow, plus a special wrap-up for All Stars.)
Drag Race has many standard challenge formats that are guaranteed to show up in each season. This consistency allows queens to play a meta-game of expectations within the competition, where they are biding their time (or wracked with terror) about an upcoming Ball challenge or Snatch Game.
The remaining five queens were right to point this out at the top of the episode. They’d already been through a ball, acting, singing, and Snatch Game – all core Drag Race Challenges.
The one guaranteed challenge even on non-English season they had yet to face was personal branding, but it’s the challenge that takes the most varied forms.We’ve seen queens do everything from peddling their own autobiographies, to inventing their own flagship merch, to our recent All-Winners cast making up a TikTok dance.
Drag Race France decided to reference perhaps the best-remembered of all of the dozens of Drag Race branding challenges, Season 5‘s “Scent of a Drag Queen.” That was the challenge that spawned iconic ads for Coco Montrese’s nonsensical “Ru Animale,” Detox’s seductive “Heroine,” Roxxxy Andrews’ longstanding personal brand of “Thick & Juicy,” Alyssa Edward’s oft-referenced “Alyssa’s Secret,” Jinkx Monson’s Drag Race institution “Delusion,” and Alaska’s “Red” – which birthed her single “Your Make-Up Is Terrible” and nine years later inspired the name of her 2022 album!
Whew. Seriously, if you’ve never watched it, it’s one of the most memorable and meme-able episodes of all time.
This challenge was proof that we’ve wound up with the correct final five queens, because I can’t imagine any of the eliminated contestants creating such solid work when left to their own devices. All five artists succeeded at making commercials that were proficient and altogether ridiculous.
Even amongst their successes, the challenge showed the clear divide between the queens who understand the power of their brands versus the ones who are simply game to make a silly spoof.
That resulted in one of the most emotionally powerful lip syncs across all of the many Drag Race franchises over the past 14 years. This is ART, y’all. Both queens explored what it means to have regrets and to strip yourself not just of your clothes but down to your very soul. They showed us how you effectively de-drag in a lip sync without it being a sign of desperation. They showed us how ti interact with the other queen in a lip sync with consent and collaboration.
Wow. Nicky cried off an eyelash! If you love Raven and Jujubee doing “Dancing On My Own,” this is a must-watch.
Oh, and there were puppets!
If you want to watch Drag Race France you can sign up for WowPresentsPlus to watch the many worldwide Drag Race franchises for $4.99 a month or $50 a year. (Note that if you’re in the US you will need to use a VPN to “visit” another country to see the US Franchise.)
Now it’s time to rank our four remaining queens, analyze their commercials, and applaud their runways! Who is currently on the top of our well-matched Top 3? It’s not the same as last week’s Episode 5 power rankings…
Lecteurs, start your engines. Et, que la meilleure Drag Queen gagne!