Bon retour, mes chers lecteurs, dans plus de classements! Drag Race Belgique Season 2 Episode 3 was titled “Jawadde Dadde,” which had nothing to do with its Girl Groups challenge and Art Nouveau runway theme.
(The internet is cagey on the literal meaning of the Flemish expression “Jawadde Dadde,” a phrase uttered by guest judge Gaëlle Garcia Diaz. As far as I can tell, it’s an idiomatic phrase of that can mean anything from an exclamation of surprise (“oh my god” or “no way!”) to an expression of incredulity or exasperation (“oh my” or “really?”). It doesn’t have a direct translation in part because it is written phonetically the way it is spoken in certain regions – the actual words would be “ja wat dat.” If you translated it directly you’d get something like “Yes-what, that?!” If any of you readers can offer a better explanation, please comment!)
Jawadde Dadde was a study in contrasts, with a disastrous main challenge and a runway that reminded me of the reasons I loved Drag Race Belgique Season 1.
This episode’s Girl Groups performance posed the question: What if a Drag Race cast completely failed at one of the show’s standard challenges? I’m not sure if Girl Groups simply aren’t all that revered in Belgium or if we have an entire cast of non-singing non-dancers. Whatever the reason, it resulted in some truly questionable vocals and what surely ranks amongst the worst choreography in the history of Drag Race.
It’s a pity it turned out that way, because – as the queens pointed out – the instrumental track they were handed was a perfect rip-off of Robin S.’s “Show Me Love.”
The results could not have been more different on an Art Nouveau runway, which showed off the intellectualism and obsession with art that was so proudly on display in Season 1. Every queen presented something with at least one magnificent detail, which caused the judges to briefly feud over what ought to be considered Art Nouveau or allowed on an Art Nouveau runway. We saw one truly stunning runway hit the bottom purely for mixing up its period references.
(Yes, we’ve seen RuPaul go nuclear over 60s bouffant hair on a 70s outfit, but none of those 70s outfits were as opulent as this one!)
I love that Drag Race Belgique can assign an entire art movement as a runway theme with confidence that its cast will think deeply about how to symbolize it. I don’t think many of the other franchises could get away with that. Imagine if American Drag Race assigned ” Art Nouveau” as a theme! I’m sure we wouldn’t see the same results.
To me, this episode makes a good argument that if Drag Race continues to appear around the globe that some of its staple challenges ought to be better localized. Yes, we’ll always want to see Snatch Game and a Ball Challenge, but I wish we could see a full main challenge on Drag Race Belgique that leans into the show’s obsession with fashion and art history rather than it being constrained only to the runway.
An uneven episode led to uneven power rankings, with a new queen surging to the top and a surprising queen in contention for the finale compared to last week’s “Drag-en-Ciel” design challenge recap.
(Want to watch Drag Race Belgique outside of Belgium? For most of the world, it’s available with a Wow Presents Plus subscription as soon as the episode is done airing.)
Lecteurs, start your engines. Et, que la meilleure Drag Queen gagne!