It’s time for the second Drag Race season of 2023 – in a new country, but fronted by a familiar face: Drag Race Belgique Season 1 hosted by two-time Canada finalist Rita Baga! The show premieres on February 16, so it’s time to check out this inaugural cast of 10 Belgian drag queens my pre-season Power Ranking.
I write these Power Rankings not to judge these queens and their drag, but to have fun trying to predict what their drag and their editing says about their placement on the show. Part of that is 15 years of examples of what aspects of drag do well on Drag Race, but a lot of it is the amount of confidence, experience, and adaptability artists bring to the show.
Or, said another way, we’re looking closely at their Charisma, Uniquness, Nerve, and Talent.
My typical pre-season rules apply: I’ll spend two minutes looking at these artists’ social media feeds, examine their promo looks, and then watch their “Meet The Queens” segment twice (with the subtitles on, of course!).
That’s it! Then, I’ll make my totally blind, no-spoilers try at ranking their chances to win the show.
Part of what I love about Drag Race‘s worldwide franchises is that they often exist outside of the the homogenizing effect the US franchise has on drag. Queens all over the world have access to the same social media, but in other countries what will bring fans out to bars and clubs differs greatly from the states. Even after four seasons of Drag Race UK, its queens feel as “same-y” as a brand new US cast can often feel.
I know very little about Belgium and its culture – and, especially nothing about it’s queer culture! I’m excited to listen and learn as I respond to the show, but I also invite those of you who are more familiar to point me towards facts or resources so I can study up!
Just from checking out the Instagram’s of these ten queens, it seems like we might be in for the most gender-bending, androgynous series of Drag Race. There’s a lot of playing with gender signifiers from this cast, and not all of them “erase their face” the way queens are often expected to do in the states.
I have a certain predisposition for drag art that has that slight edge of androgyny to it form growing up on things like David Bowie and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It will be interesting to see how that plays with the judges, especially Rita Baga as head judge.
Also, trend alert: thin brows!
(Another cultural difference I noticed: outside the US, people still use Facebook a lot more, so public figures still have active Facebooks and don’t tend to use LinkTrees as much! That’s true in NZ as well.)
Between that, the fact that this is another French-speaking season (I’ll be able to understand some stuff!), and what might be the most-gorgeous promo videos of all of Drag Race herstory, I am so ready dig into this season when it debuts on February 16. If you want to watch Drag Race Belgique 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.)
Lecteurs, start your engines. Et, que la meilleure Drag Queen gagne!