Welcome to my recap of the fifth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 – Draguation Speeches, a challenge that mashes up comedy with inspiration and a touch of personal branding.
This is a fascinating challenge because there is nothing quintessentially “drag” about it, yet it is perfectly representative of the direction of the show in 2022.
Drag Race constantly finds new peaks of cultural influence, and with that higher profile all of its contestants have a higher profile than ever before.
Drag Race winners used to compete to score a club tour sponsored by Absolut Vodka.
Now, winning queens are getting the opportunity to appear on stage at the Emmy awards, walk the runway for Fenty and other fashion brands, and attend the Met Gala. Peppermint, the only Season 9 finalist to not yet have her own crown, just hosted the GLAAD Awards!
Of this cast of winners, five host ongoing podcasts (Jinkx hosts two!), Raja has hosted Fashion Photo RuView for almost a decade, Viv has anchored several Netflix YouTube shows, Monét had her own talk show, Jinkx has written and produced multiple one- and two-woman shows, and Shea has appeared in multiple features in Vogue – among many other appearances and accolades.
That’s the genius of this challenge. Draguation Speeches are not about a skill critical to the foundations of your drag, but the skill of translating your drag into different contexts. A drag queen should be giving a commencement speech! A show that started as an (even-more) queer spin on Project Runway is now a public-facing finishing school that turns former bar queens and Instagram influencers into in-demand LGBTQAI+ spokespeople.
If no Drag Race queen has been invited to receive an honorary degree and deliver a commencement address, it’s only a matter of time.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Drag Race challenge without the added requirement of making Ru laugh! Which queens manage to be both inspiring and hilarious? As it turns out, Ru and I are split on the decision. Read on to find out about our disagreement. Plus, at the end of the recap I’ll update my Episode 4 power rankings to show where the queens stand after another week of Legendary Legend badges. (Want to skip right to the power rankings? Go for it!)
Readers, start your engines! And, may the best drag queen… win! [Read more…] about RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7, Episode 5 – Draguation Speeches: recap & power ranking!