Kia ora and welcome to my review and power rankings for the second episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Season 2 – “Cagey Queens” – a particularly wretched acting challenge.
Despite living in New Zealand for five years, I haven’t seen a single lick of New Zealand TV – so, I couldn’t tell you if this prison skit is a spoof of anything specific about Down Under television.
(In fact, there have been some well-regarded Aussie prison shows to pull from – namely, Prisoner and its modern reboot Wentworth – but I can’t say whether it references either.)
Just based on what I’ve absorbed from conversational context, it feels like a more apt acting challenge would be a Soap Opera spoof of Home and Away or Neighbours, a high school drama, a parody of Xena, a nature programme, or even a badly-imported reality TV show.
Yet, here we are with a prison script that sincerely has no plot and no jokes. Much like the “here’s some leaves” design challenge last episode, it feels like these Aussie and Kiwi queens are being given nothing to work worth.
In the immortal words of India Ferrah: “Girl… prison, honey.”
Yet, once again this cast somehow managed to shine despite that. Aside from two queens who were particularly lost in this scene, everyone delivered something ranging from a decent performance to laugh-out-loud comedy.
Pair that with a particularly-strong insect-themed runway and it feels like the cast made good episode by sheer force of will. They certainly weren’t aided by a downright surly Michelle Visage, or the typically-hilarious Lucy Lawless as a guest judge. She gets the chance to say maybe two sentences throughout the entire episode.
This criminally bad acting challenge has shaken up the power rankings significantly from my Week One rankings – with one low queen on a meteoric rise and another queen seemingly doomed to be the next out no matter what she does. Do you agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments below.
If you want to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Season 2 outside of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada 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 home country of a franchise you will need to use a VPN to “visit” another country to see that content.)
Readers, start your engines… and may the best Down Under drag queen win!