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RuPaul’s Drag Race: Born Naked recap

RuPaul’s Drag Race: Born Naked recap

RuPaul’s Drag Race is back for its seventh season, and my second season of consistent viewing since the first. There was a lot of fun in the first episode, and I’m fully on board. Thoughts on the premiere.

Logo screws with us and our DVRs
When I set the recording for this season, I saw the premiere was 2.5 hours long. Two and a half hours! And it wasn’t just my DVR; that’s how it appeared on Logo’s schedule online. But no, it was just one hour: those clever bastards at Logo decided a good way to get us to watch the dreary UK series Cucumber and Banana was to force us to record them. (Incidentally, there’s a third series related to Cucumber and Banana: Tofu, which is nonfiction and has real people telling stories about their sexuality in ways that tie back to the other series. Logo isn’t airing that, alas.)

Three runways
The first episode was three runway shows in one, two of which happened back to back and were an occasion for the queens to show off various looks–lobster dress!–themed to seasons, kind of. The main challenge was to walk the runway in resort wear and then strip it off to reveal a nude body–well, a body made up to appear nude. It was a little repetitive and rapid fire, but also clearly intense for the contestants. The first runways also gave the new judging panel a chance to warm up together and quip away. That said, I preferred last year’s start, with the cast introduced over two episodes; it’s a better opportunity to get to know what seems like a strong group.

Best response to a queen’s introductory tag line
“Uh oh, she’s got a tag line.”

Best fake baby name ever
Tempest DuJour dropped a baby out of her dress when she showed up, and introduced that baby as “Amber–Amber Alert.” So wrong.

Most inexplicable costume and save
Jasmine Masters wore what she described as a “cocoon,” but it was fabric draped between two hula hoops. She didn’t even have to lip sync for her life.

A new kind of beard
Kandy Ho was one of the bottom two, in part because her makeup gave her a five-o’clock shadow. But she did extraordinarily well; as Katya said, “the bearded ho is turning it out!”

Born with flesh-colored underpants
The Pit Crew–with a new addition who’s an aerospace engineer, according to his Twitter profile–showed up naked to introduce the challenge, black boxes covering their bits for us but not in the room. Except, as the picture above shows, they were wearing flesh-colored underwear. 

More disappointing for me, however, was the decision to pixelate the queens on the runway. I’d understand the need to pixilate a visible penis tuck or something, but what was clearly and often being pixilated here were the flesh-colored suits that the queens used to give the appearance of nudity. It seemed to be hiding their talent and skill.

I learned that this was a decision made by the production company to play to the spirit of the challenge, acting as if they really were nude. And thankfully, on Untucked, below, you can see their faux nudity–which in some cases includes airbrushed vaginas and nipples–without any censorship.

Untucked moves online
Logo has dumped/moved Untucked online. The sponsored half-hour showed us what happens backstage during deliberations, and often provided some of the most genuine and raw moments–and a lot of opportunities for the queens to continue to perform. Now it’s online, but not until Tuesday mornings. Here’s episode one:

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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