reality TV reviews and news

Drag Race parodies The Bachelor, and should make Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman a judge

Kennedy on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' parody of The Bachelor, who was played by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman.

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars challenged its contestants to improvise their way through a Bachelor parody last night, and it was the most intensely emotional dramatic episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Ever. Coming up after Milk’s breakdown.

For the challenge, each was given an archetype, and though these didn’t exactly line up with Bachelor contestants, they offered the chance to create fully formed characters. And though the parody itself was brief, we got limo introductions, group dates, and a rose ceremony—I mean, eggplant ceremony—with a twist ending.

RuPaul didn’t quite play Chris Harrison, but gave life to one of The Bachelor’s unexplored angles: Harrison’s friendships with/crushes on the bachelors.

The bachelor character was played by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, an actor who plays the producer Jay on UnReal, who effortlessly outperformed several of the queens, and not just Milk. Of course, he is a trained actor.

Here he is with Kennedy, whose character transcended the party girl she was assigned (as did the other winner, BenDeLaCreme, who played a cougar). And Kennedy’s performance finally made Ross Matthews acknowledge that she can do comedy, too.

Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman didn’t just excel at improvising alongside the queens—even those who couldn’t quite handle the challenge, or overplayed it—but he excelled as a guest judge. My sense was that they showed more of his commentary than any of the other panelists, including RuPaul, though I have not gone back to count.

In any case: He’s easily earned himself a return as a guest judge thanks to his clear, quick, witty, and passionate commentary. If Drag Race is looking for a new permanent judge to join the rotation, they’ve found him.

And as icing on a perfect episode, whiny and spoiled Milk was sent home, or at least to the Handmaid’s Tale-themed purgatory where the eliminated queens are waiting for their chance to come back.