“If you can’t love yourself, then how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” The empowering message of self-love announced by Ru Paul, fittingly, at the end of each show.
Like the hem of one of Ellie Diamond’s hand-stitched dolly skirts, the second season of the fabulous Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK has come to an end, but there are still some loose threads to ad-dress; was Lawrence Chaney right to be con-drag-ulated the winner of the series?
The pun-filled show reached its finale last week, but was met with some controversy following the results. Bimini Bon Boulash wowed viewers and judges alike, often strutting down the runway in high-fashion inspired outfits. Lawrence Chaney wore purple motor-racing attire in her final runway outfit, and some feel that Lawrence was not the right fit for the crown of Drag Race UK.
The famous ‘Snatch Game,’ a staple of RuPaul’s drag show, was a turning point in the series. In Snatch Game, the contestants dress up, impersonate famous people and are expected to respond to judge’s questions with witty answers in character. Lawrence Chaney was a clear fan-favourite up to this point for the comedic flair and timing she had demonstrated. However, Lawrence admits that her Miriam Margolyes impression was a flop, full of repetitive responses and devoid of the comedic timing that audiences had come to expect from Lawrence’s performances.
This challenge is where the competition began to heat up, beginning with a Katie Price impersonation by Bimini Bon Boolash. Since Snatch Game, Bimini won a total of four ‘RuPeter Badges’ for successfully competing and winning many more of the show’s challenges, leading to viewers’ claims that Bimini was the rightful winner of the show.
As well as proving themselves to be funny in Snatch Game, each of Bimini’s performances were better than the last. They were the star of ‘Beastenders’ and ‘Ru Paul’s comedy show,’ and similar to their performances, Bimini’s outfits became more and more stunning with each week. The judges were particularly enamoured by Bimini’s interpretation of the ‘prehistoric’ category, as they came down the runway dressed as human bacteria, which Bimini themselves coined a ‘whoregasnism.’
Bimini was brilliant, quick-witted, full of confidence and wore runway outfits that felt like they wouldn’t look out of place at Paris Fashion Week. Still, Lawrence Chaney felt raw, authentic and often reduced audiences to tears, encompassing a journey of self-love that epitomises the show.
Despite the many stunning and artistic outfits worn by Lawrence, the Rennie MacIntosh bodycon latex dress and a horrifying gothic outfit that revealed a second face when Lawrence opened her arms, insecurities arose from Lawrence’s inability to sing and dance. “I feel like I have gone back to school, and I am just the slow-coach behind everyone.” Feeling like an imposter, Lawrence says to a comforting choreographer, “I am gay, I should be able to sing and dance!” Lawrence seemed to find herself constantly dealing with insecurities onstage in front of everyone during production, but this made her relatable, as well as funny, artistic and creative.
It doesn’t matter if Lawrence is a contested winner; if she and the show’s viewers have learned anything from the RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and her journey, it’s that it doesn’t matter what other people think – just that you love yourself. In the words of the mother of Drag Race UK, RuPaul, “can I get an Amen?”
Image: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons