Highest Hopes for Rupaul’s Drag Race S8

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It’s tonight, kids! I hope this has been a fun lead up to the new season, but be sure to catch up to any 8 Days of RuPaul’s Drag Race posts you may have missed before watching tonight’s premiere!:

ICYMI Previous 8 Days of Drag Race Posts:

Now before the fun starts tonight, I wanted to end the series with how some optimism for the show’s future. It’s no secret that the show got off track in the lackluster and uncharacteristically distanced seventh season. The franchise has longstanding traditions that have made it the success that it is, and like any long-lived show shouldn’t be hesitant to refresh itself.

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So what changes do we hope for with the new season…

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No Performing as Past Contestants in Snatch Game

Let’s just not, shall we? When even low hanging fruit like Madonna, Judy Garland, Liza Minelli, and Barbara Streisand have never been chosen, can you really justify playing it so safe by spoofing one of your own? It’s not like previously underwhelming performances of celebrities like Joan Crawford, Wendy Williams, or Lady Gaga are out of bounds.

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No Manufactured Rivalries

You can always guarantee drama with such high stakes, but the producers don’t need to exacerbate or outright create beef that isn’t there – BenDeLaCreme and Darienne Lake being the obvious example that contestants have spoken out against. If all the girls going to be comrades, then find tension rather than inventing it.

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More Sewing Challenges

Or just more opportunity for the queens to make something out of nothing. Look at the Float Your Boat challenge- when the queens make something of their own, they highlight their point of view as an artist, but also express their limitations. Remember the highs of season three’s sewing challenges and how we could easily distinguish each queens point of view without the help of a catch phrase?

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Make the Lipsynchs Fair and Square

Sure, some queens may perform so abysmally in the main challenge to merit a swift ticket home, but isn’t the point of Lipsyncing for Your Life to prove why you should stay? Therefore, if you are the winner of the lipsync, shouldn’t you stay? The unspoken “three lipsync strikes and you’re out” rule is silly – if Trinity K. Bonet had to slaughter every lipsync to get to the top three, then she would have earned it.

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If You Keep a Queen, Give Her Air Time

On the other hand, if a queen makes a compelling enough case to stay, treat her like she actually stayed. Last season, Kandy Ho was barely afforded speech on multiple episodes before the producers remembered she was still there and sent home. Either you want her there or you don’t, but be fair to the queen.

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Cool It With the Group Challenges

Season seven gets this complaint across the board, but the show has been naturally progressing to include more and more each season. The thought is it’s an easy way to stir up drama but thrusting the queens together, but in season seven it became repetitive without any major rivalries or frenemies. It’s also much harder to get to know the queens if they’re not given much opportunity to stand on their own.

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Give Less Stock to Being Attractive Out of Drag

Everyone loves seeing a pretty face on their television, no problem there. But consistently telling your audience that a contestant’s out-of-drag appearance makes them more interesting in a drag competition makes little sense. Last season, it was one of Pearl’s major selling points, but there are plenty of other victims.

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We want to know all of these girls. Even with clear audience and producer favorites, one of the strongest aspects of the show is it’s history of showcasing diversity of experience within the gay community. Family self-love issues, addiction, family troubles, trans self-awareness, and more, the show is the single most inclusive representation of the LGBT community in popular culture. Even villains have something that has made them the performer that they are, even if it doesn’t make you love them. Let’s hope that is something the show never loses sight of!

Season Eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race begins tonight!

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