No Shade, No T: Gagging on the Extravaganza of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4

As yet another cycle of RuPaul’s search for America’s Next Drag Superstar has come to an end it is my duty and pleasure to spill my thoughts on the extravaganza that the contestants brought this season. And let me telleth you all: I am very pleaseth.


This season surpassed the previous seasons in terms of quality in both the series as a whole (challenges, editing, characterization) and in terms of the contestants, but maybe I am only being partial here, because I’ve just seen it and forgot how awesome the other seasons were.
But, children of the night, Sharon Needles! Not only was Sharon Needles on this show, she fucking won the whole thing! And saying that this is the best outcome ever is really just an understatement. Because it is the best outcome ever.


Sharon Needles embodies all I want my drag queen to be: A smart kid with a head full of unconventional aesthetics put in glittery dresses he likes to smear with blood. I loved the sense of humour of Sharon Needles, loved how she just went for jokes and confrontation alike, loved the outfits she pulled out of the bag. She opened the finale as a glass of beer! She showed up as a drag Elvis! I could go on about the outfits that I gagged on, cause they was sickening, honey. But what I liked most about Sharon Needles (besides the, I just have to say it, name) is the sense that there is someone who is consciously feeling different and trying to be different and telling people: it is ok, all the while accepting the diversity of people around him and embracing fellow queens despite the differences in personality and personal beliefs. Most of the time I just wanted to give Sharon Needles a good old hug, even though I recognize that some of her statements and actions were leaning a little on bending the truth, but then again, she seemed like someone ready to admit a mistake and apologize for it.


And, you guys, Miss Congeniality this year went to – *drumroll* – none other than the stellar Latrice Royale. Gasp, cause: wow. Sharon Needles is an awesome queen in an outsider kind of way, but if I think about my average traditional drag queen (which is really something I am not at all an expert in) I think of someone like Latrice Royale as the best possible sort of drag queen I could want. Large and in charge. Chunky, yet funky. Once again, more so than her incredible style and outfits it was her personality that shone and made her such an enjoyable character on this show. How could you not love a big black man who went to prison just to get out and become a person of unlimited capacity to understand and accept, all the while laughing and enjoying life to the fullest? Aww, I wanna hug him and go out with her! Can I please have a weekly vegan cake tea-party with Sharon Needles and Latrice Royale? The drag queen wisdom between the two of them alone would take my understanding of the world to new heights, I can just feel it.


Oh, and while we’re at it, can we please gush about the awesomeness of some of the other contestants? I have a little shout-out for Dida Ritz in reserve, cause I really liked her, but let’s be real: the other three breakout stars of this season are Willam, Jiggly Caliente and Chad Michaels.
Chad Michaels not only totes deserved to be in the top three, but boy could have easily won this, just to honor him for what he has done and achieved in drag. And while I thought that some of the other queens were more entertaining at times there is no denying that the level of drag that Mrs. Chad Michaels walks on is off the fucking chart, cause what he turns out is just professional, darlings. Cannot believe it. And his make-up skills! Anyone who can make their eyes pop like that deserves respect. Plus, he seemed exactly like the kind of drag-mama (or even your real mum) you wanna have.
And Willam, honey, I roll my eyes but I like. This queen is so full in your face it’s fantastic. Plus, gurrl is real funny and really knows how to capitalize on the Drag Race fame by pimpin’ out music videos left and right serving body and face and then some body. Girl knows how to werq a camera. Oh, and I am still undecided if I believe the explanation as to why he had to leave the competition. What the heck went of with puking on the catwalk?

All the previous seasons I was specifically rooting for the girls of Asian heritage, this time I had to root for Sharon and Latrice, scuse me, but! that shall not distract us from the fact that Jiggly Caliente is about as awesome as a drag queen can get. As Shanelle so skilfully put it in the review episode: “I live for Jiggly!” Not only does she pull some fierce looks and supports Manila Luzon (whom we still love and adore, of course) in her music video which you can watch below, but girl named herself after a fucking Pokemon! And not enough: My favorite Pokemon! Which even has a place in my bathroom, just above the mirror… The sweetness of it all! Not to mention how Jiggly totally got to me with the display of raw emotion basically every other episode. Hugs and Kittens for everyone!

But let us deal with the dirt for a moment: I was not of fan of Phi Phi, neither her drag, nor her performance and character and I am glad she did not win. I was kinda glad that there wasn’t as much fuss about the Puerto Rican queens as there usually is. I mean, WTF? They somehow always seem to be such cheesy characters, full of either nonsense or conservative babbling. Madame LaQueer got the boot pretty early and deservedly, but I really don’t get the fascination with Kenya Micheals. Pretty looks are a little bland if the rest doesn’t match up and for me it didn’t, but oh well. Besides me bitching about them here, I was complaining in my last reviews that there was so much bitching going on in the previous shows. I felt that they toned it down this time, the contestants seemed more mature and understanding of how to treat each other with respect. I really liked and enjoyed that, felt much more like the sort of sisterhood that I wish for. I am also really glad we get to see the interaction in the Interior Illusions Lounge and the Gold Bar in Drag Race Untucked. It would feel like only half the experience without this additional show. Love it.


Besides an apparently softer Michelle Visage (which is one of the best drag names ever) and the awesomeness of RuPaul’s looks and personality (could he be any more the grandfather you wish for than he already is?) what I absolutely loved about this season was the lingo. I loved that in previous cycles but this season I felt like wagging my finger in everyone’s faces on the street repeating “werq” over and over again. Category is: Cheescake! Jesus is a biscuit! No shade, no T. Seriously, if I had more people around me who watched the show I would be throwing out these lines 24/7.
And I won’t RuPaulogize for it.


2 thoughts on “No Shade, No T: Gagging on the Extravaganza of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4

  1. Hi fellow Drag Racer,

    The show’s been off for several months, but I just finished my Season 4 DVD marathon and then found your blog. I, too, wish I had people here to share No T and No Shade lingo, but that’s why they invented the Internet!!

    I was Sooooo glad Sharon won!!! I loved her from the intro videos. I was sad for Chad to lose. He was great (and I love the pic of him in the presidential gown. His silver Tudor outfit was amazing also.) I was Very happy that Phi Phi did not win. She was so rude and evil about stuff. I expect a Little shade from the ladies, but she was just wicked a out it. Like in a dump water on her head and see if she melts kind of way. I’m sorry for her dad being horrible to her, but she needs counseling.

    I figured she’d win since I didn’t like her.

    Latrice as Miss Congeniality was great! Totally got my vote. I’m also curious about Willam’s story. Oh well.

    Anyhow, glad Deeda got her family back. She still needs to work on her wigs though. Kinda flat.

    Ok, I guess that’s all. I have so much more to say, but don’t want to bore you. I’ve been glad to see Chad and Willam and Latrice on Drag U. I’ve only seen a little. And Manilla!!! She’s so cool. I even started liking Raja on Drag U and didn’t realize Mariah was so funny.


    1. Glad to hear from a fellow drag racer!

      We’re only weeks away from the all-star season and I can’t wait! This is going to be awesome.

      I was also really pleased with the Drag U season. Pandora Boxx is so funn, I completely forgot about that. And I’m kinda finding my love for Raven. Bitch is sickening!

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