RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap, Season 13 Episode 3

What makes a Drag Race loser? The first three eps of this season have not just shown us dazzling production numbers, avant-garde fashion shows, and experimental psychological torture techniques. They’ve also posed this meta question. RuPaul would have us believe there are no losers. He cites Shangela and Miss Vanjie as evidence that Drag Race placement is not indicative of real-world success. And, yes, there certainly are notable exceptions, but Ru also can’t deny that Drag Race’s elimination structure inherently creates a hierarchy within the show’s alumni, the consequences of which are plain as day. Merchandise sales, booking fees, and social-media engagement make this discrepancy painfully clear. To some degree, it’s unavoidable. Attention isn’t doled out equitably, and not everyone can receive the coveted “lovable underdog” edit. RuPaul isn’t running a charity after all, he’s making a reality-TV show. However, I’m happy to see the show begin to take

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