The A.V. Club convenes its own judges’ panel for the RuPaul’s Drag Race season-10 finale

RuPaul’s Drag Race crowned its 10th winner last night in a finale full of flattering lighting (important for the returning season-one queens), reveals on top of reveals (for better and worse), and a three-way lip sync for the crown. There was a lot going on—both on stage and off, if the ballot-stuffing for Miss…

RuPaul’s Drag Race picks up speed with a patriotic final challenge

The momentum of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 has dipped with the loss of Monét and Cracker, two of the more charismatic queens who were especially valuable to the series when they were out of drag. The 90-minute running time isn’t doing the show any favors now that there’s a small group of queens left, and the first…

Drag Race recruits social media influencers for a middling makeover challenge

The Drag Race makeover challenge is typically for people who aren’t used to the spotlight, but that changes this season as social media influencers are brought into the workroom. The producers get to take advantage of the extended reach of these online celebrities, but they don’t have especially interesting personal…

RuPaul puts herself at the center of Drag Race’s Cher tribute

RuPaul often speaks about fighting the ego, but that doesn’t mean she’s not self-centered. RuPaul Charles is at the top of a sprawling drag empire, and the mononymous RuPaul is the supermodel of the world. She’s had to control her ego to get to where she is now, but now that she’s the queen, she’s letting her ego come…

RuPaul's Drag Race builds an exceptional challenge from DragCon promotion

RuPaul has changed the drag economy over the past decade, and RuPaul’s DragCon is a major part of that landscape. It’s an event that connects drag professionals and fans from around the world, and for Drag Race alumni, it can be a major money maker if queens are able to create a marketable brand for themselves. “Drag…

RuPaul’s Drag Race reveals the dangers of being generous in a competition

Being helpful to other contestants on a reality TV competition is a smart way to build alliances and ingratiate viewers to your character, but you have to put yourself first. Asia O’Hara learns this the hard way on tonight’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has the queens serving three looks on the runway for “The Last Ball…

RuPaul’s Drag Race delivers drama, sisterhood, and a killer lip sync

Competitive drama and sisterly support are in a constant conflict on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and even though these queens are part of the show’s drag sisterhood, they’re still fighting for $100,000 and the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. “Tap That App” is an episode that highlights this shifting emotional dynamic,…

Trixie Mattel on Kacey Musgraves and why she’s “still scared of RuPaul”

A country music-loving drag queen who’s been a perennial favorite of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Trixie Mattel finally got her just deserts earlier this spring when she (spoiler alert!) won All Stars season three. Though the win has been controversial among Shangela stans, it was well-deserved, as Mattel has not only risen…

10 tolerable—even enjoyable—uses of product placement in pop culture

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

An odd Drag Race challenge is redeemed by the queens’ outstanding chemistry

It’s hard to come up with new challenges for a reality show that has been around for 10 seasons (plus 3 All Stars seasons), which explains why this week’s RuPaul’s Drag Race has a parody lip-sync extravaganza revolving around pharmaceutical commercials. I give the writers credit for thinking outside of the box with…