Adore Delano Is My Spirit Animal

RuPaul’s Drag Race is back – Sarah Morgan pays homage to her favourite queen

Adore Delano (aka American Idol teen star Daniel Noriega) makes me want to be a better woman.

delanoI won’t ruin Season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race for those of you watching on UK Netflix  – condragulations on your willpower, I’m devouring season 7 in American real-time like a junkie; a heroine addict if you will (and if you liked that pun, welcome, you’ll be right at home here) – but let’s just say that in the best reality TV style, drag rookie Adore has a JOURNEY to take. On day one, she tottered into the workroom like a six-foot Courtney Love, Bambi-fied by a mephedrone comedown. Barely able to walk in heels, like a weeble she wobbles, but girl doesn’t fall down. A teenage mermaid runaway in a ratty Girl Gremlin green wig, bulging out a red vinyl dress that was very possibly shoplifted off an Ann Summers mannequin. Basically, she looked like she smelled. Cigarettes, poppers, dirty pantyhose and Elnette. She could burst into flames any second. “Queens telling me I’m not polished,” she sneered to camera in her first talking head, vulnerable as a pensioner in winter,  “I’m polish remover, BITCH.” Oh, it was love. When I grow up, I want to be Adore “I’m too punk to wash my tights!” Delano.

Rupaul’s Drag Race is a reality show that searches for “America’s Next Drag Superstar”. The criteria – “Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent” – are tenuous, but making dresses to a theme with a hot glue-gun and a bag of old crap, a sense of humour, good eyebrow coverage and the ability to lip-synch FOR YOUR LIFE all help.

So, the wordplay is as creaking as a Krankies jokebook (“condragulations!” “snatch game”, season 4’s winner was called Sharon Needles and I swear I only got that pun about a week ago…) and the level of Political Correctness is rooted in about 1973 (queens who commit the cardinal sin of being too conventionally female-looking are bored-ly dismissed as ‘fishy’). But… BUT. I. LOVE. IT.

It reminds me that sometimes, we should scream our little heads off about how brilliant it is to be a woman. To have this ridiculous toybox of make-up and clothes and vulnerability to piss about in, as much or as little as we want. That it’s so much fun to scribble over your face and wear amazing things on your head that some men will face a lifetime of other-ness to join in. Oh, it’s ALL the emotions.

wig under wigUltimately, it’s a show about how utterly ridiculous you can make yourself while still living your truth – where the only crime is insincerity. Oh, and not loving yourself. Actually, three crimes. The last one is, no matter how powerful the song is that you are lip-syncing to, never tear off your wig. Unless you have another smaller wig on underneath. This has actually happened on the show. Why aren’t you watching yet?


RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6  is available on Netflix.

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