Jinkx Monsoon Kills Detox on “Drag Race” Lip Sync

21 04 2013

Jinkx Monsoon RuPaul's Drag Race Lip Synch IIII would have posted about this earlier, but I only just found the perfect clip of it on Youtube. If you’ve been following the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you’ll have noticed it was the first time kooky underdog-turned-fierce-multi-talented-competitor Jinkx Monsoon had to lip sync for her life. And boy did she put Detox Icunt in her place–albeit in her sweetly flamboyant, non-aggressive manner, which I must say is perhaps her most refreshing and endearing trait.

In Episode 11 of the show, the queens had to perform a ‘sugar ball’ as well as create a candy-inspired look in three categories: ‘super-duper sweet sixteen teenage party girl’, ‘sugar mama executive realness’, and ‘candy couture: edible eleganza’. Alaska killed the cougar construction supervisor look. Amen! For the last category, Detox donned this odd black-and-green toxic licorice contraption, Roxxxy Andrews created this very precisely made long stringy licorice look, Jinkx wore this weird candy-cane-deer-on-crack look, and Alaska Thunderfuck cobbled together a gorgeous bodice-corset thing with thick, gorgeous plumes of cotton candy bursting out of the top and bottom of the piece, and lollipops stuck to the bodice and cotton candy plumes. It was the best-conceived outfit, and Alaska deserved to win that week’s challenge for it.

The look is one thing–the full repertoire of talents is another. RuPaul had Jinkx and Detox lip sync to a tune unfamiliar to most of us–Malambo No. 1an operatic mambo piece performed by Peruvian chanteuse Yma Sumac and composed by Moisés Vivanco. From the start Jinkx nailed the rhythm with her thump-a-thump hip thrusts and bomp-a-bomp fist twists. By the end of this most unusual of lip sync challenges,  RuPaul had proclaimed Jinkx the winner and sent Detox packing. Jinkx was able to prove her talent as a lip sync artist, singer, dancer, and actor, and she was able to meld all of these things into one stellar performance. But perhaps most important, she was able to express her appreciation of vintage drag and burlesque culture.

I didn’t want Detox to go. I thought she deserved to be in the top three along with Jinkx and Alaska, but Detox and Roxxxy were really busy being jealous of Jinkx, while Alaska seemed really kind towards Jinkx and circumspect about her former RoLaskaTox teammates’ jealousy. She even began to identify with Jinkx as a common comedy queen. How often does that occur? Well, I thought Roxxxy should go because she seemed professional yet uncreative. But Ru decides. If you really want my opinion, the triumvirate of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5, in order of the contestants who deserve to win, are Jinkx Monsoon, Alaska Thunderfuck, and Detox. We will see shortly who takes the crown.





Drag Queen Jinkx Monsoon Talks Gender and Makeup Tips

14 02 2013

The fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race has commenced, and we are all dying to know which queens will make the cut to the much-relished triumvirate, let alone who will win the crown. I’ve actually had a hard time identifying the queen I think will win (in the past I’ve accurately predicted Raja and Sharon Needles), but I am quite enamoured with Seattle’s own Jinkx Monsoon. She’s just so bananas and full of character! And purpose.

I’m going to tell you why I think Jinkx is such a fascinating creature (and might deserve to win the crown), but first I want you to watch this video of her sharing her makeup tips as well as her ideas about gender, drag, and performance art:

The first thing that caught my attention were her thoughts on hyperfemininity in Hollywood films: “There are a lot of really hyperfeminine villains in American culture. I think we think that women can only be evil if they use their seduction to…gain status over their enemies.” I don’t think Jinkx is saying, “Hey, this is what women should be!” I think she is parodying traditional expectations of womanhood by making them look absurd and turning them on their heads by glorifying the traditionally scorned woman. Often, in drag, the “evil woman” is actually the misunderstood woman with a rich history that Jinkx Monsoon Seattle Drag Queen RuPaul's Drag Racedeserves exploration before fielding judgement.

I also appreciated Jinkx’s comments about drag as a performance art: “Beyond just the fact that you have to paint your face and change your body and step into this whole new skin…. It’s an art-form because it’s not just a form of self-expression, but it’s a forum for kind of discussing topics and bringing things to the foreground that you want people to start talking about. I think really good drag makes you think about something, just like any–any good spectacle or theatre piece or anything–they kind of make you take a look at something you may have not noticed yet.” This is precisely why drag is not just gender illusion–it is gender commentary. But it’s still fun to dress up, of course.

The most profound thing Jinkx says in her interview is about gender identity. “The best drag queens are commenting on gender Jinkx Monsoon Seattle Drag Queen RuPaul's Drag Race IIor sexuality. And when you’re playing a character, you can say things that you wouldn’t normally say as yourself. Like, I can call out all kinds of bullshit as Jinkx that I would never really talk about as myself.” In other words, men become drag queens to comment on the stupid ideas of sex roles produced largely in the middle twentieth century. But this aesthetic is also pretty, and they do celebrate that. It’s OK to be feminine too. Both are good.

Drag queens like Jinkx Monsoon are fascinating because they know what they are doing. They are sophisticated and ethereal about their craft, but they also know how to turn it out on-stage. Jinkx knows that she is mocking traditionally feminine roles while also celebrating the beauty of femininity–which is worthy. This is a hard line to walk, but I think she aces it.

Besides. My snitty-tits said so.