Reality Show Redemption

Mood Music: FAB – JoJo f. Remy Ma

If you’re not watching RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, what ARE you doing?? It’s been such a good season, especially the last episode which is the basis for this particular post.

If you’re behind, now would be the time to stop reading:

In the last episode, Phi Phi O’hara was sent home in the same episode that saw the return on eternal fan favorite Alyssa Edwards and rising star Tatianna.

Phi Phi came on the show with a goal that she would be redeemed for his atrocious behavior during Season 4. In case, you’ve forgotten, here’s a montage of her…sweetest moments.

So shy and retiring this one.

Phi Phi, despite her stated mission, found herself with a villain edit, based around harping on her competitor’s insecurities, being overly anxious about her own performance, and arguing over a non-official competition rule that kept in a fan favorite. She did not come across well and in fact, may have made more people dislike her. Her bitchiness in season 4 was unhinged, but she never wavered from it. Being an unapologetic bitch is always going to be more appreciated than being a insecure bitch.

The internet has not been kind to her during this season and she seems to be pulling away from drag period while also bad-mouthing the show.

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Now I’m not a Phi Phi fan. But I recognize that her drag is leaps and bounds better than what she served the girls during Season 4. I do think that she is a bitch, but that’s not really a problem if you know how to own it. She doesn’t have the cajones to just own that her “competitive” nastiness is a part of who she is.

Roxxxy Andrews came on the show with the same mission and has had much better reception on the show, despite not showing any of the growth that Phi Phi in her drag aesthetic or talents. Roxxxy is essentially putting her head down, doing the best she can, looking fabulous and winning people over.

That’s the thing. Reality television is not something you can control. The producers and editors are piecing together footage to tell a story. By openly stating her plan and not “being in total control of herself,” she lost complete control of her narrative.

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Iconic

You can never tell how the public will receive you. Let’s talk about my patron saint, New York from Flavor of Love as an example.

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New York is a complete and utter bitch. New York is rude, arrogant, and messy. She’s also iconic and beloved.

Back when Season One of Flavor of Love was airing, people truly hated her during the show’s run. She was insane, she wasn’t really in love with Flavor Flav, she was a See You Next Tuesday to the other girls.

But in two episodes, New York found herself being loved on. Pumkin spitting on her and being rejected in the end served as “humbling” experiences.Responding to Pumkin by being ready to throw hands resonated with every sane person because spitting is fucking disgusting. She also managed to be totally hilarious while it happened.

Skipping past the finale, we jump to the reunion where we see the New York persona really take shape. New York owns every moment she’s on the stage. Her continuous threats to Pumkin are colored now by the fact that she lost to Hoopz and she was spit on. The same bitchy shit that was a turn-off became her calling card and the reason she was able to have so many shows.

She still managed to bring it on Celebrity Big Brother and the awfulness that was the Next 15 because of this.It allows her to negotiate being a complete and total bitch while being the most liked cast member.

What can we learn from this in real life?

If you’re going to be a bitch, be a fucking bitch.

 

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