Daya Betty proves RuPaul’s Drag Race is at its best with a hefty dash of villainy
‘No offence’ though x
As RuPaul’s Drag Race has levelled itself up over the seasons to become a show with global reach and one that makes instant superstars even out of its lowest placing queens, it somehow lost its edge. In the early days of Drag Race, the competition was a ruthless battleground. The sisterly love that permeates through it today was still there, of course, in the way that queer people coming together always creates an underlying and even maybe unintentional togetherness – but social media usage was not the same. Queens went on the show unafraid to let the other girls have it and say whatever they needed to say, without fear of the producers giving them a harsh edit for narrative purposes and a worry that the darkest depths of the Drag Race fandom will send them abuse. Enter Daya Betty: The season 14 queen who is unafraid to look bitter, competitive and hit all the marks of a true Drag Race ‘villain’ whilst making TV that’s all the better for it.
Here’s why we shouldn’t send her hate, but send her our thanks.
Drag Race is a sisterhood, but sisters fight guys!
It doesn’t take a genius to watch season 14 and know that this is a cast of queens who have an extraordinarily large amount of respect and love for each other – and you’d only have to watch this latest episode and see how the safe queens greeted each lip sync winner with such love and pride every time someone would walk back in the Werk Room. But sisterhood doesn’t mean plain sailing, as Jasmine Kennedie and Daya Betty’s relationship over the season has documented.
Daya truly can’t keep her facial expressions under control. Jasmine merely breathes and she’s greeted with an eye roll and a cut to Daya talking to the camera saying how fucking irritating she finds her. Jasmine comes across a perky and chirpy soul, which I’m sure could get grating, but she’s a good egg. As her annoyances with Jasmine in a big sis / little sis narrative, Daya Betty becomes perfect fuel for the Drag Race producers to crack on with a good old fashioned archetypal villain edit.
She’s literally making the season
The drama! The tension! What makes the whole thing even juicier, is how in her stride Jasmine Kennedie takes it every time. She’s an absolutely unbothered queen – either laughing it off, or feeling so confident in her own performance abilities that any attempt from Daya to undermine her drag or the fact she’s still plodding along in the competition despite numerous times in the bottom. It’s such compulsive telly, especially because the more Jasmine comes across as confident and unbothered the more pressed Daya gets.
It all culminated this week in the lip sync smack down. Jasmine, along with Jorgeous, has proven herself throughout the season as a lip sync assassin. To Daya Betty, the idea of losing to Jasmine over a lip sync when Daya clearly thinks Jasmine has no right to still be competing and should have gone weeks back is enough to make her head explode. When Jasmine picks Daya to go against in the first battle, my flatmate and I got out of our seats at the absolute drama of it all. If facial expressions could kill, Daya would have had had a corpse on her hands on that main stage.
When Daya takes the win, it is kind of unsatisfying for those rooting for an underdog victory – but it’s a fair win. Daya gobbled the lip sync up, has been overall doing better in the competition and it made for great villainous telly.
Daya Betty aired my own personal frustrations with the season
Not with Jasmine, that was just petty. But Daya is in a pressure cooker environment to win 100 grand and is frustrated, so tempers rise. But her frustrations with no one going home are my frustrations with season 14 of Drag Race. SEND PEOPLE HOME! Stop carrying the dead weight for the sake of it. I love this cast, but I could have lost a few queens this week. It’s just a shame they all pretty much lip synced the house down so well that no other even deserved it.
Where the season will go now feels like anyone’s game, but I’m happy Daya Betty is still on season 14 for that Drag Race villain ride.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Versus The World is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer. For all the latest Drag Race memes and Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.
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