Forget Top ModelRuPaul's Drag Race is Way More Fierce


If you've ever tuned into RuPaul’s Drag Race (which airs Mondays at 10pm on LOGO), you might have noticed it bears a few similarities to another reality TV show hosted by another glamorous supermodel. And if, like me, you got sick of America’s Next Top Model’s tired formula many seasons (excuse me, “cycles”) ago, I recommend getting hooked on RuPaul's Drag Race now and not bothering with Top Model later this season. Drag Race has the allure of a modeling competition, but with a lot more extravaganza eleganza; here are six more reasons why RuPaul's spectacle puts Tyra's show to shame.

1. The challenges are harder.
It happens time and time again on ANTM: The girls learn four lines for a Cover Girl commercial, forget them, and cry. Tyra's gals should try being drag queens for a day: They have to apply their own (serious) hair and makeup, sew their own clothes, dance and perform gymnastics in stilettos and do it all with their gentlemen parts tucked away.

2. The girls are more fun.
While there have been a few standouts on ANTM (I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Jade), most of the girls pass through the show’s history with a hope and a dream and a bland personality. It’s maybe an unfair advantage that RuPaul’s Drag Race starts off with a cast of characters already accustomed to demanding an audience’s attention. But beyond over-the-top lipsynching and wig tossing, there’s an openness between the contestants you don’t see on other reality shows. The drag queens are the first ones to compliment each other on their beauty and attitude, yet won’t shy away from confrontation (one of my favorite quotes from Monday's episode: “I don’t start drama: I end it.”) The willingness of the girls to get real, real fast, leads to great yet strangely genuine reality TV about people with alternate personalities.

3. There is actual diversity!
Anyone who’s familiar with Top Model knows the routine. Each cycle features one or two “plus sized” models intent on breaking the mold and representing (cough) “real girls” (cough) everywhere. Then (except in one case) they get eliminated. I stopped watching when Tyra Banks began her grand experiment of featuring petite models on the show: She should have just retitled the series “America’s Next Top Pretty Girl.” RuPaul's Drag Race, on the other hand, doesn't need a special season for short girls or one for plus sized girls. The drag queens come in all colors and sizes and speak several languages. Plus, we'll probably never see a bald top model.

4. It's funny.
I always cringe when Tyra tries to be funny. It seems like she thinks, “If I act crazy and over-the-top it’ll show how unselfconscious and real I am!” But truly, she strikes me as one of the most humorless people in showbiz (just ask The Soup's Joel McHale). Ty-Ty is no match for RuPaul’s quick wit and ability to send up her industry. I was especially fond, last season, when in a Tyra-esque move, Ru invited the final contestants to sit down for a special lunch—which turned out to consist of a single Tic-Tac. And, much like last night’s guest judge, Kathy Griffin, the hosts and contestants aren’t afraid to talk trash (Kim Kardashian was a target last night). Plus, RuPaul never met a pun she didn’t like, which I appreciate.

5. There's way more male eye candy.
Beautiful women are nice to look at and all, but tossing a few good-looking men into the mix doesn't hurt. Forget the handful of male models ANTM features each cycle; RuPaul’s Drag Race is full of them. Not only are many of the drag queens very attractive men before they even get in drag, but nearly every episode of Drag Race features a handful of muscly, scantily-clad men, often bearing cocktails. With so many exposed women on TV and in magazines, it's nice to see the scales balanced a bit.

6. It means more to the contestants.
Tyra loves shoving a sob story down our throats. This girl was homeless. This girl is a single mom. This girl has some disease. Winning America’s Next Top Model will fix everything. Right. RuPaul’s Drag Race, however, gives the contestants exposure they wouldn’t have a chance of getting anywhere else. And it's easier to root for drag queens, who in real life probably don’t enjoy as many advantages as beautiful women do (how many traffic tickets do you think drag queens have batted their fake eyelashes out of?)

RuPaul's Drag Race airs Monday nights at 9pm on LOGO. America's Next Top Model returns to The CW this spring.

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If not for ANTM these new Model shows probably wouldn't exist, of course RuPaul could enhance on what Tyra created, that's easier than creating a show from scratch. I love the show, don't get me wrong, it's great.
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It's disappointing that you feel that way about ANTM. It's sad how many girls would have loved to be in your position. It might be nicer for you if you had good memories of it. Hopefully no regrets...
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Add to that -- the factor that every drag-girl emerges as her own unique engaging personality that leaves viewers with a personal stake in her success. I feel like I am actually jut chilling with my own camp of queens or camping it up in queenspeak with a group of people I genuinely relate to.
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Oh yeah. And Tyra needs to stop acting like RuPaul's trying to be her. Honey, Ru was around way before anyone knew who the f you were.
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I so agree with this! I\'ve been watching Top Model since it\'s 3rd season/cycle and I can\'t stop watching (don\'t ask me why...habit, I guess), but ever since I found Drag Race I\'ve been hooked! I can\'t stop watching this decadent show! RuPaul is far better than Tyra. She\'s real, she\'s got a wicked sense of humor, she doesn\'t hate on girls that are as pretty or prettier than her, and she doesn\'t care if you\'re a b*tch or a sweetie - she just cares if you\'re a fantastic drag queen. Tyra has a formula. There has to be a girl that\'s Latina, a girl that\'s black, a girl that\'s white, a girl that\'s poor, a girl that\'s plus-sized, a girl that\'s gay whatever. Who cares?! I want to see you tuck it, paint it, sew it, flaunt it, and lip-sync it. And Ru\'s catchphrases are to die for. I laugh every damn time. And if those b*tches on Top Model think they have it hard (as Tyra thinks SHE had it hard, because ::sob sob:: she grew boobies and a butt), then we can\'t even begin on how hard these drag superstars have had it. Kudos to Ru! This is now my favorite show and HANDS DOWN is the greatest and funnest reality series ever!
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Can't stand Tyra but love RuPaul. Ironically, has anyone noticed that Al Roker and RuPaul (when RuPaul is in a suit and tie) could be separated at birth?
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After watching RuPaul's Drag Race, I feel inspired to use my creativity to the fullest extent in everything I do; fabulous in my own skin, just as I am; and just happy, on the whole, looking forward to the next show.

After watching ANTM, I feel pissed off at Tyra for always being stupid and talking about herself; it makes me feel inadequate because I'm not a 5'9 caucasian female with angular features, who's 21 and a size 00; and it makes me feel like a bit sleepy, halfway through the hour long show.
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netgoddess, I think it is inspirational in its way--a lot of the contestants have had to deal with a lot of prejudice in their lives. But anyway I watch it for the fun.
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These types of reality shows just seem so superficial. RuPaul is a cool cat but I don't think I have the patience to watch a show like this. I hate Tyra, sure she has a positive message and all but she just seems so very fake, I feel like she's pretending to care as opposed to actually caring. I guess this is why I'm really selective about reality shows, I prefer to watch something like The Biggest Loser that actually is motivational and really helps people.
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Drag Race is awesome!! I love RuPaul, he's so good with the contestants.
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Is there a better show on TV? I think not! Rupaul, you had me at drag!
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I try to watch this show whenever I think of it. It really is fun, much more than Top Model.
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Is top model still on? I would rather watch the soup make fun of either show.
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Well, I think you guys should watch, Andiezinha and Starprincess! You're obviously interested, or else you wouldn't have read the piece ;)
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LOL What Starprincess13 said! =P
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i love the drag race watch it for the first time yesterday
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Of course, you could do what I do and watch neither of them.
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