We’re hours away from the season finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and I’m getting nervous because if Sharon Needles or Chad Michaels don’t win, then I don’t know what I’ll do.
To calm my nerves, let’s countdown RuPaul’s 5 best music videos. Some of them are old, some of them are new, and all of them have Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent.
5. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (featuring Elton John)
With his diamond-encrusted glasses and sickening Danny Zuko costume, Elton lives up to RuPaul’s Standard of Fabulous. It’s a hoot watching them ham it up together.
4. “Back to My Roots”
This song has been unjustly forgotten, and it’s sad that I can’t find a high-quality version of the video online. But let’s party with what we’ve got, because “Back to My Roots” is RuPaul’s lost classic. A celebration of African-American beauty (disguised as a list of hair styles and hair care products), it’s funny and funky and fantastic.
Come on, hunty! This is the best video in the history of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Getting all the guest judges to participate was a brilliant stroke—please note the bats flying out of Elvira—and the video game theme lets me see Sharon Needles destroy a city. That’s a secret dream I’ve been having.
(2) “Tranny Chaser”
Ahhhhh! I f***ing love this trashy-ass song, and I love the ghetto booty realness in the video. It’s like a home movie from 1984 where ten people had to make outfits from the same yard of neon fabric. Oh, and RuPaul’s giant white Afro deserves to be honored by the Kennedy Center for its contribution to culture.
Put another way: This song is about the confidence of a down-and-dirty ho. She’s not afraid to shake it in your face. She’s not afraid to make a straight man question his sexuality. And she is not fronting like she’s from Vogue magazine. I love that because sometimes I want to celebrate my own stank impulses, and I need a video to support me.
(1) “Supermodel (You Better Work)”
Um… obviously. Fierce, gorgeous, flawless. The legendary House of RuPaul. I can barely speak in full sentences about this video. Twenty years ahead of its time, it still feels trailblazing.
My favorite moment is at the very end, when Ru serves Joan Crawford faces while she screams, “You betta work!”
Yes ma’am! We promise we will werq for you!
Mark Blankenship has written about pop music for The New York Times and NPR. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship. He ain’t got no time for no looky-loos, boo.