A few weeks ago, a show similar to Rupaul’s Drag Race appeared on Russian television. The name of the show is “Royal Cobras” and unlike in many other countries where contestants, show hosts, mentors and jury members talk about the problems and challenges of the LGBT + community, the Russian version refuses to talk about it, who created the Rupaul show and drag culture in general.
In the Russian version, like the American Rupaul’s Drag Race, you will meet Lip Sync contests, comedic sketches and fashionable, fantastic hats, but the show’s creator decided to turn his back on Russian LGBT + people and voicing their problems.
The show’s creator and Instagram influencer is Nastia Ivleva, also hosts the show. 36 Drag Queens take part in the show, the show consists of 7 episodes in each 6 Drag Queens compete with each other and the winner of it moves to the final episode and continues to fight for the victory. The winner of the show will receive 1,000,000 rubles. The introduction to the first episode of the show states that “the show is not aimed at promoting non-traditional sexual attitudes.”
In an interview with The Moscow Times, Nikita Andrianov, an LGBT + activist, said that the Russian versions of the Rupoli drag race was not designed to empower LGBT + people, as the show nowhere mentions that drag culture and similar shows were created by LGBT + people.
Criticism has also surfaced around the show’s creator, Nastya Ivleeva, who is heterosexual and around whom the show’s drama is set. Blogger, model and influencer Nikita Hi says in an interview with one of the Russian publications that although Ivleva has been working with Russian Drag Queens for a long time, it still does not justify the fact that the central figure in the show is Nastia and the jury is made up of heterosexuals who have no qualifications.
According to the activist, the show is a superficial display of drag culture and heterosexual people are trying to take away what queer people have been working on for many years.
Rupaul’s Drag Race is an American reality show co-created and hosted by Rupaul. The show features up to 15 drag queens each season, with participants competing in a variety of competitions in each episode, with viewers watching 13 seasons of the show to date. A similar show has been set up in various countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Thailand, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, and Brazil. The show plays a huge role in strengthening the queer community and developing a culture of drag.
Watch the first episode of the Russian “Royal Cobras”: