RuPaul’s Drag Race is a tough show. Just look at this week’s challenge! The queens had to design and execute fashion looks from head to toe for themselves and matching dolls while coming up with ad copy for their tiny, plastic brand ambassadors. Name another reality competition show that asks this much of a contestant! A tough challenge deserves a tough judge — and they don’t get no tougher than retired celebrity stylist Law Roach.
If you only know Law Roach from seeing his work walk red carpets on superstars like Zendaya and Megan Thee Stallion, then you might be like, “Oh, yeah, he makes perfect sense as a judge for this challenge. I can’t wait to see what Law Roach has to say!” But if you got to see Law Roach in action as a judge on Max’s gone but not forgotten no matter how much David Zaslav tries voguing competition series Legendary, then you know that Law Roach does not play. Law Roach does not mince, chop, slice, or dice words. I’d make a case for Law Roach being the toughest judge in reality competition history, because I don’t think Simon Cowell ever seriously invited a potential American Idol to a fist fight outside while rocking a neon green Beetlejuice bowl cut. Law Roach did that.
So — after three seasons of reading some of the fiercest and feistiest ballroom houses directly to their faces, what kind of energy would Law Roach bring to Drag Race? SPOILERS ahead!
Surprisingly, our diva actually kept it cool! That time off post-retirement must have done Law a world of good, because she came to the show looking fresh and feeling the opposite of stressed and pressed. Still, even a Law Roach that’s gotten a full eight hours is going to pop off — and Roach definitely delivered some reads to the queens.
Roach’s wildest comment was actually a backwards compliment. After critiquing Plasma and moving on to Plane Jane, who used Plasma’s leftover fabric to turn out an “immaculately” tailored ice skater look, Roach said, “Plasma: if I woulda saw [Jane] using the same fabric I used to create that? I’d literally punch that bitch in the throat.”
These are quite possibly the gentlest circumstances under which the phrase “punch that bitch in the throat” has ever been used.
As for reads, Roach saved the most cutting for bottom queen Geneva Karr, whose outfit — also made from the same turquoise stretch velvet! — flattered nothing and no one nowhere. Of Karr’s presentation, Roach said, “From the neck up: beauty queen. From the neck down: horror queen.” Then Roach compared Karr to her doll doppelgänger, saying, “The doll has RuPaul’s legs and you have Danny DeVito’s legs.” That’s the Law we know and love!
Law Roach had plenty positive to say about the top queens. Roach praised Dawn’s intergalactic empress ball gown, saying it looks like it came off a runway in Paris and that, if he was still in the stylist game, he would absolutely borrow that dress for a client.
Roach gave equally high marks to the week’s winner, Q, telling the other judges that Q “really just squatted and took a shit on these other girls.”
And despite her bottom placement, Roach did compliment Mhi-yah Iman LePaige on one specific thing: a glint of light on LePaige’s breast plate that made it look like a “drip of sweat” rolling down between her big plastic mounds. “It’s turning me the fuck on. I am questioning my sexuality — and that is saying something because I am a woman. But you are turning me on. Congratu-fucking-lations.”
The story doesn’t stop there, though, because Law Roach got to pay the queens a visit while the judges deliberated, as seen in tonight’s RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked. This episode showed off the softer side of Roach that, come on, we knew was there all along! You can’t spend every day challenging girls to fights while wearing a rainbow bowl cut. And on this day, Roach woke up and chose mentorship — because he knew that these queens deserved to hear the truth from a legendary, game-changing stylist.
Roach even teared up a bit while talking about the larger meaning of Drag Race and RuPaul’s place in pop culture. “Ru took a long time to call me!” said Roach of his guest judging gig. “I was watching this show since she was blurry on Season 1.” Roach praised the bravery of today’s queens, saying that he remembered a time when drag queens were afraid to go out during the day. Now we have drag brunches across the country and queens like the cast of Drag Race are “giving people hope.” And as for RuPaul and her message of love, Roach praised the Emmy-winning host and Ru’s commitment to positivity: “She’s been preaching the same thing [love] for 40 years.”
Law Roach came to Drag Race and did the damn thing — and no one got hurt in the process. But if we see any queen punch a bitch in the throat later this season, we’ll know who gave them the idea.