Why Silky Nutmeg Ganache is one of the most disliked queens in years
Since its humble beginnings, RuPual’s Drag Race has given us gag-worthy looks, unforgettable comedy, countless LGBT herstory lessons, and of course, drama out the wazoo. What can we say? It’s inevitable when you put a group of 14 drag queens in the same room with each other for an extended period of time. This drama is part of what makes people love - and sometimes roll their eyes at - the show. And every year, there is a queen who - either by their own actions or through the calculations of the producers - ends up being hated by the passionate fans. Whether people find them to be a pot-stirrer (Phi Phi O’Hara), a bully (Roxxxy Andrews) or someone with a bad attitude (Laganja Estranja or Jasmine Masters,) everyone always finds someone to hate.
But this year when Silky Nutmeg Ganache became the season’s most hated queen, it ticked people off in a whole new way. In fact, after 7 years of watching this show religiously, I actually skipped watching a few episodes the night of their premiere because I was tired of Silky. Any scene with her in it made me want to turn off my television. And watching Drag Race became a chore. And I actually like all of the other season 11 contestants just fine.
In fact, while Phi Phi’s traitor ways, Rolaskatox’s bullying and the Vixen’s bad attitude frustrated me in the past, they never made me want to skip an episode. So what makes Silky so hard to watch? Why is she one of the most disliked queens in years?
Disclaimer: This is information i have based on the already released episodes. i do not have knowledge of the outcomes of the upcoming episodes or the finale taping. my observations are also based off of the information presented to me through the show, as well as some social media posts.
My site is a RPDR spoiler-free zone. Any comments revealing spoilers will be removed.
THE WAY SHE COMES ACROSS
From day one, Miss Ganache made it clear that she was large and in charge and that the whole country was going to love her. The first thing I thought was “Is she trying to say she’s the next Latrice?” Boy was that not the case. Silky immediately came across as cocky and obnoxious from the start. From the moment I saw her pick up Miley without her permission in episode 1, I was cringing. And she has spent all her time smack talking the other contestants and putting their ideas down, instead of focusing on making her looks and performances the best that they could be. In fact, her tendency to yell and pick fights during Untucked has actually stopped me from watching it all together.
She’s also proven that in every mini challenge and maxi challenge, she is willing to be as loud and obnoxious as possible to stand out. A prime example o this behavior can be seen in episode 3’s mini challenge, where they all play wannabes attempting to get past security to see a Seduction concert. While other girls try to use their words or acting skills to complete the challenge, Silky just made loud noises and threw her body at the door. She finally just opened it and announced she was coming in, completely defeating the purpose of the challenge. And while it’s admirable to be hungry for the crown, let’s just say it’s hard to watch someone who is starving for it. Something about every performance of hers lacks tact and dignity and it’s a major turn-off to fans of the show who appreciate vulnerability, wit and calculated moves to make it to the top.
The challenge is featured in the video below. It begins at 3:55, and Silky’s portion starts at 6:13.
THE “HAYAKU” SITUATION
Another Silky moment that got ugly was during the “Reading is Fundamental” mini challenge. Every year, we all look forward to seeing the queens read each other for filth, Paris is Burning-style. This year however, the reads were disappointingly unfunny. But the read that stood out to me the most was when Silky yelled “Hayaku!” at Vietnamese contestant Plastique Tiara. See the video below.
When Plastique got confused, Silky explained that the term means “hurry up” in Japanese. And while the online communities have still not come to a consensus as to whether or not that phrase actually means to “hurry up,” one thing is for clear: The joke offended people. As an Asian-American woman, I’ve heard every joke and stereotype you can think of. And while I can’t speak for every Asian person, I personally don’t mind an “Asians can’t drive” joke, an “Asians are good at math” joke or an “Asian kids get beat by their parents” joke. They’re all really funny to me because in many situations there is truth to them. As long as you’re not going to play backseat driver with me over it, ask me a to help you with a math question out of nowhere or make rude accusations about my parents, we’re good. But one thing I am never ok with is assuming people’s nationality out of ignorance.
Asia is not a country - it’s a continent, and the countries within are extremely different from each other. So if you’re going to make a joke about a Japanese person, don’t make a Chinese joke. And vise versa and so on and so forth. Please don’t deny someone their background and culture because you’re too lazy to ask what it is or learn more about it. When someone does that, I feel it’s almost always way more insulting than Asian joke they were making in the first place.
So past season 11 contestant Soju took to Twitter to call out Silky on the tactless joke.
And instead of apologizing or admitting that she didn’t do her homework, Silky doubles down and calls Soju overly sensitive.
Either way, she let everyone know that she was not going to take responsibility for what happened. And while the offensiveness of the joke is subjective from person to person, I think it’s important we distinguish the difference between comedy and ignorance. This read and the Twitter conversation that followed did not do our friend Silky any favors. If she doesn’t win the crown, there is definitely no Miss Congeniality sash and $5000 Overstock giftcard waiting in the wings for her.
SHE GETS AWAY WITH EVERYTHING
Speaking of stereotypes, Silky is known for only playing one character every single week. And it’s a played up stereotypical black character that fans are really getting tired of - and some even offended by. I don’t think people would be so up in arms about it though, if it weren’t for the fact that the judges praise her over it every week. Also, Plastique Tiara got criticism from the judges for playing a stereotypical Asian character with a “fobby” Vietnamese accent. So why isn’t Silky getting the same critique?
Silky also tends to just portray herself in challenges when she’s really supposed to be playing a character. She even inserted her own traits into her Snatch Game impersonation of TS Madison, instead of just sticking to acting like the well-known transgender activist. And the worst part about her performance? It won Snatch Game. Meanwhile, Vanjie - who admittedly didn’t do a great job of portraying Danielle Bregoli of “Cash me outside, how ‘bout dat” fifteen minute-fame - was read for filth by the judges for acting too much like herself and not enough like her character.
This was a particularly sad Snatch Game, because while Silky’s performance was entertaining to the judges and had good banter with Ru, it defeated the purpose of the challenge, (hmm that’s the second time I’ve said about her performance in a challenge. Noticing a pattern?) which is supposed to be impersonating a celebrity with accuracy, speed and wit. Think back to the unforgettable performances of Jinkx Monsoon as Little Edie or Bendelacreme as Dame Maggie Smith. Not only did they have good banter with Ru, but they disappeared into their characters seamlessly, which is what Snatch Game is all about.
So why should Silky get to play the same stereotype, or play herself week after week and never get called out on it?
THE “SCRUBS” LIPSYNC
After weeks of Silky talking smack during Untucked and telling everyone she was ready to lipsync for her life (even preparing for it with outfit reveals during weeks she was safe during,) she finally got her chance to perform - and to none other than the classic TLC song “No Scrubs.” After a less than stellar paint job on past contestant Soju during this season’s makeover challenge, Silky lip-synced against the beloved Nina West. And to be honest, it made her look like…well, a scrub.
Silky’s lipsync involved a messy reveal where she had trouble removing a garment from her legs, and almost ended up tripping, a tedious walk to the back of the stage and a messy split that caused her wig to block her face. And at the end of the day, it warranted a “Meh” from RuPaul herself. Fans waited with bated breath to see if they’d both get sent home after that performance. But in the end, Ru saved Silky and sent Nina West home. It’s been the controversy of the season, and yet again another reason for fans to pile on the Silky hate.
While the full version of the lipsync is difficult to find isolated online, see the fan edit below, which represents the majority of viewers’ opinions on the fiasco. Silky claimed that all season she’s been “ready to do something,” but it clearly wasn’t true.
THE JUDGES LOVE HER
We’ve talked about all of the reasons Silky herself has given us, not to like her. But the factor that makes her one of the most disliked queen in years actually isn’t her fault at all. It’s the fault of Ru, the judges and the producers. Whenever she does pretty well, she’s praised or even the winner of the challenge, and whenever she does poorly, she’s still safe. It’s clearly been rigged in her favor since the beginning. The lack of criticism where it’s deserved has really made people dislike her to the point where they’ve been hoping she would fall from grace for a few weeks now.
Part of their desperation for her to leave is that she’s actually a contender for the crown. Contestants like Laganja Estranja and Jasmine Masters were never posed as threats to the crown in their seasons, so they didn’t cause people to have a hard time watching their respective seasons. But Silky has one of the top track records in the game, and the show’s editing doesn’t clearly label her as the season’s clear villain the way they did with Roxxxy Andrews and Phi Phi O’Hara in the past. It’s one thing when someone is just difficult to like, or mean, it’s another thing when they are a threat to the entire game.
However, this might not mean that they want to give her the crown. The producers of this show know how to edit things to validate outcomes they decide on. So if they really wanted Silky to win and wanted us all to love her, they probably would have edited out some of her obnoxious behavior, fights and embarrassing moments. But that’s clearly all being kept in for us to watch. In my opinion, this means that they want to make sure she’s kept until the end to keep things interesting. Similar to the drama Phi Phi O’Hara and Darienne Lake provided in their seasons and how many times they were saved over well-liked contestants.
I think despite all of this, Silky has a lot of talent in her own right, and really wants to win the competition. I just also feel that she plays into the kind of persona that she thinks/knows the producers want (similar to Laganja, but more successfully) and is willing to annoy the hell out of America to stay in the game and make a name for herself. And I can’t blame her for doing so. Air time is air time. I just have no idea what the future holds in store for this season, and whether or not the decision of who becomes America’s Next Drag Superstar is up to Ru, the producers or the fans. But if the producers are the only ones that get a say, I guarantee that the reaction to the outcome will be less than silky smooth.
What do you think about Silky Nutmeg Ganache? Do you think fans are being too hard on her? That she’s the victim of a bad edit? Or is she as bad as the show makes her out to be? Who do you want to win? No spoilers please. Until we meet again.