As drag queen, musician, sometime candy-peddler, author, international game show host, fracking enthusiast, and general money-making polymath RuPaul Charles once famously explained in musical verse: “Unless they’re paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind.” But what of a bitch who could have paid one’s bills a year ago though is currently of very little use? Paying that bitch the tiniest bit of regret-tinged mind would also appear to be permissible, according to a recent episode of Finding Your Roots in which RuPaul finds out Senator Cory Booker is his cousin much too late to parlay that information into an election season appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“Oh my goodness,” RuPaul says in a tight, superficially pleasant voice upon opening his DNA-testing packet to find the face of a man who was relevant to the news cycle exactly one year ago when people still cared about his bid for the Democratic nomination for the presidency and the election-themed most recent season of Drag Race was filming.
“That is Cory Booker,” host Henry Louis Gates Jr. tells Ru, as the missed opportunity for a runway challenge judged by Booker and Ru in matching his and hers stars and stipes couture flashes across Ru’s eerily blank, yet simultaneously roiling countenance before he quickly remembers to perform the expression a person experiencing a positive human emotion would make.
“He looks like my kin,” Ru quips for the camera, which sounds like jest but for the spark of accusation beneath. A story editor or assistant could very well die for failing to notice this resemblance back when the information offered an ROI.
For his part, Booker told Wendy Williams he is excited to discover a new family connection, possibly to an entire voting demographic. Perhaps Ru can cross his fingers and hope Booker is appointed energy secretary.