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An Ode to Nina Bo'Nina Brown

An Ode to Nina Bo'Nina Brown

An Ode to Nina Bo'nina Brown

Nina Bo'Nina Brown Earl Jones, paper mache away.

Nina Bo'nina Brown, I thought at the beginning of this season of RuPaul's Drag Race, had what it took to make it to the top three, if not win the entire competition. It was about time that a cosplay queen--specifically one who wasn't Phi Phi O'Hara--got the recognition she deserved, as cosplay has more and more been embraced and celebrated as an integral facet of drag. Brown also had the kind of back story a producer could work with: she'd been auditioning for the show for years, was living at home with her parents and about to quit drag when she was cast.

But then the weeks wore on and Brown's sour attitude became less endearing and sympathy-inspiring, and more tired. Her refusal to accept praise from her sisters was baffling, and her tension with Shea Coulee, who only ever seemed to want to build Brown up, seemed strange. It was sad to see such an obvious exploitation of two queens of color, pitted against each other by both a culture that sets black femmes against one another and a television show that is a microcosm of that culture.

For weeks, there would be a moment in every episode of Untucked when Nina would lament about how awful she was. It was sad, then it frustrating, and then it was time for her to go. I truly believe that if Valentina had at least known the lyrics to last week's lip synch, she would have easily beat Nina and sent her packing a week earlier.

Nina Bo'nina Brown is an incredibly talented performer and makeup artist--even if her paper mache drag started to wilt by her last episode. Even gone, she's not a loser--she has a fan base now, a platform, and Ru herself seemed to take a shine to Brown over the course of the season, even tacking "Andre Charles" onto Brown's name as she bid the eliminated queen farewell.

But don't worry, if you truly miss Nina, you can see her at gay bars all over the world--or live on Instagram every hour of every day.

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