My name is Jasmine Masters and I have something to say: Jazzul Escada was robbed!
A few weeks ago HBO Max premiered and one of its first original series was Legendary. That competition show matches up five members of eight actual ballroom houses — get a little history of each house here — in a set of weekly battles with one house being sent home weekly. We've already seen categories like performance (voguing), runway, face, and more. This week, the Western-themed ball served up the show's body category and we would like a recount!
For the uninitiated, ballroom's category is more about body confidence than it is an actual shape. There are a variety of subcategories within it: you can have the muscled, sculpted body (usually butch queens,) or more of a fuller, "luscious" form (mostly fem queens and cis women). Whatever body you have, like many ballroom categories, you have to have confidence and conviction, bordering on cockiness about what you're presenting to the judges. And I would like to submit to the judges — particularly one Law Roach that Jazzul Escada had it all.
I'm going to say here that I actually love Roach on the show. People criticize his credentials — to be frank, his credentials outrank Meg Thee Stallion, Jameela Jamil, and the vast majority of the show's guest judges as someone who has patronized balls since he was a teenager — and his divisive approach to critique but this is television. We need a judge that's going to shake it up and give us good television! Roach gives us that. But this week, we have to disagree.
Escada came out onto the floor looking like the teddy bear we all want to fall asleep with. He slowly made his way down the judging panel, gave a pittle pec bounce, and made eye contact with each and every judge. To be fair, his body was not like the body of any of his competitors, but there was an inner confidence there that read through to the viewer. It wasn't the brash, muscle flexing, twerking confidence that we saw from some — which, to be clear, we also enjoyed — but not all confidence is like that, and it doesn't need to be.
Sadly Jazzul was chopped by Roach and didn't get to battle. It would have been nice to see him go up against someone like Gorgeous Jarrell Gucci (that is both his name and an accurate descriptor) or any of the other contestants. And even though rightfully Packrat Lanvin deservedly took home the $5,000 cash prize from the category, Jazzul will always have a special place in our hearts.