Chappell Roan’s latest performance proves why she needs to be a ‘Drag Race’ judge

Rising queer pop star Chappell Roan just performed for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, and the video made two things crystal clear. One, she’s destined to take over the music world. And two, she was born to be a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

For one thing, Roan herself is essentially a drag performer. She’s stated herself that she takes lots of inspiration from drag culture, she’s featured drag artists in several of her music videos, and she’s had drag artists open for her on her recent tour stops.

Take her look for the Tiny Desk Concert: a poofy pink dress with matching gloves, long red nails, and a clown white face with bright blue eyeshadow and penciled-on brows. Of course, there’s also the showstopper: a ginger wig teased to high heaven. 

“This wig — though it looks like it’s all my hair — is a wig, so it’s so hot,” she explains during the set. She adds that the volume comes from a trash bag stuffed inside the wig: “That’s how we got it so big.”

Roan also stuck true to her elevated trash aesthetic, dotting the wig with debris — including cigarettes and butterflies — and proudly singing with red lipstick smeared on her teeth. She looks like Alaska’s redheaded sister, and we can’t get enough. Drag Race is overdue for a guest judge who can relate to the drag queen struggle of performing in an over-the-top wig.

(In the video description, NPR noted that it kept her wig after the performance, so keep an eye out for it in the background of future Tiny Desks — not that it will be easy to miss.)

Roan would nail the banter element of guest judging, too. Throughout her Tiny Desk Concert, she divulged her love for Webkinz, took a break to text on a bedazzled flip phone, and encouraged the audience to “be bimbos, ladies! Be bimbos!”

And of course, any one of the songs from Roan’s debut album The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess would make for an all-time great lip sync battle. “Red Wine Supernova,” “Femininomenon,” “Casual,” “Pink Pony Club,” “Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl” — honestly, bring her in for a Lip-Sync Smackdown episode and have the queens perform the whole album. It’s what she deserves!

The fan support is certainly there, too: Roan is a megahit among every facet of the queer community, and the reactions to her Tiny Desk Concert are only the latest proof of that.

Check out the Tiny Desk Concert for yourself below.

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