Top 10 Memorable Pose Moments

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Top 10 Memorable Pose Moments

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
The category is… live, work, Pose moments!
Transcript
The category is… live, work, pose! Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Pose Moments.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the uplifting, heartbreaking, and fabulous moments from the first two seasons of this Emmy-winning drama series. If you’re not caught up yet, keep in mind that there will be spoilers.

#10: House of Abundance Museum Theft
“Pilot”



We honestly didn’t expect the first episode of “Pose” to open with a museum heist. To secure their victory at the upcoming ball, House of Abundance needs a wardrobe fit for a king or queen. Hiding out in a museum, they wait until the lights go out to swipe the royal clothing on display. The plan almost goes off without a hitch until they realize the doors are locked, forcing them to break the glass and dash. Sure, they are handcuffed soon after, but that doesn’t stop them from bringing it at the ball. Although it sounds like “Ocean’s Eleven” meets “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” this scene was actually inspired by a true story according to co-creator Ryan Murphy. And that’s how you kick off a series!

#9: Stop the Church Protest
“Acting Up”



The museum heist is far from the only moment where “Pose” drew inspiration from real life. ACT UP remains one of the most vocal and influential political groups in the fight against the AIDS epidemic. One of the group’s defining moments was the 1989 “Stop the Church” protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. The protest was a response to the church’s opposition towards safe sex education and attempts to vilify the LGBTQ+ community. In the show, Blanca, Pray Tell, Angel, and Damon are among the 4,500 protesters that were in attendance during the actual 1989 demonstration. Our main characters also take part in the “die-in,” playing dead inside the church. The sequence offers an accurate depiction of a lesser-known event in queer history when ACT UP made its message loud and clear: silence = death.

#8: The Seconds AIDS Cabaret
“Love's In Need Of Love Today”


Billy Porter won a Primetime Emmy for his performance as Pray Tell in Season One of “Pose.” The episode in question that scored Porter the gold centered on Pray Tell organizing an AIDS Cabaret for his boyfriend, who dies shortly thereafter. When Pray Tell, who is also HIV-positive, is admitted to the hospital in Season 2, Blanca steps ups and plans the cabaret in his honour. Although Pray Tell faces some of his darkest moments throughout the episode, his spirits are lifted upon hearing Blanca’s rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Love's In Need Of Love Today.” It isn’t long until Pray Tell turns the solo into a duet. Together, they spread a hopeful message to fellow AIDS patients and others who’ve faced persecution: you’re loved and not alone.

#7: Legend
“Mother of the Year”


Nobody throws shade like Elektra Wintour. Even when she’s at her lowest point, this diva still has a way of coming out on top. By the end of Season One, Elektra finds herself broke, homeless, and reluctantly turning to the House of Evangelista. Adding insult to injury, Lulu and Candy are starting their own house. When Elektra’s former children insult her at the Princess Ball, she doesn’t take it lying down. She fires back with a fierce tirade of insults, expressing her disappointment in the fruits of her labor in the most satisfying way imaginable. As the cherry on top, she calls Lulu and Candy boring and about as fierce “as her morning cornflakes”. Before they even hit the ballroom floor, Elektra totally destroys the House of Ferocity with pure, colourful sass. One word: legend!

#6: Angel & Papi Get Engaged
“In My Heels”


Leaving her toxic relationship with Stan in the past, Angel starts dating Papi in Season 2. While their romance has its ups and downs, Papi is there for Angel when she’s shunned by the modeling world for being a trans woman. With Papi’s support, Angel not only reclaims her place in the industry, but also realizes that she no longer needs to hide her true self. By the season finale, it all culminates in a tender declaration of love from Papi. Of course, Angel reciprocates these feelings by telling Papi she doesn’t want to go another day without him. Getting down on one knee, Angel prepares to pop the question, although Papi says yes before she can even ask. The two ultimately propose to each other, closing the season on an angelic note.

#5: “Go Back to Your Clam Chowder”
“Life’s a Beach”


Dining out while on vacation, the ladies are confronted by a privileged white woman who claims that they’re being too loud. What’s worse, she accuses them of not being “real women.” Taking off the gloves, Elektra sinks her nails into this basic bigot with another epic outburst. Elektra is such a boss that she pauses the conversation to take a sip of water. With just a quick glance, Elektra springs into action and reads her to absolute filth! She proceeds to school her on what it truly means to be a woman and the struggles members of her community face on a daily basis. Elektra might have previously knocked Candy and Lulu down a peg, but she knocked this shallow woman down to rock bottom.

#4: Blanca Lip-Syncs “The Star-Spangled Banner”
“In My Heels”



Almost four years after her HIV-positive diagnosis, it appears Blanca’s condition may take a turn for the worse. However, Blanca is determined to feel better in time for the Mother’s Day Ball, where she emerges like a phoenix from the ashes. She’s helped onto the ballroom floor in a wheelchair, lip-syncing to Whitney Houston’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Stripping off her plain clothing, Blanca reveals a shimmering red dress worthy of a Miss America contestant. By the time Blanca leaps out of her wheelchair, the crowd is going wild with the judges giving her tens across the board, guaranteeing her the grand prize. Through this triumphant performance, Blanca expresses her LGBTQ+ pride, and her pride in America, too.

#3: Candy’s Final Bow
“Never Knew Love Like This Before”


Candy’s sudden murder demonstrates just how precious life can be, especially for a marginalized community fighting against constant prejudice. Putting their differences aside, the ballroom community comes together for Candy’s funeral where she unexpectedly communicates with friends and family from beyond the grave. Candy was a prima donna in life and that hasn’t changed in death. As an unlikely guardian angel, she helps attendees process their grief. They find that the best way to cope with the loss of a loved one is to celebrate their life. Candy is honored with her own ballroom category and a raised lighter tribute. In a bittersweet musical performance reminiscent of Bob Fosse’s “All That Jazz,” Candy bids farewell to everyone with a rendition of “Never Knew Love Like This Before.”

#2: Damon’s Audition
“Pilot”



After his parents disown him for being gay, Damon is taken under Blanca’s wing. Like a true mother, Blanca encourages Damon to chase his dreams no matter what, and manages to get him an audition at the New School for Dance. Through this raw, honest performance, Damon expresses himself in ways he never could with words. The audition is quite fittingly set to by “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” conveying Damon’s need to finally be accepted. Although Damon throws all of his passion and charisma into the routine, it’s hard to tell if the straight-faced judges are impressed. Slowly, but surely, he brings out a smile on one particular face: his eventual dance teacher Helena St. Rogers. The performance takes everything out of Damon, but he’s able to breathe once Helena comforts him with a warm embrace of acceptance.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Blanca & Pray Tell Visit Hart Island
“Acting Up”

Ricky & Damon Audition for Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour
“What Would Candy Do?”

“Frederica is a Crook” Protest
“Love's In Need Of Love Today”

Pray Tell Walks in The Ball
“In My Heels”

#1: Blanca Wins Mother of the Year
“Mother of the Year”


Blanca’s decision to start the House of Evangelista went beyond her desire to one-up Elektra. Blanca wanted to be a mother to those in need, giving them the kind of nurturing role model that she never had growing up. She succeeds in her mission, changing Angel, Damon, and Papi’s lives for the better. Of course, Blanca goes above and beyond being an excellent mother to her children. She takes care of friends like Pray Tell and even frenemies like Elektra. When the time comes to give out the 1988 Mother of the Year trophy, the winner is naturally Blanca in a unanimous vote. Watching Blanca accept this deserved honor serves as a meaningful reminder that family is what you make of it.
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