There are a few things that most gay men look forward to every year: Fleet Week. The new Versace line. And, the most sacred of all, the crown jewel of LOGO’s television crown, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Every year, RuPaul asks more than a dozen drag queens to sashay on down in television’s most underappreciated competition serious. Buckle up, hunty. It’s about to get fierce up in here.
The entrances of the queens is one of my favorite parts of the entire season. You only get one first impression, and these ladies sometimes try too hard to impress. Who are the standouts? I’m glad you asked! Jaidynn Diore Fierce has enough energy to light up West Hollywood, and she gets bonus points for dressing like a curvy Rainbow Brite (or Lite Brite—depending on your childhood). Max is an old Hollywood, rail thin Glamazon (think Mrs. Danvers but not terrifying), and Mrs. Kasha Davis might be my favorite for introducing herself as “and international celebrity housewife because of that one time I performed in Canada.” Sure, Miss Fame is skinny and model-tastic, but give me some kitsch.
Normally, the first mini challenge is a photo shoot. The queens have to jump on a trampoline or stand on a spinning disc while being hosed down while simultaneously looking like a cover girl. RuPaul decided to turn the tables on his latest litter of kittens by giving them a rather difficult assignment. They have to premiere not one but two of their best looks for a “spring and fall collection.” You can just imagine the flurry of wigs and sequins backstage. Each of the queens strut their stuff twice, and Miss Fame has the most severe face—and waist line. Temptest Dujour, the oldest of the bunch, garnered my favorite reaction from the judges sitting on the sidelines when she walked out in a quilted poncho: “What do you think is under her skirt?”/”My guess is Jimmy Hoffa.” Alaska (one of the finalists from season 5) dressed as her best Anna Wintour and provided bitchy commentary as the girls walked down the runway (“Please make it stop!”). Is this her audition to be a judge for an upcoming season? She gets my vote!
If dress double duty wasn’t stressful enough for their first day, RuPaul throws them a curveball when she reveals the main challenge. Well, not a curveball as much as an…unexpected choreography change. The girls will have to create a resort wear look that rips away to reveal a drag illusion. For those of you playing at home, the girls will have to strip down to show us painted on breasts and crotch. Yeah, you read that correctly. Probably the most baffling moment was when Jasmine Masters tried to explain that she’d be walking down the runway in a cocoon, and by the end, she’d be a nude butterfly. Don Ameche is rolling over in his grave.
It’s kind of difficult to describe the main runway challenge. A lot of emotions were in play during the premiere. There’s rage that people can actually be as skinny as Miss Fame, Max, and Violet Chachki. There’s joy for the older queens like Mrs. Kasha Davis and Tempest Dujour for having the balls to be nude on the first day of school (“It takes a lot of balls to be a lady,” Davis quips). And then there’s…genuine confusion (re: that cocoon). Guest judge complimented Miss Fame’s pointy shoulders (“Let’s go back to Dynasty while we can!”), but newly added judge Ross Mathews declared that he “likes a bit of stank” on his drag queens. Amen, sir, amen.
One would think that Miss Fame’s strutting would give her the edge to win the main challenge, but it was Violet Chachki who took the premiere win. You can already tell that the producers are setting up for tension between the two (Violet is already setting herself up to be the young season bitch). In the end, Tempest Dujour ill-fitted garments and Kandy Ho’s bad blending landed them in the bottom two, and it’s quite kismet since Kandy asked Tempest her age at the beginning of the episode. Kandy twerked and shook her ass more than Tempest shimmied and was declared safe. When Tempest was delivering her farewell message to the camera, I couldn’t focus on her heartfelt goodbye because they showed her picking up a RuPaul’s Drag Race logo STATUE!!! Where do I get one?! Are they on Amazon yet?!
To be honest, I thought the premiere felt a bit muted. Am I the only one? It feels like LOGO isn’t celebrating the start of this season as much as the others. There wasn’t the grand beginning at the start of the episode, and it just felt a bit…off. It doesn’t matter. Grab your new Versace slip-ons an watch every Monday night.