By Guest Contributor The Lady Cocotte
It’s been a cold winter so I’m ready to be chained back to the Tamara Tattles radiator. Luckily I won’t be bored since they’ve announced the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8 (premiering March 7 on Logo TV). After a somewhat disappointing season 7, Mama Ru went back to her roots (literally) to bring us a cast of drag heavy hitters. Most of these ladies have already made quite a name for themselves in the drag world. It’s time you get to know them too. Start your engines and may the best woman win!
As the oldest contestant this year, Acid Betty is the grande dame of season 8. But don’t expect her to be part of the Bitter Old Lady Brigade. Acid Betty lives up to her name: she is a real trip. Her avant garde club style is exciting yet polished. She is a fashion queen in the vein of Raja, only in bright neon colors. And Drag Race isn’t Betty’s first time on tv. She appeared on Project Runway season 5 in a cool kimono created by Terri Stevens . The look didn’t win but it should have. Hopefully Acid Betty will have better luck. She’s in my top 3 for sure.
Bob the Drag Queen
As soon as I heard that Bob the Drag Queen was competing on season 8, I knew they were bringing out the big guns. Bob is from Atlanta, Georgia (where her mother owned a gay bar) but now she’s a mainstay of New York City drag life. I was surprised to learn she’s been performing for less than 10 years (she seems much more experienced). Bob was inspired to do drag watching RuPaul’s Drag Race but she’s honed her skills hosting drag shows six nights a week. My friend Lisa, a very knowledgeable drag hag (and Tamara Tattles fan) said she performed at the roast of Bianca Del Rio and was able to keep up with Bianca joke for joke (quite a feat for anyone). I fell hard for Bob when she did a moving version of the How to Get Away With Murder scene where Annalise removes her wig (See above). She also does a Nene Leakes remix that might be popular with this crowd. I’m going to be heartbroken if Bob doesn’t make it to the end
Chi Chi Devayne
Chi Chi is a country queen from Shreveport, Louisiana. Based on a review of her past looks, Chi Chi is definitely a pageant girl. She’s also an experienced dancer, a la Kennedy Davenport. Chi Chi is gorgeous and poised but I don’t know if she has the comedy chops to survive the competition.
Cynthia Lee Fontaine
Despite her white girl name, Cynthia Lee Fontaine is season 8’s Puerto Rican contestant. She’s a true pageant queen, stunning and polished. Cynthia claims to be funny but I think we might be laughing AT her a little more than WITH her (if you know what I mean). Although I could be wrong about that. I did find a pretty funny Willam impersonation she did. If I had to compare her to a past Ru girl, I’d say she seems like a more sophisticated Joslyn Fox. I’ve only heard of her because she’s friends with someone I know from Austin (her current homebase). He’s a real drag connoisseur, with great taste, and he loves Cynthia so she must have more going for her than I was able to find online.
Dax Exclamationpoint is really into cosplay (yippee!) and calls herself the “queen of all nerds”. She’s also the drag mother of last year’s winner Violet Chachki (come through, Savannah queen!). She seems to have a bit of an attitude on her but she’s not as prickly as Violet so I think she could be popular with the other girls. Dax is serious about her looks but she also has the talent and experience to back it up. I can’t wait to see what she brings to Drag Race.
Derrick Barry works in Las Vegas as the #1 Britney Spears impersonator in the world. As my friend Lisa said, “She looks better as Britney than Britney ever did.” Derrick is the most famous drag queen to compete on Drag Race yet. Everyone is interested to see what she can bring besides Britney. And this isn’t Derrick’s first time on TV. She also appeared on America’s Got Talent season 3 on the strength of her Britney Derrick has two boyfriends, one of whom is a Drag Race alum (of sorts). We know him as Nebraska, the military vet that Alaska Thunderfuck turned into her drag sister in season 5. I’m curious to see how far this experienced queen can go in the competition.
Kim Chi isn’t named after Kim Kardashian or her hometown of Chicago. This extremely popular queen named herself after spicy Korean pickled cabbage (and that’s only one reason to love her). She is a real artist with her looks, combining high fashion and anime into amazing looks. It was rumored that Kim Chi was going to be on season 7 of Drag Race but only her costumes appeared (on bestie Trixie Mattel). She made a delicious rice dish (Bi Bim Bap) on internet sensation Cooking With Drag Queens . And she has the cutest little lisp. Kim is in my top 3.
Michelle Visage loves Laila McQueen (and that’s a solid endorsement). She’s one of only two young queens appearing this season but her drag is more polished than expected. This punk rock princess is like a fishy version of Sharon Needles/Adore Delano. Laila is also an accomplished fine artist working with paint, collage and pencil. She might be the dark horse of the competition.
Naomi Smalls is the other young queen of season 8. She made it onto the show her first time auditioning so she must be fierce. Her obsession with 90’s hip hop and supermodels give life to her “high fashion hood rat” style. Naomi has spunk which might create problems with the other girls in the workroom.
Talk about pageant queens! Naysha Lopez recently won Miss Continental, one of the most prestigious pageants in the US (it’s the Miss Universe of the LBGTQIA community). It’s an even bigger accomplishment for a drag performer since Miss Continental is usually won by trans women. Naysha is being touted as the prettiest contestant ever (eh) and she certainly is a fishy, fishy queen.
Robbie Turner has some strong Drag Race roots. Hailing from Seattle, she is close friends with both Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme and appeared alongside them in the internet series Capitol Hill. Much like them, Robbie rocks a vintage drag look. I can’t wait to see who she does on Snatch Game! And just to keep us on our toes, Robbie Turner isn’t even her boy name (she’s a wacky dame). I’m not sure if she’ll make it to top 3 but I’m really excited to see what she brings.
Thorgy puts the Th in Orgy. She hails from Brooklyn, New York, the epicenter of modern hipsterdom (but don’t hold that against her). She’s been auditioning for RuPaul’s Drag Race since season 1 so hopefully she’ll take the competition seriously (cough, Pearl, cough). Thorgy is a self-professed “fashion clown” which could translate into some interesting and kooky looks. She is also classically trained on the violin and cello. She supports her drag life by teaching music and performing in orchestras. Thorgy usually scores and performs the music for her drag shows. I’m not sure if that will help or hinder her on Drag Race since she’ll have to work with the songs provided. I think Thorgy has the talent to go far in the competition but her face looks a lot like Sharon Needles (post-surgery) and it’s freaking me out a little.
Conspiracy theories run rampant with Drag Race fans (ie: the uproar when season 7 was postponed because Michelle Visage was on Celebrity Big Brother). This year it surrounds season 8’s 12 contestants vs the 14 they had for seasons 5-7. There has been some chatter that RuPaul is holding back a few surprise queens. The promos for season 8 are making a big deal that this year we’ll get to see our 100th queen and these 12 new contestants would bring the total number of participants to 100. If RuPaul is planning something tricky I’d guess she’s bringing some former contestants back. Hmm… Something to think about as we wait for season 8 to premiere on March 7.
I’m really excited about the cast of season 8. It seems like the Drag Race producers listened to our complaints last season and kicked things into overdrive. Who are you most looking forward to? Who is in your top 3? Join us here at Tamara Tattles for recaps and discussions.
In the words of RuPaul, “we’re born naked and the rest is drag.”