I had a lot to accomplish today but while I was busy adulting, all I could think was, “Drag Race, Drag Race, Drag Race…” Yeah, I have a little addiction to RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’ve accepted it. Feathers, glitter, paillettes. Reading, rivalries, RuPaul. And the sisterhood, always the sisterhood. I love it all. So what am I waiting for? Let’s get this Season 9 premiere started. And may the best woman win!
The first girl to enter the workroom is Peppermint. It’s always hard for the first girl. They’re expecting an audience and sometimes the empty room throws them. Peppermint falls into that trap but eventually she catches herself and pulls out a, “Heyyyy!” She’s proud of her braids but it’s those baby hairs around her forehead that slay me. Details, ladies. Details. Next we get Valentina in a red dress with big roses in her hair. “Hello. It’s me, Valentina.” In her boy talking heads she’s wearing a black turtleneck and beret. Nothing about this girl reads newbie. I’m swooning. Eureka is big in every way. She almost has to stoop to make it into the workroom. “Uhn, give it up for the big girl. Serving pure catfish.” She’s part country, part pageant and all fabulous.
Charlie Hides is wearing a tshirt dress with a face on it with sunglasses to match. “Hi, hi, hi. It’s about to get shady up in here.” She’s a bit of a prop queen. It makes sense since her career is based on impersonating (and spoofing) celebrities. A little blonde girl gingerly makes her way into the workroom. It’s Farrah Moan serving fishy fish. “So this is what it looks like.” Our Vegas showgirl is wearing beads. They’re arranged into a dress but they’re beads. Hey, if you got it, flaunt it. Sasha Velour is a vision in black with a Jughead crown perched on her head. Her entrance line is to scream theatrically until she runs out of breath and chokes. The other queens don’t know what to do with her. I’ve spent the past few days obsessively watching her Youtube videos. I’m madly in love.
Alexis Michelle strolls in wearing a silver jumpsuit and purple hair. “How do you like them egg rolls, Mr Charles?” Alexis is our Broadway queen and she wins points by quoting one of my favorite musicals, Gypsy. She naturally knows Peppermint. They’ve both been in the NYC scene for years. Some girls have real taglines. “My name is Shea Couleé and I didn’t come to play. I came to slay.” Shea is all banjee in her Muppet skin coat and knee high boots. She is followed by Trinity Taylor. “The body is here, bitches.” Girl has some cakes on her! She doesn’t believe in padding, only plastic surgery. Trinity doesn’t like the pageant queen stigmatism (sic). She wants to be known as THE body girl. Eureka, who recently lost an important pageant to her, isn’t impressed. Kimora Blac enters in all her Kardashian splendor. “Is it me or is it hot in here?” She’s a beautiful girl and a stunning boy. And she knows it. Farrah jumps up to greet her. Vegas representing!
A disturbing puppet peeks around the doorjamb. “Hello, shapeshifters!” She’s quickly joined by Jaymes Mansfield in a cloud of pink pleather and blonde hair. You could hear a pin drop. Sasha freaked the girls out but Jaymes utterly confuses them. A heavily padded Mickey Mouse draws everyone’s attention away. “I”m Nina Bo’nina Banana Fofana Osama Bin Laden Brown. Boom, boom, boom, boom.” Nina is sassy and unapologetic. Her drag not quite cosplay, not quite costume, just uniquely Nina. Aja stomps into the room wearing a futuristic, high fashion coat with a reveal. “Your edges are officially snatched.” Sasha informs us that Aja is THE Brooklyn queen of the moment. Trinity thinks her makeup is terrible but I wouldn’t expect a pageant queen and a Brooklyn queen to understand each other’s sensibilities.
Finally, Lady Gaga enters the workroom disguised as a drag queen. Everyone is freaking out about how much she looks like Lady Gaga. Gaga struts around, posing. She even gets a “boy” talking head. “Mother monster has arrived!” It’s a cute prank but the girls immediately clock her. They lose their shit. OMG! It’s Gaga! While everyone else is fangirling, Eureka tells Gaga that she saved her life. She’s sobbing and thanking Gaga so Gaga runs over and hugs her. “You allow us to be who we are. As an artist, thank you.” Lady Gaga tells them how much their artform has impacted her. It’s a love fest all around.
RuPaul joins them and Gaga takes her place as judge. She tells the girls things will never be the same after today. Then she calls out RuPaul’s Supermodel so they sashay shante together. RuPaul is in heaven. There’s nothing he loves more than a little self-promotion. Well, maybe making Drag Race herstory. And he has something big to announce. For the first time ever, no one is being eliminated in the first challenge. Needless to say, the girls are overjoyed. I’m suspicious.
They’re starting Season 9 off with the Miss Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve & Talent pageant. The pageant girls get excited but I have a feeling this won’t be like any pageant they’ve encountered before. They have to model two looks: one based upon their home city and the other an homage to Lady Gaga. Eureka is still beside herself that she’s in the same room as Gaga.
As soon as Ru and Gaga leave the girls scatter to set up their workstations. Farrah Moan wanders around, whining, while everyone ignores her. Shea admits it’s awkwardly endearing. I hope it doesn’t shift into annoying. Charlie has been impersonating Gaga for years so she’s not concerned about the challenge. She just worries that Gaga has seen her videos and is pissed (it happens a lot). Aja has an actual piece that Lady Gaga wore and she’s lording it over the other girls. It pays to be the It girl. Eureka feels fully prepared for the pageant. Her biggest concern is beating Trinity. I hope she does. I’ve fallen in love with boy Eureka and the sausage curl he wears on the top of his head. Werk.
RuPaul opens the pageant as a boy. Huh? That’s never happened before. He introduces Ross Matthews, Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and, of course, Lady Gaga, who has thankfully changed into a smart pantsuit and spectacles. She’s a beautiful woman but I didn’t like the drag makeup they gave her. And I’m not fond of the Joanne crap she’s been sporting lately.
First up are the home city looks. Peppermint is a luscious Statue of Liberty. Valentina wears a sexy matador outfit and sombrero. Eureka O’Hara is a hot mess, on purpose. Her makeup is smudged, she has cigarette earrings. OMG. I just noticed the meth pipe in her wig. Charlie Hides splits her time between Boston and London so she’s wearing a pilgrim dress. She completes an incredibly awkward tear away to reveal a witches outfit. Take that, Salem witch trials! Farrah Moan is dressed as a showgirl in a stunning gown and headress. The only problem is it looks more Lady of Shanghai than Las Vegas strip.
Sasha Velour sports another Jughead crown and carries a “Warhol” painting and Keith Haring inspired scepter. Alexis Michelle flips her skirt up to reveal a drawing of the Statue of Liberty and the I Heart NY apple. Her leotard is covered in civil rights issues but the whole thing looks a little too crafty. For Shea Couleé it’s all about her Chicago bratwurst headdress. She references the same Mystique Summers Madison quote I did yesterday. It is iconic. Trinity Taylor also flips her skirt up to show a painting of amusement parks. Luckily, they tell us her city is Orlando because I wouldn’t have gotten it.
Kimora Blac wears a lace onesie and a sad feather headdress. I expect more from a Vegas showgirl. Michelle Visage is equally unimpressed. Jaymes Mansfield is wearing her trademark big hair but in black. She has a little cow-pattern dress to represent Wisconsin. Aja is another version of the Statue of Liberty. Other than her crown, it’s very simple. So far Sasha is only New Yorker who didn’t take the obvious way out. Nina Bo’nina Brown has transformed from a mouse into a peach head. Literally. When she pulled some peach colored paper out of her bag I wasn’t sure if she’d pull it off but she did. Big time.
Next up are the Lady Gaga looks. Peppermint wears Gaga’s coat dress from the 2016 Grammys. Gaga is overwhelmed. It must feel incredible to see such incredible queens “do” you. Valentina does the 2011 CFDA Awards outfit. She’s gorgeous but it’s a simpler version of Gaga’s Muglier dress. Eureka wears Gaga’s jail dress from the Telephone video. Charlie Hides fittingly goes with the 2010 Brit Awards. Gaga looks like she’s about to cry. Farrah Moan is in the cross cloak from Gaga’s Alejandro video. Farrah is very proud that she’s wearing her actual hair.
Sasha Velour wears the smudged makeup from the Applause video. I’m totally biased towards this girl but I think she looks amazing. Gaga asks, “Do I have something on my face?” Alexis Michelle goes old school Hollywood Gaga at the 2016 Golden Globes. It’s gorgeous but easy. Shea Couleé does Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour look without the headdress. Not a good call. No one expected her to make something animatronic but she should have included it. On second look, the dress is a mess too. Epic fail. Trinity Taylor dresses as the Countess from American Horror Story Hotel. Her hair, the white robe, the bloody neck. Stunning. I’m gagging (pun intended).
Kimora Blac wears a cheap, vague interpretation of Gaga on Howard Stern in 2011. It’s basically a chance for Kimora to dress in leather boots and not much else. Gaga makes a quip about her trashy boots. Jaymes Mansfield does a campy version of Gaga’s Vogue cover. Look, I love kooky drag but this girl is an enigma. Nina Bo’nina Brown does the red velvet 2009 VMAs dress and head covering. The dress isn’t exact but the crown headpiece is amazing. Nina gets extra points for walking the runway blind. Aja does a version of Gaga’s Comme Des Garcons dress. Gaga is stunned. Good call. I prefer this to what Aja was showing off in the workroom.
The judges sit in judgment. Michelle thinks Peppermint’s Statue of Liberty was basic and Gaga wishes she didn’t add huge hoop earrings to the Bowie/Gaga look. They all love Valentina’s hometown look (it was Ross’ favorite of the night) and Gaga thinks she has the best walk. Gaga liked how entertaining Eureka’s hometown look was and she is one of Michelle’s favorites of the night. Ross was unimpressed with Charlie’s awkward tear-away moment but her Gaga was amazing. The judges think Farrah Moan’s “Vegas” look was too Anna Karenina and she was swimming in her Gaga cloak. Gaga thinks that if Sasha got rid of the “Warhol” painting prop it would have been a perfect look. All of the judges were happily stunned that they didn’t recognize her in the Gaga look. Ross thinks she showed her personality more than any of the others.
Michelle thinks Alexis’ hometown look was messy but the Gaga was stunning. Carson loves both of Shea’s looks. Hmmm. Gaga didn’t think she was detailed enough. Michelle also didn’t get Trinity’s Orlando look but the Gaga Countess was everything. Gaga points out how hard it is to achieve the hair. “She fucking nailed it!” Michelle thinks Kimora’s Vegas look was cheap and her Gaga was boring. Gaga suggests she just needs time to get comfortable. Ross expected more from Jaymes as a comedy queen. He used the term “drag blue balls.” Gaga thinks she’s hiding her true self. Ross loves Nina’s peach head. Gaga says she made a statement with both looks. She calls her a star. Carson was eh on Aja’s Statue of Liberty. He loves her Comme Des Garcon dress but clocks the makeup. That’s one point for Trinity.
Top Queens: Eureka O’Hara, Sasha Velour and Nina Bo’nina Brown. And Nina wins!
Nina gets a ridiculously long sash and does her winner walk. RuPaul stops her. Oh no! What now? Ru promises this isn’t a Steve Harvey moment. Nina definitely won but the real competition is only starting now. They are bringing back a previous queen to join the competition. She enters in darkness. Only the other queens can see who it is. They’re all reacting. Squealing, scowling. We start to see her back and the episode ends. Damn you, Rupaul! Damn you to drag hell!
Next week: Lisa Kudrow visits. There’s a cheerleading battle. And we finally find out who is returning.
And don’t forget to watch Untucked, right here at TamaraTattles.com!