In preparation for tonight’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, I rewatched the premiere. I think I’ve finally pinpointed why I like Vanessa Vanjie so much: she belongs on the 80’s Ballroom scene. This might be a theme tonight. The episode opens with drama worthy of Paris Is Burning. Aquaria is challenged to tell Miz Cracker what she said about her on last week’s Untucked. On the spot, Aquaria weasels. She gives a watered down version of events and hopes it dies. But this season we’re playing by old school Drag Race rules. The Vixen (entrance quote: I’m just here to fight) interrupts with the truth. Aquaria refuses to put her money where her mouth is. She literally runs away at the first hint of conflict. Miz Cracker gloats. In other words, everyone shows their ass.
Andy Cohen walks into the workroom and my first thought is, ew. Then I realize he’s dressed as a cowboy. This is going to be a long 5 minutes. Andy’s here to judge Hay Girl Hay, a quick-drag dancing game. With a country music theme. The Vixen dresses as Madonna. I guess she’s country. As much as Andy is. The judges aren’t as judgemental as I am. Asia O’Hara and The Vixen win. Eh. Eureka should have gotten it for being the only queen to headbang without losing her wig.
RuPaul might be jumping the shark this week. The maxi-challenge, PharmaRusical, is a musical parody of pharmaceutical ads. I’m confused (with dry mouth and fatigue). The mini-challenge winners pick teams. Team Asia is Aquaria, Monique Heart, Dusty Ray Bottoms, Yuhua, Kalorie, and Mayhem. Team The Vixen is Kameron, Miz Cracker, Monét X Change and Blair St Clair. Eureka doesn’t get picked so she gets to choose. To Asia’s dismay, she joins her team. Eureka can be hard to work with and Asia doesn’t handle it well. She tries to put Baby in a corner. Uh oh.
For the first time in Drag Race herstory (gasp) Alyssa Edwards is the choreographer. She likes Team Asia. They’re the dance girls. They show up to choreo with their own steps. Team The Vixen are the theatre geeks. They work on costumes while the others sweat. Alyssa reads them to filth for being unprepared even though, historically, these numbers are solely choreographed by the choreographer. It’s right there in the name.
Sidenote: boy Aquaria is an obnoxious, snotty little twit. I think I like him.
This is RuPaul’s Drag Race so there are emotions. So many emotions. Miz Cracker is distracted by the Aquaria kerfuffle. If she wins, she wants everyone to know it’s on her own merits. Eureka is haunted by ghosts of ACLs past. Her doubts manifest as heaving sobs while her team comforts her. PTSD is real, y’all. Kalorie shares her story of being an obese child. She wasn’t bullied for being gay. It was for her size and it. was. merciless. Watching Jujubee on Season 2 was her It Gets Better moment. Which is one of the reasons programming like this is so important.
Guest judge Padma Lakshmi is gay royalty for starring in Mariah Carey’s Glitter. She and Halsey join Michelle Visage and Ross Matthews at the judging table. They experience PharmaRusical live. Maybe they can explain it to me. I mean, I get it. I just don’t get why. The songs are good. The queens are good. But, it’s a musical about punny prescription drugs. Why?
The runway category is Very Best Drag. Don’t save it for the end, ladies! Some of the looks are polished. Others have fringe. We get to see Aquaria’s nipples. The Vixen reworks Aja’s Princess Disastah look even better than Aja did. Miz Cracker wins the hair game with her golden rectangle. Team The Vixen takes the top spot. Their leader wins the challenge. Everyone else is up for elimination.
Top bottom queens: Asia, Yuhua, Dusty Ray Bottoms, and Aquaria
Bottom bottom queens: Monique Heart, Kalorie and Eureka
Eureka gets special recognition for losing her Brittany’s Spark.
Bottom bottom bottom queens: Kalorie and Eureka
LIP-SYNC FOR YOUR LIFE
Eureka and Kalorie Karbdashian perform Best Of My Love by The Emotions, a dancefloor classic. Kalorie works the front of the stage, vying for the judges attention. But this is Eureka’s night. She knows how it feels to leave. She Scarlett O’Hara’s all over that stage. It a thing of beauty. As God is her witness, she will never go home early again. They have to pull the camera off of her for Kalorie to get any attention. Mama Ru gives a Mona Lisa smile. She’s proud of her Season 9 baby.
Eureka, shantay you stay. Kalorie Karbdashian, sashay away.
Next week: The queens create and star in commercials for new drag-themed dating apps; Courtney Love guest judges.