Welcome to the Epigram Ru-Cap! Grab your wig, your cincher, make sure you tuck is tight, that your face is right and we’ll strut straight into Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
*For those not well-versed in Drag Race culture, I will be sure to devise a handy ‘how-to’ booklet for the next Ru-cap so you can keep up with the jargon.*
The workroom is the same as ever. Hello fabric planet wall, hello ‘werk’ neon sign that I will eventually source for my future kitchen. But let’s also welcome a questionable wax figure of RuPaul for no apparent reason.
Though I will try to cover the bases for all the queens, those I forget to talk about were obviously not worth remembering. Let’s start with my favourites.
What a glorious moment that was in Drag Race History
Valentina – the high-fashion telenovala Barbie who has already earned her place as a stand-out.
Then comes Shea Couleé – with her ‘Champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget’ (potentially my favourite quote of the episode/life) – is a Chicago queen, having performed with the likes of Kim Chi and Pearl Liason. She is, out of the gate, a stand-out.
Sasha Velour is already one of my favourites. The level of extra it takes to walk into the workroom screaming with a felt crown is the level I aspire to be one day, but fellow New York queens Aja, Peppermint and Alexis Michelle are also ones to watch out for.
Trinity the Tuck’s abs are slightly intimidating when you’re in bed with a bag of Minstrels accompanied by a protruding set of chins, but nonetheless this pageant queen needs to prove herself in a room with all these insta-queens, see the walking tub of highlighter that is Farah Moan. Kimora is potentially my least favourite, serving 2005 Pussycat Doll realness. But Nina Bonina Brown, in her Mickey Mouse realness fantasy Drag, is also one to be reckoned with.
This series’ twist is that no one went home in the first episode, which is difficult for those who, like me, have a primitive sense of enjoyment seeing Drag queens prance to the death on a runway.
And Let us not forget the face-crack of the century: Lady Gaga walking in as a contestant and submitting grown men in dresses to weeping and flailing on the floor. What a glorious moment that was in Drag Race History, and how far have we come from having only B-List American Soap Stars as guest judges.
This week, the Queens must take part in ‘The Miss Charisma Uniqueness Nerve and Talent Pageant’ (I’ll let you figure that acronym out for yourselves), asking them to bring their best Home-City inspired outfits, and favourite Lady Gaga Drag.
Looks from Chicago, New York, Tennessee and beyond graced the runway, followed by looks from Gaga history. Highlights included Nina’s Georgia peach chic and Sasha’s iconic Applause impression. Special mention goes to Charlie’s Pilgrim inspired tearaway which took about 2 minutes to come off. Ah bless.
After much deliberation, as Carson, Ross and Michelle return this season, Nina Bonina Brown won the first challenge of Season 9 of Rup Paul’s Drag Race and, though I like my arty-farty high-concept queens, I do think it was a deserved win. But this first episode could not end without the gag of the century, as the 14th queen was announced to be introduced in the next episode of the competition.
You can catch up with Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix.
What did you think of this Season opener? Let us know on @EpigramFilm.