The ‘Mo-lympics have begun! RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6! So brace yourself—I’m going to spoil the shit out of this thing right now…
SEATTLE’S BEN DELACREME WINS THE FIRST BIG RUNWAY CHALLENGE!
Ben is clearly the delacreme of the delacrop of this new batch of old queens, and she takes a strong early lead by eviscerating the broke-face clowns pretending to be her “competition” on the runway, the episode’s biggest challenge.
But let’s take a step back for a moment.
On this fresh new season, a few of Ru’s rules have been flipped on their wigs. First of all, we are only introduced to half of the queens in the first episode. (The rest are introduced next week—“The only thing better than one big opening is two,” according to RuPaul.) And most significantly, IMMUNITY NO LONGER EXISTS. This clearly has some of the queens deeply concerned, but it amps up the tension deliciously. (The immunity factor has in the past arguably kept a few queens kicking long past their expiration dates.)
However! For all the twists and tricks, we begin with some familiar tropes: we are introduced to the girls one by one as they enter the work studio and see each other for the first time. This is awkward, as always....
Keep reading and find video of the whole first episode after the jump>>
A silly and aggressive little queen called Adora Delano or something is first to enter, and she slumps down, legs askew (very unladylike), in a chair to await the others. Adore is a former American Idol contestant, dontcha know. (“I looked like a lesbian Jonas brother”, she laments, and she’s right.) Meh. “Ditzy” and “snotty” are two adjectives that spring immediately to mind. Then Ben comes busting in wearing a green paisley number, all flailing optimism and jazz hands, expecting to see a room full of queens. Instead she was merely confronted with, “Adore, blinking at me with her crotch hanging out”. Adore asks Ben, “What’s your sign?” to which Ben quips wistfully, “Oh, I never got one of those.”
Next Gia Gun marches in looking like a long lost Kardishan and carrying a hoop purse twice as big as she is, and when she opens her mouth, more fish flies than [insert appropriate Pike Place Market cliché HERE]. She describes herself as a “C.C.C.”—crazy, cuckoo, cunt. (Yawn.) Then we meet my next current favorite after Ben, Laganja Estranga! Laganja danced into the room, all kicking legs and cheerful sass, and drops to the floor in a dance-contortion move that would leave most normal humans in traction (double-jointedness is a beautiful thing in a queen for many reasons). Then comes the delightful and fun April Carrion in full paratrooper (paratrooperess?) drag, dragging a parachute behind her (Ben says, “I didn’t think gays were allowed in Boy Scouts!”—a spot-on critique, if factually inaccurate).
Next enters Kelly Mantel, of whom not very much can be said. (Ahem.) And lastly we meet the allegedly oldest queen, Vivacious (40 years old— ancient considering the other queens are still covered in steaming placenta). Vivacious made her big entrance wearing a crazy double-headed alien outfit that she barely had any control over. (It took her about half an hour to work the zipper down to FINALLY reveal her face.) Vivacious describes herself as, “the last original club kid in New York City,” which is fine, as the rest of them are basically a) in jail or b) floating the Hudson in refrigerator boxes, all cut up into bite-sized pieces.
And we’re off!
The first big challenge: the queens launching themselves off a platform and into a giant bin of foam rubber as some dude snaps their pictures—best shot is the winner. This of course seems of little challenge, as diving into foam rubber is any dragsters first step in getting ready for an average evening. But the prize! The successful queen wins some big lot of fancy-schmancy makeup I know nothing about (the queens seemed thrilled—but don’t they always?) and, um, $100,000—the same amount Jinkx Monsoon won when she took the whole competition last year. (Hardly seems fair.) One by one, the queens took their flying leaps—Endora or whatever looked like a broken giraffe in flight, Gia dropped like a stone, and Vivacious screamed like a strangled duck, resembled a two-headed kite, and almost broke both of her necks. Ben of course was darling, but the winner of this challenge was Laganja, who is now well made-up and RICH. (LOVE. HER.)
The next challenge: The Runway! This is my favorite—the queens are presented with boxes of fabric and junk. Each box is labeled with the name of an allegedly popular TV show. The queens must create a runway look out of those materials in keeping with their TV show theme. Remember: the runway challenge is basically the chopping block—the winner is announced and properly lauded, and the two lowest-scoring queens are forced to lipsynch for their lives! The loser goes down, the winner lives to fight another day…
As tradition demands, Laganja won the last challenge so she chooses which queen got which box. Among the shows available: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (Adore got that), Dancing with the Stars (Laganja gave that to herself), April got the big box of shit labeled “Duck Dynasty” (ugh), Gia got Keeping Up with the Kardashians (I TOLD YOU!), Vivacious got Game of Thrones, and Ben…well. We’ll get to that.
The most interesting part of this challenge I think is the backstage peek at the gurls working on their drag, when we get to see them all as their regular, everyday boy selves. Here is where our girl Ben is really playing it shrewd—all spiky-haired and butch in his doo-rag and hoodie, lowering his voice roughly fifteen octaves—his boy-self seems as much of a character as his girl-self, in contrast to the others, whose drag personas are just their regular boy personas with a wig dropped on top. It makes Ben seem very polished and versatile and underscores his talents.
The mainstage runway judges (AKA “the firing squad") were composed of some old bald queen called Santino who I hope never reads this (as usual); Michele Visage (of “two and a half boobs”, as usual), and guest judges Adam Lambert and his guyliner. OH! And that photographer guy from the first challenge.
Of note on the runway: April did miracles with her Duck Dynasty drag, and created astonishing couture that resembled what would happen if Peter Pan and Swamp Thing gave birth to a gayby princess. Vivacious almost threw out a hip, Laganja was tripping all over herself and CANNOT take criticism, Adore tried to play off her Honey Boo Boo mess with charm and humor (and failed), Adam Lambert and April kept flirting (ARE THEY GONNA FUCK OR WHAT? ) and…Ben. Ben’s Golden Girls couture was a tight and frilly creation that seemed made out of Technicolor whip cream and daydreams (complete with delicious cheesecake and everything!) that Ben herself admits she, oh, just slapped together with some moxie and a glue gun. No big thing. When she emerged victorious I JUMPED OUT OF MY SEAT AND SCREAMED. I guess this is how Seahawks people feel.
After much wooden quipping and critiques (the judges often come across as stale and a bit flat, don’t they?) Kelly (who you’ve already forgotten) and Vivacious (OW! My hip!) were named the biggest losers and pitted against each other in ferocious lipsynch battle! Madonna’s “Express Yourself” was chosen, and the two went at it like two bums fighting over a hambone! It was enough to make me hate Madonna. More. In the end, Vivacious and her birthin’ hips squeaked by (barely) and Kelly packed up her bacon and went home to cry FOREVER.
And, as you know damn good and well, BEN WINS! I can’t emphasize this enough.
This brings us to the end of Episode One (BEN! BEN! BEN! Wooohoooo!), and I can’t wait for next week. Who are the next seven queens? Will Gia learn to say anything more than, “Absolutely, absolutely” over and over again? Will Adam and April finally pork and get it over with? Will Vivacious break a hip? (Medicaid! HELP!) Only time will tell.
And Farewell Kelly Mantel or whatever. We hardly knew ye. At all. Seriously.