FINALLY we got to see the rest of the competitors! And I gotta say the lineup this time around is really, really strong.
For the entrance part of the episode I was by FAR the most impressed with Milk, whom I have already had in mind as someone to look out for since the cast was revealed. She really worked well in this episode to immediately show her own style – which is really different and original. I would imagine someone like Leigh Bowery being an idol of hers, but she definitely has something of her own. Trinity K Bonet and Bianca Del Rio both made alright impressions from the start, although none of their entrance looks are really what I personally find exciting. Bianca seems like someone who can deliver some comedy and THAT is something I appreciate. Joslyn Fox is not my taste at all, she seems pretty annoying, and her looks on the episode are nothing to write home about. Magnolia Crawford has already been criticized everywhere and it’s easy to understand why. Personally I do kind of dig her ragged style – if she could back it up with a good personality I’d be a fan, for sure. Courtney Act has already been really hyped since long before the show started, but so far I’m not interested in her at all. Sure, she’s really really fishy, but that’s not enough for me. It IS interesting though, that she’s apparently succeeded in becoming a popstar in drag in Australia – plus I like her name. Sooo, she’s somewhere in the middle for me, so far. Darienne Lake made an alright entrance, and I have a feeling she could be better in the long run, than what we see on this episode. She has to step her game up, though.
Like I wrote last week, the photo challenges are always kind of boring for me, but I think this one gave the queens a better shot at performing well than the jumping one in the first episode. Trinity won this one, and, like Laganja, she’s pretty fair in giving out themes to the other queens and herself.
This time the queens had to create a look based on a party-theme. The queens who solved this challenge the best were in my opinion without a doubt Trinity and Milk. Trinitys theme was “princess”, and she looked absolutely gorgeous in her geisha-inspired outfit. I don’t think she got the credit she deserved for that look. Milk responded to her challenge of making a “toga party” inspired look, with probably the most genderfuck performance we’ve seen on any season of Drag Race. Clothes-wise she rightfully got credit for a very fashion-forward look, but the boldest part is that she chose to hit the runway with a beard. That’s a brave move on the first episode, but works, and once again she did a good job of showing who she is from the beginning of the season. Bianca won the challenge and her “luau” look is good, but personally I think one of the aforementioned two, should’ve won. The bottom two was Darienne and Magnolia, which was kind of expected, although Joslyn could’ve been in there as well.
Magnolia ended up losing a really strange lipsynch, where she didn’t even seem to be trying to pretend she knew the words(??). I actually don’t think her runway look was nearly as bad as it was made out to be. The cowprint dress was kind of a mess, but I can get behind the busted makeup – including the super thin and kind of dirty looking nose she paints – and I dug her hair which makes me think of how Dolly Parton must look when she gets up in the morning. To pull that kind of look off, though, one really has to own it. Magnolia definitely doesn’t, and it’s kind of unclear whether or not the trashy aesthetic is on purpose or just a result of bad skills. Also, she kept complaining about everything, and nobody wants to hear that. So, I do think Magnolia has more going for her, than most people seem to think, but her personality in this episode doesn’t come off well at all.
The ending of the episode with the other seven queens really made me hungry for an episode with all of them! Plus: Laganjas look is AMAZING! I really really hope we’ll see more of her reefer looks.
First recap of the season, y’all!
As most of you will know by now, the team behind Drag Race decided to split the cast in two, and make two separate premieres, so this time we only get seven queens: Adore Delano, April Carrion, Ben Delacreme, Gia Gunn, Kelly Mantle, Laganja Estranja and Vivacious. The idea is (at least officially) to not let anyone get lost in the crowd. Ultimately, though, it feels a bit like being cheated out of a proper opening. My favorite part of the season premiere is usually seeing all the queens enter the workroom for the first time, and with only seven queens this segment doesn’t have as much of an impact as normally.
It’s no secret that I already had a thing for Laganja Estranja and especially Adore Delano since even before they were announced as being on the show, so it was really great to finally see them on Drag Race, and they both got a lot of screen time. Laganja made one of the more memorable entrances with the drop, that you’ve all probably seen a thousand times on Tumblr. Her looks seem to be a little up and down, though, and this one wasn’t my favorite – I hope we’ll get to see some of her weed-themed looks! Adores entrance-look was simple, young and cool and throughout the episode she came across as by far the funniest and most relatable to me. April Carrion I don’t really have that much of an opinion on so far, other than none of the looks she did for this episode were really to my tastes. Ben Delacreme definitely seems together and like she has her act as well as her look down, but personally there’s something about her style that rubs me the wrong way. The way she gives face with the constant ooh-ing and aah-ing is a little played out to me, and kind of annoying. I’m not normally that excited by the queens that first and foremost strives to be fishy, but Gia Gunn seems to be an entertaining character, as well as very fishy, even if her look isn’t totally my style. I normally prefer queens that are a bit edgier lookwise. Looking forward to more of her, though! Kelly Mantle did not give me a very good first impression. She describes herself as a funny queen, but all her jokes throughout the episode were terrible, and the look she entered the workroom with was both boring and surprisingly cheap-looking for someone with 17 years of experience. Vivacious was a pleasant surprise for me as I love her old school New York/Paris is Burning type of drag. Her entrance was a little dampened by a zipper-malfunction, but whatever – personality and inventiveness over polish any day of the week for me!
The photo challenge in the first episode isn’t really the most exciting one for me, and this time was no different, although it obviously still resulted in some funny moments. Laganja won, and earned the right to assign TV shows for the queens to base their runway looks on, which is always a delicate matter. April seemed the most unhappy about her show, which was Duck Dynasty, but for the most part Laganja seemed to play it nice – especially in assigning Keeping Up With the Kardashians to Gia and Golden Girls to Ben. I was happy to see a sewing challenge, as those are always entertaining in my opinion. Among the highlights were Adore accidentally gluing her dress to her mannequin and Gias impossible-to-follow explanation of her plan to Ru. Great to already see some chemistry between Laganja and Adore – and that Adore got funny-pissed and not actually-pissed about Laganja giving her Honey Boo Boo as the show to base her look on.
None of the queens made all that great runway looks this time, in my opinion. Ben Delacreme won the challenge, and probably deserved to. Her look was both polished and read as being Golden Girls-ish, but personally I still didn’t get a kick out of her. I have a feeling she’ll get further in the competition than I’d prefer. Adore Delano got read heavily for her look, which WAS pretty messy (I really wish she’d have made it funnier, too. She didn’t even use the bag of sketti she was given or anything.), but she definitely made the most out of the runway chitchat with the judges, delivering a very funny comeback for the judges reads. The bottom two was Kelly Mantle and Vivacious - Kelly definitely deservedly so. The wig (which I assume she brought from her own drag, so no excuse there) was really ugly and ratty, and the bacon-look top didn’t do her any favors either. I was sad to see Vivacious in the bottom so early, but thankfully she won the lip synch to Madonnas “Express Yourself” that had Kelly do some very strange leg-baring action, that didn’t really seem funny nor anything else other than just awkward.
All in all a somewhat disappointing start, but it bodes well for the season as a whole, as there’s already a bunch of interesting queens, even if we only got to see half of them.