From the very first time I saw that Greek goddess preview online, I was thrilled about the return of Ru Paul’s Drag Race! Apparently, I wasn't the only one because this premiere episode was the highest-rated premiere in Logo's history. It looks like this season will be once again filled with drama, thrills, sickening looks and sensational one-liners. So let’s get into the first episode!
First to arrive was an LA queen named Detox, whom you might reognize from Willam’s band Tranzkuntinental (see: “Chow Down at Chick-fil-a”). She was quick to rattle off the list of celbs she’s worked with (Xtina, Rihanna, etc) before vowing to send everyone else home. The first thing I noticed was how much work she’d had done on her face (oh, right… LA)! Look at those lips and that nose! Her Victorian bumble bee outfit was pretty sickening.
Roxxxy Andrews showed up next. She and Detox knew each other from when they first started drag. I was kind of feeling her pageant-girl swag. Big hair, big hips… it worked on her.
The next to enter was Jade Jolie, looking like a french fry from under the car seat with every piece of candy you’d dropped down there for the last 3 years. Just about everything about her immediately rubbed me the wrong way. More on her later (yes, girl… there’s dirt).
|I don't think that's what Latrice Royale meant when she said, "Make them eat it."|
Serena ChaCha, the youngest at 21, really didn’t look like she’d put much makeup on. Miss ChaCha was sporting a quinceñera look, but the asymmetrical petticoat exposure looked less like a twist on a predictable look and more like she picked the wrong petticoat for that dress.
Alyssa Edwards entered like a force to be reckoned with, sporting a Beyoncé-blonde afro wig. Some of her facial expressions immediately reminded me of Shangela. Apparently, she was crowned Miss Gay America, but her crown was taken away for some unknown reason. More on her later, too.
Jinkx Monsoon came in serving 1930s cookiness in a swimsuit, sun hat, and throw-back shades, referring herself as a Seattle’s youngest MILF and trained in the “Broadway School of Singing.” I liked this first impression, and I’m interested to see what tricks she has up her sleeve.
Penny Tration was one of the oldest queens at 38. She won the online voting competition and walked in rocking big hair, floral print and a touch of sparkle. I like her style, and she seems like a sweetie.
Vivienne Pinay was one of the most striking first looks, taking the 1930s vibe into full dress form (black on white polka dots) accented with a thin red belt and matching pumps. She’s from NYC, but I’ve certainly never heard her name. Much like Manila Luzon's name refers back to the Philippines (Manila being the capital city and Luzon being the name of the island on which it’s located), Pinay is the Tagalog workd for Filipina.
|don't call her Manila. or Juju. or Jiggly.|
Alaska Thunderfuck made a dramatic and brilliant entrance wearing a black and gold dress made of a plastic tablecloth, a big blonde wig with black roots, and a horse mask. The reason why this is brilliant: no one can come after her for that horse face she’s got if she’s already embraced it and made it her own joke. Oh, and did I mention that she’s the bf of Season 4 winner Sharon Needles? Yeah.
Honey Mahogany strutted in with a huge blonde afro and a white/sparkley disco body suit. It was bold, but unfortunately, her presence didn’t live up to her outfit’s boldness. To quote Detox, she’s “like a Ru Paul’s Drag Race poster… buuut not quite as polished. Sorry ‘bout it!” I'm thinking the best commentary will come from Detox this season, no?
Ivy Winters entered wearing a well-tailored caution-tape dress and headpiece. My first impression of her was bubbly and kind (the same as when I briefly met her at Boxers during an All Stars screening a couple of months before this premiere). Her hugely distinctive jaw line and nose make her look unforgettable as a drag queen (anyone else getting a hint of Idina Menzel?). And quite cute as a boy!
|will she go there for the Snatch Game?!|
I didn’t know what to make of Monica Beverly Hillz’s first look. Her shag-carpet/feathery dress presented a strange silhouette, her wig was too flat for the size of her head and there was nothing else on her face to balance out that bright-ass lipstick! But it kinda made sense when she talked about how she brought the ghetto realness. And I absolutely melted when she did her “giving face” hand. That was fucking classic!
Lineysha Sparx is this season’s Puerto Rican beauty. I loved the skirt of her dress, but the top half really turned me off. PR has sent some bad-ass queens to Drag Race before, so I’ll keep an eye on her.
Coco Montrese was last to arrive, sporting an up-do with a leopard-print skirt suit and gold accents. Her presentation walked the fine line between drag queen and over-the-top, nouveau riche, southern executive. As soon as she walked in, you could tell there was drama between her and
Alyssa. But of course, they teased the hell out of it without actually going
into the details. But don’t worry: I'll give you the scoop on that in a lil bit.
As usual, the first challenge was a photo shoot with Mike Ruiz. But this time, it was underwater in a glass pool. Jade Jolie struggled with holding too much air in her cheeks, but she immediately went for some really great shapes with her limbs. Roxxxy Andrews, Detox, Alyssa Edwards, and Vivian Pinay all had really great photos in this challenge.
Serena ChaCha jumped in the water, and her dress and petticoats floated up, exposing her embarrassing untuckedness. Alyssa Edwards fell on her ass walking out of the studio. Jinkx Monsoon was concerned because she didn’t know how to swim, and her hilarious photo showed it. Alaska totally gave up, rejecting Ru’s offer to take one more chance after she got out of the water. Monica Beverly Hillz’s
rug dress kept floating up, so her photo
ended up exposing her hoop skirt in a way that was almost artsy. Lineysha Sparx
was probably the most graceful in the water, but the photo they ended up with
really robbed her.
|I love the irony of a queen named Monsoon who can't swim!|
As the queens stripped off their soggy drag, Jinkx Monsoon shared that she struggled with narcolepsy. The next clip was of her falling asleep during her interview, which I thought was a bit insensitive to her disorder.
Once they reviewed the photos, the winner of the challenge was Detox. Her photo was pretty fierce, but it looked to me like the moves Lineysha hit should have translated into a much better shot than any of the other queens.
The main challenge was allegedly to start with a Beverly Hills shopping spree. The queens all boarded a double-decker bus and made a mini music video to one of Ru Paul’s songs. They spliced in green-screen shots of the upcoming celebrity guest judges for this season waving back at the queens on the bus, too. Taking a break from the usual rhythm of the competition to do something fun was a nice change of pace for the viewers.
Once they got to Marco Marco, Camille Grammer of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills came out to greet them. Unfortunately, her role was to tell them they were not to be admitted to the store— they were to meet Ru out back. And I don’t know where the hell Ru got a bright fuchsia HAZMAT suit with a lime zipper, but trust and believe that I’ll be googling the shit out of that as soon as I finish this recap!
|before Ru pulled off the mask, did anyone else think that they might have brought back Shangela AGAIN?|
Turns out that the real main challenge was to dumpster dive for supplies to construct “an award-winning look that screams Hollywood red-carpet couture, dahling!” It was a brutal 60 seconds of kicking, flailing, and screaming.
A short time later back in the workroom, Alaska started doing Helecopter Dick with her TSWB* schlong. Then there was more teasing the mysterious drama between Coco and Alyssa.
Of course, Ru had to come through to sprinkle a little shade as the girls designed their looks. During Ru’s walk-around, Penny Tration’s was the look that really stuck out to me. She had a deep purple shiny textrued fabric and accessorized it with black beads and feathers on the neck and shoulders, which I absolutely loved! Coco Montrese’s megaphone tits really made me curious about how her final look would turn out.
Serena ChaCha, on the other hand, was giving you the predicable art student, being all theoretical and academic and not putting anything together worth Ru’s giving feedback.
|you know Ru just wants to yell, "SASHAY AWAY!"|
On elimination day, the subject of Sharon Needles and Alaska’s relationship came up in the workroom. Apparently, they fought a lot throughout the process because Alaska was insecure about Sharon’s being picked for the show, but she got over herself and became Sharon’s (AKA “Noodles”) biggest fan.
The subject of Serena’s annoying personality also came up. Apparently, she was raised in Panama, which led to Penny Tration asking (hopefully at the request of the producers), “Where is Panama?”
Serena: “It’s in between Colombia and Costa Rica. It’s one of the #1 retirement homes for Americans. You should consider going there.”
Vivienne: “Not if they’re all like you!”
|touch all my branches; bask in my shade.|
I really loved this exchange. But on the real: Jade is the most annoying one to me.
Once the girls were done painting, it was time for the mainstage runway compeition where Ru came out in very classic Ru drag (I started to ask if we’d seen that dress in a previous season). After a series of particularly awkward exchanges with the judges, Ru brought out the girls for the runway competition.
Standout good looks (in reverse order of awesomeness):
• Detox’s wig (wasn’t crazy about the dress)
• Monica Beverly Hillz: though not quite as couture as I expected (and is that a bulge?), she really just worked the fuck out of it. Her makeup and wig choices really sold it!
• Vivienne Pinay: no one specific element was spectacular, but she was a total package!
• Honey Mahogany: no one particular piece grabbed me, but she just worked! AND she had the presence to carry her outfit this time.
• Roxxxy Andrews: rockin' hair and peek-a-boo hips in all black!
• Coco Montrese: love the accessories (megaphone tits, film reel in the hair, snapping slate, yes)!
• Lineysha Sparx: that wallpapaer, that hair, those eyes! And I loved the way the layers of the dress moved as she glided down the runway.
|this needs to be a doll ASAP! am I right, Ari Kiki?|
• Jade Jolie: loved her face/wig, but the dress looked cheap. The cotton-candy headdress with the peacock feathers was way too much.
• Serena ChaCha: those huge hips with nothing on top to balance it out plus showing all that boy body? I don’t even know what to say about that jacked up makeup. Cute shoes, tho.
I agreed with Ru’s safe choices for Safe except for Coco Monstrese, who I thought was one of the top. I also agreed with the judges critiques of Roxxy, Ivy (there was nothing unconventional about her very nice dress), Jade, Lineysha and Serena.
As far as Penny Tration’s outfit, I really wish she would have kept the feathers on the shoulders and had taken the hem of the dress up so it wasn’t getting caught in her heels. Compared to how the dress was coming along during Ru’s workroom walk-around, it disappointed me on the runway. Unlike the judges, I actually liked her makeup.
I almost totally disagreed with the judges on their praise of Alaska. However, after some consideration, I came to the conclusion that I really didn’t like Alaska’s dress itself, but somehow the whole look (with the little flower in her hair) kinda worked.
The judges awarded Roxxxy the winner of the challenge, but I was much more into the complex artistry of Lineysha’s look and the playful details of Coco’s.
It came down to Penny Tration and Serena ChaCha for the lip-synch. Between Serena opening her mouth twice as wide as she needed to and Penny Tration’s awkward arm movements, this was the most torturous lip-synch I’ve ever had to watch. But Serena ChaCha was spared. The web-vote star Penny Tration was the first queen in Season 5 sent home.
Now, remember how I told you there would be more on Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese. Well, apparently Alyssa, once crowned Miss Gay America 2010, had judged another competition without getting proper clearance from the Miss Gay America pageant gods. Alyssa said she was there as herself and not representing Miss Gay America, but the judges didn’t like it and gave her the boot. Once pageant officials had taken away Alyssa’s crown, they’d awarded it to the first runner up: Coco Montrese. I don’t see why that’s reason for beef between the two since Coco didn’t do anything but land in 2nd place, but it adds to the drama of the show. Check out more on the story at the Drag Showcase blog.
And the even more scandalous tea: apparently Miss Jade Jolie has been in front of the camera before as Tristan Everhard for ShowGuys.com. Yes, honey, Jade Jolie was a bareback-porn bottom for pay (allegedly). Check out the censored pic on Queerty or the NSFW pics on WeHoConfidential.
|Jade Jolie, courtesy of Logo TV|
Whether they discuss these on the upcoming episodes or not, this will definitely be a season of Drag Race to remember.
And now, I'm curious about your thoughts. Who are your picks for top 3? Leave yours in the comments, and I’ll tell you mine.
“I can see your seafood platter. Your paella is showing!” –Ru Paul
“Deeper, Penny Tration!” –Ru Paul
“Somebody forgot to tell them that black people don’t swim. Thank god I’m Dominican.” –Coco Montrese
“I’m thrilled at the aspect [not prospect] of going on a shopping spree.” –Jinkx Monsoon
“Serena said she went to art school. She miiiight want her money back.” –Jade Jolie
"All T, all shade!" -Coco Montrese
“Don’t worry. She thinks that she’s very fashion, but she dresses like a dracula.” - Lineysha Sparx
“Anyone that says it’s an honor to be nominated… is one lying BITCH!” –Ru Paul
“You so eloguent!” –Michelle Visage
“She literally was drag Pinocchio.” –Michelle Visage
“But your red carpet look was coutorture.” –Ru Paul
*TSWB... ever notice how tall skinny white boys are always hung like redwoods. Sheesh.
Click here to check out my Recaption for ep 5.2.
Click here to check out my interviews with the top queens of of RPDR Season 4.
Click here to check out my interviews with the top queens of of RPDR Season 4.