Welcome to the first in Concrete’s fabulous series of ru-caps!
If you’re not familiar with RuPaul’s Drag Race, imagine the fierceness of America’s Next Top Model, the outlandishness of Britain’s Got Talent and the bitchiness of Big Brother all rolled into one flamboyant package. Presented by the first drag supermodel of the world, RuPaul, the show sets out to find the next drag superstar through a weekly series of elimination-style challenges designed to test the queens’ charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent (that’s C.U.N.T. for short).
RuPaul’s Drag Race may be celebrating its sixth season but there’s no better time to start watching. After breaking out from cult classic to worldwide phenomenon the show is keen to keep its audience guessing. In the words of RuPaul, “the only thing better than one big opening…is two big openings” – that’s right, season six will have two season premieres, dividing the contestants into two teams of seven. Here’s our lowdown on the first batch:
Adore Delano: A former American Idol contestant turned youtube sensation, Danny Noriega has only been doing drag for a couple of years. His online popularity earned him a place on the show after winning the fan vote on facebook.
Ben de la Crème: A Seattle queen (and drag sister of last season’s winner, Jinkx Monsoon), Ben is all kinds of camp. She refers to herself as “terminally delightful”, and bares an uncanny resemblance to judge Michelle Visage.
Gia Gunn: One of the season’s more ‘fishy’ (that’s feminine for those unaccustomed to drag slang) queens, Gia’s out for blood with her bitchy attitude and straight-up Kardashian realness. Also, can we please talk about that bag? WERK!
Laganja Estranja: Not only is this chain-smoking dancing diva best friends with Adore, but she’s also the drag daughter of Alyssa Edwards, aka the breakout personality of last season. Expect lots of high-energy moves, like her death-drop entrance for example:
April Carrion: This Puerto-Rican queen hopes to apply her fashion school background to the competition, describing her style as a cross between Bjork and Coco Rocha.
Kelly Mantle: 17 years of drag experience makes Kelly one of the more experienced queens in the competition. With a wealth of acting gigs for film and tv, she hopes to inject some dry comedy into proceedings.
Vivacious: This New Yorker comes from the old-school underground days of drag, complete with a questionable headpiece (named Ornacia, of course).
Mother Ru wasted no time getting the girls stuck into their first main challenge, asking them to come up with a runway look inspired by TV’s greatest hits. Our pick for favourite queen on the runway this week goes to April Carrion with her fierce Duck Dynasty couture. Her flirting with guest judge Adam Lambert also proved to be one of the episode’s funnier moments.
Vivacious’ take on Game of Thrones was no House of Lannister realness, landing her in the bottom two, but it was Kelly Mantle’s Downton Shabby look that received the most criticism. Best shade (read: insult) of the week goes to Michelle Visage: “is that bacon on your chest?”
After a sub-par “lip-sync for your life” (because how else would you settle a bottom-two in a drag competition?), Kelly Mantle was asked to “sashay away”. So what did we learn this week, guys? Don’t wear bacon!
Predictions for this season: Laganja will get very annoying very quickly, Ornacia will gag everyone and take the crown home, and “absolutelyyyyyy” will become this season’s catch-phrase.