I started off writing a blurb about the return of RuPaul's Drag Race for the sidebar, but it soon became clear that no one sidebar could contain my enthusiasm. I'm so happy this show is back! I'd scoped out the queens on LOGO.com a few weeks ago, and I admit I was a smidge underwhelmed by what seemed like too many low-key ladyboys. But OH did the season premiere quell my fears. Let's take the cast in order of my favorites to my least favorites.
You know, my first impression was that Mariah was going to be trouble. But every minute I see of her, I love her more and more. This bitch gives fantastic interview. Her competition skills could use some work, though: that ice-queen fur-collared jacket was great this week, but those dowdy slacks were worse than an afterthought.
Crazy. All the incomprehensible joy of my darling Yessica Wild last season, but with an even better face. When she bellowed at Mimi "Joo bettah pullyourselftogethergurl" in the work room, I swooned. Plus she fashioned reindeer antlers for herself in the challenge AND managed to show her body without it looking like a lazy display (...ahem, Carmen).
I'm actually encouraged by her being the boyfriend of Sahara Davenport from last season, not only because it ups the chances of the queens referencing "ki-ki" in the Interior Illusions Lounge, but also because the odds are that one queen in an all-drag relationship will be the awesome one. And it wasn't Sahara. Manila's getting a lot of talking-head time, which bodes well for her staying power (this was my early season theory on Jujubee last season, and that turned out). And that snow-bunny outfit, complete with muff, was divine.
I'm either really proud or really embarrassed to say that I spotted Raja right away as Sutan, the makeup artist from America's Next Top Model. I love how non-traditional Raja's drag is -- walking in with her little penis hat and all. But I worry that she doesn't seem to be very good at making friends. I know, I know. No one's here to make friends. But I need a bitch with some magnetism to her personality, too.
Traditionally, my aligning with the queen who looks cutest as a boy has yielded a mixed bag (Shannel in Season 1, not so good; Raven and Pandora in Season 2, excellent). And I'm already sensing a waft of egotistical asshole coming from Phoenix. But that runway look was HOT, and damned if that deep Southern voice don't do it for me.
I did not think very much of Delta at all, despite having clearly the best name of all the queens (Delta WERK!). That opinion changed a bit once I experienced her "Kwanzaa Realness" outfit on the runway, and it changed a lot when I saw her really throw down on "Untucked." I'm listening, Delta.
Oh, girl. You know I loved the dearly departed Shangela last season (she even appeared in an episode of Terriers last fall, as if to further court my affections). I was overjoyed to see her return ... and dismayed to see her once again fall to the bottom of the pack. I mean, look: I actually don't think her Christmas outfit was that bad -- it fell victim to Santino's continued insistence on judging this show like it's Project Runway and not fucking DRAG -- but it certainly wasn't great. And that Lip Synch for Your Life was a sad display. No more stripping down as a sign of "putting it all on the line," 'kay, queens? Just work it like a professional.
I'm placing her this high only because she looks like she has a confident style and she might pull something off that's really cool. But for now, I'm stuck staring at those ridiculous Styrofoam breasts all day, and that's when I'm not looking at her face. That's right, I'm judging based on a face. It's legitimate!
I will give Mimi credit -- that Immaculate Mary holiday outfit turned out hilarious and awesome. But the last thing I need in my life is a crying queen. Joo bettah pullyourselftogethergurl!
Our new Tatiana? A bangin' girlish body with nothing else to offer? That's about where I'm at, right now. Subject to the killer "Untucked" takedown (from, I think, Mariah): "If I wanted to see a real girl, I'd have gone to a mall."
An absolutely exhausting bitch whose bitchery isn't even funny (like Mariah's) or intimidating (like Phoenix's). No use!
Stacy Layne Matthews
Look, all due love to the heffa queens, but Stacy Layne is pushing all my buttons. And not the right ones! The listless demeanor combined with the persecution complex she exhibited on "Untucked" (Phoenix may have been a bitch to her, but she was right: if Stacy didn't want to hear that nobody thinks much of her drag, she should have asked everyone repeatedly for their opinions). She's like a crappy-named version of Mystique, except bitch ain't even from Chicago!