If there’s one word to describe the season 13 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race it would be confusion. Not just for the queens competing but the fans as well as we’re left with a lot of questions regarding what the hell we just witnessed last night.
We kind of knew how things were going to turn out after the show’s official YouTube page posted its first 10 minutes earlier this week. It was here that we were introduced to Kandy Muse, a New York City contender formerly of the House of Aja (who had no problem talking smack about her) and Phoenix’s Joey Jay who admitted to doing drag as his side gig while hilariously calling himself a basic b**ch.
They kiki for a bit in the newly renovated werk room (doesn’t it look MASSIVE this time?!?!?) before the lights flicker and dramatic music takes over. Kandy and Joey look understandably perplexed as they then make their way to the main stage for the first time.
It’s runway time folks and I haven’t even finished my first drink yet! Sheesh. The mainstay judges (RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Ross Mathews) have planted their behinds behind a much larger space compared to season’s past with dividers in between them as a safety precaution due to this being filmed during the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic.
No guest judge appeared in the first episode, which is kind of a downer as they’ve kicked previous seasons off with Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus but its understandable given the world we live in today.
SPOILER ALERTS FOR ANYONE WHO HASN’T WATCHED YET. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT THEN CLICKETY CLICK CLICK ON SOMETHING ELSE. Here’s a wonderful piece about Joe Manganiello reading thirst tweets for you to enjoy instead.
The judges get to know Kandy & Joey a bit before the first lip sync of the season happens. They then battle it out to Carly Rae Jepsen‘s iconic “Call Me Maybe” which leaves Kandy victorious. Joey, as a result of losing, is sent to the Porkchop Loading Dock (which just looks like the entryway to where they film Untucked) where he sits in front of portraits of every other contestant who has gone home first in Drag Race history, beginning with Victoria “Porkchop” Parker. But, is he eliminated for good? Or is this part of something much bigger going on?
At this point (about 20 minutes in) I’m feeling a tad frustrated for so many reasons as this really isn’t a way you should begin a Drag Race season.
One of the best parts of each season premiere is seeing all of the queens march into the werk room, make their international debut, and chat it up with their fellow competitors which usually involves a healthy dosage of shade, sexiness and surprise.
This time around it was a rinse and repeat situation as the episode progressed where the s13 girls were introduced two by two (minus the last group where there was three) followed by them lip syncing to a number of deliciously fab tracks.
The six winners (Kandy, LaLa Ri, Symone, Gottmik, Olivia Lux, Tina Burner) situate themselves inside the werk room while the seven losing queens (Joey, Denali, Tamisha Iman, Utica Queen, Rosé, Kahmora Hall, Elliott With 2 T’s) hang out in the Porkchop Loading Dock where the latter group could not look more puzzled over what the f**k is going on.
This to me seems mean spirited for them. I’m all for shock, especially on Drag Race where they’re known to give us more twists and turns than a scary roller coaster, but this seems to be a bit much for even my liking as these girls fought hard to get onto the show.
Before the episode ends Ru jokingly tells the Porkchop girls that they’re going home and thanks them for their time. UGH. Michelle then interjects, wondering why the hell he’s eliminating half the cast, before another twist is revealed that is very All Stars-y.
The losing group will have to eliminate one of their own just like they do on the sister series. EEK! That has to be ridiculously tough seeing as they don’t really know each other and are probably going to have to do this based on first impressions but I’m going to feel realllllly sorry for the girl that has to pack her bags first who only walked into the werk room and lost a lip sync during her tenure on Drag Race.
Meanwhile the winning group will be putting a choreographed number together for Ru’s song “Condragulations” in episode 2. So are we going to see a double elimination take place? Or will this whole thing be a total fakeout where the entire cast reunites the following week? SO MANY QUESTIONS!
Other notes from episode 1:
This is a strong cast. Each queen brings something fabulous to the table which will be interesting to see as the season continues. Standouts for me, however, were Symone, Gottmik, Joey Jay and Tina Burner.
I was truly inspired by Tamisha Iman’s cancer story. As someone who has dealt with this personally it makes me root for her even more.
There’s clearly a storyline brewing between Rosé & Tina’s relationship, or lack thereof. Hopefully neither gets eliminated too early for us to see how it plays out.
Lindsay Lohan‘s “Rumors” being one of the lip sync songs last night gave me so much life. Maybe that’s why VH1 played Mean Girls before the premiere began?