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Drag Race "The Sixening": Half a Premiere

Each year I think about covering RuPaul's Drag Race, so I'm finally doing it. Like Mad Men (and I bet this is the only time you'll hear them compared!) it's awash in fun movie references. Highlights from the past have included Raja's bucket of blood Carrie dress to Raven's "I'm giving Michelle Pfeiffer bitch" to Jinkx Monsoon's Grey Gardens fetish to Tammie Brown's demented Old Hollywood persona to numerous truly terrible movie star impersonations (I've never seen a worse Marilyn or Joan Crawford, for example, than this show has provided) and so on. I know. I know. It's the sixth season, "the sixening"The library is open if you'd like to read me because these books are overdue!

Four movie references to start us off... 

During the mini-challenge, a photoshoot where the queens lept across boob-tube color bars to a pile of foam below sees rubber limbed LaGanja Estranja compared to Goldie Hawn in Overboard. "I get that a lot," she said awkwardly pulling herself out of the foam. Laganga is obviously not in Goldie's comic league but, to be fair, Goldie Hawn did look like a drag queen in Overboard..

Epulets, Goldie. Really?

As for Kelly Mantle's photo? The verdict from photographer Mike Ruiz...

It's very Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz... when she was inside the tornado"  

Kelly is an actress but promised not to constantly reference her IMDb page. Oh Kelly, self-promotion is oxygen on reality tv; you'll suffocate! 

Later the queens had to make costumes out of boxes of props and fabric based on TV shows. April Carrion, the cutest ladyboy (from Puerto Rico... what is this show's fascination with Puerto Rico. There are other places in the world that produce drag queens! AKA every civilized place in the world), was horrified to received "Duck Dynasty" and who can blame her but she made the most of it. Laganja won another two excessively complimentary movie references in her runway strut (Showgirls Nomi Malone + "very queen of the night Whitney -- where's your Bodyguard") but since she mispronounced Downton Abbey she didn't deserve them and should be disqualified from living. 



Hate Her / Fiercest Outfit / Brain Cell Murderer  I shudder to say something kind about Gia Gunn, my instant arch-enemy, but here it is. Though her hula hoop bag was about 300,000 times bigger than it needed to be to carry her wee brain ("absolutely!"), she served it, visually, with that entrance.

Cute or Insufferable? This jury is still out on Adore Delano, former self-proclaimed "lesbian Jonas Bros" (and American Idol contestant) and sewing machine virgin, but one things for sure: camera hog

Adore Delano & Ben de la Creme size up their competition

Did the Right Woman Win? Yes, henny. Ben de la Creme was serving (actual) cheesecake with camp on the runway, also took a great boobtube photo, and also tossed off the funniest line when the ladyboys bolted frantically to their challenge once they realized all contestants were accounted for... "Can anyone alphabetize?" 

(I'm reasonable sure Gia Gunn can't.)

Best Read / Best Advice / Best Judge Mike Ruiz is everything this week with spot on soundbytes useful for any and all occasions.

"you just don't" (unless you're maybe Sharon Needles?)an eternal unchanging truth

Sashay, Away...  It's tough to get axed from any reality competition on the first episode, so I felt bad for Kelly but she was kitten and this show demands tigress.

Queen of Social Media: Out of sociomedianthropological curiousity uhohheyyyy  I screencapped all of the new queen's Twitter accounts a few weeks before the premiere to see how much of a difference a popular television show can make. Biggest Gains this week (descending order): Adore + 2,000 but she also had the most followers before the show aired; Ben: +1721; April: + 1308; Gia: +1261; Vivacious: + 921; Laganja: + 896; Kelly: +831.

Suggested Complimentary Reading:
"The Taxonomy of Queens on RuPaul's Drag Race" - The Wire
"For RuPaul, a Second Act with Drag Race" - New York Times
"If I Were a Madonna Song, I'd Be..." - Boy Culture
"I was giving Michelle Pfeiffer bitch" - TFE
"Michelle Visage's 11 Favorite Moments in Herstory" - Buzzfeed
"Ranking the House Down: The Queens from #60-#1" - /bent
"Rose McGowan, Sharon Needles and 'Realness'"  -TFE

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Reader Comments (14)

Why on earth is this show never recognized by the Emmys???!?!!!!!!!

I mean at the very least RuPaul needs to be nominated for Outstanding Reality Show Host!!

Yet we get the same lineups of Heidi Klums every year... sad face :(

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGilda

Based on this first episode alone my favorites are Ben and Adore. I'm also a fan of Courtney Act, who we'll meet next week, because of her youtube videos with Willam. Courtney is pure fish so Gia should watch out for that one.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Yesss! It's the best thing on tv. Like ever.

I screamed when she pronounced it Downtown Abbey. Gurl no!

I love Ben Delacreme's out of drag persona, I think he will give good confessional as the season progresses.

There is a lot of queens from Puerto Rica mainly because of visa /work permit issues, I don't think it's easy for non-American drag queens to be on the show, I think getting Courtney Act on it took some time if I am not mistaken. I am surprised there hasn't been a single Canadian drag queen but I am guessing it's for that reason too.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

I am so glad you are writing about this again! I am so sad Kelly left first, because everything I've seen of her online is hilarious. This season is going to be insane.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

Joey it's weird, when I saw the preview in the app (before the lip sync) I was convinced that Kelly should go, but on second look (and after untucked) she was pretty funny and had room to grow. As much as I love the idea of Vivacious the execution left me wanting more.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

This is the fourth season to feature the influence of Alyssa Edwards. Laganja is her second drag daughter to appear on the show, the first being Shangela (who competed twice).

Next week is going to be wild. Five comedy queens who actually know how to put an outfit together are competing in the same heat: Courtney Act, Darienne Lake, Magnolia Crawford, Milk, and Bianca Del Rio. You've already heard Bianca in the season teaser at the start of the premiere. That was her reading Santino and Michelle over versatility. So good luck to Joslyn and Trinity in the lip sync battle next week. :p

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

This will be the first season I watch regularly because I've shared the (dance theater) stage with Laganja and I gotta support. You all have no idea what she is capable of!

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Gilda -- right. Even if you don't love the show, it's scientific fact that RuPaul is better at everything (including hosting) than anyone else.

Rami -- that makes sense. thanks for sharing.

Paul -- i am only hoping i learn to stop putting "g"s in her name where "j"s reside.

February 25, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

They don't have queens from different countries because it's "America's Next Drag Superstar," not an international competition. Adore is super obnoxious--I feel like most of them are trying to be camera hogs rather than themselves, actually--and I am so here for Gia's cuntiness and Vivacious' Ornacia.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBD

you guys! twin peaks and rupaul's drag race? <3

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClara

They get queens from Puerto Rico because it's a territory of the U.S. I've read that they don't or can't go international because it would be a pain in the ass/costly to deal with the visas to fly them in to shoot and for the whole subsequent Drag Race tour and such.

But anyways--I live!!! I'm not sure how I manage to get by during that dreaded time of year when it isn't awards season and Drag Race isn't on.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Clara -- aw, thanks. we try here. and here i was thinking readers would be mad if i talked rupauls drag race cuz i lost like 6 followers on twitter the second i started tweeting about it.

February 25, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I feel like this was the most disappointing season premiere for me. I hate when Ru switches things up, so I didn't like the half a cast thing (it just seems purposeless???) and I was no truly impressed with any of the girls aside from Ben da la Creme (too many basics), and there were a lot of annoying queens.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

if only ru would replace santino with adam lambert - he was an adorable judge

(and michelle with merle - that was a downgrade i'm still not over)

man, these girls have some annoying voices

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpar

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