Welcome back, hunties! Tighten your seatbelts, Drag Racers, because we've got 14 new queens and a new judging panel, including former Queer Eye style guru Carson Kressley and TV personality Ross Mathews. And if that's not gay enough, Kathy Griffin is tonight's guest judge!
Tonight's episode was a little bit fashion week and a little bit flashin' week. So, if you're ready to show a little skinsuit, unclasp those pearls, and click on to see how the queens are sizing up based on their fashions, performance and my own personal bias, AFTER THE JUMP …
Our mini challenge really wasn't so mini at all, asking the ladies to strut their finest winter wear and spring ensemble in a runway show (complete with former contestant Alaska doing a hilarious Anna Wintour). Then, for judging, they were asked to show the judges a "nude illusion," which, for the most part, meant a flesh-colored bodysuit, with a little contouring. It was an evening heavy on look, but that doesn't mean we didn't glimpse a lot of these queens' personalities.
Here are this week's rankings:
1. Our favorite queen out of the gate is New York’s own Miss Fame. She’s quick with a cutting remark, and her runway look turned heads. Sure, her intro ensemble was a little Vivacious meets Grimace, but she’s got a good eye for her wardrobe and seems sharp enough to sell personality along with all that style.
2. When a queen inspires such excitement from her competitors, she must be something special. The way Jasmine Masters threw herself at Kennedy Davenport, it makes me wonder what she knows that I don’t. After Kennedy’s encore-worthy performance at the season seven premiere party, I’m definitely pegging her one to watch. I also liked how she sassed Sasha Belle when she walked in with her Wynonna Judd does The Fifth Element get-up.
3. You guys, I know this might not be a popular choice, but anyone who self-identifies as a “glamour toad” is A-OK in my book. Ginger Minj, the “overweight, asthmatic, chain-smoking cross-dresser from Orlando, Florida,” served up passable fashions, but stole the show with her one-liners throughout the episode.
4. Strong runway, sharp comedy and fierce reads? Katya didn’t get a ton of screen-time tonight, but every taste we got of Katya had us seeing red, and we love it.
5. If I were judging on looks along, Jaidynn Diore Fierce would be dangling at the bottom of my list. However, she was just so damn likable in interviews. Funny without being mean, warm without being overly mushy, I found myself loving Jaidynn more out of drag than in drag. (HASHTAG TOO MUCH!) Let’s hope her performances start to match the charm we get in her interviews.
6. Can someone explain Max’s accent to me? It’s not quite midwestern, and it’s not quite that kitschy, Katherine Hepburn mid-Atlantic accent. Is it just her voice? Is it part of the act? Regardless, I admired her commitment to character while fitting the challenge. The crutches were a little too Gaga to garner points for originality, but kudos for serving something different.
7. I’m placing tonight’s winner, Violet Chachki, smack in the middle of the pack. Yes, her ensembles were sick'ning in a good way, but her personality was sickening in a not-so-good way. Her reads were mean-spirited, her interviews were self-absorbed. And, this is petty, but even his top-knot bothers me out of drag. This queen just rubs me the wrong way. Sure, she’s unique and nervy, but there is no charisma there. I also wonder if she’ll be able to showcase talent when acting comes into play. That runway transformation though was pretty on fleek, as the kids say.
8. Ooh, Trixie's makeup is going to be polarizing. As she said, she doesn’t paint for the back row, she paints “for the check cashing place down the street.” But maybe she can pull an Adore and transcend the typical standards with a winning personality.
9. Pearl was a snooze this evening, but was spared from my very bottom thanks to that hilarious, baritone “sup?” when she showed up in the workroom. Plus, out of drag, Pearl is one fine motherSHUTYOURMOUTH.
10. All of Jasmine Master’s looks, from her first appearance to the challenge to the runway, were off. Everything just felt a little pedestrian.
11. Mrs. Kasha Davis? Who? Just kidding. Kasha was a hoot when we saw her at the season two premiere, but blended into the background during this first outing.
12. Oh, Sasha Belle. I wouldn’t go unpacking all those wigs just yet. Something tells me you shouldn’t get too comfortable, okrr? Her first appearance was a miss, (again, girl, please, no, sorry, next), and her runway look was a little bit mind boggling. (What part of nude illusion was confusing, exactly?) Sasha might just be a little out of her depth.
13. Kandy Ho's face may have been serving Conchita Wurst realness, but her personality was just the worst, period. Little Kenya Michaels once told us how important boxing was in Puerto Rico, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be a fight. Sweet Tempest may have been an easy target, if not an undeserving one, which made Kandy’s shade feel more cruel than comedic.
14. Aw, Tempest. Someone’s got to be first to be eliminated. I can’t say I’m surprised to see Tempest go (she never struck me as a top-tier contender), but she seemed like quite a bit of fun, and I wish we got to spend more time with her.
How would you rank the queens this week?