The wait is over! RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 has premiered last night, and the entire drag universe is shaking. Not only that the first episode has offered so many polished and sickening looks, but it’s also filled with oozing drama and unexpected things.
The first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11, entitled “Whatchu Unpackin,” a play of words in RPDR after show podcast hosted by Michelle Visage ‘Whatcha Packin’, aired Thursday.
The premiere episode is a very crucial episode for a lot of queens. That is why competing queens make sure that they make a first impression with their entrance looks. It is going to be the first time most drag fans will see them in their best drag, and their entrance looks are usually immortalized by memes.
Season 11 is actually the 14th season of the show, including All-Stars, and Vanessa Vanjie Matteo, a returning queen from Season 10 who became famous because of her walk out speech on the first episode last year, is the first queen to enter the famous You Better Werq Room.
The most striking entrance look is probably from Scarlet Envy, who sported a Victorian corsage and a panty. Her hairstyle and her makeup have also given the look with so much polish and elegance. And did I mention that boy Scarlet actually looks like Prince Charming with his defined jawline, pointed nose, and long wavy hair? Scarlet said during the confessionals that she believes that ‘drag is about embracing the beauty you are blessed with’ and she teased by saying she is ‘very blessed.’
Other entrance standouts are Shuga Cain, who teased about being 24 years old when she’s actually 40, Nina West, a 39-year-old queen whose Best Entertainer of the Year act ‘Moving Dress’ was copied by Sia, and Yvie Oddly, who claims as the ‘Denver’s commodity of drag oddity’, walking in the workroom with a green dress and a literal tail being pulled by remote operated car.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache, the “season’s only big girl,” won the mini challenge which requires the competing queens to pose for a photo shoot with some drag race alumni including Raja, Manila Luzon, Ginger Minj, and Ongina. Silky Nutmeg Ganache was partnered with Maria Balenciaga and slayed the photo shoot with celebrity photographer, Albert Sanchez.
Other notable photo shoots are those of Brooke Lynn Hytes and Ongina where Brooke carried ongoing on her arms, and Miss Vanjie and Farrah Moan where Vanjie had Farah turn back during the photo shoot and posed in front of her.
One of the most exciting moment during the show was Miley Cyrus, who went undercover as one of the show’s crew members. It did not take long, however until the competing queens recognized her. She gave valuable insights including a genuine ‘being yourself’ talk. She also gave tips on how to control ‘nerves’ and taught them her breathing exercise to shoo her nerves away.
This week’s maxi challenge tests the queens’ ingenuity and creativity by interpreting their own style using materials from a previous queen’s luggage (hence, the title).
Since Silky won the mini-challenge, she was given a chance to choose which queen’s luggage she will take and assign which luggage goes to who. After picking Peppermint’s luggage, she appointed the baggage to other queens. Even if Plastique Tiara was very vocal about wanting to have Violet Chachki’s luggage, it was given to Scarlet Envy by Silky nonetheless. Plastique was then given Sasha Velour’s luggage.
During the preparation time, queens have clocked Silky’s annoying attitude. Queens accused her of being loud and of taking advantage other’s moments for screen time. One particular queen, Ariel Versace, called out Silky about her behavior during Untuck, another supplement show of RPDR that shows the discussion of the queens while the judges deliberate.
The competing queens came there to slay. And they all made their point after the episode’s runway. Interestingly, almost all looks are polished even if it was a sewing challenge. Brooke Lynn Hytes, the first Canadian queen in the show, dominated the runway with her royal blue bodysuit with a neon green cape made from Detox’ luggage, making her the first queen to win a maxi challenge in Season 11. Other high-ranking queens are Plastique Tiara and A’Keria Davenport.
Miss Vanjie, who went home in the last season on the first episode for a similar challenge, paving the way to her icon exit speech, had a complete 369 turn with her look made of Valentina’s luggage as she also ranked high in the challenge.
However, Soju’s hanbok-bok inspired little-pound-cake-looking dress made of Kim Chi’s luggage and Kahanna Montresse’s rhinestone bra and incompletely stoned tights got the judges’ boot, and both of them was placed in the bottom two of the week.
The bottom queens lip-synced to Miley Cyrus’ Best of Both Worlds where Kahanna proved that she’s indeed Coco Montresse’s drag daughter with her high energy performance and impressive acrobatics. In the end, Soju has to sashay away.
It is also interesting to note that Soju’s bulky dress has had some art in her lackluster performance as it prevents her from moving her body. Ultimately, Soju became the first Season 11 to write her lipstick message and say goodbye to the show. /apr
All screenshots taken from VH1