Oh My Gaga!
Let me start by saying that I am a Lady Gaga fan, so I was thrilled to learn that she would be a guest judge for the premiere episode of RPDR, season 9. And Gaga did not disappoint. Just her entrance had me geeking out with excitement. Initially, she marched into the workroom as though she was the 14th contestant – an incredible Lady Gaga impersonator named Ronnie with an unbelievable likeness to the diva. It was clear that the ladies had no idea that Gaga was going to be there, and it was so much fun to watch them all freak the hell out when they figured out that it was really her. There was also a genuinely touching moment between Gaga and Eureka, where Eureka was able to express her gratitude to Gaga for everything she has done as an artist.
I have to say, besides being fabulous and really connecting with Ru’s girls, Lady Gaga ended up being one of the most thoughtful guest judges I have seen on any reality show in some time. One of my biggest complaints about the most recent seasons of Project Runway has been that the guest judges are all insipid little teeny boppers from some program on the CW who have very little to say when it comes to fashion. The early seasons of PR had guest judges who were actual designers, and I always enjoyed hearing their critiques. Recent seasons have had guest judges whose best contribution was to say “I would wear that.” Perhaps it was because the contestants were asked to impersonate her, but Lady Gaga certainly had some well-thought-out and interesting critiques for each of the contestants, and that was a joy to watch.
In addition to impersonating Lady Gaga, the girls were also asked to wear an outfit that best represents their hometown, as a way to introduce themselves to the judges. This got me thinking… what would I wear to represent Miami? Palm trees are so expected and boring (“Statue of Liberty” Queens, I’m looking at you…). Maybe I would go as a Cuban sandwich, or a mountain of cocaine.
At any rate, this was a fun first episode, but it was not without its flaws. How the hell did an entire episode of Drag Race not include Ru in drag?! I really missed her sashay down the runway. I hope she brings it this Friday. I was also not happy that all the queens got to stay. Was this just a twist for the first episode, or is Ru screwing with our expectations this season? So help me, we had better see some drag queens lip-syncing for their lives next week! The lack of an elimination this week was especially upsetting because there was AT LEAST one queen who needed to be sent home immediately:
Jaymes Mansfield was so out of her league it was almost sad. When she entered the workroom, one of the queens said she looked scared and confused, like “Am I in the right room?”
No, dear. You’re not.
Let’s take a look at Jaymes on the runway:
Does she have any idea what drag make up is supposed to look like? And, as the judges pointed out, the outfit was completely lack-luster. I assume that this was a disappointing attempt at being funny, but if she was going to dress as the Dairy Queen, she should have gone all out and dressed like a fabulous cow. Is that too much to ask?!
Her sleepy and stumbling Gaga impersonation was also supposed to be funny (I guess), but it fell completely flat. In fact, the funniest thing about the look was when Carson said that she was wearing Marc Jacobs and had Marcolepsy.
Jaymes should have gone home this week. In fact, I can’t remember another premiere episode of RPDR where there was so clearly one queen who was so much worse than everyone else in the room.
I like Peppermint. She needs a little more polish, but I have a feeling we can have a very To Wong Foo style transformation from her, where she really ends up shining by the end of the season.
Seriously, why did so many of the NYC girls default to Statue of Liberty drag? And this isn’t even particularly good Statue of Liberty drag.
This was a perfect example of Gaga’s critique being so insightful. Peppermint should not have worn large silver hoop earrings. And if she was going to do a hoop earring, she should have only worn one. Still, I liked this look, and I said earlier, with more polish, Peppermint could be at least one of the top 5 queens.
Valentina is still a drag baby. She has only been doing drag for ten months. And yet, she is my favorite queen so far this season. She is stunningly beautiful (as a man and as a woman), her runway looks were fierce as shit, and she has just the right amount of sass to come off confident, but not obnoxious. I predict she will make it to the top 3.
I thought this was such a feminine take on what would ordinarily be a masculine costume. Also, it was a fun representation of her hometown.
This wasn’t my favorite Gaga look, but it’s executed perfectly and she (once again) looked fierce as shit. I understand why she chose this look. In my humble opinion, Valentina should have been the winner of the pageant. She at least should have ranked in the top 3.
Eureka is a self-described “big ol’ pageant queen.” I’ve been reading a lot of folks say that she is the most talented of the big girls to have ever been on the show, and that this could be the year that a big girl finally wins the race. She might win (who knows?!) and I do see that she is talented and charismatic, but I personally don’t find her as appealing as Latrice Royale or Ginger Minj.
Jaymes should take note. This is how you play up a stereotype and use it to your advantage.
Perfection. I understand why she was in the top 3 this week.
Girlfriend is 52 years old and she looks damn good. Apparently, she’s something of a youtube star?
I guess going as a pilgrim to represent Boston was unexpected, but it was also a little boring. And her tear-away, “big reveal” moment on the runway fell flat.
On the other hand, Charlie’s Gaga look was to die for. It might be my favorite Gaga look of the night.
Farrah is pretty. In fact, she’s probably equally as pretty as Valentina, but she loses pretty-points because she’s got about half of Valentina’s personality.
See what I mean? Her face always seems to have that blank expression.
By the way, nothing about her hometown look says Vegas to me. Adding feathers to your headdress does not make you a showgirl.
This look may be pretty, and it may be accurate, but it was missing some pizzazz. The judges even said that they expected something more.
Sasha is one of those “artsy” drag queens who rarely do well on RPDR. Let’s see how far she makes it this season. I love the way she came into the workroom screaming.
I can appreciate Sasha’s take on NYC, mostly because she didn’t dress like the statue of liberty. Tourists associate NYC with the Statue of Liberty. Artists associate NYC with other great artists.
I also liked Sasha’s choice for her Gaga look. It’s daring because it isn’t conventionally pretty, but it impressed me nonetheless.
There’s something a little Holly-Hobby about that paper crown she wore in the workroom and in her hometown look, so Sasha doesn’t impress me as much as some of the artsy queens from previous seasons like Raja or Nina Flowers, but I do like her more than Milk, and I think she has potential.
Alexis is pretty. She doesn’t really stand out in my mind one way or the other. I had to look back at these photographs to remind myself of what she even wore on the runway.
Well, I suppose that’s one way to insert the Statue of Liberty into your look without it being too literal. Still, I was underwhelmed with this outfit. If you’re going to do the whole “social message” on your clothes thing, the words should at least be legible.
This was nicely done. And the fact that she brought a trophy with her was a nice touch.
Much like Alexis before her, Shea is pretty, (though I am not a fan of her makeup) but didn’t do much to stand out in my eyes.
It’s tough to blog about a show like this in the beginning because there are so many queens and only so many minutes in the episode.
Oh yeah, she wore a hot dog on her head! How could I have forgotten that?! Interesting choice. I guess Chicago-style hot dogs are a thing. Actually, she looked pretty fierce considering she had a hot dog on her head. And Ross Matthews cracked me up. “The other girls better ketchup. They mustard about her. I want you to relish this moment. Somebody stop me!”
Gaga was not impressed by Shea’s impersonation because she got so many of the details wrong.
Is it just me or does Trinity have an awful personality? She did deliver one of my favorite lines of the night, though. “I don’t like saying ‘pageant queen’ because there’s such astigmatism with pageant queens.”
This didn’t really scream Orlando to me as much as it did vendor at the the Dade County Youth Fair circa 1989. She should have at least put on some mouse ears. She could have borrowed them from Nina.
The judges really responded positively to this look, but I really wasn’t that impressed.
Kimora is also a very pretty queen. She has an amazing shape. Her ass is really what stood out about her. As Farrah said “that ass is going to have its own t-shirt.
I thought this was more Vegas than Farrah’s outfit, but it still wasn’t quite right. Lovely, though.
Not my favorite Gaga look.
Aja reminds me of Peppermint in that she needs polish, but she’s got a ton of potential for a To Wong Foo moment. She also reminds me of Peppermint in that she put on a shitty Statue of Liberty costume to represent New York.
Awful. And furthermore, the Statue of Liberty isn’t in Brooklyn. Why wouldn’t she have walked out as the Brooklyn Bridge? Or one of the Beastie Boys?
I loved the Gaga look, even if the makeup is a little problematic.
Nina Bo’nina Brown
You know, just because you CAN fit Osama Bin Laden’s name into your own, it doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.
Nina’s win this week bothers me. She is trying to be creative in a cosplay sorta way, but she doesn’t quite hit the mark. I don’t think her make up skills can hold a candle to Kim Chi’s. Just look at her Georgia Peach:
First of all, it’s the stuff of nightmares. Secondly, it looks sloppy and amateurish. For Pete’s sake, that peach is made of construction paper!
While I liked her Gaga look, it was not my favorite.
And there you have it. All 13 queens. That was exhausting…
But wait! There’s more!
At the end of the episode Ru revealed that someone from a previous season would be joining the cast. So who do you think it is? Is it Shangela again? Her identity has apparently been leaked and is all over the interwebs, but I’ll wait patiently and find out on Friday, as Ru intended.