RuPaul’s Drag Race – Season 6, Episode One – Review

Roy Ward

Spoilers ahead, obviously. No T, no shade. 

6 seasons in, plus an All Stars miniseries, there was always going to be a risk that RuPaul’s Drag Race might have started to become tired and formulaic. Fans waited with baited breath for the sixth season’s premiere earlier this week, to see if the world’s greatest reality TV show could maintain its current level of fierceness.

Put simply, it did. As Mama Ru herself said “The only thing better than one big opening….is two big openings!” Orifice jokes aside, this split premiere, focusing on two separate groups of seven drag queens each, was a welcome change. The premiere episode should be the point where you really get to know all the queens, but every year a few of them blend into the crowd until later in the season.

With only seven queens to get to know per episode, there was nowhere to hide this time around. Speaking personally, I found it made for a much more intense premiere – by the end of all the introductions and entrances I realised I really liked every single one of these contestants. I didn’t want anybody to go home. Gulp.

Let’s meet the queens:

Adore Delano.

Adore Delano

A former American Idol contestant, Adore is potentially the biggest break-out star ­RuPaul’s Drag Race has ever seen. She’s energetic, she’s funny, she’s clever, and yet surprisingly down-to-earth from what we’ve seen so far. Charisma FOR DAYYYYS.

Fuck/Marry/Kill? –  Fuck.


Ben DeLaCreme

Ben DeLaCreme

If Jinkx Monsoon and Michelle Visage got super wasted and had a fully grown drag baby, that queen would be Ben DeLaCreme. “Terminally delightful”, with a slightly kooky 1950’s housewife aesthetic, I feel like this one could go far. Ben, or “DeLa”, or “Miss Creme, if you’re nasty” – I’ve got my eye on you for the top three.

Fuck/Marry/Kill? –  Marry.


Gia Gunn

Gia Gunn

Every season has a bitch. But, whilst Roxxxy Andrews and Phi Phi O’Hara had some serious parental baggage arguably creating their less than stellar personalities, Gia Gunn is a self-described “cunt” because she knows she’s fabulous. I know I should dislike her, she’s catty, two-faced and more than a little vacuous, but there’s something oddly compelling about her. That purse is ridiculous, too.

Fuck/Marry/Kill? –  I like her and all, but probably kill. Sorry, gurl.


Laganja Estranja

Laganja Estranja

She’s Alyssa Edwards’s drag daughter. She points to where she’s going on the runway before she goes there (like mother, like daughter). She did a death drop literally seconds after entering the Werk Room. She’s got a big mouth and an even bigger personality. Potentially extremely grating but also clearly an amazing performer.

Fuck/Marry/Kill? –  At this moment in time, kill.


April Carrion

April Carrion

The now obligatory Puerto Rican queen this season is April. I have a serious crush on her as a boy, and as a girl she’s very pretty too. Guest judge Adam Lambert (also looking super fine) obviously wanted to fuck her too – the boy’s got good taste. She’s also clearly got some talent when it comes to designing and creating outfits, so she’s definitely one to watch.

Fuck/Marry/Kill? –   Fuck and then totally marry.


Kelly Mantle

Kelly Mantle

Funny as hell, Kelly is a professional comedian and actor, and long-time friend and colleague of former RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Willam and Detox. Drag’s answer to Carol Burnett, her look is perhaps a little on the pedestrian side but she’s clearly a seasoned performer.

 Fuck/Marry/Kill? – Marry.



She came in looking like a goddamn alien. Zipper malfunction aside, it was an amazing entrance, fan pop and all. A Jamaican club kid queen living in New York, along with Kelly she represents the older end of this group. I described her a while ago as a cross between Sharon Needles and Latrice Royale, and I’m sticking with it, to be honest. She could be great, but is her look polished enough? Time will tell.

Fuck/Marry/Kill? –  Is there a fourth category? Like “New Gay Best Friend?”. Vivacious would be good for a kiki.


The main challenge this week was to create a look themed around a particular popular TV show, including Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Golden Girls and Duck Dynasty (this was clearly filmed before all the brouhaha). My one criticism of this episode was that it didn’t felt like we got enough time to watch the queens making their outfits, but maybe that’s just me.

We learned that Adore cannot sew for shit, and also was smart enough to hot glue her outfit to her mannequin. Vivacious isn’t quite as shit hot at designing outfits as I thought she might be, and April Carrion looks extra cute when she’s stressed out.

In the end, Ben DeLaCreme won the challenge with an amazing Golden Girls inspired outfit, constructed out of “hot glue and desperation”, and Vivacious and Kelly Mantle were in the bottom two, courtesy of a dodgy shapeless silver gown and a corset that looked like it was made of bacon, respectively. Gurl, no.

Can we just talk about that lipsynch, though? There have been some truly amazing, high energy performances in the past (Dida Ritz vs The Princess, anyone?) but this one felt a bit flat, like both queens were just phoning it in. Now, I’m no Madonna superfan, but ‘Express Yourself’ is a hell of a song, and neither of them really turned it out like I’d hoped they would.

In the end, though, Vivacious did just clinch it, and she was proclaimed the victor, while poor, funny, Kelly Mantle sashayed away. It was brutal, but I think it’s what the show needed. After Jinkx Monsoon’s victory last season, some critics were complaining that the show was becoming less about the look – this first episode seemed to be telling us that this definitely won’t be the case for Season Six.

Before it gets pulled from YouTube, below is the preview for Episode 2, with the entrances of the next 7 queens. It’s worth it just for the scene with RuPaul in curlers and a facepack.

Come back next week to find out who I want to fuck from Group 2 (PS – it’s probably Courtney Act).

RuPaul’s Drag Race airs every Monday night on Logo. 

About Roy Ward

When Roy was 7 a girl tied him to a tree and tried to set him on fire. He now lives in Leeds with his boyfriend. These facts may be connected. Vada's Deputy Editor, he loves pop culture in all its forms, plus feminism; drag queens and Nigella Lawson. Find him on Twitter @badlydrawnroy.

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