Before we start in on the recaps of this series of RuPaul’s Drag Race (the most divisive to date), here’s what you might have missed in episodes 1-4.
Like Heathers and Boogers, like tired old showgirls and the future of drag, like everyone against poor little Jinkx Monsoon, what’s a season of Drag Race without some decent rivalry?
This year we’ve got the Aryans – Miss Fame, Violet Chachki, Pearl, Katya and Max – versus the Bitter Old Ladies – Ginger Minj, Kennedy Davenport and Mrs Kasha Davis.
There are frontrunners in both groups, but I have to say the Aryans are really killing it. Maybe as a mere slip of a girl myself I don’t have the taste for more mature talent, but it’s those identikit blonde-bots who are pulling out the most interesting, forward-thinking runway looks.
After a poor runway last season – Darienne Lake’s identical shimmering sacks anyone? – it’s a relief to see that some queens still know how to put an outfit together.
Jaidynn Dior Fierce and Kandy Ho are kind of caught in the middle, but no one cares about Kandy (more like Kandy WHO? Amirite?) and Jaidynn is loveable enough to float.
I realise that sounds like a crack about her size, but honest to God, it’s not.
Heroes and villains
Ginger Minj is an all-round favourite, and there will be riots in the street if she doesn’t end up in the top three. From the moment she declared herself an ‘overweight, asthmatic, chain-smoking crossdresser from Florida’ this Glamour Toad (again, her own words) had everyone hooked.
Ginger is funny on-stage and off, has a distinct and surprisingly cute look, and most importantly for television, is just the right amount of shady. She can read a queen to filth – ‘Max is our very own Madonna. She’s got a fake beauty spot and a fake English accent which comes and goes with the breeze’ – but is perfectly happy to make fun of herself as well.
Ginger Win! I’m sorry. What else did you want me to do with that? We can’t all be good at puns – Jesus!
Max, despite the accent, is another favourite. Her similarities to Milk from last season were immediately obvious: another tall, freaky, androgynous queen with a one-syllable name which starts with M.
However, Max has proven that she has considerably more polish and IMO considerably more talent than Milk. Milk admitted that she went for weird because she didn’t think she could be beautiful. Max knows that she’s beautiful and so fucking slays it every time, even if she is a bit pretentious. 1920s editorial Salvador Dali realness anyone?
But then there’s Violet Chachki. Despite talent, good looks and the smallest waist in RPDR herstory, she gets picked last for every team and just can’t work out why.
Maybe it’s because she does nothing but whine, sulk and roll her eyes when she has to work with someone else, and frankly it’s a wonder no one’s put both hands round that itty bitty waist of hers and snapped her spine.
Unfortunately, since she actually does really well on all of the challenges, this mosquito with a man bun is going to be irritating everyone for a while yet.
We need to talk about Pearl
Howls of outrage reverberated across the globe when Trixie Mattel was eliminated in episode four in favour of Pearl, who comes across as more catatonic than the queen who actually had narcolepsy (Jinkx Monsoon, as if you didn’t know). I, however, did no howling: Pearl showed in the lip sync that she has more of that elusive quality known as star power than Trixie could muster.
Despite a shaky start, Pearl quietly managed to steal centre-stage, and though she was doing less, I wanted to look at her more. And, as we all know, she’s just so goddamned beautiful.
But what I think doesn’t count for shit – though you’re still going to read my recaps right? Please care – it’s all about RuPaul. And quite frankly, where have you been if you didn’t guess that she was always going to save Pearl?
Ru loves a young, lovely, talented queen with an attitude problem – cf: Tyra Sanchez, Tatianna, Phi Phi O’Hara and Adore Delano. It allows for the girl in question to go on a journey of discovery throughout the season guided by Ru, with lots of tears and tantrums and determined pieces to camera about ‘just going out there and doing me’.
So whatever you think of her, unless she well and truly fucks up, Pearl is marked out for top three.
So there you go darlings, that’s where we stand as we enter episode five. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Or leave me shouting alone into the ether, it’s what I’m used to, don’t worry about it.