Yaaaaasss Kween! Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 12 has just launched with it’s first episode and I for one am excited.
If you want to avoid spoilers for Rupaul’s Drag Race, stop reading now.
Drag Race has never been bigger in the UK following BBC Three’s successful launch of the UK version at the end of last year. Now Ru is introducing the world to a new set of queens all thirsty to be crowned the next drag superstar – it’s Season 12 of the hit show.
Episode 1 started with the usual introduction of this year’s combatants as they entered the work room . First in was Brita, a New York queen who is not short on confidence. She certainly has a polished, curvy look and told the empty room that she was here to win.
She was quickly followed by the chic fashion of Parisian Nicky Doll; larger than life Widow Von’Du dressed all in black naturally; Persian Jackie Cox was serving more of a comedy queen look; Heidi N Closet instantly reminded us of Drag Race Alumni Mayhem Miller; Gigi Goode brought a nautical look, I was Captain Hooked! Finally, Crystal Methyd came out in a garish green clown get up which seemed to silence the rest of the work room.
This is when the first twist of the show was unveiled as Ru entered the work room to let the girls know that this season’s premiere is split into two groups, this being the first. A mini challenge of Spring and Fall (Autumn) looks for the runway was set and we instantly got to see how each girl likes to style herself.
Nicky and Gigi definitely brought the couture looks with Nicky’s Andy Warhol style Fall look winning for me. Widow surprised with a neon street wear look – as the judges later said, it gave Missy Elliott vibes. However, it was Heidi that stood out, for the wrong reasons when she had a wardrobe malfunction, which is a shame as her outfit was impactful but unfortunately her hat came off though she did manage to style it out.
For the maxi challenge the girls were told that they had to write a rap verse to introduce themselves to the judges which included special guest Nicki Minaj. They also had to perform a routine to the song as a group. They were soon trying to work out who had choreography experience with Widow and Heidi volunteering. Things seemed to start well but soon many of the queens were complaining that they weren’t dancers and then Brita and Jackie were sticking their oars in leaving Widow to become increasingly frustrated. I can understand her point of view but it did make her look a little stroppy. Brita was beginning to wind me up the wrong way too; she’s very sure of herself and seems to stir the pot somewhat too. Widow took a step down from the choreography leaving Heidi to take control.
When it came to the performance, it was actually hard to hear the lyrics of the raps over the music, but all the girls put on a good show. Widow and Heidi proved their dance credentials with some amazing gymnastics and the former’s stage presence is crazy good. Gigi also impressed showing more personality through her performance. When it came to the critique Ru and the panel seemed to rave about Jackie but I just didn’t feel that excited about her, her movements are quite awkward and her looks seem to be a variation of the same sixties style. She seems likable but I wouldn’t put her in my Top 3 so far.
Following the performance, each queen took to the runway, where the category was Sparkle. Now i’m not necessarily a fan of Nicki Minaj, but I was impressed with her commentary and interaction with the queens. From the critiques, all the queens had done a good job, there was only one queen that felt obviously in danger and that was Heidi, not least because the panel really didn’t like her name! Her hair and make up on the runway was called out as not tight enough and she explained she’d had an allergic reaction the previous night meaning she had spend the night in A&E.
As Rupaul called his girls back to the main stage, I was really unsure who would be in the bottom two other than the aforementioned Heidi. One-by-one Mama Ru told each girl she was safe until there were just three left; Heidi, Widow and Gigi. When she told Heidi that she was safe, no one could quite understand what was happening, then Rupaul put us out of our misery by declaring the remaining two were in fact the Top 2 of the week and no queens would be heading home this week. A great twist and a chance for us to really get to know each of them whilst also giving them the opportunity to shake off any first show nerves.
Gigi and Widow lipsynced for the win to Nicki Minaj’s Starships with Widow throwing absolutely everything at her performance including splits, outfit reveals and some fierce attitude. Gigi opted for more of a comedy delivery and whilst the judges looked entertained it didn’t really work for me. Widow was rightly crowned this week’s winner.
Watch the lipsync below
It was a great series opener and there are definitely some great characters in the show. It’s looking like being a great season and there’s still more queens to meet in the next episode.
Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 12 is available on Netflix in the UK with new episodes landing each Saturday.