But first we have to acknowledge that one of the contestants, Sherry Pie, has been disqualified from the show due to issues outside of the show but as far as the statement on the official Drag Race Twitter says, the show is being broadcast as recorded however Sherry Pie won’t be invited to the Grand Finale.
Episode 1 introduced us to seven brand new queens and explained why the work room was a little on the empty side – Episode 2 was another premiere and introduces us to six more queens all vying to become America’s next drag superstar.
First in was Rock M. Sakura, a anime-loving whirlwind of craziness who ran and rolled around the work room. She was followed by the self-proclaimed banjee girl and House of Aja member Dahlia Sin. Third in to the work room was the camp Sherry Pie wearing a pie inspired dress, she was giving old school drag vibes plus reminded me of Mimi Imfurst. Next to enter in sparkling cheerleader inspired dress and jacket was Cheryl Hole, sorry I mean Jan, who confused the other queens by saying “Let’s play basketball”; a Fergie reference apparently.
The penultimate queen to enter was the glamorous Jaida Essence Hall in a stunning shiny blue dress and matching head scarf. Finally, spooky looking Aidan Zhane finishes this series line up and immediately intrigued me as her look is so different to all the other queens. Await the Sharon Needles comparisons.
Like the previous week’s premiere the queens were set the challenge of delivering two runway looks; Spring and Fall. The standard was higher than last week, with many looks standing out.
Rock M brought manga stylings with her Spring look whilst Dahlia gave us a big pop of neon green in a figure hugging, off-the-shoulder dress paired with a pumpkin coloured wig. Sherry gave hints of Marilyn Monroe, Jan gave a floral couture number that screamed high on the hill there’s a lonely goat herd. Jaida kept the floral theme going with a peek-a-boo dress and Aidan gave us a quirky, fun bright yellow dress with raindrops and a sunflower for a hat.
For the Fall looks, Rock M wore a Koi carp mermaid dress made of felt, Dahlia gave us a furry hooded slinky dress – very Russian feeling – and Sherry gave us a black Zorro style hat and dress perfect for a glamorous funeral. Jan came out in a faux crocodile skin trench coat with matching dress underneath, all having edges that reminded me of gyozas’ crimped ends. Jaida stole the Fall crown with a chic trouser and furry jacket combo complete with a beret. Aidan closed out the Fall runway with a poncho that looked a little like your nan’s curtains and thigh high crocheted boots, which looked a little like your nan’s tea cosy!
Following this first mini challenge, the queens got to check each other over out of drag with Dahlia receiving compliments from the other queens as he got naked. Then Ru entered the room to set the maxi challenge; to perform in an original musical number called You Don’t Know Me. The girls had to write a verse to introduce themselves and work out their choreography to a Fosse inspired piece of music.
Rock M and Sherry where seen to have the most Fosse knowledge and choreography experience with Jaida flagging that everybody needs to be comfortable with the dance moves. This was a theme that would carry on when the group hit the main stage and started working out their moves. Jaida kept complaining, leaving Sherry’s temper to flare up as she got frustrated. Aidan looked like he was struggling and was close to tears as the bickering continued. It looked like the girls were going to be serving a hot mess on the runway the following day.
Next day, in the work room ahead of the maxi challenge, Rock M opened up to the group about his mother being a drug addict who put the blame on him for her addiction, causing him to not enjoy responsibility for others. As he let the tears flow, the queens gave him support and it helped the group bond. We are of course, used to these emotional moments on Rupaul but not usually so early.
With guest judges Thandie Newton and Robyn seated alongside Ru, Michelle and Ross the lights went down and the show began. Surprisingly, the girls pulled off fairly tight choreography and we got to see each take centre stage to sing their own verse. Considering the fuss she’d made the day before Jaida was great and really delivered. Aidan also turned it on showing his unique personality and style. Dahlia tried to up the sex appeal but looked a bit awkward with her moves. Jan went all out with gymnastics and showed her vocal range but it felt a bit much. Rock M decided to include a fart joke in his verse, with lyrics alluding to the fact he hides behind his OTT make up. He could definitely be one that goes on a confidence journey with this series.
The category for the runway was tuile with lots of puffy and flowy see-through net dresses. Jan opted for tuile overalls and fluorescent waistcoat including a tool belt to play on the double meaning of the word. Ross gave us this week’s best runway commentary “I can see her man hole.”
The judges critiques saw Aidan getting told he had a meaty tuck and Dahlia being told she needs to not rely on sex appeal and that the judges want to learn more about her. One-by-one the girls were told they were safe until just Sherry and Jaida were left worrying on stage. But of course, they needn’t have worried because Ru revealed that they were the week’s Top 2 and like the previous week, none of the queens would be going home this week.
Jaida and Sherry then lip synced to Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend, with the former giving the better performance, dancing and emoting whilst Sherry tended to stand in one spot and focus on trying to portray the emotion and showcase her lips. Jaida was declared the winner.
It was another great episode with some more interesting queens to throw in the mix. Jaida has definitely got stage presence and is very fishy; Aidan is rough round the edges but is one of the most interesting queens this season; Rock M is sweet and fun; Jan is a multi-talented queen, however she could be trying a bit too hard and has a teacher’s pet vibe; Sherry Pie is old skool campy drag but does seem to have the talent that might carry her further than similar queens in previous series; Dahlia is my least favourite and I don’t see her going too far. She’s very fishy but is quite bitchy and is trading on her looks alone.
Next week it looks like the two groups will meet for the first time and one queen (at least) will be leaving the competition.