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Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Episode 1 Recap

Rupaul’s Drag Race is back for a brand new season and there’s a twist already.

Credit: Twitter/@rupaulsdragrace

Happy Ru Year! Season 13 of the award winning series has kicked off and I am here to talk you through all the goings on in episode 1. There is already a twist!

If you want to avoid spoilers for Rupaul’s Drag Race, stop reading now.

Before Christmas, Rupaul announced the new series and we were introduced to thirteen brand new queens all looking to take the crown. Now the wait is over as episode 1 is available in the UK on Netflix.

The first queen to enter the Werk Room was the Dominican Doll Kandy Muse who was wearing a denim patches look (complete with denim ghetto blaster). She revealed that until fairly recently she was part of the Haus of Aja (season 9 and All Stars 3) but is now in a house with last season’s first evictee Dahlia Sin. Fierce Broc-ally!

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Next in was Joey Jay who surprisingly, was wearing a wig – something he is not known for – and dressed in a figure hugging red body suit with arms covered in red chicken feathers. She did start to push a chicken lover theme, which I’m hoping was just nerves and not a gimmick that she’s going to keep on with.

Suddenly, the signature siren and ‘she already done had herses’ alert filled the Werk Room and a VT of Rupaul told the two contestants to report to the main stage immediately. Regular judges Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Matthews were (socially distanced) sitting beside Ru on the panel as she announced there would be six lip syncs for your lives.

The shocked pair were questioned by the judging panel before performing to Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. It was a solid lip sync but only one girl could chantay and that was to be Kandy. Ru then told Joey that she would be getting the pork chop. At that point my suspicions were raised, surely Rupaul wouldn’t be sending home half of the cast on the first episode? Pork Chop was famously the first ever queen to be eliminated from Drag Race season 1, there had to be another twist?

We were returned to the Werk Room to meet the next pair of queens. Figure skater Denali came in wearing her best white swan ice skating costume complete with skates on. Following her was Lala Ri who seemed to have forgotten her skirt and had a mess over her face – perhaps a Valentina fan? Denali is seriously fishy but was already showing a bit of a shady side and suggested she’s more of the Tonya Harding type, crow bar and all! The pair were asked to lip sync to PCD’s When I Grow Up and whilst Denali gave a more acrobatic performance (pretty incredible whilst wearing ice skates to be fair), it was Lala Ri that was asked to stay. As Denali left the stage it soon became clear there was more to the eviction than first thought. She met Joey in the Pork Chop Loading Bay and the two started to wonder what was happening. We would have to wait to the end of all the lip syncs for that to be revealed.

Back in the Werk Room, Symone entered in a dress made of polaroid’s of herself. She was joined by Tamisha Iman who has been doing drag for 30 years. As the pair were sent to the runway, Rupaul revealed that the latter was actually due to appear on season 12 and Tamisha explained that she was diagnosed with colon cancer at the same time. She told the judges that she has struggled the last year but fought to get here and although perhaps not at 100% she was honoured to be here. They lip synced to Janet Jackson’s Pleasure Principle with Tamisha pulling out Janetisms in her moves but it was Symone who exuded more personality on the stage and was ultimately asked to stay.

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The next pairing to the Werk Room was Gottmik and Utica Queen. Gottmik is the first trans man to appear on the show and as a make up artist her clients have included Heidi Klum, Paris Hilton and Cindy Crawford amongst others. Her entrance look was very arty with a white face and a dress that looked like swooshes of paint; made me think a bit of Kim Chi. Utica’s look was as if every pattern in the material wall had sex and this was their baby complete with a giant strawberry in her wig. She described herself as a kooky queen and her outfit certainly confirmed that! They lip synced to Lindsay Lohan’s Rumours and for me it was quite an unexciting lip sync but I would have given it to Utica – Ru however, saved Gottmik, so what do I know!?

Rosé entered the Werk Room with a blacked out comedy tooth, resplendent in her namesake pink. She showed her competitive streak straight away and told us she was on The Voice and American’s Got Talent previously. She also had a glittery wine glass as a handbag – amazing! The next queen Olivia Lux, entered purse first with a handbag that would fit only a postage stamp. The two queens recognised each other with Olivia fan girling slightly and Rosé suggesting in her VT that Olivia’s drag needs a little longer to bake. As the pair lip synced to Exs and Ohs by Elle King you got the feeling that Rosé was taking it very seriously whereas Olivia added humour which helped her become the victor. Rosé seemed confused as she was asked to sashay away. I would’ve said she was one to watch for the title but there was something a little off about how she took losing the lip sync – perhaps a little too confident for her own good – that I don’t think is going to sit well with the judges.

The final lip sync was a threeway; Tina Burner, Kahmora Hall and Elliott with 2Ts . Tina is a real character and has been doing drag for years. Kahmora is drag sister to last season’s winner Jaida Essence Hall and had the biggest hair so far, serving Valley of the Dolls realness. She wasn’t shy at throwing shade early on. Elliott is a former ballet dancer who’s 80s glamour mum aesthetic confused her fellow contestants but won approval from Ru. The three girls lip synced to Lady Marmalade by Christina, P!nk, Mya and Lil Kim and it was obvious that Tina had the most star power and earned her spot as the winner of the battle.

As Kahmora and Elliott joined Joey, Denali, Tamisha, Utica and Rosé in the Pork Chop Loading Dock they debated what the twist could be. Rupaul spoke over the tannoy to let them know that this wasn’t necessarily the end of the line, each girl would get a chance to return to the competition but first they must give one of their fellow queens the chop. The seven queens looked gobsmacked as we were left on that cliff hanger….roll on episode 2!

Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 13 is available on Netflix in the UK with new episodes added every Saturday.

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