RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7 is here, bitches!!! This means more sequence gowns! More death drops! More YYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! More annoying cliques that do nothing but piss off your fan base and the judges! I’m so excited that I could rip the weave off an orphan!
Monday evening, the queens all gathered together for a photo op, drag show, and general sit down session at The Diamond Horseshoe, home of the Queen of the Night dining and theatrical extravaganza. After waiting the prerequisite amount of time to just begin to annoy everyone there, the photos began. The theme for the evening was sequined mermaid gowns with the two standouts being Sasha Belle’s Barbarella skirt and Violet Chachki’s Bettie Page Beyond Thunderdome look. After posing for a lot of Mike Ruiz knock offs, everyone went to various tables and set up shop to introduce themselves to us.
What quickly struck me is that most of the queens I talked to were not from the Big Four, i.e. New York, Chicago, L.A., Puerto Rico. The first contestant I talked to was Jaidynn Diore Fierce, who has to be one of the nicest, bubbliest people I have ever met. She’s already on my short list for Miss Congeniality. Though, to be fair, just about everyone was very nice and professional. We’ll see how the show gets edited out, though. Jaidynn was followed by Violet, who comes across as love her or hate her. I have a feeling she’s going to be the Phi-Phi/Roxxxy of the season, and I’m already kinda rooting for her, though much of that is because she’s been doing burlesque in Atlanta, which doesn’t have a whole lot of guys. Also, even up close, she’s gorgeous, which is hard to do.
Trixie Mattel was next on this whirlwind tour, wearing a dress with her face on it (her boyfriend painted it on). Another small town queen, she had a lot to say about how she tried doing the whole pageant thing, and then decided that she was better off being herself/a human Muppet. I’m down with that, and am all for originality. Not far from her was Jasmine Masters, who came prepared in an amazing Josephine Baker look. She’s been doing this for years and told me that she started doing drag to get tickets to a Patti LaBelle concert. This ended up being interrupted by Lady Bunny, who was wafting around the hall like the giant cotton disco ball goddess that she is, so I wasn’t able to talk to Jasmine more, but still, her look was stunning.
Sasha Belle was hanging out in a corner, giving me a chance to meet her. She said that one thing that makes her stand out is that she doesn’t have just one look, and takes inspiration from everything. With her direct gaze and quiet manner, I have to say I was more than a little intimidated and I knew this is a queen to contend with. After her, I got to chat with Mrs. Kasha Davis, who is also on my short list for Miss Congeniality. Mrs. Davis, who brought along her husband, is from Rochester, and straddles that line between old school drag and the younger set. I fully expect to hear Michelle Visage make a comment about “Old lady” or “character” with this one, but, like Ben and Pandora before her, it doesn’t matter to me. She was very laid back and relaxing to be around. Next was Kennedy Davenport, another one of the southern queens, giving me some Chaka Khan big hair.
Lastly, I got to have a brief session with Miss Fame, the NYC queen. I had no idea she had tattoos, but she was much more approachable than I ever would have guessed, and had nothing but positive things to say. I really hope that rumors that she gets cut early, due to performance based routines, aren’t true.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to chat with everyone, but was able to read a few books by their covers, if you want my first impressions. Max looks fun, but at the end of the day, is possibly too quirky for this show, and they already have Trixie (who’s from the same town). I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them gets cut. Same thing with Katya and Pearl, both of whom are leggy blondes that I still don’t remember which is which (one of them has a nose ring?). Tempest DuJour is the resident older queen, which is rather cool, and I liked her energy and that she’s not Chad Michaels v2.0. I liked Kandy Ho’s pill box hat and wanted to chat with her, but alas, not enough time. Lastly, Ginger Minj looks like she’s a bundle of energy (good thing) and I really really hope this show doesn’t decide that they only need one sweet perky big girl and cut her or Jaidynn.
At the end of the night, I have to say it was pretty even across the board. No one REALLY stood out, the way certain queens have in past seasons. Certainly, the group skews towards pageant or at least realistic drag, but that’s how the show has always been. All in all, this seemed to be a well-balanced group of performers, who, at least after the fact, seem rather polished and ready to go. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to start my engines!!! Join me, next week, for the recap of episode 1 and let’s see who gets edited into being the biggest bitch! Oh and for all things Drag Race related, check out the official Season 7 site.