Playstation Theater, right in the heart of Times Square, played host to another go around of the best reality show on television, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. The show is now entering its ninth season (minus the two All Stars season), and is prime to continue its journey in the pop culture stratosphere of bringing fierce competition, drama and so much more to the airwaves. I was front and center last night to chat with the girls on the new season, where they spilled some tea on finally making it onto the show, stiffest competition, and so much more. Also, some surprise guests were in the building…
All of the season nine girls were in attendance, thirteen to be exact, who are vying for the biggest crown on television today. On top of this seasons girls being there, there were past ones who came and joined in on the festivities including Season 8’s Thorgy Thor, Season 7’s Ginger Minj & Mrs. Kasha Davis, and Season 6’s Darienne Lake!
New York queens have had their fare share of success on RuPaul’s Drag Race, especially in recent years, and four out of the thirteen girls this season are from NYC this go around. Brooklyn’s very own Aja and Sasha Velour, and Manhattan’s Peppermint & Alexis Michelle are four very strong contenders who I am truly rooting for to take home the crown, as I was impressed the most by them out of all the girls last night.
When asked if the New York girls were at a disadvantage, due to two out of the past three winners being from here (Bianca Del Rio & Bob The Drag Queen), their answers were pretty much the same. “I don’t think they go in judging that way”, says Sasha. “They are looking for the best, and some of the best is in New York and we represent. I love all types of drag, but New York drag takes itself really seriously as an art form and they shouldn’t be afraid of that.” Aja echoed similar sentiments- “No, because it doesn’t matter who wins, this show is about really narrowing down all these talented girls and seeing who can follow in the footsteps of RuPaul. It has nothing to do with a region or where you come from, because honestly, if a New York girl was meant to win five seasons in a row, it would happen.”
With the exception of Valentina, all of the other girls that I spoke to referenced that this wasn’t the first time they auditioned. For Alexis Michelle, this was her eighth time auditioning! You heard that right- eighth. For her, she know it was her goal to get on this show- “I just always felt it was my destiny to do this, and there were some years where I got some feedback where I was given hope to keep trying. The past few years I didn’t know if it was futile, but I had to keep going.”
The only other queen, outside of the ones from NYC, who really impressed me was Kimora Blac, who resides in Las Vegas. She had a great and chill attitude about her, that is very reminiscent of a Rihanna type and is unapologetic about it just like she is. When asked what she hopes will happen this season, she said “Just to show Kimora Blac. These people are here to see who I am, and I really got to give it all. My biggest goal is for the fans at home to be like “That’s my girl, that’s Kimora. She ain’t twisting nothing”.
Lady Gaga appears in the season premiere, which left all of them gagging (as it would for me as well). Aja summed it up best when I asked her how it felt- “So surreal! I can’t believe I was in the same room as Gaga. That is all I can really say! It was that impactful. She was super nice, people don’t realize these people are still humans.”
If this is a preview of what’s to come, then I cannot wait to see what Season 9 has in stores for this talented group of girls. The new season premieres on March 24th on VH1. For more information, check out their official site.