RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11 Episode 1 Ruview: Oh My Cysters!

The new season of RuPaul's Drag Race is upon us and season 11, go wig or go home!

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RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 is not even cold ( After all that controversial double crowning and the terrible editing) and we already have a brand new season to love (and hate).

Before you start with the moaning about how they are making too many seasons of Drag Race, let’s take a deep breath and remember: No one is forcing you to watch sis, so let’s celebrate the gay Olympics and gag with everything that Ru is serving to us!

Obviously, there are spoilers in this article about the first episode of season 11, so… if you haven’t watched it yet, go to Netflix and enjoy it! (They even have Untucked available there now!)

I’m inspired by the premiere of Season 11 of Drag Race because it sets a whole lot of potential storylines for the future. You’ve got the Ru-demption of Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (Miss Vanjie, Vanjie), the returning queen from Season 10. You’ve got Nina West, the legendary queen who’s applied to the show nine (!) times, struggling to prove she has what it takes to be there. You’ve got (the new Eureka)  loud and saucy Silky Nutmeg Ganache, already driving her competitors up the wall but charming the hell out of RuPaul.

Let’s talk about our cast first. Nina, Silky, and Vanjie who occupy most of the airtime in this episode. There’s Mercedes Iman Diamond from Kenya (who is the first Muslim to be in the show), Brooke Lynn Hytes (the first Canadian queen), and Plastique Tiara from Vietnam. There’s also Soju who, while born in the States, uses Korean influences in her drag and call herself as “Kpop Drag Superstar”.

Then you’ve got the Davenports: Honey Davenport, A’keria Chanel Davenport, and Ra’jah Davenport O’Hara (we may see a spin-off soon “Keeping Up With the Davenports” why so many?).

Of the three, A’keria is the one who stands out the most. While the other pageant queens of the group shy away from that label to varying degrees, A’keria embraces it fully. Trinity the Tuck showed in both Season 9 and All Stars 4 that you can brand as a pageant queen while still showing versatility.

Of the remaining five, two are from New York (Shuga Cain and Scarlet Envy), one is a former RuGirl’s daughter Kahanna Montrese, Yvie Oddly, so delightfully strange. Ariel does nothing to win us over this episode, from negative confessional comments about her fellow queens. It’s also bizarre to listen to her brag about her Instagram following when she doesn’t even have the largest one this season (Miss Vanjie and Plastique have).

I try to keep an open mind for every queen, and I’m excited to get to know most of them better this season. Bring it on Ariel and impress us!

Both the challenges look to the past: the Season 11 queens pose with Drag Race fan favourites in the mini-challenge and used inspired fabrics to design their maxi-challenge looks. RuPaul even implies that there will be more previous Drag Race queens featured all season. I do appreciate that the show is including its herstory into the fabric of the season.

The mini-challenge goes to Silky, for her photo with Season 3’s Mariah Paris Balenciaga. It’s honestly not the best photo we’d give that to Yvie’s snapshot with Adore Delano, but she clearly bowls Ru over with her (loud) personality. This only continues during the maxi-challenge assignment, when she has Ru cackling while distributing fabrics to the other queens.

So let’s talk about those looks! Our personal favourite is also the judges’ favourite, Brooke Lynn’s. She’s the only queen who really embraces both her own aesthetic and her alumni inspiration’s, wisely using Detox’s neon colour palette for a killer bodysuit look. Just behind her is A’keria, who comes out in five wigs (some neck nerve there, hun),  Plastique and Vanessa also land on the top, they played smart and safe.

Filling out the bottom are a very nervous Nina West (Girl… 9 times auditioning and you had the nerve to serve that?), Kahanna Montrese (forgetful just like her drag mother, facts are facts) Mercedes Iman Diamond (boring!), and the clear disaster of the week, Soju (girl… that was a choice). Poor Soju clearly has a lot going on, from being diagnosed with tendonitis to, ahem, an oozing cyst (ewwww but show me). She chooses to share this on the runway, to a blend of disgust and amusement among the queens and judges. Plastique Tiara bursts out laughing, which I can relate.

Soju and Kahanna land in the bottom two, and are challenged to lip sync to Miley/Hannah Montana’s “The Best of Both Worlds.” (For a show that ended in 2011. Soju’s lost before she even moves, as Kahanna has her beat in lyric memorization, dance moves and attitude. The Chicago queen sashays away back to YouTube in a sad, but perhaps inevitable, ending.

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