Sashay, you stay! On Friday, Jan. 7, season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered, featuring 14 up-and-coming drag queens ready to take the crown. The show has come a long way since its debut in 2009, as popularity for the culture has grown.
The first two episodes of the season were a split premiere, each featuring seven queens competing that season. Audiences could better get to know the queens this way instead of being introduced to 14 queens at once. The queens entered the Werk Room in their flashiest outfits as they were introduced to the show at the beginning of the episodes. They were then asked to pose for different photoshoots for the mini-challenge. The proceeding maxi challenge asked the queens to create a performance that best showcased their drag-sona. Finally, at the end of each episode, the queens put on their best outfits for the runway to get audiences primed for what they will bring the rest of the season.
The queens’ performances included lip syncs, original songs, a burlesque dance, comedy sketches, an African dance and a jump rope routine in the talent shows. Some performances were met with resounding applause, while others left the judges and the queens confused and wanting more. The runway looks were jaw-dropping, such as June Jambalaya’s flowing winged sleeves and Maddy Morphosis’s headless Lady Antoinette look in episode two.
As the queens entered the Werk Room, they discussed how they had worked throughout the pandemic. Willow Pill told her fellow contestants that she had not put her drag ensemble on since before the pandemic began almost two years ago. Others mentioned their optimism about performing in front of audiences again as vaccines become widespread.
This season also features Kerri Colby, a transgender woman from the Colby drag family. She is the fourth transgender woman to compete on the show, following Kylie Sonique Love from All Stars season six, Monica Beverly Hillz from season five and Peppermint from season nine. In season 13, the first transgender man, Gottmik, competed on the show. Kerri has not discussed her transition yet, but it will most likely be discussed in upcoming episodes.
Spoilers ahead for the results of each episode.
Kornbread and Angeria’s original songs in each episode combined with their choreography and runway looks blew the judges away, resulting in their wins. Orion Story’s comedy sketch fell flat paired with a sporadic runway outfit that left her in the bottom two, where she lost the lip sync and left the show. Daya Betty, a drag relative of Crystal Methyd, performed a lip-sync in the talent show that the judges found unexceptional. Her runway look was also torn, which put her in the bottom two. She did not lip-sync to the show’s standards, prompting her to leave the show.
The outcomes of the first two episodes show that the judges will not accept any errors or low effort this season. The queens must give everything that they have and fight tooth and nail every day to remain in the show. Catch new episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race on the VH1 channel on Fridays at 8 p.m.