Wow, so that was interesting, huh? Opinions seem split on the decision to, well, split the premiere in two parts. In theory, it sounded great--more screen time for all these fierce queens! And what a twist! Can you imagine what will happen when the two groups finally meet?
But ultimately, I think it shrunk the scale of the episode's drama. Or maybe it's because I watched most of the episode on my tiny iPhone screen when the preview showed up on the Logo TV app!
Even with just seven queens, it was really Adore and Gia's show, wasn't it? Their constant commentary ran throughout the episode, much more than any other queen. The only cutaway to Ben I can remember is "Barf."
I'm not complaining, though--both Gia and Adore are welcome surprises to an already stellar cast! Gia is a Chicago queen, and I've seen her steal the spotlight at several shows in town. But we haven't met, and I wasn't sure how she'd fare on the show. But I do love her style, and I think she's bringing just the right amount of cattiness for some good drag drama, without resorting to the shrill, screaming attacks we've seen in previous seasons. We'll have to wait and see whether she'll retain the role of "top bitch" when Bianca enters the picture.
I knew Adore would be gorgeous and funny on the show, but I didn't expect her to be so, well, adorable. In her "Meet the Queens" video, she leaned heavily on her eccentric mermaid character, which I like a lot, but seems to grate on some fans. But she came across as one of the most genuine, playful, and enthusiastic queens of the cast, a really wide-eyed ingenue. I see a lot of Shangela and Dida Ritz in her--tons of talent, not a lot of experience (or gowns), but a really strong contender. Oh, and she has fabulous shirts for sale, so go get some!
Laganja is the only queen who's even more divisive this season. No one doubts her jaw-dropping moves, over-sized personality, or her eccentric style, but there are a lot of questions about her authenticity. I think she'll be a central character of Season 6, and we'll see her struggle with a number of things: her over-the-top mannerisms, her relationship to her drag mother, and her strained relationship with her real mother. She's got an insane amount of talent, and the crucial question will be how she utilizes it, what kind of queen does she really want to be? And will she figure that out on the show?
I couldn't decide between the closer cropped image above or the fuller one before--I can't resist a poofy skirt!
Bendelacreme is a queen I wholeheartedly love, but she's going to be dealing with character issues, too. I've watched enough of her ingenious YouTube videos to appreciate the many facets of her work: the saccharine sweetness, the burlesque teasing, and the incredible inventiveness!
Michelle voiced her concern that Ben's character could get old fast--but the more we see of Dela, the more we'll love her. We barely saw his boy persona onscreen this episode, so I think most fans will be pleasantly surprised by the juxtaposition between the man and the queen. And there's so much more yet to come!
For better or worse, Vivacious had one of the most memorable entrances in Drag Race herstory. Ornacia! That zipper!
I love Vi's personality, her energy, and her imagination! She comes up with exquisite concepts for her costumes, but I sometimes worry about their execution. I'm thrilled she's on the show, but I don't think her interests totally align with its emphasis on polish and glamour.
Oh, Kelly. I love this queen. Such a fierce actress, comedian, and singer. I really, really hoped she'd get a chance to show off more of her talents. This is probably the most brutal first cut of any season, but I hope Kelly bounces back and makes the most of her elevated visibility.
I drew this illustration of her, based on her first look, for her official tank tops! Though I'm kind of dying to add a strip of bacon in her hand. Still, it looks pretty good, right?
This is going to be a crazy season. I can't even wait for the second batch of queens, and I'm especially interested to see new dynamics develop when the two groups combine!
Given the enormous wealth of talent in this cast, I'm going to try really hard not to draw the same queens week to week. Because of the preview released last week, I was able to get a head start on this first episode's art, but I'll usually be posting my thoughts and illustrations each Wednesday, following the episodes.