After a few hundred years of waiting, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8 (8!) is nearly here. There’s a very good chance I’m going to be eating my words and/or deleting this post out of shame once we hit mid-season, but this news fills me with joy. And these are the reasons why.
The concept for the promos is beautiful. Anything vintage appeals to me anyway, but in choosing this retro hair salon theme, Drag Race has landed on a style that can make everyone look gorgeous while expressing their own personal style. And the colours – pastel yellow, lilacs and greens – are gorgeous.
Season 7 was basically the worst thing to ever happen to my telly. It was full of mad decisions and horrible, repetitive tasks that didn’t let queens with natural charm show their true talents. The focus was taken away from the runway and heaped on the terrible challenges, leading to entirely the wrong people leaving. Hopefully the producers have learned their lesson and will keep it down to just the one scripted acting challenge.
And Violet – VIOLET – won.
Yes, Sharon, Jinkx and Bianca had signature looks, but they also had talent, ideas, charm, and causes to champion. They had the skills to hold a room enthralled with their performance and the ability to land a joke. And then we had Violet. Who looks pretty in some amazing dresses. VIOLET.
Katya Zamolodchikova saved that series ten times over.
And finally, 8 is my favourite number. You may think this is superstitious nonsense, but I *really* hate 7 and look how that season turned out.
So I’ve watched Meet the Queens, looked at their faces and made some snap decisions Here is the order I predict these gals will be sashaying away.
CHI CHI DEVAYNE: She is 30 but looks about 20. She uses unconventional materials, which always works well. Her MTQ skips attempts at humour and goes straight for catchphrases.
I suspect her best contribution to the series will be one-liners in the confessional booth. I’m going to call her JDF 0.2.
The one thing I want to learn about Chi Chi before she leaves is this – is that lemon photoshopped onto her cardie?
NAYSHA LOPEZ: Pageant girls are always kind of boring. Like a cartoon goldfish, I keep forgetting she is a member of this years cast. Which is surprising as she claims in her MTQ to have invented Drag Race. Her MTQ is desolate, sad and full of ennui. Which makes me think she filmed this after being sent home.
But she did give us this face, which is something I will always be grateful for.
DERRICK BARRY: who appears to use a real-life clone stamp on her wigs.
Following in the footsteps of Chad Michaels (who is one of my all time favourites) and the Cher thing, it’d be interesting to see if Derrick can do anything other than be a passable Miss Spears. Because the whole ‘it’s Britney, bitch’ schtick is going to get very old very quickly.
DAX EXCLAMATION POINT: Her MTQ look is just beautiful – a Star Trek alien goes to a rodeo – but it doesn’t really let her embrace the cosplay look she wants to be known for. She hardly makes eye-contact with the camera, which is unsettling. I feel like her introductory video tells us nothing about her but…
She’s kinda serious. And you know what happens when a serious girl want to revolutionise drag?
CYNTHIA LEE FONTAINE: has a hypnotic chin and THE weirdest laugh. A big open mouth and a tiny little noise. I love the way she says ‘yes’ at the end of each sentence. She sits like delicate bird crossed with a woman at the back of The Queen Vic in 1987. I think I love her. Why have I put her so low? I don’t even know anymore.
LAILA MCQUEEN: The second coming of Adore Delano with an injection of deadpan. But is she polished enough? Does she have that star quality that Ru likes to see in random people? I reckon she’d be great to share a pint with but can she wow the judges every week on the runway? They should call her Laila McQuestion.
NAOMI SMALLS: The high fashion hood rat. When she talks its pretty dull, but there’s no denying she looks impossibly gorgeous. Long legs and a flawless face are fair enough, but whether she can perform and hold an audience’s attention is another thing entirely.
KIM CHI: Avant-garde. Conceptual. Whether she’s fun remains to be seen; her MTQ video seemed quite timid.
She’s BFFs with Trixie Mattel, who was a source of much drama, confusion and online fury last year. Her style of drag didn’t gel with what the producers wanted to achieve in Season 7, and her appeal was lost on me. Having seen her live, however, I was completely smitten. Hopefully, the Gods of Drag Race will learn from these mistakes and embrace Kim Chi.
I’m looking forward to some insane runway looks and an opportunity for her low-key humour to shine.
ROBBIE TURNER: She’s best buds with Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme. Those two were not only two of my favourite queens on Drag Race, but also two of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. I love her campy vintage aesthetic – everything she wears in the promo is beautiful. That green frock is to die for. So I have high hopes – but when I look into her eyes I see Kelly Mantle leaving early. And I just can’t shake that off.
ACID BETTY: Based on her MTQ, I wasn’t too sure. But having seen a few of her looks in the promo, I can’t wait to see just how creative she’ll go. She’s the oldest this year, and it would be great to see a mature queen not leave in the first week. She tries to paint herself as the bitch, but it would be nice to see a little bit of wisdom in the mix too.
(Full disclaimer: I just watched the preview of episode 1 and she seems interminable and try hard so I don’t know anymore. But she did give us this face so there is that.)
THORGY THOR: She has my absolute favourite style of all the promos. I want to look like Thorgy Thor. I would fight her to steal everything she’s wearing.
I loved her MTQ. She’s smart and funny. She’s considered in the way she talks; some of the other queens would do well to learn from her ability to make every sentence count. She wants to have fun! Thank GOD. This is something Season 7 was severely lacking.
AND she’s rubbish at emojis just like me! I want her to be my best friend so we can be crap at replying to text messages together.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: We have a winner! While I don’t think the promos showed her best look, her MTQ video was charming, witty, irreverent and made me laugh. Like, actually hoot. And it wasn’t a mad Cynthia laugh either. I don’t know how best to explain it, but if Ru is looking for someone who has indefinable star quality, in Bob The Drag Queen I think she’s finally found it.
I’ve already started adding some of my Season 8 illustrations to my Etsy shop, so have a look to see if your favourite is there already…