A&E 

RuPaul’s Drag Race returns with most exciting premiere to date

Trevor Lake -Staff Writer

Three words: All Stars what? RuPaul’s Drag Race may have had the gayest pilot in the ‘herstory’ of television. The highly-anticipated ninth season made its new network debut on VH1, but is still airing heavily on its home station, LOGO. To top things off, they got the ultimate guest star: Lady Gaga.

The show started with the 13 new queens making their workroom entrances. It was refreshing to see such a diverse group of performers this season. Personal standouts to me were Brooklyn-baddie Aja, the imaginative Nina Bo’Nina Brown, and Chicago queen Shea Coulee.

The queens were surprised by special guest Lady Gaga as she stormed the wardrobe in her highly-missed avant-garde fashion. This shock to the queens led to a wave of freaking out, screaming, and saying “YAS GAGA” on our television screens (more than likely the whole world.) The queens were quick to inform Gaga of her contributions to the LGBT community. It was great to see such a diva interact with her fans on such a personal note. To top it off, Gaga personally gave critiques to each queen.

Most pilots feature a twist. This season we were surprised to find out that no queens would be eliminated in their first challenge. The first challenge was to perform in a traditional pageant showcasing the many looks of Lady Gaga. My favorite part of the entire episode was listening to Gaga credit each and every designer, artists, and anything else you could think of as she saw the queens walk the stage. Gaga giving credit to all of these people showed how appreciative she is of the art of what she does.

My personal favorite Gaga looks of the night included Alexis Michelle, Nina Bo’Nina Brown, and Trinity Taylor. Alexis Michelle channeled Hollywood glamour in her Golden Globe Awards Gaga tribute (award included). Nina Bo’Nina Brown rocked the delightfully-demented lace and lingerie ensemble made famous by late designer Alexander McQueen and Bad Romance music video. Finally, Trinity Taylor went above and beyond looking extra vampy paying tribute to Gaga’s character The Countess from “American Horror Story: Hotel”. Her hair was so perfect that it made you think she could have been Gaga’s double.

The show ended with the queens finding out that a new queen would be introduced next week. It’s obvious that the new queen is a big deal if she didn’t need to be included in the pilot with Gaga. Fingers are crossed for a Naomi Smalls return? This season has already laid a foundation showing how popular the show and drag as a whole have become. The show is an outlet of creativity and voice within the LGBT community. Seeing real people compete for something that means so much to them is inspiring. Gaga said in the beginning of the episode, “I was once no one.” That message can resonate with everyone. You have to make yourself into what you are. This season is absolutely going to go above and beyond our expectations. Tune in next week and get some time with the new queens, RuPaul and Michelle Visage. You’ll never laugh harder after watching this show.

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