It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Not Christmas, dummy, although I do love me some festive Yuletide cheer. No, I’m talking about the reveal of RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s Season 6 contestants! Although the new season doesn’t premiere until February 2014, Logo has revealed this year’s queens over the past few days via various social media platforms and today released each contestant’s short “Meet the Queens” video. I’ve gotta say, this is a really versatile bunch, a mixed bag of seasoned professionals and drag newcomers whose styles, for the most part, transcend the easy pageant/camp divisions of previous cycles. More than anything else, that’s what I’m looking forward to most this season: seeing Drag Race showcase the broad spectrum of drag performance as it hasn’t done before. (Also, this season’s queens are really cute boys, too!)
You can check out all the Season 6 queens on the official RuPaul’s Drag Race website, but here’s a quick rundown of some of my expectations and predictions for the season:
Queens I’m most excited to see: Milk & Vi Vacious
These two take a lot of influence from the New York club scene and work in a style of drag that Drag Race has never really represented. Vi appears to be an older, more seasoned queen than the typical RPDR contestant, and she brings a distinctly Leigh Bowery style to the proceedings. Milk’s drag plays around with gender conventions quite a bit — think: facial hair, grotesquery, exaggeration. She’s going to be a controversial (and, for some, detested) queen for sure, but it’s important for Drag Race to remind its viewers that drag isn’t all about glamour and fishiness; at its best, no matter the queen’s style, drag is performance art, and it should be challenging.
Queens I expect to hate: Gia Gunn, Laganja Estranja
I know very little about either queen, although I know Laganja has a pretty huge following. My negative reaction to these two comes only from the “Meet the Queens” videos, so this evaluation might be premature, but if these early snippets are anything to go by, there couldn’t be two queens with more irritating personalities. Both seem vacant, arrogant, and superficial, with no real savvy or intellect behind their (admittedly polished) looks. I expect one or both of them to be engaged in some kind of unnecessary altercation halfway through episode one.
Week 1 elimination prediction: Magnolia Crawford
Oh, bless her heart. That make-up is TRA-GIC, and not on purpose. Look, I don’t want to prejudge too harshly, but nothing I’ve seen of Magnolia leads me to believe she’ll make it past the first episode. Whoever taught her to contour that nose needs to think long and hard about what they’ve done, and the wig looks like she time-traveled to 1979 to scalp a suburban mom. Also, in her “Meet the Queen” video, she comes across as one of the blandest people to ever be put in front of a camera, and for a dude in a dress, that’s not an easy feat.
Top 3 Predictions: Adore Delano, Darriene Lake, Ben de la Creme
To me, this just seems like the right blend Drag Race looks for in choosing its Top 3: a fashion-forward fish, an old pro, and a campy gal (think: Phi Phi, Chad, and Sharon). Ben and Adore are mega-talented, but Darriene’s the one I really look forward to seeing go far. The fact that Drag Race has never had a big queen in the Top 3 has less to do with size and more to do with either those queens’ lack of confidence (Mimi, Delta) or polish (Stacy Lane, Mystique). As a seasoned queen, however, Darriene has confidence and polish in spades, not to mention plenty of sass and wit. 2014 may turn out to be the year of the big girl.
What do you think? Which Season 6 queens are you loving (or hating) at this point?