There’s really no better way to welcome 2021 than with a new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race! On Friday, we were introduced to 13 new queens – representing cities across the US of A, including Atlanta, Las Vegas, LA, New York, and Chicago for the 13th season of the series – and it wasn’t a lucky 13 for some of the dolls.
Our first two queens, Kandy Muse and Joey Jay entered the werk room, spouted off their entrance lines, and barely had a chance to kiki before they were summoned to the socially distanced main stage by Mama Ru.
The big twist for this season’s premiere, as Ru announces, is that we’re kicking things off with not one, but 6 lip syncs for your lives before Ru, Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Matthews. One queen from each pair (and in one case, trio) was told “Sashay, you stay” and the other queen received the enigmatic “pork chop.”
The lip sync match-ups proved that there are definitely some assassins in this bunch. The battle results were as follows:
Round 1: Kandy Muse vs. Joey Jay (“Call Me Maybe”)
Winner: Kandy Muse
Round 2: Denali vs. LaLa Ri (“When I Grow Up”)
Winner: LaLa Ri
Round 3: Symone vs. Tamisha Iman (“The Pleasure Principle”)
Round 4: Gottmik vs. Utica Queen (“Rumors”)
Round 5: Rosé vs. Olivia Lux (Ex’s & Oh’s”)
Winner: Olivia Lux
Round 6: Tina Burner vs. Kahmora Hall vs. Elliott with 2 Ts (“Lady Marmalade”)
Winner: Tina Burner
The queens who got the “pork chop” didn’t have to pack their bags just yet, as they were sent to the “Porkchop Loading Deck” (named in honor of Victoria “Pork Chop” Parker, of course) featuring photos on the wall of all of the eliminated queens (Oh, Alisa Summers, we hardly knew ye.)
While the winning queens enjoy a celebratory cocktail in the werk room, the losing queens ponder their fate. Ru comes over a speaker and tells these queens that they have a chance to return to the competition – but they have to give one of their fellow queens “the chop.” Who gets eliminated…again? You’ll have to tune in next week to find out.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13, Episode 1 MVP
So, who was his episode’s MVP? – she was the first to enter the werk room clad in denim and bling and announcing she went “from the hood to Hollywood” (and is already on track to become one of our favorite confessional queens) – let’s hear it for Kandy Muse! Representing the former Haus of Aja (and there was a little shade aimed Aja’s way), this self-proclaimed “Dominican doll from New York City” says she’s like a sex doll dumped in the Bronx” and asserts that, “anybody can be a drag queen, but not everyone’s gonna be a star.”
After four auditions, she finally made it and, upon noting she was the first queen in the werk room, said, “any bitch who walks in after me…second place!” As we learned on the main stage, Kandy is now part of the Doll Haus with season 12’s Dahila Sin, so she’s a fierce brocc-ally and, this is where we also learned of her lip sync prowess. From the moment she hit the start button on her boombox purse (?), she was the center of attention, giving us air violin, a faux drop and a fun take on the song.
Honorable mention: Denali
Not only did Denali, a self-proclaimed “ice queen” and professional ice skater arrive in a stunning, feathered , she also wore ice skates. While she may not have made it to the Olympics for her skating, she did make it to the Olympics of drag. And, when she was beckoned to the main stage, she went out in her skates and managed to turn it out in her lip sync (which included a perfect cartwheel) without kicking off her blades. While she didn’t win, she has already won our hearts.
Honorable mention #2: Gottmik
Not only is she painted for the gods as she enters the werk room, Gottmik has the distinction of being the first trans man to enter the competition. As a celebrity makeup artist, she’s worked her magic on Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum and Paris Hilton, among others and, I don’t know about you, but after her winning lip sync, I can’t wait to see what she does next. She’s also the most relatable queen (for me at least, as she briefly loses one of her patent leather pumps in the werk room.)
Ru shook things up for season 13 and these fierce queens are sure to make it a season to remember. Until next week, remember that if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen?