Racing With Haley: Whatcha Unpackin?


It’s truly been FOREVER since we’ve chatted about RuPaul’s Drag Race. Don’t worry, the show is back one whole week after All Stars ended with a new group of girls! Except for one, Vanessa ‘Miss Vanjie’ Mateo, who entered the workroom first with her signature catch phrase, of course.

Miss Vanjie started the season out right by hiding and surprising everyone who arrived after her. She only made her presence known when she was called like Beetlejuice by the other contestants. I won’t make you run through every entry look again, but can we just talk about how great everyone’s looks were? We had queens dragged in by Hot Wheels cars, several Davenports, and two earrings falling off the same queen. Silky Nutmeg Ganache did a wonderful attitude check that brought RuPaul into the workroom with a warm welcome that involved the F word. Chiffon, can I say that?

It was time for the mini challenge, which of course involved a photoshoot. It wasn’t just any old photo challenge, though. The queens had to pose with Drag Race legends, including Raja, Jasmine Masters, Manila Luzon, Ginger Minj, Farrah Moan, Ongina, Sonique, Porkchop Parker, Eureka O’Hara, Raven, Delta Work, Derrick Barry, Kimora Blac, Mariah Balenciaga, and Adore Delano. It was such a fun first mini challenge! Silky Nutmeg Ganache took home the first win of the season!

Back in the workroom, the queens got out of drag for the first time, which may be the most fun part of every season. Watching the queens thirst over each other could not be more fun. RuPaul broke up the love affair to tell the queens all their luggage was lost. Thank god, though, for the air company that allowed the queens to use someone else’s unclaimed luggage. Turns out, those trunks belonged to Drag Race icons!

Silky gave out the various luggages. She took Peppermint for herself. Scarlet Envy got Violet Chalky err uhh Chachki, A’Keria Davenport had Bebe Zaharah Benet, Yvie Oddly got Alaska, Kim Chi’s luggage went to Soju, Ariel Versace got Laganja Estranja, Detox went to Brooke Lynn Hytes, Kahanna Montrese ended up with Katya, Ra’Jah O’Hara got Kennedy Davenport, Bianca Del Rio went to Mercedes Iman Diamond, Nina West was given Thorgy Thor, Shuga Cain got Sharon Needles, Sasha Velour went to Plastique Tiara, BenDeLaCreme was given to Honey Davenport, and Miss Vanjie had Valentina. I was very interested and excited to see what the queens would come up with having to imitate a queen’s signature look while also making it their own style.

It was time to dive into all the props they were given to build an outfit. Miss Vanjie was determined to have her silhouette in check this time around. Soju was inspired by her Kim Chi inspired box, wanting to build a traditional Korean gown with the fabric. Silky was freaking out about her lack of fabric for screen time, but that one second they showed Brooke Lynn Hytes with all that string around her face and wrists entertained me more. Ariel was in full character, sitting under the table working on her design. Nina West, an incredible performer, struggled to get out of her own head.

Barry Johnson, star crew member, made his way into the workroom to ya know, do work. Barry Johnson may or may not be Miley Cyrus. While the queens got in drag, Barry was hard at work. The shade started early, Ariel voicing that Silky’s look wasn’t that good in her opinion, while Soju added her personality is a bit overwhelming. While ‘BJ’ was working on a mic, Silky cracked the code that he was indeed Miley Cyrus. She gave the queens some great advice on how to stay calm and relax, while also name dropping that Dolly Parton is her godmother (we are all already jealous, Miley). I think she really helped some queens out and it was so cute to see their reactions!

RuPaul kicked off the first runway looking gorgeous as always. Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, Carson Kressley, and Miley Cyrus were the judges for the night. A true dream team, right? Every queen, well, I should say most queens, really brought it to the runway! Ariel, Yvie, Ra’Juh, Silky, Sugah, Scarlett, and Honey were all safe and survived their first runway! It was time for the judges critiques. Plastique got good criticism, while Brooke Lynn got very high praise and showed off her wonderful Canadian accent on the runway. A’Keria got a lot of love for all that hair (and even more horse puns made at her expense), while Soju wasn’t so lucky. She got some harsh critiques and she also has a cyst. Mercedes was called a very slutty employee at SeaWorld, so that’s good I think? Vanjie FINALLY got some positive feedback on the runway! Nina West has auditioned for nine years and was read to filth. My heart broke for her! She truly got into her own head. Kahannah struggled to combine her drag with Katya’s and the result didn’t get her very far.

In the end, Brooke Lynne took home the very first win AND a trip to Paris! Vanjie, Plastique, A’Keria, Nina, and Mercedes were safe. Soju and Kahannah placed in the bottom two and had to lipsynch for their lives to Best of Both Worlds by Hannah Montana. We had been BLESSED! What a song choice. Soju didn’t have the words down as well as Kahannah, who brought more moves to the table as well. Kahannah got to stay, while Soju and her cyst sashayed away.

Wow, what a first episode! I think this season is going to be a good one. Whose team are you repping? Let us know in the comments below. I’ll see you next week for another episode of our favorite show!

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About Haley Van Horn 78 Articles
One small brushfire away from completing the Serial Killer Triad, Haley is a hell-raising college student and sports journalist. Calling the suburbs of the gayest city in America home, she's sure to bring it to you every ball.

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