The Norm Can Conform

The opinions you never asked for on the subjects you’re not bothered about.

TV Review: RuPaul’s Drag Race S11 Ep 1: Whatcha Unpackin?

Another season of RuPaul’s Drag Race is here which means there are plenty more queens, memes and angry teens. We’ve already seen the queens in the promo and now we’re ready to watch them interact with their competitors for the first time!

First and foremost, Vanjie is back and I’m not surprised but I’m also not particularly bothered. I feel like bring queens back has become too common now. I liked it when it used to be a shock revelation and now it’s almost become a seasonal part of the show like Snatch Game.

The Entrance Looks – Toot or Boot

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo – Toot

She looks great. The proportions are right, red suits her and the stockings are sassy.

Nina West – Toot

I love a campy queen. It’s nice to see some good old-fashioned drag returning to the show. The giant hat and the yellow coat look great and the lapel and shoe pattern combo is extra old school.

Shuga Cain – Toot

How the hell is this queen 40?! Shuga looks incredible. The outfit looks great and her wig is lush.

Plastique Tiara – Boot

It’s very similar to her promo look and honestly, I preferred the promo. This just felt a bit flat to me.

Mercedes Iman Diamon – Boot

I feel like I’ve seen this dress a thousand times. She doesn’t look bad – it’s just not very exciting and I think she should have worn another wig.

Scarlet Envy – Toot

Okay, the makeup was a bit off, but I actually think the corset is unbelievably stunning. Like, I actually want it for myself. A simplistic look done right.

Honey Davenport – Boot

I get the bee reference to her name, but I actually don’t like this outfit at all. The hips look a bit odd and I’m not crazy about the wig blending into the collar of the dress.

A’Keria Davenport – Toot

The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The dress looks great and it fits her perfectly.

Yvie Oddly – Boot

The idea was fun, but I thought it was poorly executed. The feather boa and the dress looked cheap.

Silky Nutmeg Ganache – Boot

It’s a bra and a big pair of pants really. Her makeup looks great, but the outfit isn’t flattering in the slightest.

Brooke Lynn Hytes – Toot

I bloody love this. A great nod to her Canadian roots and the gold boots are everything.

Ariel Versace – Toot

I love this nod to the Lizzie McGuire movie. Remember that scene where she starts trying on the crazy designer outfits and one was an igloo, this is that.

Ra’Jah O’Hara – Boot

Hated this. Nothing really went together, The blue hair with the big earrings with the newspaper dress over an ugly leotard where you can see her granny pants. And she couldn’t even keep those earrings on!

Kahanna Montrese – Boot

I feel like a bra with some sort of detail is kind of her ‘thing’. We saw something fairly similar for her promo and I’m sure we’ll see more of this outfit style throughout the competition (however long her journey will be).

Soju – Toot

I really like the idea behind the karate outfit, I think it’s a great way to show her heritage and it was a quirky idea. I’ve not seen it on Drag Race before so that made it feel new and exciting – even if the other queens weren’t feeling it.

The Photo Shoot

After greeting the queens, Ru told the girls that they’d be doing a photo shoot – oooooh just like the good old days.

The queens entered a set made to look like an old living room with all the winners on the wall (except for Tyra Sanchez – LOL).

But the queens wouldn’t be posing alone, in fact, Ru brought some old faces to help out. Everyone from Adore Delano to Victoria ‘Porkchop’ Parker.

Was it the most exciting photoshoot? No. Was it nice to see previous contestants? In the words of Gia Gunn, “absolutely”.

Most of the photos weren’t very exciting and we didn’t really get to learn much about the queens during the process as it was rushed through pretty quickly. But there were some great moments. Nina West calling Raven fat was brilliant.

Shuga Cain having a fake fist-fight with Jasmine Masters was a nice twist and Miss Vanjie got Farrah Moan to face the wall so she would get all the attention – brilliant. The other queens:

The Maxi Challenge

This week’s maxi challenge saw the queens being given a left behind suitcase from previous Drag Race queens with materials that matched their style.

Silky won the mini challenge which meant that got to choose her box first which queens got what boxes. She picked Peppermint’s box for herself before she allocated the other boxes. And then it was on with the main challenge… or not quite.

The Big Ruveal

The queens made their way back to the werkroom to get ready for the mainstage. But little did they know, there was a mole amongst them.

One of the production team was hiding a secret. What could it be? Okay, you already know, it was Miley Cyrus and no amount of makeup, fake beards and ugly clothing can disguise the fact that it was blatantly her. She’s too recognisable – like a cabbage patch kid.

It was Silky who saw through the disguise and we thought we’d be having a nice light-hearted and inspirational chat from Miley but instead, she was abducted by Silky and thrown around the room like a ragdoll. Christ – I find Silky really infuriating. She managed to take a whole surprise moment and make it about herself rather than Miley.

Miley had come to share some words of wisdom, talk about her godmother, Dolly Parton and give the queens a boost. But it felt overshadowed which was a shame. Hey-ho, on to the runway!

Category is: Whatcha Packin? – Toot or Boot

After the queens were finished building their creations, it was time to slip them on and bring them to the main stage.

Plastique Tiara / Sasha Velour – Toot

I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. It’s quite similar to her entrance look and her promo look. The shoes are unforgivable but the rest looks nice. Let’s hope she ups her game.

Brooke Lynn Hytes / Detox – Toot

This looks like she brought it from home rather than made it. The colours are great, it suits her and the draping cape is a nice detail.

Honey Davenport / BenDeLaCreme– Boot

This isn’t awful, but I think it’s not awful because I like the pattern of the fabric. However, I think it’s fair to see that it wasn’t the most exciting outfit.

Ariel Versace / Laganja Estranja – Boot

The makeup wig and boots look great but the outfit looks so nasty and cheap. I wasn’t a fan.

Yvie Oddly / Alaska Thunderfuck – Boot

It was just a little messy, the idea was fun but the execution wasn’t amazing.

A’Keria Davenport / BeBe Zahara Benet– Toot

It’s not my sort of outfit, but I appreciate that she made a well-constructed outfit that fits her well and doesn’t look homemade. And she managed to do a BeBe box without a single piece of leopard print. Rakakatitikaka bitch.

Scarlet Envy /Violet Chachki – Toot

This was my favourite look of the night. It looked very old Hollywood and sassy but it still felt like Scarlet. She should have been in the top in my opinion.

Soju / Kim Chi – Boot

This was vulgar. I didn’t hate the idea but this was unforgivably bad.

Ra’Jah O’Hara / Kennedy Davenport – Boot

A hot mess.

Mercedes Iman Diamond / Bianca Del Rio – Boot

A leotard… that’s what you presented? It was just boring.

Shuga Cain / Sharon Needles – Toot

It’s not the most exciting but anyone who can take a Sharon Needles box and make it cute and girly knows what she’s doing. She didn’t recreate a Needles gown, she stayed true to herself.

Vanessa ‘Vanjie’ Mateo /Valentina – Toot

Well she certainly upped her game from last year. It fit her great, the makeup was nice and the hair looked lush.

Silky Nutmeg Ganache / Peppermint – Boot

It felt a bit sloppy. Most of the outfit was about having a peppermint purse that she threw sweets out of and the hair felt flat. She needed a huge wig to go with the outfit.

Nina West / Thorgy Thor – Boot

This was a gross outfit. For the British readers of my blog, do you remember Lady Tottingham from Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit? Because that is exactly what she looked like.

Kahanna Montrese – Boot

Pure shite. There’s nothing else to say. It looks like she’s put a thong on backwards, the stoned tights look gross, she’s wearing half a costume, the sleeve is baggy and it was an overall awful look.

Runway Thoughts

I think it’s fair to say, this was possibly the weakest ever sewing challenges that we’ve seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race if not the worst. Nothing wowed me, most looked terrible and it was just a bit of a shit show. Don’t get me wrong, I’m heavily invested in the season already, but these were some terrible outfits.

The judges decided that Brooke Lynn Hytes was the winner. Personally I thought Scarlet’s was a winner but Brooke Lynn Hytes’ look was a strong second place in their eyes.

The bottom two ended up being Soju and Kahanna Montrese which I definitely agreed with. Then came the gag – RuPaul revealed what the lipsync song would be:

The Lipsync

Ru got the queens to lipsync to The Best of Both Worlds by Hannah Montana! I was so damn happy that this was the song they chose to play. I thought it would have been a relatively generic Miley Cyrus song so this felt like a real treat.

The best part was Ru asking what happened to Hannah Montana and Miley’s reaction was this:

Now it must be said, Soju gave what was possibly one of the sloppiest lip sync performances in the shows herstory. The spinning around, the wig sliding back, her skit falling down. Everything was sloppy and I actually felt like the producers tried to take the camera away from her a few times to make the lip sync see more balanced. Of course, Soju went home and I was disappointed but not shocked.

How has that affected the scores?

As a quick reminder, here are the queens me and Tom selected for our draft.

1st – Harry: Soju / Tom: Silky Nutmeg Ganache
2nd – Harry: Brooke Lynn Hytes / Tom: Nina West
3rd – Harry: Scarlet Envy / Tom: Plastique Tiara
4th – Harry: Shuga Cain /  Tom: Kahanna Montrese
5th – Harry: Yvie Oddly / Tom: Ra’Jah O’Hara
6th – Harry: Ariel Versace / Tom: Mercedes Iman Diamond
7th – Harry: Honey Davenport / Tom: A’Keria C. Diamond

But how did they do and what are the scores? Well, let’s dive straight into it. I need to win this season after losing by a considerable amount of points on All Stars 4. As there was an uneven number of queens, we entered Vanjie as a separate competitor who will earn points for her own scores.

Winner: Brooke Lynn Hytes – 5 Points
Top 2: Plastique Tiara, A’Keria Davenport, Miss Vanjie – 3 Points
Safe: Shuga Cain, Yvie Oddly, Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Honey Davenport, Ariel Versace, Ra’Jah O’Hara, Scarlet Envy – 1 Point
Bottom: Mercedes Iman Diamond, Nina West – 0 Points
Lipsyncing: Kahanna Montrese – -1 Point
Eliminated: Soju – -3 Points

At the end of the first episode, I have walked away with 7 points and Tom ended on 7 points. And Vanjie as a lone competitor has 3 points.

I have to say, I rather enjoyed that as a first episode. I’m excited to see where the show will take us. I’ve already found queens I’m rooting for and queens I can’t wait to leave.

Harry J Bartlett

Digital Content Creator, lover of fashion, drag queen connoisseur and all around phenomenal human being. If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would say; Gorgeous, Talented and Humble.

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