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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

Drag Race Season Premier 16 Mini Review.

If my one-week stint as a “The Bachelor” reviewer taught me anything it’s that reality TV reviewing is where it’s at, because it's where the masses are. And one show with one of the hugest masses following it is RuPaul’s Drag Race. The Juggernaut TV show has been one of my favourites since I was 12. It’s evolved so much since then however and there’s lots to chat/talk shit about in this week’s season 16 premier. I won’t be dragging any queens down however, twitter/x does that plenty fine without me. I’m going to uplift talent while critiquing production. And fashion.


So this week’s premiere was part one of a two-week split, a format that started in season 6, and I can tell you I hated it now as much as I hated it then. I know the idea is to give each queen time to shine, without overcrowding, but I feel like season 15 handled it’s split better, and the 16-queen talent show was a hoot. Splitting the cast in two means we don’t get organic introductions and it doesn’t give the crème a chance to rise to the top.


We got some great and not-so-great talent shows last year, and the volume didn’t change that. Having less queens sort of just highlights when things get a bit same-samey or average. Or if too many queens wear odd-sized breastplates that don’t fit.


This week we did get introduced to 7 fantastic new queens. Dawn, Sapphira Cristal, Mirage, Amanda Tori Meating, Morphine Love Dion, Q, and Xunami Muse.


Right out the gate, we got some stunning entrance looks from Dawn, Morphine and Sapphira, everyone put in the effort. Then the worst outfit of the episode walks through the door. Mama Ru the Train conductor!


She reveals that the girls will participate in an MTV Spring Break Talent Show. What makes it Spring Break/MTV related? Derick Barry? I guess.


Anyway while I adored Anetra’s talent show last year, I’m glad we saw some fresh ideas and talents and that the duckwalking was kept to a minimum. Q, probably the most unique of the bunch, did a puppet ballet show (her hands were her feet), it was unique, weird, and the kinds of things people remember. The other stars were Sapphira, who sang opera while doing the splits, Morphine, who did a sexy Spanish-style lip sync, and Dawn, whose peculiar song and outfit showed loads of personality.


Now, here’s where I take a bit of umbrage and roll my eyes. Always trying to stay relevant in the media space Rupaul makes all 7 queens vote on who the top two queens of the week are. But not in the fun, original All-Stars way. They roleplay an episode of The Circle, ordering their competitors from most to least fierce. It was a bit cringe and also led to another tired thing, a non-elimination.


Instead, there’s a lip sync for the win! Which is just as fun. But my jaw hit the floor when the opening to Break My Soul played and was revealed to be this week’s lip-sync song. The BUDGET. The ENERGY. The VIBES?? Immaculate.


As was Sapphira Cristal’s lip sync to the song. Giving subtle movements and facial tics, along with earth-shattering splits and high kicks, and a breastplate that just wouldn’t quit. She deserved the win!


I suppose the split premier gives out another week to speculate on certain queens and what they will bring, and what memes will be created in the process. Because when a season is finished and fossilised for the next generations, it’s the memes that stay with us.


This Drag Race segment on Constantly Irksome could be a weekly, bi-weekly or a totally one-time thing so get excited about that!

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