It is time to take it to the very beginning and re-watch the lost season of Drag Race, where Ru’s legacy of ladies began.
Rewatching episode one of Drag Race, it is almost odd that Rupaul even needed an introduction to the series, but opening segment really demonstrated why he is one of the worlds most famous drag queen in herstory.
While the series looks like it was filmed with a potato with a permanent Valencia filter, and the lack of budget was palpable, the realism truly set the season apart from future outings. There was no formula, extended editing, or preparation, everything was off the cuff and natural.
Shannel is the first queen to enter the workroom and brought everything! Her masculine energy, revealing clothing and excessive jewellery is almost intimidating to a first time viewer, unaware of the drag world.
Nina Flowers is next into the low rent work room we are not used to, providing us with our first ever Puerto Rican queen. She is a complete 180 to what we expect from a drag queen, with an almost fully shaven head, thick accent and contour that could cut you. Her androgyny sets her apart immediately.
Rebecca Glasscock enters giving us the drag queen we expected. Daytime fish with pretty make-up and hair, looking like she just walked out of Banana Republic.
Ongina walks through next, looking beautiful and petite, yet her bald head is unusual for a regular drag queen. Despite her soft voice, and cute demeanour she shows herself to be a cutthroat competitor straight away.
Porkchop walks into the room a true southern belle, with her 21 years experience under her belt it is clear she knows exactly who she is as an artist.
Akashia struts through a true drag star, flashing her outgoing personality and sickening body. Right off the bat she is throwing shade and bigging herself up, setting herself as the shows first villain.
Tammie Brown turns up looking like a true oddity, not long after entering her personality soon fits her odd look.
Jade is our penultimate queen of the bunch and immediately takes the crown as the fishiest queen. Sexy and stunning, she tells us about her talents which has us excited.
Bebe Zahara Benet is the last of the crop and already exudes a majestic presence, with beauty, grace, and self-confidence.
Ru enters the workroom for the firs time to announce the prizes for winning and hold onto your hats because it’s a doozy! A spread in Paper magazine, an ad with LA Eyeworks, headlining Absolut Vodka’s pride tour and $20,000. All the while promoting about 30 companies. The girls each squealed in excitement, which compared to prizes nowadays is fairly laughable.
The girls first challenge is a photo shoot taken by some guy who i’m sure was also used on ANTM. The sexy shoot is a far cry away from the more challenging underwater and diving pictures of recent years.
The male models in the shoot have us missing the Pit Crew already, and Ru’s interaction with the ladies has us questioning the more distant RuPaul of todays show.
As the girls de-drag we get our first looks at the men in wigs, and already shade and puppy-eyed glances are a swirl.
The maxi-challenge is a true drag race challenge; ‘drag on a dime’, creating an outfit from recycled materials, and costumes. Once it begins, the girls clamour over one another to grab the best fabrics which I miss so much!
Porkchop opening up about her drag history bluntly demonstrated how much the drag scene has grew over the past few decades, and how dangerous it truly used to be.
On the main stage we get Ru’s infamous runway walk although here is where we really see the lack of budget in comparison to todays show.
Alongside Ru and Santino, Merle Ginsberg is our other original judge while Mike Ruiz and, Bob Mackie are the guest judges for the episode.
The girls debut their looks and we ranked them from our personal opinion of best to worst.
Porkchop (Bottom Two): Bless her, looked like a bowl of salad.
Akashia (Bottom Two): As the judges noted looked a little cheap in her outfit, she really did do the least possible with the materials provided.
Rebecca (Low): Her tinfoil dress was kinda tacky and blegh. It was honestly nothing special, though not the worst of the bunch.
Shannel (Low): Her outfit was overdone and tacky, there was too much going on altogether. Though her ass was cute.
Jade (Safe): She had a strong overall look inspired by an African looking garment.
Tammy Brown (Safe): She was just super cute. Her dress was pretty and well made, and her working of the materials into her hair gave a great visual.
Bebe (High): She was really feeling herself. The dress was well constructed and interesting, while the tear away belt was a cute little extra.
Ongina (High): Her loofa dress was cute and sweet, just like her. The little loofa hat really set the whole look off. Her walk was incredible also.
Nina (Winner): Her outfit is stunning. She truly crafted a beautiful piece that blended effortlessly with her rockstar image.
After deliberation, we finally get down to a lip sync with the bottom two girls: Porkchop and Akashia. While the lip sync was nothing special, Akaisha deservingly won over Porkchops clumsy routine.
Our Verdict Is:Overall the episode was so cheap and sloppily made compared to todays juggernaut. The absence of Michelle Visage was noticeable, and the harsh filter was just too distracting making the show almost difficult to watch. However, Ru did appear to be more relaxed and real than his robotic presenting nowadays.