We were surprised, thrilled, and eternally grateful, to be invited to cover the Chicago premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7. Actually, thrilled is an understatement. We were positively squealing with excitement!
Let me just start by saying that Logo knows how to host an event. The RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons Tour was ridiculously awesome and the S7 Premiere was no different! It started with a press line, and being print, we were near the end. Totally fine with us! It gave us some great one-on-one time with a lot of the queens. Of course, now we love most of them so it’s going to be hard to watch the show when any of them have to lip sync for their lives. Seriously, there will probably be tears.
With Lady Bunny spinning, three dancers took the stage to entertain the crowd as the doors opened. They were mesmerizing. Obviously trained dancers, these three were so perfect it was unreal. Slathered in silver body paint, they lost themselves in the music, which included several of RuPaul’s hits of course.
We were surprised to see Latrice Royale, one of the most epic contestants ever, at the press event prior to the show. There had been no word of her or Lady Bunny being there. It was an awesome treat to have her host along with Logo personality Theodore Leaf (“Secret Guide to Fabulous”). Latrice, whose name must be pronounced “LaaaaaaTRRRRIIIIICE,” remains amazing. Dressed in a glittering dress, she cracked jokes and warmed up the crowd for the episode.
After a sneak peek at one (really two) exciting new shows coming to Logo called “Cucumber” and “Banana,” we were treated to the Season 7 premiere.
For those looking for spoilers, you’ve come to the wrong site. I’m not giving anything away…at least, not until I recap after the episode airs. Also, I don’t know who was eliminated. They cut it off right before it was announced who would have to lip sync for their lives. Honestly, I’m glad they did. I didn’t want to know before Monday! Actually, even the reps from Logo don’t know who was eliminated. They don’t find out until everyone else. It’s a secret that only the queens (and the production crew) know.
What I will say is that RuPaul is really pulling out all the stops and shaking things up this year. I mean, REALLY shaking things up. Don’t assume Season 7 will follow the formulas of previous seasons. Get that out of your head right now. It’s okay. It’s a good thing! You’re not going to be disappointed. I promise. Plus there are two new judges. Joining RuPaul and Michelle Visage are Ross Mathews and Carson Kressley. Ross and Carson waste no time jumping in with their two cents. They’re a great fit to the Drag Race family.
Don’t worry, despite the changes the core of Drag Race hasn’t changed and there’s still plenty of cattiness to go around. The beauty of this show isn’t in the challenges or the runway looks. The beauty has always been in getting to know each of the queens, their struggles, their dreams, and their passion for their art. Drag is a celebration of womanhood and the freedom of expression. Season 7 will continue to convey all the ups and downs of this glittering art form.
Performances by each of the 14 contestants followed the episode. It was a great opportunity to see them in their element and to find out what they were capable of. There were several standouts. Jaidynn Diore Fierce opened the show and proved that not only is she a fierce seamstress, she also has some fierce lip synching skills. Kennedy Davenport, who didn’t wow us during the episode, left our jaws on the floor with her seriously impressive dance skills. Can we just say “running from upstage to downstage and sliding into the splits?” Yeah…impressive is an understatement.
Mrs. Kasha Davis brought down the house and made us want to dance with a Tina Turner/Liza Minnelli-esque gospel number. Katya Zamolodchikova (you can just call her “Katya”), proved she was more than just a pretty queen with a hilarious tongue-in-cheek performance. Trixie Mattel translated her Barbie-like character perfectly into her dance moves. Tempest Dujour gave a beautiful rendition of “Defying Gravity” from Wicked in a sparkling green dress that had us captivated. Finally, fellow geek Ginger Minj was the perfect end to the show as the Bride of Chucky. She geeked out and owned it, putting her whole heart and soul into what was a fantastic performance.
It will be interesting to see how everyone fairs on the show. Several queens we thought might be standouts didn’t captivate us on stage. Of course, they were drop dead gorgeous, but their performances were lacking. They failed to own the stage and many only played to the audience in the front row rather than the entire crowd. Some, we felt, needed a tad more polish but had potential. It could have been an off night for some. Nobody’s perfect and drag is an exhausting art. We’re just going to have to watch the show to find out if some are more than just pretty queens.
The Season 7 cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race is impressive in their skills and technique. We connected and fell in love with several of the queens for their personalities, their personal struggles, their incredible passion, and their wicked fashion sense. It’s going to be a nail-biter of a season for us, but we’ll be watching, box of tissues in hand. RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7 is going to be one wild ride.
Set your DVRs because RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7 premieres on LogoTV Monday, March 2nd at 9/8c.
Photos by Tiarala.
Very special thanks to Jason at LogoTV and Jeff at Project Publicity for inviting us to this spectacular event.