After nearly a decade of buffoonery, riggery and straight up tomfoolery, RuPaul’s Drag Race is back for season 10. While sure, it was only last week we saw Ru, Michelle, Carson and Ross induct Trixie Mattel into the Drag Race Hall of Fame, I am always thirsty for some new queens to take a lap.
Eureka was first to enter the new werk room, thrilled to be back after destroying her knee last year. She was quickly joined by Phi Phi’s momma, Asia O’Hara who looked so fierce I’ve already got my winner pick lined up. Asia was followed by Bob’s daughter Miz Cracker, who terrified Asia with the use of a racial slur. Though not for long, as they were soon joined by Yuhua Hamasaki who brought Asian to the competition, as opposed to Asia.
Filling the Broadway Baby role vacated by Alexis Michelle – the producer – is Blair St. Clair who looks about ten outside of drag. Monet X. Change joined his fellow NY queens Yuhua and Miz Cracker and reminded me of Bo …
Sorry, I just fainted at the sight of Kameron Michaels. I’m not sure if I fainted or lost too much liquid, but I’m in love.
Mayhem Miller continued her family’s – Morgan and Detox, FYI – legacy by joining the competition, followed by Kaloria Karbdashian Williams who was done dirty by that promo look ya’ll. Monique Heart channeled Tatianna with some spoken word on entry, though with 6000 times the confidence. Dusty Ray Bottoms joined the fray and despite channeling Sideshow Bob out of drag, I’m feeling thirsty. Mopping it up The Vixen arrived serving Chicago realness followed by Alexis’ daughter – BAM, baby come through – Vanessa Vanjie Mateo joined the fray and I’m already living for her talking heads. Rounding out the cast was Sharon’s girl Aquaria, who already has some drama with Miz Cracker which is either going to crash and burn quickly or drag on throughout the entire season.
With all the girls lined up, the alarm sounded and Ru arrived to announce their first mini-challenge where they would have to slay a runway whilst being drowned in a sea of former queens. Eureka was up first and despite being surrounded by Katya, Bob, Chad, Jaymes, Trixie, Peppermint, Adore, Manilla, Detox, Morgan, she did ok though almost toppled off the stage. Mayhem slayed, Miz did her momma proud, Asia owned the stage, Kalorie twerked it out, Monique impressed Derrick with her ability to hem clothes, Adore was delighted by The Vixen, despite her shotty workmanship. Dusty didn’t impress Tempest, but everyone else seemed to live. Yara Sofia was confused whether Yuhua was a queen or a removalist, Vanessa hoped to serve the House of Mateo and Kameron felt she was either loved or hated, with their being no in between. The queens lived for Monet while Blair lived for the queens, and Aqauria impressed the hell out Adore who saw her in the top. In reality though, she was in Jinkx’s face after falling off the stage.
The queens returned to the werk room to de-drag and get thirsty, with Yuhua unsure how to identify the African American queens out of drag. Kameron took his shirt off, I creamed my shorts again, and all the queens let it be known they were thirsty as hell for him. Before anyone had the chance to make a move, Ru returned to crown Monet the winner of the mini challenge … and announce the first maxi challenge of the season. Harkening back to the very first challenge, the queens were tasked with creating a high fashion look with only thrift store items.
After minutes of madness, pushing and shoving as they collected their materials, the queens got to work designing their outfits. While The Vixen felt confident, Miz Cracker realised she had nothing going on so started bartering with the other queens to collect three hats and a shower curtain. She shared the fact she grew up poor and was taught to make fascinating, beautiful art with things she found on the street. Inspired by the bartering, Monet handed over a basket full of barbies for Vanessa’s look after locking in a Gaga-inspired sponge ensemble. Dusty was going futuristic with sun visors, as was Blair St. Clair. Yuhua was concerned about doing a caution tape dress since it had been done before. Vanessa was doing a floral look with a barbie headpiece, though wasn’t feeling very confident about it.
Elimination day arrived with us learning Kalorie was going with a literal million dollar look, which has already been done with great success multiple times. Monique’s house of cards outfit looked insane, while Yuhua thought The Vixen’s look looked half-done. Kalorie then brought up Eureka’s accident, bringing back some bad memories for her who didn’t think she would be fit enough to return. It also brought out her vulnerable side, as she felt more pressure being back because she needed to bring it and make her return worth it. Mayhem too was feeling the pressure to live up to the family name after applying to so many seasons. We then learnt the origins of Dusty’s make-up dots which felt out of place until it segwayed into the drama between Cracker and Aquaria who were both doing similar make-up, with all the queens gagged by the impending drama between the look-a-like queens.
On the mainstage, Aqauria’s Little Ho Peep was good but kinda underwhelming, Asia brought Party City realness – poor Phi Phi – Kalorie tried to channel Kris Jenner, though didn’t serve. In the first of the windshield outfits, Blair looked beautiful, followed by Dusty Ray Bottoms who also slayed despite the questionable hat. Kameron, obvi, was gorgeous, Monet’s sponge look was near perfection, The Vixen served in her pool noodle look, Mayhem owned the runway, Eureka served sugar tits realness, Monique’s card look was insane and amazing, Vanessa looked pretty terrible but BAM that personality can cure flaws. Yuhua threw caution to the wind and thrilled Michelle with her ahnk. On the flipside, Miz Cracker channeled a widow and slayed with her sadness.
Kameron, Aquaria, Asia, Eureka, Monet, Monique – who was robbed – and The Vixen were deemed safe before Ru dropped a bomb on the queens. There was one more person to join the competition – Farrah Moan. JK Kimora, it was just this week’s guest judge Christina Aguilera … much to the delight of the queens who were gagged by her arrival and the fact she creeped on their runways from side of stage.
The judges read Kalorie for filth, despite Christina loving her personality. They adored Blair, loved Dusty Ray’s Bottom though Michelle hated the hat and – obviously – the dots on the face, which explains why we learnt their origins earlier. Mayhem received universal praise for literally everything bringing her to tears after all the stress of delivering, Vanessa’s look was despised though her personality was off the charts and brought her up in everyone’s eyes. They liked Yuhua’s look, though Michelle just wanted to talk ahnk. Miz Cracker’s look in combination with her killer mainstage display of wit, had the judges sopping up everything about her.
Miz Cracker and Blair joined the safe girls before Mayhem Miller was crowned the winner of the first challenge, once again bringing her to tears. Yuhua was also deemed safe, leaving Dusty, Kalorie and Vanessa in the bottom three. Despite Michelle hating the dots, Dusty was deemed safe leaving Kalorie and Vanessa to battle it out to XTina’s Ain’t No Other Man. From the very first note Kalorie owned the lip sync and despite getting stronger as the song went on, Vanessa could never really compete with the twerking Kardashian. As such, Kalorie saved herself and poor Vanessa Vanjie Mateo became the first queen to sashay away from the competition. Breaking my damn heart in the process, seeing how sad she was as she broke down about letting Alexis down.
As a dear friend of the house of Mateo, I pulled her straight into my arms backstage and assured her that her momma would be proud of her performance and would also support her. While it took me a while to perk her up, we got there as soon as I pulled out a plate of Panissa Vanjie Mateo.
Like an earthy, healthier version of polenta chips, these babies are insanely delicious, despite their simplicity. Crisp on the outside, delicate on the inside, BAM, we’ve got another winner for the House of Mateo.
Panissa Vanjie Mateo
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 ½ cups chickpea flour
olive oil spray, to cook
Bring the water, olive oil and salt to the boil in a saucepan over high heat. When it is boiling, remove from the heat and whisk in the chickpea flour. Return to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon for five minutes, or until thick and holding its shape.
Transfer to a lined baking-dish and press to flatten. Transfer to the fridge to set for about an hour or so.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Once set, remove from the pan and cut into 1-2cm thick chips and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Serve immediately with a good whack of salt and pepper, and devour.