“RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11” premiered Thursday, Feb. 28 with a cast of 15 new queens that almost allow the viewer to ignore the fatigue left from the finale of “All Stars 4.”
The return of regular Drag Race seasons is oddly not completely exhausting considering how “All Stars 4” announced the season winners less than two weeks ago. This anticipation is undeniably in part due to the magnetic personality of Silky Nutmeg Ganache, the first Mississippi queen on Drag Race. This show’s best part is truly the queens, their talents and not RuPaul.
Quite a few queens caused a stir when the “Meet the Queens” videos (along with the embarrassingly bad “RuVeal” with Adam Rippon and Aquaria) were dropped, but one of the largest rising stars in the fandom has been Mississippi-born Silky Nutmeg Ganache. Born and raised in Moss Point, Silky has already garnered fan-favorite status thanks to her boisterous personality and humor. There has been so much hype surrounding Silky with many fans pegging for her to make it all the way to the finale.
Silky has already made an impact in the meme department prior to the season with clips of her attempting to get cookies off her face and accidentally burping making their rounds on gay Twitter. The impact that Silky is going to make in terms of inspiring the baby gays of Mississippi is undeniable. It is truly incredible that a show exists where a plus-sized, black drag queen from Mississippi can have their art displayed and celebrated.
Of course, the season has not aired and everything is completely speculation at this point. Other queens that should make it far (whether or not they do is unknown) include the uber-energetic Ra’Jah O’Hara. The Viktor & Rolf-inspired look she wore to that tragic Adam Rippon live video really shows that this is a queen about branding, creativity and references. This energy is in contrast to the more subdued vibe of Akeria Chanel Davenport, who feels like a well-trained and mannered pageant goddess.
Nina West is another queen who definitely gives that immediate hit of starpower with her bubbly personality and classic Disney references. Same goes for both Plastique Tiara and Ariel Versace, who were already Instagram celebrities with considerably-sized fanbases. On the polar opposite end of the Insta-queens is the high-concept, artsy queen with an infectious laugh, Yvie Oddly.
Probably the most well-known of all fifteen queens is the returning queen, meme and gay icon from season 10, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo. Vanjie’s loud, crackly voice is bound to be the source of more fresh, iconic TV moments.
It is difficult to pick out the stars of the season based on the “Meet the Queens” videos and pre-season interviews, but the speculation is what makes Drag Race such a fun show. There is always going to be the dark horse who everyone will expect to do poorly, like Trinity or Kameron, so preseason judgments should never be taken seriously. Barring that, there are definitely a few queens who seem they will have a minimum of iconic moments not because of lacking talent, but that they just are not good TV.
One can only hope that RuPaul and the producers behind every questionable decision made since the show’s move to VH1 will just let the show happen as it is meant to be. This group of queens seems so talented and different compared to the past few seasons. These queens seem more natural and less forced than a lot of queens (Eureka O’Hara) who have competed since the show’s spike in popularity. Maybe the season would not end with every viewer feeling exhausted if RuPaul and the money-grubbing straights at VH1 just let the queens compete instead of pulling stunts.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11” looks to be another great season for Drag Race thanks to future icons like Mississippi-born Silky Nutmeg Ganache. Hopefully this season has less stunts, less acting challenges and less cringy speeches from RuPaul. “Drag Race” is still the best reality show on television, but hopefully RuPaul and VH1 do not run it into the ground.
photo courtesy Distractify