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RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season One

Review by CJ

Judges:
RuPaul, Merle Ginsberg, Santino Rice

Contestants:
Akashia, Bebe Zahara Benet, Jade, Nina Flowers, Ongina, Rebecca Glasscock, Shannel, Tammie Brown, Victoria ‘Pork Chop’ Parker

Guest judges/special guests:
Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott, Bob Mackie, Mike Ruiz, Michelle Williams, Frank Gatson Jr, Howard Bragman, Debra Wilson, Gordon Espinet, Jenny Shimizu, Robin Antin, Lucy Lawless, Charo, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jeffrey Moran, Cazwell

Running time:
43 minutes per episode

Number of episodes:
9

 

The original nine queens to compete for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar through an assortment of challenges and runway looks that test their skills in the art of drag.

The Lost Season’ has been found and is now available on Itun- *checks card* Stan Australia. In all of its glaring lighting and Vaseline lensed glory. I’m so happy that I finally had the opportunity to see where it all started though am glad that it has evolved in so many ways. 

I must admit, season one was another one where I was surprised by who won. I’m not by any means saying they didn’t deserve it, I just thought the runner up and winner should have had their roles reversed. 

Most of the things I enjoyed about season one are the ways it made me thankful for what has been improved upon. No T, no shade, but I much prefer the chemistry between Michelle and Ru as judges than Merle and Ru. Having a live extravaganza to announce the winners is a much better idea than having a dark room full of bitches with grudges, but I understand that this would have been restricted by a smaller budget for the first couple of seasons. 

My absolute favourite moment in season one was in the last episode — the ‘Re-United!’ special where all of the girls sit down and nut everything out — when some of the girls were complaining about how critical the judges were of them. Ru shut that down faster than a wig in a hurricane. I can understand that it was the first season, so the girls didn’t know what to expect that’s unique to RuPaul’s Drag Race, but hunties everyone has seen judges on competition shows and know what they’re there to do. Mama Ru got fierce and it was magnificent to watch because, I must admit, the whining was more grating than false nails on a runway.

Season one is by no means the best representation of RuPaul’s Drag Race, not only in terms of definition and film quality, but also in execution, challenges and guest judges. BUT it is a fantastic testament to the show’s growth, the evolution of RuPaul and the legacy it spawned. All in all, I would recommend season one of RuPaul’s Drag Race to people who know they love the competition show concept or to those who already love the show. If you’re at all unsure if you’ll enjoy the concept, then I would suggest starting with season two instead.

Rating:

“Gentlemen, start your engines and may the best woman win.”

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