‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ premiere recap: The season 9 queens live for Lady Gaga’s applause

Did you go Gaga for the introduction of the season 9 queens of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”? Host RuPaul Charles brought in Lady Gaga as guest judge to make sure the queens and viewers alike were gagging throughout the premiere. In a surprise benevolent twist no one was eliminated this episode, so be sure to update your predictions in our weekly event after reading our Season 9, Episode 1 recap below.

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As is tradition on “Drag Race,” the premiere began with the contestants strutting into the workroom to introduce themselves. Closing out the introductions was guest judge Lady Gaga, dressed in her own drag to blend in with the girls. After revealing her true identity, Gaga joined Ru and the contestants to welcome them to the competition.

For this week’s challenge the queens competed in a pageant to show off their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent in a gown inspired by their hometown. For a second walk down the runway, each girl had to present the judges with their best Gaga-inspired look. And in the first surprise of the night, Ru announced that no queen would be eliminated.

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Joining Ru and Gaga on the episode’s judging panel were series mainstays Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews. Though the panel did not place any of the queens in the typical bottom-two to lip synch for their life, they did announce the top three performers and the winner of the challenge. Alexis Michelle from New York was applauded for her take on Gaga’s 2016 Golden Globe dress and Eureka from Tennessee impressed with the jail ensemble from her “Telephone” video. But the week’s win went to Nina Bo’nina Brown from Georgia for her fantasy peach look and her interpretation of the 2010 VMAs red lace dress.

But the big surprise of the night came at the very end when Ru teased the girls and the audience by announcing that she’s bringing back a former contestant to compete as this season’s 14th competitor. Which queen it is has yet to be revealed, but her addition is sure to shake up the competition on next week’s episode, “She Done Already Done Brought It On.”

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Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in our reality TV forum.

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