‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season 15: First impressions from ‘Meet the Queens’

When season 15 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” premieres on MTV on January 6 it will introduce the world to 16 all new queens, the largest starting cast in the series to date. The queens will be competing for the show’s biggest purse in herstory as well–a whopping $200,000 prize will go to the winner.

Over the next few weeks we can expect more tea and features to come out about the new season, like the announcement from Wednesday that pop megastar Ariana Grande will be returning as a guest judge for the first episode! Ariana made her Drag Race debut back in the season 7 episode 6 “Ru Hollywood Stories,” a day she told RuPaul Charles was “the best day of my life. I’m not lying.”

Also streaming on the official RuPaul’s Drag Race YouTube page is a one hour “Meet the Queens” hosted by season 14 winner Willow Pill. In the special, Willow introduces each of the 16 new queens for an introductory catwalk presentation. Some of the girls hit it out of the park with their fashions and others used the opportunity to show off their moves.

Based on the runway showcase, Anetra and Jax could be the ones to watch out for in lip syncs because of the duck walking, flips, and dips they pulled off in their struts. They seem comfortable moving down the catwalk with confidence in a way that Malaysia Babydoll Foxx did not, for instance. Luxx Noir London is one of the more playful queens in a furry blue bear look while Marcia Marcia Marcia could prove to be one of the more boring girls on the runway. Marcia is selling mid-century vibes reminiscent of what Dakota Schiffer showed every week on “Drag Race UK,” receiving criticism from the judges for not venturing outside of that box.

And while we’re comparing queens to queens, Robin Fierce is giving me Naomi Smalls with the legs, legs, legs and Princess Poppy showed off a perfect tuck that could put Trinity the Tuck out of business. Spice was the most daring in the looks department, selling Bratz doll mean girl in black while the rest of the ladies played in pastels. Though to be fair, Spice’s edgier look might have simply been an effort to differentiate herself from her softer-sided twin Sugar.

The queens also sat down for introductory conversations with production to give us a glimpse into their personalities and share their expectations heading into the competition. This is our best chance at understanding who the queens are and to get our strongest first impressions ahead of the premiere. Right out of the gate, Amethyst, who came to the drag art scene through theater, is a super combo of Miz Cracker’s looks and self-deprecating humor meeting Jan’s self-imposed pressure to win. If Amethyst is looking forward to the Rusical challenge, then Anetra made it abundantly clear by stressing she’s “not a vocalist” that she is dreading it.

Aura Mayari called her style edgy and “queen of the night,” exuding a ton of confidence in her ability to paint her face and claiming the spot as “the prettiest one here.” Irene Dubois’ sarcastic brand of comedy was all over the place—she calls herself an alien, but her name conjures “A Streetcar Named Desire” which she made a point to clarify is not the case because she’s named after Alison Dubois, a short-lived featured guest on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” who is portrayed by Patricia Arquette in “Medium,” not Blanche.

Promising to be a stunt queen, Jax could be our lip sync assassin of the season on a Jorgeous level while Luxx’s interview put her on par with Kandy “Turning a New Leaf” Muse in the books smart category. Robin referenced Raven as their personal inspiration to get involved in drag and seems well-prepared for the artistic aspects of the show.

Loosey DaLuca established herself as the comedy queen that’s prepared to slay every challenge, Mistress Isabelle Brooks is the one that made me laugh the most with her insistence that she’s just big-boned, not fat and wishes well to the all the plus-sized girls out there. Marcia differentiates herself in the New York drag scene by claiming to be a triple threat in looks, dance and humor which she says surprises people who expect her to rely on pretty.

There are a number of queens with relationships to past queens, like Malaysia being LaShauwn Beyond‘s daughter and then the legend Sasha Colby, drag mother to Kerri Colby. Sasha is one of the most widely-known queens to join the show (probably ever) as a star in the pageant world including a Miss Continental title from 2012. She challenges us all as viewers by calling herself “your favorite drag queen’s favorite drag queen.” Her bold statement has, in fact, already been verified by Heidi N Closet. Real world sisters Spice and Sugar adds an interesting facet to their competitiveness, but for us it feels like we’re getting two of Jasmine Kennedie on one season.

Based on their confidence in certain levels, Poppy could make her mark in the “Reading Is Fundamental” mini challenge because she says she loves to read people and Salina might be the dark horse to win a roasting challenge because her line delivery is one of a kind. Think of her as the best parts of Alexis Mateo and Kandy Muse combined.

Almost all of the queens promised that we’ll be treated to gag-worthy moments this season, claiming that the girls bring fashion to the runway and heavily hinting that “it’s gonna be chaos.” That sounds messy in the best way, unless it means there will be multiple non-elimination episodes again! Whatever RuPaul Charles has in store for us, we’re ready to eat it up. “It’s chocolate,” right?

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