Drag Race, Season 14, Episode 1: Anaphylaxis Poncho

But can we talk about how nice the bathtub they got Willow was?

It’s back and this time we’re wasting not time in getting to an elimination – apparently mercilessly bullying the social media manager for a year gets results.

Once again we’re doing split premiers, which I do like as it gives each of the girls the chance to shine (the key word there being “chance”) but unlike last year in which the split premiers prolonged the series by about 4 episodes, RuPaul heard our complaints and decided this was going to be a Season 6 style split premier with an actual elimination and not a mere banishment to the craftservices area with a hastily made Porkchop Loading Dock sign pasted over the “Vegan Table” sign.

And the show very much starts with a bang as in enters Alyssa Hunter who was apparently wearing the pelts of every chair in a retirement home

She’s a Puerto Rican queen, which is one of my personal favourite Drag Race staples – they always bring a good time and some absolutely top quality drag – and with 4 major pageant wins under her belt she’ll certainly slaughter the runway but most likely be bussed home in Week 5 in a comedy challenge, such is the lifecycle of a Puerto Rican RuGirl.

And as night follows day, so must a ~quirky~ queen follow a pageant queen – thus enters Bosco who Alyssa eyes up while stroking her arrow in the most threatening way she possibly could

It was Alyssa Hunter in the Werk Room with a prop arrow!

Bosco will spend the rest of the episode dressed as Dita von Teese having a bit of an emotional crisis

I like this, but I do think I mostly like this because I literally own this dress – sadly without the horns

I do love the way she does her brows and how they seem to always be different and yet uniformly always look like the logo of a nightcore DJ.

Bosco has strong potential to be the UwU Cinnamon Roll of the series, what with her immediately being compared to Jinkx Monsoon by half of Twitter, mostly on the grounds that she’s from Seattle and does Burlesque. But she will have strong competition from both Orion Story and Willow Pill… well mostly… given how the episode pans out for Orion… Nobody has ever radiated First Boot quite as strongly as she did, having spent most of her Meet The Queens interview sessions clearly drunk as a skunk. And then there’s the fact she entered the Werk Room performing a shelved SNL skit to absolutely no laughter from a single soul

which really should have warned her about doing exactly the same thing in the talent show later on. I can appreciate the use of a hamburger phone though. I also love that out of drag, Orion is very much the Pokemon evolution of Aiden Zhane

can’t wait to see how shows up next year to finish the three stage evolution tree. Whoever it is, prepare to be an early out apparently.

As for her outfit, it’s very good, the pattern on the bodice is however a little rash-y, which does become a theme for her this episode

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with the boobs? They look a bit like Patrick Star’s eyes when he hasn’t slept for a week

but I did love her hair and makeup, and everyone was correct to tell her she was giving them Lana del Rey vibes, which is hard to discern as a compliment or not to be honest.

The final contender for Miss Uwu Cinnamon Roll 2022, was Willow Pill who I both love and hate, the latter mostly because of how RuPaul has chosen to say her name. If I hear that baby-voiced “Wittle Piwll” one more time, I shall make like Willow’s sunglasses and jump

Willow obviously got read to filth by the other queens for her entrance look, however I ADORE it and think it is deliciously stupid, she’s basically doing the Stacy Incel Meme cosplay

the fact it says “Angle” instead of “Angel” is just *chef’s kiss*. It was obviously all a little purposefully basic – no queen walks into the Werk Room wearing a wedged sandal thinking they’re serving top tier drag. And it worked a treat in terms of making everyone severely underestimate her. Kerri Colby on the other hand was not going to let anyone underestimate her

she’s so pretty that I might hate her?

And obviously she’s decked out in the trans pride colours because she herself is a transwoman, we love to see it. And she comes from quite the line of drag queens with her drag mother being Sasha Colby, the Miss Contential winner from 2012, so I expect great things from her. She might want to work on her taglines though

maybe we don’t compare ourselves to Covid just yet?

Kerri isn’t the only transwoman competing as the show finally decides to slowly catch up to what the audience actually wants, with Kornbread Jeté also featuring on the cast

she’s just an instant favourite, she’s blisteringly charismatic and just downright charming – also her outfit was a complete serve, the silhouette is really interesting and I love the sculptural wig

put it in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Damien Hirst exhibit won’t know what hit it.

And last but not least is June Jambalaya, whose outfit I don’t love, but who might be one of the prettiest queens to ever be on the show?

How dare she? It’s honestly enough for me to forgive the fact she entered wearing what can only be described as a circus strongman’s outfit

she assures us that it’s an Emilio Pucci jumpsuit (Kornbread also assures us that she’s a label-whore) – so you know, we can’t even dismiss it as a safe outfit to enter in knowing you’re probably going to be put through absolute hell in a photoshoot BECAUSE THIS COST HER $350.

An Entrance Look Ranking

  1. Kornbread’s Leather Black Dress
  2. Kerri Colby Said Trans Rights
  3. Alyssa Hunter, Couch Hunter
  4. June Jambalaya’s Face
  5. Daddy’s Little Angle
  6. Bosco Stole My Look
  7. Orion Story’s One Woman Show
  8. June Jambalaya’s £350 Circus Outfit

You Spin Me Right Round

For their introductory mini-challenge the show was determined to get their use out of the Smackdown For The Crown wheel by strapping the queens to it and spinning them around on it while they had to try and pose for a photo. So really, this was mostly a test of the strength of both their wig glue and their tucking abilities – the latter apparently being a struggle for Willow

all of the queens at least manage to keep their wigs on, which is certainly growth as far the show goes. Kerri probably had the hardest job considering she was having to try and wrangle her billowy train as well as her wig during the shoot, which didn’t seem to be going well for a while

but she really served in the end

I’m not surprised that she won based on the photo, but I did think Kornbread was going to win purely for the comedic value of her ability to apparently rotate the the wheel by herself?

and she had a really fun final shot in the end too

it’s Symone’s picture peeping out from through her legs that really makes the shot for me. But as I said, Kerri wins and gets $2500 in cash for her worries.

Miss Single One Talent

Bucking the trend of just making them write a verse for whichever song Ru decides to pull out from her back catalogue, we were instead borrowing from the All Stars tradition of kicking off the season with a talent show – which does serve as a much better introduction to the queens. It does of course mean that there’s a lot of mostly lipsyncing and dancing, which is fair – it is after all a drag queen’s bread a butter. But, despite the horrendous track record, Orion was going to attempt a comedy act. But not just any comedy act, this was a character bit as she took to the stage as aerobics instructor Sue Stroker who I imagine was modelled after Allison Janey as LaVona in I, Tonya

given that this challenge was absolutely about trying to introduce your drag persona to the judges, it was a thoroughly weird decision to do a character bit, but even more so when we’ve basically (not to be *that* person) already had this from Crystal Methyd in season 12 and she won the episode with it

and quite honestly, there’s only enough room for one very off-putting aerobics instructor.

Orion wasn’t exactly doing anything to endear herself to the judges by coming on stage while coughing and spluttering IN THE AGE OF AN AIRBORNE PANDEMIC, as you could tell from Lizzo’s visceral reaction

she was ready to pull the trapdoor then and there.

The comedy of the bit mostly amounted to making fart and poop jokes, which miraculously didn’t offend Michelle Visage’s delicate little ears as much as when Rock M. Sakura dared to make a fart joke in her premier episode.

On the other end of the comedy spectrum, we have Willow Pill – although it’s kind of hard to categorise quite what Willow was doing with her Enya induced downward spiral

but it was billed as “self-care in Quarantine”

Yeah, that was pretty much the May to June feeling last year.

For the record, I loved everything about this insanity – but I do think my favourite part was when she started shovelling spaghetti into her mouth like it was an Olympic sport which was followed by a sharp cut to RuPaul internally screaming because, as we have been told numerous times, Ru hates watching people eat

this whole bit was basically an art student’s take on The Kuleshov Effect as every time Willow did *anything* it would immediately cut to a judge and you had to try to discern what exactly they were feeling –

Hunger? Confusion? Arousal?

my favourite being when the whole thing ended and everyone was in hysterics except for Orion Story who knew she had just been blown out of the water

*polite golf clapping*

And now we come to the wealth of various dance and lipsync offerings, which there was some confusion over as Alyssa kept saying she was going to playing the guitar and doing a rock song but then very much came out looking like she was P!nk at the height of her Not Like Other Girls Era and playing a guitar with no strings

granted, it was still fun to see a performance that wasn’t her pulling from the deck of Go To Pop Girls, but naturally with her runway presentations being so glamorous, this performance didn’t quite hit the branding note that the judges were after. The flaccid guitar that Silky Nutmeg Ganache MacGyver’d up in her hotel room however remains the undisputed Official Drag Race Guitar though

we must respect our icons.

Kerri was also putting her own unique spin on a lip-syncing to Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda by doing some intimidatingly impressive jump roping as she used to be involved in competitive jump rope – and while her jump roping was very good, she did take her sweet time getting to doing it as she did some very questionable choreography in her sexy Wimbledon outfit

and with a song like Anaconda you do have to kind of sell the stupid of it all, which Kerri never quite managed to – but does lead her to a nice storyline of her trying to let go and going on to win Snatch Game – we’ll just have to see if she manages to get through the dance challenge, because that confused, panicked wiggling has me a little worried – it was just a little bit passionless, which June Jambalaya certainly had no problem with in her African Dance performance

this started off really strong, however it all went a bit south as her dratted headband kept slipping down and covering her eyes, turning her into a sort of Africana Scott “Cyclops” Summers

which did somewhat hamper her performance ability, but she still coped with it all remarkably well, I think after the third time it slid down, I’d have just hidden behind the foliage and cried for a little bit.

She was followed by Bosco who was dressed a little bit too much like Kelly Mantle’s bacon dress for my liking

she was of course doing a burlesque routine, which did involve her tossing a few rashers of bacon at the judging panel

I think I would have liked a little more of a nudge and wink throughout the routine, her eyes were just a little bit too dead for me – I mean, she was literally wearing grey contacts, I’m not really sure her hair and make-up quite suited the bit, which isn’t to say I didn’t massively enjoy the disparity between the head of a demonic grandmother being on the body of a twink

and of course the final reveal to the rose in her arse was fun

but did feel like the only fun part of the routine, the rest of it was all just that little bit lacklustre.

Lastly we have Kornbread Jete and her fried chicken necklace which did remind me of that particularly great Nicki Minaj performance in which she finished off her performance on Good Morning America by biting a turkey leg

a cultural reset.

She was, in the grand tradition of a RuGirl talent show, performing to her own song. However, unlike 80% of RuGirl music, this was actually really good? Sure, the beat is very Keyboard on Autopilot in a year 7 music lesson, but the lyrics were entertaining enough! And on the subject of the lyrics, I’m not sure which parts of it Michelle couldn’t understand? But I did enjoy Lizzo’s reaction to saying she couldn’t understand them

I eagerly await the inevitable Lizzo X Kornbread collaboration – please God, can we have one nice thing? Perhaps Michelle was just upset about the Merle Ginsberg joke

can we talk about how she stoned the grocery bag though? You have to admire that level of dedication.

An Unofficial Talent Show Ranking

  1. Stream Kornbread’s Song When It’s Eventually Available On All Good Streaming Services.
  2. Willow Pill’s Kuleshov Experiment
  3. Kerri’s Little Bit of Skipping
  4. Bosco’s Dead Eyed Burlesque Routine
  5. June vs The Headband
  6. Alyssa’s Glorified Air Guitar
  7. Orion Story’s Joke Workshop

Signature Style

The runway theme for this episode was “Signature Show-stopping Drag”, which is only really one step away from an Eleganza Extravaganza and so high glamour was very much on the cards for most of the queens. And if you’re Orion Story, you just dress up like Cicely Mary Barker dropped a load of acid right before she drew the the Fly Agaric fairy

But wait! There’s more! Because with a rip of her anaphylaxis poncho, she reveals a needless third tit

I’m just not quite sure why? Not to say I don’t love a good third tit, but in this case I’m not sure it entirely made sense with the character she was creating. But while I’m iffy on the titty, her makeup is some of my favourite Drag Race makeup I’ve seen in a long time

it’s just very interesting and striking, but unlike the tit de trop, it manages to still make sense. Also, I admire the valiant effort to bring the hair bow back from the depths of 2012.

Willow also had a less glamorous approach to her signature style, which makes sense for someone who walked into the Werk Room looking like the Stacey Incel Meme

I adore this colour combination. Are the, to quote Lizzo, “Kermit the Frog hands” a little unnerving? Yes. But the rest of it is very Sexy Luigi. Somewhere out there, there is a Mario Bros fanfic where they’ve been gender-swapped and placed in the Bratz universe, and this is Luigi. Or Louise. But with a Z. Louize.

June went the much more expected road when I think of “show-stopping” and really they could have just cancelled the rest of the runway because she ATE THIS THE FUCK UP

The sparkle? The cape? The FACE? The hair? All of it is immaculate. And I will not have Michelle Visage dinging her for an ever so slightly visible undergarment that was only really visible because she’s A) wearing a sheer nude jumpsuit and B) the studio lights will highlight a lot of minor undergarments that any other lighting wouldn’t.

Also going the “throw a load of sparkle on it and you’ll be fine” route was Kornbread

I will never not love this fabric, it always looks really good on the runway and that’s very much the case here – as is how good her skin looks, she’s just radiant in every sense of the word. I do wish the look had a little more depth to it, or even just punchier makeup, it got a little washed out under the intense lighting so she looked a little bare faced

had she gone for a really dark, smokey flapper-style eye, a bit like Rihanna’s at the CFDA Awards in 2014

I think that would have helped a lot.

Alyssa went for probably the most expected version of “show-stopping” because as we know, when in doubt: Eliza Doolittle it out

she does seem to love these retirement home shades of beige, doesn’t she? Not that she doesn’t look absolutely gorgeous in it, although the heavily baked face under the runway lighting is giving me Owls of Ga’hoole

how many times am I going to reference the Godforsaken owl movie on this blog?

I do think this was absolutely my favourite look on the runway though, it moved well, the whole thing was deliciously glamorous and I’m a complete sucker for an ostrich feather hat.

On the other end of the glamour spectrum we have Bosco and her Maleficent tits

it was clever of her to further lean into the whole burlesque theme of her night, even if it was just so they could praise her for it while dinging Alyssa for having two very disparate showcasings and giving us this delight of a reaction

there’s just something about an ostrich feather hat that makes every reaction look like you’re about to wipe out an entire family’s economic well-being while sipping a martini.

I do really like Bosco but something about this look did feel very inorganic and slightly forced and contrived. Apparently I was not a fan of the appendaged tits this evening, perhaps Krystal Versace’s dedication to that one breastplate has worn me down.

Lastly we have Kerri and her massive fuck-off fur coat

I don’t love this, I think it’s a little overcooked – the K themed beaded curtain she’d draped herself in was maybe a step too far when paired with the almost overwhelming fur coat, the lion shoulderpads, the ombre hair, the weird choice to wear silk gloves and the DFS couch boots. I think she could have just opened the coat to serve body-ody-ody in a slightly nicer set of lingerie and it would’ve been just as on brand.

An Unofficial Signature Show-stopping Runway Ranking

  1. Alyssa Hunter is a Vision In Beige
  2. June Jambalaya Serving Maximum Cape
  3. Willow Pill as Sexy Luigi
  4. Kornbread Being a Snack
  5. Bosco’s Got The Horn(s)
  6. Kerri Over-branding in a Cool Coat

The result was a pretty clear Top 3 in Kornbread, Willow and Bosco while the bottoms were very much June, Alyssa and Orion with Kerri falling kind of in the middle – the judges loving her runway but being a little lukewarm on the lipsync and a side dish of aggressive jump roping. I thought that Willow was going to win and I can only imagine that Lizzo threatened to never return to the show unless they give Kornbread her $5000, and thus the deed was done

we love to see it.

As for the bottom 2, it was pretty obvious that Orion was absolutely doomed to be lipsyncing – it was just a case of whether it would be June or Alyssa sending her home, with the judges eventually deciding to put June in the bottom two based almost entirely on the vaguely visible bike shorts she dared to wear. THEY WERE $90 FROM PRADA!

Water Under The Bridge

The best thing about Lizzo coming on to be a guest judge is that they’ll always have to do the lipsync to one of her songs, and all of them are truly top tier lipsync songs. This time they had to take on Water Me and both queens kind of gave great performances? Granted, I expected an absolute turd from Orion Story, and while she did pull out the limpest robot you’ve ever seen

she still gave a performance that was perfectly competent, she just wasn’t a match for June Jambalaya who won the moment she expertly wrangled her cape-sleeves like Mark O’Shea putting a deadly snake in a bag

and then she proceeded to just flap about that stage like an extremely territorial bird

and further props to her for managing to do most of the lipsync with only 1 heel on

I can testify to the fact it is not easy.

It wasn’t a lipsync full of stunts, there was a flying splits from Orion and she did pull out the old wigs on wigs reveal

it wasn’t the best wig to reveal to but it’s always fun when a queen send their hair flying into the rafters like its a billionaire trying to be the first to reach space. It still wasn’t quite enough and Orion is very much the first boot she was destined to be, and is suitably able to pull a monstrously powerful woobie face

at least she’ll always be Michigan’s first RuGirl? So soak up those local newspaper interviews while you can!

And so, 13 queens remain

And if you’ve enjoyed this recap of the Drag Race Season 14 premier and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small donation via my Ko-fi HERE.

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