RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10: Countdown to the Crown

Well hey there, hennies! Have you been enjoying this season as much as I have? It’s been a rollercoaster, that much is clear—but the resounding impression I am leaving this season with is that nearly every queen in this year’s competition (except for Serena) has been an absolute superstar. All Stars is just waiting to snatch these girls right back up.

But in the meanwhile, I’d like to take a look back at my first impressions of these ladies—some accurate, some terribly, humiliatingly wrong. Are we ready to make fun of me?! Let’s go over these queens, my original take on them, and their most memorable lewks and moments!

 

Vanessa1

First impression: “Ms. Vanjie Mateo has a hilarious personality and I can already see her starting all kinds of shit in the werk room.”

Vanessa4

So not only did I totally call that Vanjie would make for excellent entertaintment, I also kinda sorta predicted the “Miss Vanjie” thing! Okay, I didn’t. Nobody could’ve seen that coming.

Vanessa wasn’t on the show long, but her impact lasted longer than most of the queens who were eliminated after her. Not a lot of Ru girls, no matter their placement, can say they’ve become a national meme.

Best lewk:

Vanessa1

Granted, there are not many to choose from. But Miss Vanjie’s entrance lerk was one of the most stunning of that whole premiere. Just because of that gown, bitch, you’re safe as fuck. Well, you should’ve been. Sad face.

Most memorable moment:

Vanjie1.PNG

I mean… I don’t even need to say anything.

…But I will: MISS VANJIE!

 

Kalorie1

First impression: “And the award for longest name goes to… this bitch! She better be good, because she’s going to make me hate typing out her name on a weekly basis.”

Kalorie6

Unfortunately for Kalorie, I didn’t have to type out her full name very much at all. I could tell from the first episode that she was a couple rungs lower on the ladder than most of these other girls. But what she did manage to do was take a lip-sync that was already set up to make her look like the obvious loser and turn it the fuck around. That stunt was everything.

Because of Miss Vanjie’s unexpected fame, though, Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams (still hate how long that name is) sadly turned out to be this season’s true “first eliminated” queen after all, in the sense that most people might not remember her much in a few years. I really hope she proves me wrong like she proved everybody wrong during that lip-sync.

Best lewk:

Kalorie1

There was nothing revolutionary about the outfit, but her confidence on the runway and the way her hands were bedazzled really sold me on the package as a whole. And as our First Lady would say, any (w)hole is a goal.

Most memorable moment:

Kalorie-Vixen1

This one is super recent: Eating motherfucking popcorn in the background during The Vixen’s reunion fight. And CATCHING ONE WITH HER BAG AS IT FALLS OUT OF HER HAND. Mad skills.

 

Yuhua1

First impression: “I think she’s going to bring us some original lewks and keep things fun with some hopefully hilarious confessionals. She should be a great addition to the bunch, and I can see her going far.”

Yuhua5

Womp womp. Yuhua seemed like such a strong competitor from her Meet the Queens video and even her performance in the premiere, but as soon as that momentum was gone, she faded into the background faster than Kameron Michaels (jk Kimora). And her defensiveness with critiques really didn’t help.

I really liked how much Ms. Hamasaki leaned into her Asian heritage, but in the end, her unwillingness to look silly or ugly was what did her in. On a show like Drag Race, you have to be okay with acting a fool on occasion. Hopefully, Yuhua has learned that lesson.

Best lewk:

Yuhua2

Kidding!

Yuhua1

Yuhua’s entrance outfit was definitely the nicest she looked during the season, though her “Ankh Ankh” look was a close second. Which made all the disappointment even worse when suddenly her great looks stopped after episode 1. Sad.

Most memorable moment:

Yuhua3

“My hot and flexible body allows me to exercise in all different positions!” Girl, that’s not even grammatically correct. But at least it was entertaining, in like a cringey kind of way.

 

Dusty1

First impression: “Dusty Ray Bottoms is also a Broadway girl, but a darker one, so basically Blair St. Clair after being rejected at 30 auditions in a row and told she sucks. This queen knows how to take adversity and turn it into creative power, and she’s got my respect.”

Dusty5

When it comes to beating the odds and overcoming adversity, there’s no one stronger than Dusty. The story she told about where she came from and what she went through did not leave a single dry eye in all of America (if you didn’t cry, you’re dead to me).

The whole “Broadway” side of Dusty is unfortunately something we didn’t really get to see, with the exception of that Tin Man-like lewk in the premiere. I hope she goes on to do great things, because her potential is enormous.

Best lewk:

Dusty2

That was pure couture, mawma, and it showed everyone Dusty could do more than just campy silliness. She looked gorgina.

Most memorable moment:

Dusty1

The reveal of her tragic backstory. A punch to the gut… and the crotch… and the face… and obviously the heart. I’m still not done crying.

 

Mayhem1

First impression: “Mayhem doesn’t say too much about her that could really help define who she is as a drag queen, besides the fact that she’s a beauty queen. But maybe that’ll allow her to be more of an enigma until she shows the world what she can do.”

Mayhem2

Mayhem Miller was a beauty queen, that much was certain—the majority of her looks were total stunners. But where she faltered was that there wasn’t much else there besides her lewks and general flawlessness, which was a sad revelation that I had partly (and unknowingly) touched upon in my first impression.

I’ve seen Miss Miller perform live, and she is a force to be reckoned with. But on Drag Race, you have to also roll with the punches, adapt, and stand out as much as you possibly can if you want to survive—something Mayhem was unable to do in the end.

Best lewk:

Mayhem4

There are a lot of great lewks to choose from as far as Mayhem’s concerned, but in my opinion, this was the most beautiful. The juxtaposition of that chocolate skin and the silvery white clothes, hair, accessories, makeup, eyes even… Perfection.

Most memorable moment:

Mayhem5

Poor Yuhua was fully destroyed by Mayhem’s brutal, sickening lip-sync performance to “Celebrity Skin.” The intensity of it, the way she casually tore her outfit apart… It made for absolutely incredible television.

 

Blair1

First impression: “Blair thinks she can take her very Broadway-centric talents—singing, dancing, acting, and costume-making—and apply them to the competition to rise to the top. I’m tempted to believe her, and I’m looking forward to seeing her in action.”

Blair2

Blair is all about Broadway, and like Dusty—though to a lesser extent—she didn’t get much of a chance to show that off.  That said, she was a great actress and consistently did great on the runway with her old Hollywood style.

And hey, as it turns out, Miss St. Clair is a fantastic singer. If you haven’t already, please check out her single, “Now or Never“—it’s already almost at 2 million views and it is the bomb dot com. She’s clearly one of the most talented queens to have come out of the show, even if it wasn’t always obvious on the season itself.

Best lewk:

Blair3

It’s a tough call between this and the look she was sent home in, but there’s something about this one that was just so beautiful and polished and so old glamour. I hope she gets to be on All Stars someday just so we can see more of her lewks.

Most memorable moment:

Blair3

Like Dusty, Blair’s most noteworthy moment was not of a look or a performance, but instead of her sob-worthy story about being sexually assaulted in college and her continuing struggle to process it. She’s come a long way since, as she said in the reunion, and I’m really glad to hear it—this gal deserves all the happiness. All of it.

 

Monique1

First impression: “She seems like a really funny gal and already has a lot of quotable moments in her two-minute Meet the Queens video alone (‘season 10 is going to be the ooh-ahh-ahh sensation, honey!’). She’s gonna make us laugh, this one.”

Monique3

Making us laugh is definitely something Monique Heart accomplished during her season run—over and over and over. When she declared herself the “heart of season 10,” I thought she might be exaggerating, but girl she was totally right.

Through her stay on the show, Monique’s performances were sadly overlooked quite often, potentially as a result of her having been cast as more of a filler queen that the production didn’t want to hand any wins to. The rigga morris is real. I just hope she can come back for an All Stars season sometime and be allowed to compete fair and square (though Lord knows All Stars seasons are rarely fair).

Best lewk:

Monique3

Monique said it herself, she was operating on a very limited budget and her looks often suffered for it, but when she got things right, girl was she incredible. This look in particular was a serious stunner. I’m honestly bitter that she didn’t win anything for it.

Most memorable moment:

Monique4
“Brown cow! Stunning!”

Truth be told, Monique has had dozens of memorable moments and catchphrases, and picking just one is impossible. But this feels like the most representative of her brilliant weirdness. Keep being kooky, kween.

 

Vixen1

First impression: “The Vixen is a self-described sassy disco superhero, here to save the day with her dance moves. I’m sure she’s going to be a total assassin in the lip-syncs—but will she be talented enough to avoid having to lip-sync for her life in the first place?”

Vixen5

So The Vixen most certainly didn’t get to avoid the bottom two, oh at all. But she definitely was a lip-sync assassin. Something else she also was: an actual straight-up assassin, because some of those fights she got into throughout the season were really fucking brutal.

The Vixen came to fight. She came, she saw, she mostly conquered. She leaves Drag Race as one of the most controversial queens in herstory, with as many fans as there are people who despise her. I personally loved her and what she stood for, but it’s not for everybody, I suppose.

Best lewk:

Vixen3

The Vixen may not always have brought super polished looks, but her natural genes consistently made up for times when her outfits were so-so. And in some cases, she actually did look totally stun. This is my personal fave.

Most memorable moment:

Vixen7
“GO 👏 HAVE 👏 YOUR 👏 CIGARETTE 👏 BITCH 👏 BECAUSE IT’S DONE!”

I mean… Iconic. Purely iconic.

Honorable mention: “NO! TOO VAGUE!”

 

Monet1

First impression: “Monét X Change suggests something very very important: she’s not here to figure out who she is and how to define her drag’s brand. She’s already done all that, and she’s walking into this season like it’s All Stars and she’s a fully defined queen already. Just because of that level of self-realization, this one’s a huge, huge contender.”

Monet3

It’s easy to think a queen might not be good enough when looking at their Meet the Queens video and not knowing anything else about them. But actually getting too good an impression of a queen is something that doesn’t happen often. Monét’s confidence totally sold me into believing she was 100% ready to take the crown and shove all the other unworthy bitches out of her way.

Monét X Change is a funny, charismatic queen, but one crucial thing she lacked—like a few other New York queens over the years, actually—is the overall fashion sense and variety with her lewks. You can tell Monét usually wears things that are either funny-looking or comfortable in order to facilitate her stage performances at the clubs. But on Drag Race, that sort of thing sadly won’t fly.

Best lewk:

Monet3

This was one of the only times she looked actually great. While I do have a personal issue with the shoes not really matching the outfit, the rest was, overall, quite pleasing to look at. Okay, Miss Hattie Mae X Change, I see you!

Most memorable moment:

Monet6

Girl, I love me some Dusty Ray Bottoms, but after that fakeout, there was nothing she could’ve done to win that lip-sync. Monét’s feint was everything and then some. And to actually follow up with a real split later made the whole thing that much more satisfying. Hats off.

Runner-up for most memorable: The sponge dress. Because she FUCKING WOULDN’T LET US FORGET IT.

 

Miz1

First impression: “Usually, comedy queens aren’t so concerned about their look and focus more on their personality and charisma. But Cracker looks like the kind of gal who might be good at both. Shall we just crown her and move on to season 11? Okay, cool, bye, thanks for reading!”

Cracker8

It’s such a shame that Miz Cracker has built such tough walls around her, because if it weren’t for her unwillingness to show emotion and vulnerability, I think she really could’ve made it all the way. But Ru’s show is half-drag competition, half-group therapy, and when someone is uninterested in opening up and shedding a tear or two for the camera, it’s hard for them to be likable. Sad but true.

That said, Miz Cracker will go down in herstory as a lovely fourth alternate with some seriously sickening lewks and a (mostly) great sense of humor. Her “there are no accidents in fisting” joke will always be one of my favorites.

Best lewk:

Cracker2

Like I said, Cracker has had a lot of great looks—but this one takes the cake for me. It’s so clever, so gorgeous, so conceptual, I loved everything about it. Who knew a vomiting skull could be glamorous?

Most memorable moment:

Chester-Cracker1

As polished and wonderful as Cracker was, it’s terrible to realize she really didn’t ever stand out that much. I can’t personally remember any specific thing she did that was incredibly memorable—aside from the birth of her fabulous drag daughter, Miz Cookie. I think it helped that this was also one of the moments in the whole season when Cracker showed the most emotion. Where was this excitement the rest of the time?!

 

Now for our top four!

Aquaria1

First impression: “This girl is coming on way too strong! Aquaria’s Meet the Queens video is probably the most polarizing in the whole group, because of the way she introduces herself. There’s confidence, and then there’s Aquaria.”

Aquaria2

Aquaria’s confidence was definitely a talked-about point this season. Some days, she was too cocky for her own good. Others, she was a beacon of self-love in a sea of inner saboteurs. But when all is said and done, this queen actually lived up to her boasts from start to finish.

And to top it all off, what was so great about Aquaria this season is that she very quickly learned to relax and let loose, which is exactly what everyone wanted Miz Cracker to do. Aquaria was able to set aside the constructed, polished facade that was getting in her way and embrace the speech impediments, youthfulness, and weirdness that define her as a drag queen. Not to mention those LOOKS.

Best lewk:

Aquaria4

It is literally impossible to pick just one look of Aquaria’s that is the “best” of the season, so at least by settling on this gif, I’m including two. Truth be told, with the possible exception of her Silver Foxy look, this queen destroyed the runway every single week. She’s perfect, she’s beautiful, she looks like Linda Evangelista…

Most memorable moment:

Aquaria2

The fact that I cannot stop thinking “any hole is a goal” when I see Melania Trump now is a testament to how hilarious Aquaria’s portrayal of her was on Snatch Game. Everything about that performance was stellar, from the look to the jokes to the Michelle Obama name placard.

Chances of winning:

Aquaria has the best track record on the season, with three challenge wins and not a single trip to the bottom two. That alone should, on paper, guarantee her the crown, but with a lip-sync smackdown for the crown planned this year like on season 9, anything is possible. Still, judging by what we’ve seen of her dancing ability, I think she definitely has what it takes to win even that way.

 

Asia1

First impression: “Asia is okay with admitting she’s a jack of all trades and master of none, someone who’ll pull through a challenge and runway category with her scrappiness and gumption and turn it out regardless. One thing she does pride herself on, though, is being inventive and able to make things from scratch, so a sewing challenge might be this one’s forte. The twelve other challenges she’ll be facing? Maybe not.”

Asia5

I’ll admit, between her promo look and how she seemed to be saying she’d do her best against the odds in her Meet the Queens video, I had pictured Asia as one of the first queens who’d go home. Boy, did she prove me wrong. Asia is versatile, she’s fun, she’s gorgeous, and most importantly, she’s a voice we really need in these dark days.

Asia O’Hara spent a lot of the competition mulling over the concept of sisterhood and what it means to be there for someone in need regardless of whether that will screw you over in the long run. She has a tough side to her, but a lot of what she says and does comes from a place of caring and concern. A mother for all queens!

Best lewk:

Asia3

Asia has had a lot of stunning looks over the course of the season, but this giant dandelion headpiece was something no one ever saw coming. Yas. Bitch. Werk.

Most memorable moment:

Asia1

This one’s pretty fresh: standing up for The Vixen after she left during the reunion. In a room of queens who preferred to keep quiet and let Vix take a wrecking ball to her own career, Asia had the balls to speak up, shed some very real tears, and go right up against Ru herself in the defense of one of their own who, as she said it, was clearly “crying out for help.” It was a beautiful, honest display of her true colors, and boy are they radiant.

Chances of winning:

We didn’t get to see a lot of Asia lip-syncing, which is mostly a good thing—it means her talents in that domain will mostly be a mystery going into the finale. Can she measure up to the likes of Aquaria and Kameron Michaels? If she can, a win is definitely in the cards for her. She certainly deserves it.

 

Eureka1

First impression: “Eureka was already a fierce, fierce queen in season 9, and that was when she was still new to Drag Race. Now, unlike last year’s Cucu (sorry ’bout it), I think this comeback queen has what it takes to not only thrive but win.”

Eureka1

Eureka came back to Drag Race armed with both the extra money from already being a Ru girl and the knowledge of what was needed to do well in this competition. With both of those advantages and her lively personality in her arsenal, it was no surprise that Eureka made it all the way to the top four.

Just like in season 9, Eureka inevitably clashed with a lot of other queens who had trouble with her overbearing nature. But by the end of it, judging by how many votes to win she got in the reunion, it seems she won a lot of her sisters over. There’s something about Eureka that, even when you want to dislike her, makes it hard to resist falling in love with her.

Best lewk:

Eureka3

I will say, I don’t think of Eureka as much of a look queen. A lot of her looks on the runway were good at best, uninteresting at worst. This one, however, was a pretty great example of a Eureka look done right. That pattern just suits her so damn well.

Most memorable moment:

Eureka1

Eureka’s turn as Honey Boo Boo was truly excellent, rivaled only by Aquaria’s Melania Trump and, to a lesser extent, Monét X Change’s Maya Angelou. The character was a perfect choice for the queen because it resembles her in a lot of ways—loud, brassy, southern, and plain old silly. She made that challenge her bitch.

Chances of winning:

Eureka is well-loved by the judges, but from what I’ve seen, her dancing and lip-syncing abilities are pretty average. Against the fierce performers in the top four with her, Eureka’s going to have to pull out a stunt of Sasha Velour-sized proportions to take that crown.

 

Kameron1

First impression: “Kameron isn’t really something we’ve seen before on the show, which is a testament to her originality. The closest queen I can think of is Milk, who also looks great as a boy and likes to play with androgyny. But I think Kameron is going to push that even further, and I’m here for it. Like Sasha Velour last year, Drag Race needs queens who’ll take the show in new directions, and this one could definitely do that.”

Kameron4

Kameron Michaels didn’t quite turn out to be the strange, androgynous queen I had originally pictured from her Meet the Queens. That said, she did completely surpass my expectations, especially after the first few episodes. I was so sure she’d be eliminated somewhere in the middle after having gotten Kandy Ho levels of screen time, but this bitch slayed everyone in her way and just kept trucking onward.

Kameron has gotten a lot of flack for being an introverted drag queen, which is admittedly a bit of a weird concept. But that alone does not define her, and these other hoes really need to look at what else she has to offer. Plus, I follow her on Instagram (not for the boy pics, I swear!) and she’s actually really hilarious when not cooped up in a reality TV environment.

Best lewk:

Kameron1

I’m gonna go right out and say it: this is the best look of the entire season. Sorry, Aquaria. But I mean… look at it. Gag of the season.

Most memorable moment:

Kameron5

This was the moment it became clear that Kameron was not some boring old queen that would be sent packing with an unfortunate matchup in the lip-sync. Kameron brought everything to that performance and showed everyone she was a serious threat. And she’d go on to kick out two other queens in the following lip-syncs. Don’t fuck with Miss Michaels.

Chances of winning:

Kameron has nothing to prove as far as lip-syncing ability is concerned. What I am concerned about, though, is that she won’t have anything new to show in a lip-sync for the crown when she spent the entire latter half of the season lip-syncing for her life already. Still, she’s definitely not someone the others should underestimate. Who knows, maybe she’ll just keep knocking them out until there’s no one left!

 

Well, that’s everyone! Who are you rooting for? I cannot wait for the new gagworthy Sasha Velour moment. Hope we get one!

Ta-ta!

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