RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 9’s Queens – Reviewed

By Joanna Cosgrove

If you are anything like me and have been getting every new Drag Race fix you possibly can, you would be more than aware that the new competing queens have been announced for Season 9, airing in the US in March. I have done my own research on these queens and, to be honest, they all seem delightful and unique and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to seeing this season unfold.

I want to give a quick run of all the queens competing this year; as good as I can, because none of us know what they truly are like yet. I might get their personalities all wrong, but even if I do, I will still give my opinion on how they will do on the show and what I might be expecting from them.

We will be going in alphabetical order, from Aja to Valentina, so sit back and let me show you the colourful cast of this year’s Drag Race.

 

1: Aja

From Brooklyn, New York, Aja’s fun fact is her drag name was inspired by a Bollywood tune from the 1980’s. She said she resonated with the lyric “Aaja”, and adjusted it to use as a drag persona (even if she doesn’t know the translation).

We seem to also have an honest queen on our hands. Aja has stated that she does things differently; she won’t keep problems and bothers to herself, and she’s not afraid to call out someone. This trait could cause some tension between her fellow competitors, and could lead to enemies, but let’s hope for the best with her!

She is laidback, relaxed, and content with just playing in the race. However, it is a tough competition – not having that drive could really hurt her if she makes it far into the season, so best of luck to her.

Drag look: Aja said her drag is a cross between slutty and anime girl, and says it corresponds with the reputation she upholds in her hometown. A key phrase used is “Judy Jetson hooker”, which itself brings on a great image of what we should be expecting from her.

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2: Alexis Michelle

Another New York queen, Alexis has done the classic trick on finding a drag queen name: just feminise your real name! Alexis Michelle came from her birth name, Alex Michaels, and you can’t fault her for the wonderful simplicity.

It also seems the New York lifestyle is within Alexis. She is greatly talented and gives off immense theatricality. She is more of a performance queen; she is a singer and great at lip-synching (this could be incredibly handy in the competition). She is strong and believes in the line, “my biggest competition is myself.” Gotta love a queen with confidence!

Drag look: Alexis’ focus point is highlighting the link between curves and glamour. She is confident in her body, works well with a structured and put-together look, and she is willing to show it off in a glitz and glam way to win this competition – with that little hint of prostitute as well.

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3: Charlie Hides

Let us feel proud, UK Drag Race fans! A very own London queen has made it into the competition!

Charlie Hides (using her real name as her drag name) is a London performer, and is making herstory on the show as the oldest ever competitor. I wouldn’t have guessed from her photos, but Charlie is actually 52 years old! 52! And she’s competing among these young and new, up and coming drag queens; good luck to you, Charlie. But she does find the age thing hilarious – and said she’s happy to be on season 9 because she might’ve died by the time season 10 came round.

She is the most mature, yet immature. In my opinion, older queens don’t take the game of drag as seriously as the younger ones, and that is a good view on things. I really hope my hometown queen rocks in this competition!

Drag look: Charlie is all arts and crafts. She creates her outfits with many elements and inspirations in mind, all with one main goal: high fashion. She works on “let’s have fun, let’s look good, let’s make a few people laugh” – so she styles herself on her feelings and those of others. Generous queen.

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4: Eureka O’Hara

A Tennessee queen, Eureka’s name was inspired by her mother – how sweet. Her mother is from Germany, and is also named Eureka but spelt in the German version. With this, she simplified the spelling for Americans to read and pronounce – her words – and from that, Eureka! (Literally)

As a bigger queen, Eureka works at breaking stereotypes: she’s high energy, and she’s a dancer when she’s on stage. She works with her body shape, and wears the fashion she has been warned against – and she rocks it:

Drag look: She describes her look as, and I quote: “the Kool-Aid man meets Eureka’s castle meets Hobby Lobby meets the Grand Duchess meets Mary Queen of Scots meets fabulousness”. Eureka’s a perfectionist when it comes to her look, and she won’t settle for anything less – go her!

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5: Farrah Moan

No major award for guessing where Farrah’s drag name came from!

From Austin, Texas, Farrah Moan is one of the younger queens of the competition. She gives off a fun and relaxed demeanour, and is just looking to show off her unique style and fashion sense to the others in the competition, as well as the judges. She isn’t competitive, and she shows that naturally.

Drag look: A cross between fetish and showgirl; you can’t say that isn’t unique. Shown in the promo photoshoot with a sugar pink latex dress and soft pink curls in her hair, Farrah Moan is showing off her inner fantasies and outer performer.

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6: Jaymes Mansfield

From Wisconsin, Jaymes Mansfied is a personal favourite of mine. She’s squeaky and sweet, and I can’t help but find her adorable! Her name comes from Jay Mansfield; she just fused her name with her birth name, James.

Fun fact about Jaymes is she’s a YouTube star! I found Jaymes Mansfield on YouTube, and she is great at makeup and wig styling; she also gives tutorials on DIY accessory and clothing design (my favourite video is her one on how to make a bow). From her talents of sewing and creativity, no doubt she’s going to excel on the show!

Drag look: She is here with the bright colours and blonde wigs we are all expecting from someone who lives life as a pageant. Jaymes, with her Wonder Woman-esque transformation, is going to wow and amaze with every outfit she brings to the competition. Believe me. I can tell!

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7: Kimora Blac

A Vegas queen! Here we go!

Kimora Blac is presented as a classic queen, introducing herself with striking make-up and a wonderful floor-length gown. Her name came from Kimora Lee Simmons – but now she’s “irrelevant” (her words!), she is the one Kimora.

She has such great confidence in her looks and her body; she details her own attractiveness, in and out of drag, and labels herself a perfectionist when it comes to her drag – while bringing down other queens. With her introduction, and rumours she was a bossy queen during her run in season 9, no doubt this girl is gonna make us scream at our screens.

Drag look: “Sexy and showgirl”. She takes sophistication into account when she’s in drag, and takes the aesthetics from her Las Vegas home and links it in. Her pink number in the promo photoshoot is just a sneak peek – let’s hope she stays long enough to show us more!

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8: Nina Bo’nina Brown

From Atlanta, Georgia, let’s be real: we haven’t seen a queen like her since probably Vivacious (you remember Vivacious? And her little friend Ornacia?)

One of the older queens, from the promo photoshoot, it’s obvious that Nina is a queen like no other. She had gone through many names in her drag career, and her style had gone in a similar way. Striking, intriguing, and genuinely here to shake up the competition, I am here for Nina Bo’nina.

Drag look: Cosplay, fantasy, and no steady aesthetic. She claims herself she has a tough time labelling her aesthetic in drag, but is open with admitting she gets inspired by sci-fi and fantasy in the media, such as from video games and movies. If she goes the distance, I would be happier than happy because we sometimes need a good change from the glamourous and pageant-born queens.

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9: Peppermint

As sweet as her name, the New York-born Peppermint is another part of Drag Race herstory.

Peppermint is the first Drag Race contestant to enter the competition as a transgender woman. Previous competitors, such as season 3’s Carmen Carrera and season 5’s Monica Beverly Hillz, have come out either while being in the competition or after their respective season was over, but Peppermint is entering as a transitioned woman and you know what? She is still one fierce queen!

Drag look: She won me over with her outfit from the promo photoshoot; the mixes of teals with her caramel/auburn hair just wowed me. With her long great history, I have no doubt her classy and glam looks will win everyone over – as well as her confidence in her drag.

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10: Sasha Velour

This is definitely the season to stand out from the crowd; here comes Sasha Velour. Her name, cleverly, can be broken up: “Sasha” is her birth name, and “Velour” comes from the velvet substitute fabric which she compares to the concept of drag.

Continuing the collection of New York queens, the Brooklyn beauty is known to take on all competition and take in every element of drag. Her drag is strongly linked to her identity and from that, you can tell things are going to be personal.

Drag look: With a hairless physique and bold make-up style (those eyebrows are like whoa), I can tell she is going to grip everyone. Someone who sees their performance as artistic and meaningful as she does, I can tell every look is going to yell out “Sasha” – and I’m listening every damn time.

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11: Shea Coulee

This Chicago queen stormed on with a bold but naturally toned outfit, and I am listening to her loud statements.

Her drag name came from her own middle name, Shea (Swahili for “beautiful boy”). She seems to kill it in all corners: she has talents everywhere, and could be a great threat to everyone in this competition if the challenges allow her to show off. She has a breezy personality, and it seems everything is effortless. I cannot wait!

Drag look: She put culture into her couture. Her outfit was African-inspired for the promo photoshoot, and it showed off her pride in herself. I hope we can see more of this in the new season, and if we do, beware, queens! You might need to make those heels a little higher.

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12: Trinity Taylor

From Florida, Trinity Taylor is strutting her stuff onto the screen this season. Her name came from Trinity from The Matrix, but in a different stream altogether, she originated in the pageant circuit. You know what this means? We got a fighter on our hands!

She is a make-up artist, and she expresses this through her drag: she takes a new turn compared to how she handles clients, and her expertise definitely shows.

Drag look: Trinity’s introduction is in a whole bundle of blues, but she simply explains her aesthetic as “fierce”. With striking colours and a love of gemstones and glitter, I don’t think we’re gonna lose sight of Trinity. She’s gonna keep shining in the season. All the luck, girl!

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13: Valentina

Small and adorable, and a hint of sass. Let’s meet the last queen in line.

Being the first announced queen via live stream on Facebook, Valentina is a quick favourite of everyone’s. Her name came from a salsa sauce, called Valentina – original like hell – and she is spicy!

Living in LA, she finds herself to be hot and beautiful and with that kind of confidence, how can we doubt it? She is a perfect and luxurious queen, and takes her time with drag. Can’t wait to see what looks she brings out in the season!

Drag look: The mint number and strawberry blonde hair made me gag – in the good way! She wanted to be glam and gorgeous, and bring in some 1960’s retro eleganza and yeah, she made it work. Hope you do well, Valentina; you’re too sweet to go too soon.

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There we have it: 13 new queens introduced to our new world of sparkles, spandex and spitefulness (I’m kidding!). Best of luck to every one of them, and I have my favourites for the top 3 – but no, I’m not putting that in here. I’m keeping that personal.

I need the next month to go by as soon as possible, so I can see these fresh faces on screen.

I’ll be watching it with all you. See you then!

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