RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Review: Episode 1: Oh. My. Gaga! (SPOILER FREE)

By Joanna Cosgrove

It’s back and it’s bigger (and brighter) than ever!

Yes, I didn’t need to wait another week – or two – or it could’ve been like six – to begin the newest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, because the beauties at Netflix are streaming all episodes from season 9 right after they air in America. Awesome! So what did I do? I woke up early, repeatedly checked Netflix until I saw the “New episodes” banner and click-click-clicked my way in!


The first queen to walk in is the herstory-making Peppermint, who won me because of the simple yet stunning outfit with some long beautiful braids. I knew from then this season was going to be a big one for eleganza.

Then the red-hot Valentina – the ‘drag baby’ of this season’s selection – follows, sweet and petite. She has that glint in her eye, telling us all that she could Shangela her way through (compete with little drag experience and make a strong impact).

Every queen makes a dramatic entrance – as expected. Then in comes Eureka (this season’s big and beautiful queen), Charlie Hides (the oldest queen in Drag Race history who doesn’t look it!), Farrah Moan, Sasha Velour (with the vocal talent of Yoko Ono), Alexis Michelle, Shea Coulee, Trinity Taylor (the Coco Montrese to Eureka’s Alyssa Edwards – you’ll see), Kimora Blac, Jaymes Mansfield (MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE), Nina Bo’nina Brown and Aja. That should be all of them, right?

Oh, forgot a queen: Lady Gaga! In her trademark drag look, Gaga storms in and the girls lose it! One queen has a personal moment with Gaga and straight then, I can see there is emotion here and let this squash all the rumours saying she is rude, vain, self-centred, because she isn’t.


As soon as RuPaul enters, he welcomes his queens (in person, and not through a video message – wow!) and announces the first challenge: it’s a pageant! And all the pageant queens are cheering and squealing on the inside.

After their formal introductions, the main challenge is to honour the music legend before them in copying a famous outfit from Lady Gaga.

While the girls de-drag and re-drag, we get a look into the queens’ personalities. We see some shade already being thrown, and have a sneak peek into their talents as drag performers. Some shock, some do not, and you’ll have to check out who does which – but believe me, it follows straightaway with most first impressions when they strut their stuff on the runway.

In my honest opinion, I enjoyed the Gaga outfits more than the pageant ones. Maybe it’s because I love Gaga to death myself, but they hit the mark and made me incredibly happy! My favourite of these outfits go to British-American Gaga impersonator Charlie Hides, who decided to take on a Brit Awards style (I promise, there is no bias), because it made me go “oh Gaga!”

As we conclude and the winner is crowned, RuPaul halts the celebrations: “The real competition is just about to begin!”

She brings in a new queen. A 14th queen! And she’s a returner!

Who? Who? WHO?!

All will be revealed next week – DAMN! The suspense will kill me, and if you’re as big of a fan as me, it’ll kill you too. Let us get killed together until next Friday/Saturday, when the second episode airs.

Altogether, this is a strong start and as the game changes, I get drawn in more and more. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season holds for us.

And to end, I just want to say: go Jaymes Mansfield!


Rating: 10/10

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