RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Cast Assessment

Like a kraken rising from the ocean to devour the children of the nearest village, RuPaul’s Drag Race is back once again to destroy your innocence! To prepare ourselves for the premiere this Friday, I’ve decided to make a write up on my overall thoughts on each of the contestants.

Unfortunately, unlike my last time doing this, this isn’t an All Star season, so I don’t know any of these girls off the bat. To cover for this, I have a simple solution: searching their name in Google and seeing what non-Drag Race things pop up with them in it.

Let’s see how successful this will be.

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Aja, Age 22, Brooklyn, NY

You know, I was going to be kind with Aja. A lot of jokes have already been made about how she looks exactly like Naomi Smalls, and I didn’t think that was fair. I just thought that people were jumping to conclusions and comparing her to the one other, recent Queen who was also tall, skinny, and darker-than-White skinned person.

And then I went to her Instagram. And yep, she does look exactly like Naomi Smalls.

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Going by her Instagram and Twitter, it’s clear she’s primarily a fishy, look Queen who takes model shots and looks pretty.

Granted, she is beautiful. She’s probably the most beautiful Queen of the season.

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And she also makes a cute boy, too.

Her Meet the Queens video, meanwhile, is pretty mediocre. I don’t know what show she thinks she’s going on, but if she thinks she’ll be different from others by speaking her mind and telling the truth, then there’s about a hundred episodes on this show she needs to watch.

I also have a hard time believing anyone when they say they are a crazy person in the most monotone voice possible.

She also calls her look ratchet, which is good, because it’s better when she says it about herself than when someone like Derrick Barry says it about -insert Black contestant from Season 8 here-.

Overall, while her looks is beautiful, her lack of emotions vocally and her dazed expression do not make me optimistic.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely To Have A Pretty Instagram But Be Boring On The Show

I’m always hopeful for people to be interesting, unique, and fun on any reality show. Sure, killer outfits and costumes can lead to amazing moments, but I primarily care about what kind of personality a contestant will bring to a season.

I’m afraid Aja will tank.

Of course, I could be wrong, I said the same exact thing about Naomi after all. But from what I’ve seen of her lip syncs and her social medias handles, we might have another Miss Fame here.

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Alexis Michelle, Age 33, New York, NY

Already, I like Alexis. Her Twitter is funny, even somewhat insightful. New York Queens have a pretty good reputation on the show, and even when the are eliminated early, they can still do memorable things like lift contestants off the ground during a lip sync.

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Never forget.

Not only that, but her videos on Youtube have been stellar. While I was only able to find a few lip syncs of Aja, Alexis Michelle won me over instantly with a single video.

Her Meet the Queens video is also really good, calling herself several words that tick positives boxes for me, including “theatricality” and “prostitute”.

Honestly, Alexis is getting a shorter write-up only because I don’t have much to say about her. Her look is solid, her performances are great, and she’s clearly here to have fun first and win second.

Plus, it can’t be understated how hot he is in boy mode.

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The quality is crap, but his face is not.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely To Inadvertently Create a Challenge for Next Season

Alexis I feel is the one most likely to do something everyone will go nuts over, and because RuPaul isn’t above capitalizing on other’s success, will have a challenge dedicated to that awesome moment in Season 10.

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Charlie Hides, Age 52, London, UK

Yes, you read that right, 52.

Remember in the good old days when everyone in Season 3 made such a big deal over Raja being the ancient age of 36?

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Dinosaur.

Ah, memories…

In any case, it is odd seeing someone on the show who could have attended elementary school the same time as RuPaul. We haven’t had anyone quite this old competeing in Drag Race.

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Aside for Granny Coco, of course, who’s clearly 80.

Honestly, credit where credit is due, she doesn’t look 52. Sure, there’s a hundred pounds of make-up on her just like everyone else, but even her out of drag pictures look pretty young and happy, so good for her.

As for her online content, it all seems decent and good. Nothing ground breaking, but you can tell she knows what she’s doing after years of experience.

Her Meet the Queens video is also pretty good, not being afraid to make fun of her age, but also with her stellar make-up tutorial of throwing a bunch of powder into the ceiling fan and hoping for the best. Overall, she won’t set the world on fire, but there’s more positives than negatives.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely To Be Eliminated Early Because of Age

Drag Race doesn’t have the best reputation with Queens who are a drastically different age than everyone else, as we saw with both Porkchop and then with both Tempest and Kasha Davis. It took RuPaul knowing Raja in real life to get her to win, and I don’t think Charlie has that luxury. I predict she’ll go home early, unfortunately.

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Eureka O’Hara, Age 25, Johnson City, TN

So far my favorite thing said about Eureka has been when Bianca said that she’s so happy in her promo picture because she’s thinking about a sandwich.

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As for Eureka herself, I sadly didn’t get much of an impression either way from her. Her Instagram and Twitter are decent, but don’t really show a variety of looks from her. Her premiere video of her doing the splits was impressive, but after seeing other big girls also doing the splits on stage, I expected more.

Looking at her other videos online doesn’t leave a lot to be desired either, sadly. Her presence isn’t as big as most of the other contestants here, and she just doesn’t pop to me as a performer. Time will tell with how the season shakes out, but just looking at it straight on, it looks like we’re not going to get a big girl winner this season either.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely to Make Shady Comments and be Hated by the Internet

The online fandom hates shady big girls, and from what little of the premiere we have seen, this one might not be any different.

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Farrah Moan, Age 23, Las Vegas, NV

Hey, at least she’s not denying she looks exactly like Courtney Act like Aja did.

Vegas Queens have an interesting time on the show. Being that it is Las Vegas, many of the looks they pull of, if not outright celebrity impersonation, are over the top and outlandish. Basically, stand out as much as you can from a mile away.

It’s interesting, then, that Farrah isn’t like that.

Farrah says in her Meet the Queens video that she was born and raised in Texas, and now lives in Las Vegas, but I don’t see either of the stereotypical trends those areas of Drag have: she have neither the huge hair and gaudy costumes, nor is she painted for the audience a mile away (and the gaudy costumes). Farrah has way more in common with LA drag than either place she’s from.

I have no real clue how Farrah is going to do, other than constantly be called Courtney Act by the audience.

Because… come on!

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely to be Told to Stop Relying on That Body

She won’t get the full Michelle Visage bitching out (that’s for someone later), but I do see her being called out for the heinous sin of being pretty.

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Jaymes Mansfield, Age 26, Madison WI

First of all, what’s with this promo look? This looks awful. The awkward pose, the unflattering boa, the kitten heels, the fact you can see her lack of toes, the hard hairline, etc. I mean, it’s a beautiful color that works with her skin tone,  but this might go down as one of the worst promo looks of the show’s herstory.

Now, with that out of the way, I really do like her Meet the Queens video, starting off with the correct fact that Wisconsin is a frozen hell. I like her innocent voice, which perfectly with her saying one of her side jobs is baby sitting. Sadly, she doesn’t mention if she walks the children out in nature or not.

Plus this great line, “I’m walking art, but not like Vivacious, I’m pretty.”

Her social media is also decent, showing her other art interests like her puppets and her expertise with a hot glue gun.

Sadly, while I like her fine, I don’t think she’s going to do very well, leading to…

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely to be Sasha Belle*

I don’t know why, but her being here screams Filler Queen. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t have much faith she’ll succeed in the long run. She’s too weird.

* also know as Laila McQueen’d.

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Kimora Blac, Age 28, Las Vegas, NV

Now, this is what I expect from a Vegas Queen.

Just watching her Meet the Queens videos, we have here our first cocky Queen. It’s always fun to have a Queen feel like she has to explain to us who Marco Marco and Kimora Lee Kardashian Simmons are. Plus it’s always fun to hear someone say they find themselves hot enough to want to have sex with.

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Granted, she’s not alone.

Out of everyone in this cast, I feel the most “meh” about her. She’s clearly beautiful, but I just don’t get that excited just seeing what she can do.

What I will be interested in seeing, though, is her inevitable downfall.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely to Have a Huge Downfall

You know those fun moments when a girl gets really cocky and comes in and says she’s going to win, but ends up floundering and usually places near the bottom of the season?

That’s Kimora.

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Nina Bo’nina Brown, Age 34, Atlanta, GA

First thing.

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What the fuck?

Seriously, I don’t know what else to say other than just upload a bunch of online looks.

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These looks are fucking outlandish and strange and…

I love them all.

That being said, I don’t think this will translate well.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely to be Hated by Michelle Visage

You know it, I know it, she will hate Nina. Hopefully this time she doesn’t force someone to quit.

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Peppermint, Age 37, New York, NY

Unlike… pretty much all the other Queens here, I’m actually very familiar with Peppermint. Being a pretty well known New York Queen, especially after her Drag younger sister Bob won last season, Peppermint is probably the Queen going in with the most to prove.

There’s a lot of hype going in behind Peppermint, and it’s not just because Bob won last season. For one, while many contestants came out as transwomen during and after the show, Peppermint is the first known one before the show has even started. Second, she’s a big name in New York, one that people actually know before the show. These things all mix into her being the pre-show one to watch for.

Which is why it’s odd her social media is as subdued as it is. Hell, it’s weird that she isn’t even the first season 9 girl to get a Wow Presents video.

This also applies to her Meet the Queens video, where she does have a certain spark in her eyes, but her overall level of excitement is notably low.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely to Cause the First “Tender” Moment on Drag Race

You know, those shoe horned in moments where we talk about something emotional like how Chi Chi is poor or that Bob protested in drag. That first one is totally Peppermint.

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Sasha Velour, Age 29, Brooklyn, NY

After the initial excitement followed by sudden disappointment that was Thorgy Thor, I’m hesitant to see another Brooklyn queen on the show.

Her social media follows the same kind of odd middle grown that Thorgy did, in that it’s not too weird, but not too pretty. Drag Race, like drag itself, loves extremes, and I find myself not particularly invested in contestants who try to be both weird and pretty and achieve neither. Her looks on her Instagram are definitely pretty, but I don’t find myself wowed by them. Time will tell if her personality shines brighter.

While I do like her Teletubby look for the promo picture, I can’t say I expect more from her than I do, say, Nina. Much like Thorgy, I’m afriad Sasha will straddle the fence of weird, and not fully achieving it.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely to Make a Sudden Turn to Bitch Halfway Through

We need a sudden heel-turn every season, and Sasha is the best candidate from what I’ve seen.

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Shea Couleé, Age 27, Chicago, IL

Bitch she’s from Chicago!

…yeah that’s all I got.

I haven’t a clue what Shea will do in Season 9. I certainly don’t hate her, and do enjoy her Transformations video on Wow Presents. I’m just not for sure what to get from her overall look.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely to Somehow Make the Final 6 without a Story Line

I do think Shea can do well in the season, but I don’t know if it’ll be enough to carry a story. Say hello to your new Joslyn Fox.

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Trinity Taylor, Age 31, Orlando, FL

Is it just me or does half the cast share names with past season Queens. I guess after 100 you stop keeping track.

Now, it’s hard not to compare to the other Trinity from Florida from the show. And from her Meet the Queens video, I get the same sense I got from Trinity: she’s going to get slammed hard.

Trinity is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but her video comes off like she knows more than she actually does. This applied to K. Bonet as well, which is why it was good someone like Bianca was there to slam her down and say, “You’re not that great.”

Of course, I don’t know everything. Maybe she’ll be pleasant and awesome on the show. It does seem, though, that she will get a smackdown at some point.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely to Have a Growth Arc

These are always fun to see, and I hope that other Trinity has one just as good as the other other Trinity.

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Valentina, Age 25, Los Angelas, CA

Is it just me, or does this Queen look like a thirteen year old? Like, the dress, the huge hair, the lack of perspective on the height… it all comes off Toddlers and Tiaras.

Oh well, maybe she’ll not be this way in her Meet the Queens video.

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“Hello, I’m Valentina, and I’m a little girl.”

Oh…

From what I’ve seen of her so far, she’s shaping up to be the kooky Queen of the season, in the same vein as Yara and Cynthia. She’s not quite on their level of crazy, but she’s definitely an odd one who will soak up some screen time. She’ll never be seen as a serious threat, but she will have fun moments and everyone from the cast will say she was a really nice person.

Or she could be the villain.

Either or.

Yearbook Reward: Most Likely to get Her Own Wow Presents Show

Darkhorse victory on this one, but I predict she’ll be popular enough to warrant her own Alyssa’s Secret or Uhnnnn.

 

Final Thoughts:

After the mess that was All Stars 2, it’s nice to see how this season shakes out. Season 8 was a relative high for the show, and while All Stars 2 was an inevitable train wreck, I have hopes Season 9 will do well. My pessimism for some cast members aside, this looks like a pretty strong cast, and one I hope delivers as good as the high watermark both 6 and 8 set with their casts.

We’ll see this Friday, when RuPaul’s Concentration Camp For Wayward Girls comes back to enslave us all.

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