If you simply cannot hear the words “lip-synch for your life” soon enough, then relax your curls, dahling. Just in the fraying-hem nick of time, RuPaul’s Drag Race returns for its ninth season on March 24. With Ru’s Emmy firmly clutched in exquisitely manicured hand and a switch of network from Logo to VH1, will this most outlandish of competition reality TV shows updo the ante with even shadier shade and ever-more epic catfights? Here is our quick-change rundown to getting your life…
What to watch for: We’ve already seen the first episode teaser where RuPaul presents the girls with no less than drag empress Lady Gaga, but expect real tears to flow if—as indicated by the worst-kept secret in the drag-o-sphere—Ru graciously Shangelas last year’s Miss Congeniality, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, back into the folds of her motherly gown. Can Cucu parlay last year’s emergency exit into a strut to the top three?
Who to watch for: This year Ru vrooms her first Euro-racer around the track: London’s true-school classics queen Charlie Hides. Peppermint is another drag legend—is it her time to light up the room for a crown like her NYC sister Bianca Del Rio? Maybe, but the T is that this year’s fiercest competitor is another New York City girl: Aja, a club kid from the Manhattan-adjacent borough of Brooklyn, who has already slain us with the razor-sharp style of her drapes on the premiere carpet.
Dare we hope: For a First Lady challenge as bizarre as the election year during which it was filmed, perhaps with Katya presiding from deep within a K-hole as Melania? They could settle the teams via the impartial voting process of pocketbook scramble, and fill the stage with a pillbox of Jackies versus a squadron of Mary Todds. It wouldn’t be the first time that drag provided entertainment as outrage as therapy.
Local girls: In previous seasons, Derek Barry and Coco Montrese brought Vegas Strip glamour and fierce lip-syncing chops to Ru’s runway. This year, Kimora Blac and Farrah Moan will bring the muchness that hallmarks Sin City drag to our television screens. Is it finally time for these beacons of neon nightlife to streetwalk over the competition? Tune in Fridays to find out. And don’t worry about your own sashay: The show lasts just long enough for you to dry your manicure and tease your weave before you are out the door onto your own catwalk, huntie.