What do you get when you put nine drag queens in a room together and have them compete for cash, prizes and the spotlight itself? Not just one of our recurring nightmares, but also one helluva great show.
By now, the reality TV competition format has become sadly predictable, from the overly dramatic music to the infuriating commercial breaks that interrupt the action just before something important is about to be revealed.
RuPaul’s Drag Race on LOGO follows the same formula, but with one important difference. It’s engrossingly entertaining and even more amazingly, it somehow feels fresh and diverse.
RuPaul has taken her sassy diva point-of-view and infused it into every aspect of the show in a clever, campy way. When the contestants are delivered their video instructions from Ru, the segment is called She-Mail.
Her hunky shirtless assistants? The Pit Crew.
And when she’s giving the competitors their mantra for letting their inner divas out, the four tenets she mandates are: Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. (Too bad those words don’t form an easy-to-remember acronym.)
Of the nine contestants that start the show, the villain emerges pretty quickly: Akashia, who proudly proclaims that “every competition needs a bitch.” And in a room full of queens, that’s quite an accomplishment. She’s clearly gone to the Omarosa School of Getting The Most Screen Time and graduated valedicktorian.
The first two episodes feature plenty of non-Akashia drama and some truly fun challenges, including our favorite: “Drag on a Dime” where they go all Project Runway and have to create their own outfits out of used costumes and dollar-store merchandise.
But our absolute favorite part of the show (besides RuPaul’s stunning judges’ table ensembles) is the way the bottom two contestants compete to stay on the show.
“The time has come,” RuPaul says with a very serious face and even more dramatic pause, “for you to lip sync for your life!”
At that point, the two drag queens take to the stage together and fight for the attention of the judges and a chance to tuck another week.
After only two episodes, we’ve already set our TiVos. And we already have our favorite to win, but only one queen will make a victory lap in this Race.
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Premieres tonight on Logo, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT