Season 9 of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ leaves audiences Gaga-ing

Darby Osborne

“Rupaul’s Drag Race” has been going strong for eight seasons and it does not look like the engines are slowing down anytime soon.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” is a reality competition series created by famous drag queen RuPaul Charles. The drag queens go head-to-head in different challenges every week ranging from comedy, skits and costuming. In the end only one of the 13 can be crowned “America’s Next Drag Superstar.”


The series’ ninth season snatched viewers’ attention on March 24 on the new network of VH1. For all past seasons, the series could only be viewed on the channel Logo.

The first episode has already gotten massive amounts of attention due to multiple trailers showcasing various runway looks and popular celebrity guest judges. Oh, and an appearance by Lady Gaga.

The beginning of the episode has all 13 queens entering the work room in their best looks. Nina Bo’nina Brown, Shea Couleé, Sasha Velour and Charlie Hides showcase unique fashion choices while their personalities shine through those layers of Kryolan makeup.

As the last contestant enters the work room and gives a twirl, viewers are waiting for that wonderful phrase of “Hello-Hello” from main diva, Rupaul, and for the competition to officially start.

All of the queen’s engines are rumbling, but it seems that a 14th queen is possible. All of the contestants are gasping when a Lady Gaga “impersonator” sashays through the doorway. Soon, the queens realize that it is the artist herself and immediately get emotional.

Another queen, Eureka, and Lady Gaga have a moment together, talking about how inspirational her music and art has been for Eureka. Lady Gaga returns the sentiment about the art form of drag and talks about how it provides an escape in her own life.

RuPaul soon crashes the party and informs the queens of their first challenge of the season, a beauty pageant. The categories of the pageant are representations of the queens’ cities and best Lady Gaga look. RuPaul threw a wrench in the first 20 minutes of tape, when announcing that no one would be going home.

Whether he meant only this episode or the whole season is still unclear and very frustrating. I was hoping for the bottom two queens to lip-sync to “Applause” and I got nothing.

As the queens scramble with sequins and bobby pins, the viewers are offered more insight on the queens and their particular style. This is where you really get a feel of how the queens are going to play this season (Eureka is going for the jugular).

As the pageant of “Miss Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent,” the judges are introduced by RuPaul: Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, Carson Kressley and Lady Gaga.


Queens Eureka, Sasha Velour and Nina Bo’nina Brown successfully wow the panel in their city looks as well as their Lady Gaga flattery.

In the end Nina Bo’nina Brown snatched the challenge win with her kooky and outside of the box makeup application and costumes.

The hour is up and everything seems to be going according to script. Then, again, RuPaul adds in a little something extra to this season. Another contestant enters into frame, their face away from the audience. The sounds of gasps and “oh girl no” echoes around and then cuts to black.

No fooling here, a 14th contestant is ready to be in the competition. 

This season is loaded with drama, feathers and more drama. RuPaul never disappoints, but this episode does not feel like the premiere. It introduces the queens, but the pace of the episode is slow and, without an elimination, it feels incomplete.

This season may be one for the books, but this engine is revved for the race to officially start.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” is on every Friday at 6 p.m. on VH1.

Collegian Reporter Darby Osborne can be reached at or on Twitter @_darbs_.