Just when I thought TV had run out of potential coming-out stories to tell, RuPaul’s Drag Race proved me wrong on Friday with the emotional tale of a man who just wants to be accepted… for being straight.
Maddy Morphosis‘ groundbreaking sexuality was all anyone could tweet about when the casting for Season 14 was announced last month. A cisgender straight male drag queen? Inconceivable! And while fans continue to debate who should or shouldn’t be allowed to do drag on social media (lame!), it should be noted that her competitors appear completely fine with it. Heck, some are practically giddy about sharing mirror space with an out-and-proud lady lover.
“I don’t feel the need to clarify my sexuality,” the 26-year-old Arkansas native explained at the top of Friday’s episode, the conclusion of this season’s two-part premiere. “I really want the first impression that the girls have of me to be the content of my drag.” And we can all agree that Maddy made quite the impression with that Guy Fieri-inspired entrance look. Let’s be real, only a straight man would even think of doing that.
That said… Oops! Mama Ru kinda-sorta outed Maddy by bringing up her sexuality in the werkroom, eliciting a flurry of reactions from the other contestants. Initial responses ranged from “Whoa!” to simple stunned silence, but it was all love in the end. “It kind of makes me have mad respect for her,” Lady Camden admitted, while Angeria Paris VanMicheals took it a step further, saying, “I think it’s sickening that Maddy is a heterosexual man from a small town in the south and wants to be a sickening drag queen all at the same time. Nobody said it couldn’t be done!”
And as far as I’m concerned, Maddy proved her worth this week. She’s no Prince, but I was vibing with her moody guitar playing in the talent show, but that Marie Antoinette-inspired runway look was magnifique. Even Michelle Visage hailed it as something she’s “never seen on the main stage before.” (For Maddy’s sake, we’ll pretend that Michelle didn’t follow that up by saying, “I can see that you need some help with your makeup.” Ouch.)
OK, now that we’ve addressed the heterosexual elephant in the werkroom, let’s discuss this week’s MVP — Atlanta’s own Angeria Paris VanMicheals! The “southern belle from ATL” commanded our attention from the jump with her warmth, humor and ferocity. And that appreciation clearly extended to Mama Ru, who declared Angeria the winner of both the mini and maxi challenge this week.
It was a well-earned double victory, from that quirky photo shoot (“I’ve got Tic Tacs in my titties!”) to the high-energy performance of her original song. (One of the only good drag queen songs I’ve ever heard? Check!) Seriously, You know you’re doing something right when the judges are already mouthing the lyrics to your music on Day 1. The cherry on top of Angeria’s premiere win was her “fine-like-wine” runway look, a stunning display of pageantry and glamour. Just lovely.
Additional kudos go to Jasmine Kennedie, whose impressive routine (a backflip in six-inch heels to a song from the Hotel Transylvania 2 soundtrack?!) and The Queen-inspired runway look made her a major contender for this week’s winner. And like the judges, I’m also developing a soft spot for Jorgeous.
Unfortunately, just as there are highs to each Drag Race premiere, there must also be lows. DeJa Skye and Daya Betty (aka Crystal Methyd’s drag sister!) found themselves in the bottom two, forcing them to face off in a lip sync of “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys… right in front of Alicia Keys. A nightmare! Sadly, I can’t say they didn’t both deserve to be there; neither DeJa’s ill-conceived comedy routine about cheerleading nor Daya’s attempt to “Get the Party Started” did anything for me. Or the judges.
Slower songs don’t always make for the best lip syncs, but props to DeJa for keeping things interesting with a wide range of emotions and some funny (and impressive) physical beats. I have to give it up to Daya, as well, for daring to expose her nips. Always a brave choice.
Your thoughts on the second half of Drag Race‘s premiere? Now that we’ve met all of this season’s queens, which do you think could go all the way to the finale? Weigh in via our poll below, then drop a comment with your full review.