So Rupaul's Drag Race is back once again for another year, which is brilliant because I was only thinking the other day how much sleep I was getting and how much I was enjoying not staying up until 3am trying to come up with funny ways to compare drag queens to Etsy products and thinking of euphemisms for Michelle Visage's boobs.
PHEW, THANK GOD THAT PERIOD OF HAPPINESS AND SANITY IS FINALLY OVER.
Yes, I'll be recapping the show for your reading pleasure once more, and once more I'll have my Holy Six Pack to guide and advise me, made up of the fiercest Ru Girls of all time: Sharon Needles, Jinkx Monsoon and Alaska Thunderfuck, Bianca Del Rio and the Pride of Australia Courtney Act, plus new addition for 2016 KATYA!
And so here we are at season eight, episode one, which actually is episode 100 in the series so far. WOW, 100 EPISODES, THAT'S AMAZING! POP THE FRUITY LEXIA ETC.
Well actually, it's only 100 episodes if you count Drag Race All stars, and no one does (sorry, Chad Michaels), so we're really only at episode 94, but I guess that doesn't sound as good.
So to celebrate we start with a rapid fire montage of all the memorable moments and annoying catchphrases (I'm looking at you, Laganja) of the last seven years, which sadly neglects to include Willam vomiting, Jasmine Masters taking 27 minutes to explain what a cocoon is or Darienne Lake falling over in a giant garbage bag.
Here, I fixed that last one for you.
And without further do or fannying about we're straight into the Werk Room and meeting our first queen, 21-year-old Naomi Smalls, who describes herself as "a tall glass of water".
Naomi prides herself on looking like a '90s supermodel, right down to her total lack of breasts, which is really unique and something that's never been attempted before in drag.
Next up is 34 year old Puerto-Rican-Texan Cynthia-Lee Fontaine, who looks like Courtney Cox on a meth binge.
"EYE YAM SICKSY AS A GODDESSES AND FUNNY AS A CLAYYANN," she says in her bizarre hybrid accent, sounding a bit like Sofia Vergara having a stroke.
Then she bends over and yells: "DO YA WANNA SEE MY COO-COO?"
Moving on to Dax Exclamation Point, a name that makes me think perhaps her application form was filled out by the same sort of person who makes cakes like this:
Anyway here in Australia she'd be "Dax Exclamation Mark", so I might just call her Mark.
Mark looks a bit like Grace Jones crossed with Tina Turner from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and describes herself as "the queen of all nerds", I think because... comic books? Or something?
"I'm very inspired by superheroes, strong, bad bitches who don't take any crap from anybody else," she snarls, then immediately sits down because her feet hurt. Just like a real superhero would.
Next up is 31-year-old Chiacago queen Naysha Lopez, who wastes no time getting some free publicity for her auntie's online antique store by doing a quick impression of this Halloween inspired candelabra:
Then there's 37-year-old Brooklyn girl Acid Betty, who walks in looking like she's just experienced an unfortunate cooking-related accident:
"I'm basically a drug trip without the drugs," she says, which in medical circles is sometimes known as "schizophrenia".
"The main bullet point of Acid Betty is she's a bitch, even Bianca wouldn't f**k with her," she says, before prancing around the room like a toddler on dexys.
Suddenly the Werk Room doors fly open and season five champion Jinkx Monsoon blows into the room, looking rather worse for wear after what has obviously been a marathon few days of drinking, drugs and Taco Bell and...
Oh no, wait. It's just next contestant Robbie Turner.
"My look is classic: Rita Hayworth hair, Jean Harlow robe," she says.
Meanwhile, watching at home:
Moving right along to Kim Chi, 27 of Chicago, who has possibly just come from the same kitchen Acid Betty was in earlier:
Meanwhile, under the makeup, Thorgy may actually be the lovechild of Adam Duritz, Penn Jillette and Dwayne from A Different World:
Turns out Thorgy and Acid Betty know each other from the Brooklyn drag scene, so here's hoping they come to blows over the right way to make cold press coffee or rainbow bagels or something.
Next through the door is Bob the Drag Queen, who immediately becomes one of my favourites for putting the least amount of effort into her name.
"ALRIGHT LADIES LET'S TURN UP THE JUICE AND SEE WHAT SHAKES LOOSE," yells 22-year-old Laila McQueen, shuffling through the door looking like Hamburglar's mistress:
Meanwhile, on the other side of the room:
Moving along to Louisiana queen Chi Chi DeVayne, a staunch environmentalist who has decided to use her first TV appearance to highlight the importance of recycling by wearing a Tuff Stuff maxi bag:
"LEZZY LAY BON TOMP ROO LAY!" she shouts, which I think is an attempt at French but which is greeted with such disdain by the other queens she might as well have just farted the national anthem.
"I'm a cheap queen," Chi Chi says, as she picks a bit of last night's pasta bake off her garbage bag skirt.
You don't say.
And finally we have Derrick Barry, 32 from Las Vegas, otherwise known as:
Derrick is a professional Britney Spears impersonator. She is so good at it, she even looks like her out of drag:
"I would love to believe I'm the best Britney in the world - that's what people say," she chirps.
"Alright Derrick, there are TWO boy names here now!" exclaims Bob the Drag Queen as Derrick smiles and tosses her hair.
Suddenly what sounds like RuPaul being stuffed into a blender rings through the air, which can only mean one thing: the first ASexual Non Gender Specific Mail has arrived!
"Whether you're walking children in nature or feeling the shade of it all, the time has come for you to eche pa'lante," says RuPaul from the piece of green cardboard on the wall they've all agreed to pretend is a real flatscreen TV.
Just then a high-pitched whistle rings out through the Werk Room, causing all the queens to clutch their ears in pain - Kim Chi even more so, as she accidentally stabs both her hands on her metal headpiece. Everyone panics as the floor begins to vibrate, causing Derrick's foam padding to fall out as she cries "You wanna piece of me?".
Meanwhile Mark the superhero is like "I'm not saving any of y'all, my feet hurt."
But there's no time for a rescue plan anyway, because suddenly the door at the top of the stairs swings open and...
"I've arranged a photo shoot with some extra special guest stars," Ru's hat announces, before he disappears in a puff of smoke.
As it turns out, the special guest stars are none other than:
PHOTO SHOOT IN A NUTSHELL:* Naomi Smalls kills it:
* So does Derrick Barry:
* Robbie Turner shows up looking exactly like Jinkx Monsoon, has to pose next to Jinkx Monsoon:
* Chi Chi DeVayne crouches down in an attempt to look coquettish, accidentally looks like a cross dressing midget hiding in the rubbish collection:
* Bob the Drag Queen looks like she's in brace position on the world's gayest airline:
* "I'M READY TO SHOW MY COO-COO!" shouts Cynthia-Lee.
* Meanwhile Raja is modelling the latest from Tiffany's new collection for the US maximum security prison system:
Doobly doo music, wavy lines, more doobly doo music... and we're back on the runway, where all the queens have come to receive their next challenge from RuPaul: trying to remove his enormous hat.
No, actually, it's a fashion challenge where each queen will have to "re imagine" a look from a previous season. This is what's known in the industry as "being too lazy to come up with a new idea".
Robbie Turner is chosen at random to assign the looks, and... Well, when I say "at random", what I mean is Drag Race alumnus Morgan McMichaels comes on stage to fart out a ping pong ball with her name on it.
In other news: can we please get Morgan McMichaels to pick America's Republican Presidential candidate? If it has to be Donald Trump, this method seems the most fitting way to announce it.
So, what looks will our queens be re imagining? Well, just try and remember the worst fashion challenges over the last seven seasons: those ones.
Robbie gets to work assigning all the different looks to her fellow contestants, making sure to give Naomi Smalls the one where she has to cover her perfect butt with a giant cardboard boat (well played), but unfortunately forgets to assign herself anything so gets stuck with the "Bitch Ball" challenge from season four.
And so we head back to the Werk Room to sort through outfit materials, which for Robbie includes a bowl full of dog treats.
"Have you ever tasted one of those, for real? They're actually good," drawls Chi Chi, as everyone stares in disbelief.
"I'm from the south, we eat everything honey. Possums, rats..."
Over in the other corner Derrick is trying to work out what to do for a "Christmas" look.
"My strategy for this challenge is to basically come out with my Britney look, but I just want to add to it," she says.
Hands up who thinks every one of Derrick's looks this season is going to be "Britney with a bit added to it"?
Meanwhile Laila McQueen is having trouble coming up with something for her "Rupocalypse" post-apocalyptic look, because of apparent philosophical differences with the concept of camouflage print.
"Camouflage is a disgusting component of human culture," she tells RuPaul, which is quite ironic for someone who literally camouflages their gender with makeup and wigs for a living.
Sadly Laila doesn't elaborate on this thought so I guess we'll never know what she really meant, but it does elicit this reaction from RuPaul, which is sort of worth it:
"THIS THING IS TOO BIG!" shouts Naomi Smalls at her Pride Float Boat, the first time that sentence has ever passed her lips.
Meanwhile, I don't know what Chi Chi DeVayne's look is, but I hope it's "Female Hip Hop Stars of the 90s" because she'll kill it:
But then she pulls on her shiny silver undies and splits a hole in them right up the middle. So I guess if she's going to be any 90s hip hop star it'll have to be Lil Kim.
Chi Chi is not happy about this situation.
Will she rescue her undies? (Probably)
Will she be kicked out of the competition? (Probably not, she's too funny)
Is this an over-dramatised bid to cook up some controversy before the adbreak? (Yes)
And with that...
IT'S RUNWAY TIME!* In keeping with tonight's theme of recreating iconic looks from the past, RuPaul comes dressed as a character from a film released when she was just a teenager: The Wizard of Oz:
* Not to be outdone, Michelle Visage has also joined in the theme, coming as Neil from The Young Ones:
* Guest judge Nicole Richie is also there, and compliments RuPaul on her Glinda the Good Witch look.
"Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" asks RuPaul.
"Or a sandwich!" quips Nicole, before adding "That's what those things are called right?"
* First down the runway is Acid Betty in her "Money Ball" outfit, throwing out dollar bills like a broken ATM at Mardi Gras:
* Next is Bob the Drag Queen whose "Gone with the Window" dress made out of curtains makes her look like Michelle Obama fallen on tough times:
* Moving on to Mark, whose "Hello Kitty" inspired outfit consists of a bandage dress with some toys stuck to the top:
* Then there's Naysha Lopez, who has stuck very strongly to her "Drag on a Dime" theme by ensuring her entire outfit looks like it cost no more than 10 cents total:
But hey, at least her makeup looks good.
* Moving on to Kim Chi, who has either come dressed as the cowardly lion in an effort to suck up to RuPaul's Glinda, or has just inked a sponsorship deal with Rogaine:
* Next up is Cynthia-Lee Fontaine with her "Sugar Ball" look, with a corset covered in candies and a shimmery pink skirt showing off her legs. Girl looks good.
I'm just about ready to jump on board the Cynthia-Lee drag-wagon... and then she shouts "ARE YOU READY FOR MY COO-COO?" for the 700th time this episode. GIRL, WE GET IT, REALLY.
* Hey, I wonder if Naomi Smalls is going to be able to overcome that giant, ugly cardboard boat to pull off a really cool runway look?
Looks like no.
* THIS JUST IN: I love Chi Chi DeVayne:
* Thorgy Thor comes dressed as red velvet cake, looks totally delicious:
* Robbie Turner attempts "Doggystyle Couture", somehow ends up looking like a sex doll wrapped in a roll of home insulation:
* Derrick Barry pulls out all stops for her "Christmas" look, comes dressed as Britney Spears:
* And finally it's Laila McQueen, who eschewed "disgusting" and offensive camouflage for her "RuPocalypse" look in favour of dressing like a Nazi SS commander:
* "Every inch of your outfit is covered with a thought," Michelle Visage tells Acid Betty.
* Nicole Richie tells Naysha Lopez, who is currently sporting a cardboard corset over a Spanx leotard, that she looks like Eva Longoria.
* "This is the first garment I've ever made, and I don't really sew," says Naysha, as if those two facts aren't completely evident already.
* "The artistry on your face is like, geometric orgasm," Michelle Visage tells Kim Chi.
* RuPaul asks Nicole Richie whether she'd EVER wear Kim Chi's lion outfit, and everyone acts like it's a big joke.
* RuPaul points out the similarity between Naomi Smalls' long, dark hair and Michelle Visage's long, dark hair.
"It's very pretty, but my hair line's not clockable," spits Michelle.
* "We've seen Britney now - my challenge to you is to show us everything you've got BUT Britney," La Visage tells Derrick Barry.
"OK," says Derrick.
* "Do you think you deserve to be in the bottom?" RuPaul asks Robbie Turner, who is currently standing before them with dog biscuits superglued to her boobs.
"Ummm... no... I think my personality is... winning..." Robbie says.
* Carson Kressley tells Laila McQueen she looks "like Wynona Judd opened the oven too quickly and got a little burnt on the outside".
Meanwhile, at home:
"Do you agree with that Naomi?" RuPaul asks.
There's some more deliberation and the queens return from the backstage lounge which, after failing to pick up a luxury alcohol brand sponsor for a third year running this week is sponsored by Crisco, because... well, why not.
In a decision that surprises absolutely no one Kim Chi is crowned the night's winner, and receives a slew of glittering prizes including a half used can of Glen 20 and a 50 per cent off coupon for Copperart (expired June 1991).
Then in a decision that surprises pretty much everyone, Robbie Turner is sent back to the safe zone, despite looking like a giant marshmallow treat for dogs.
That leaves bottom two Naysha Lopez and Laila McQueen to duke it out in a lip sync battle to "Applause", the last hit Lady Gaga had before she realised no one cared about her antics anymore and she should just start wearing normal frocks again.
Laila definitely has the outfit advantage: her thigh high boots and military-esque jacket match the punkiness of the song. Not that it really matters, because anything would look more appropriate than Naysha who is rooted to the spot waving her hands around like she's in the Polynesian exhibit at Disneyworld circa 1975.
Just to clarify:
Sadly Naysha's impromptu on-stage tribute to Steve Irwin is not enough to save her, and she is told to sashay away.
Well that's it - one down, 11 to go. So hurry up and go READ EPISODE TWO! Or you can always go back and read my recaps of Season Seven or Season Six.