The new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race won’t be here for another two(ish) months, but over the weekend, the cast list was leaked bit by bit over various social-media sites. Today, the last of the cast was revealed, so let’s take a look at the queens thus far who will be appearing on the sixth season of Drag Race . . .
Strengths: A trained singer who made it to the semi-finals on American Idol, she has a loyal — to a fault — fan base and a punk look that seems to be more and more in favour these past few seasons.
Weaknesses: As you’ll see in the next few queens, Hollywood names and singers seem to be a theme. Unfortunately for Adore, there are a lot of queens in that category with more polish than her, so she’ll have to make up for it in personality and edginess.
Strengths: The season’s Puerto Rican queen, April is incredibly feminine and her performances have some great artistic expression and experimentation behind them, without being overly smug as was the case for Serena ChaCha.
Weaknesses: It’s not enough just to be polished; she needs to have that certain je ne sais quoi; otherwise, she runs the risk of fading into the background. And as is the case with most PR queens, her grasp of the English language could potentially be a roadblock.
Ben De La Creme
Strengths: As a friend of Jinkx Monsoon, she has the kind of comedic twist the judges have come to love, and since she’s a dead ringer for Michelle Visage, she’ll never have to worry about being read over her makeup or hair.
Weaknesses: Like Alaska, Ben’s got some big shoes to fill, and those comparisons to Jinkx could work against her. As long as she doesn’t tie herself too tightly to Monsoon season, she should go far, though.
Bianca Del Rio
Strengths: She’s a legendary New York queen, and her standup and hosting abilities are second to none compared to the other girls. As a professional costumer, she also knows how to design and sew a snazzy ensemble.
Weaknesses: Judging by her YouTube videos, she’s more of a standup act than she is a lip-syncher. If she’s ever in the bottom two, this could be a HUGE disadvantage to her. Also, she doesn’t exactly change up her makeup too often.
Strengths: Courtney was actually a finalist on Australian Idol, and since then she’s made a huge name for herself in the mainstream in Australia and is slowly making her way into American pop culture. She’s also the most polished of the singing Hollywood queens.
Weaknesses: Because of her level of fame, Courtney has a higher pedestal to fall from. There’s a very real possibility that since she became a huge star in Australia, they’re going to be grading her on a much sharper curve. (Honestly, I’m kinda reaching for her weakness here.)
Strengths: Darienne has been doing drag for 23 years now and is easily the most seasoned performer out of everyone on the show. Unlike a lot of the older queens, however, Darienne has been able to remain current with her references, and that appreciation for pop culture both old and new is going to give her a lot more to work with. Also: she’s Pandora Boxx’s drag mother, which means she’s God.
Weaknesses: She’s my favourite, so the scales be on my eyes, but the sad fact of it is that being a big queen is going to open her up to a lot of criticism that the twinkier queens don’t have to deal with.
Strengths: As a pageant queen, the polish factor is high, and her lip-synching is on point. She’s also very, very pretty.
Weaknesses: If this were Season 1 or 2? She’d go far. But since Drag Race has moved away from queens who are purely lip-synchers, I’m guessing she won’t go quite as far as she’d like.
Strengths: See above.
Weaknesses: See above. Seriously though, considering lip-synching is something you’re going to be doing only if you’re in the bottom two, it doesn’t serve much of a purpose aside from saving your ass at the 11th hour.
Strengths: Like Adore and Courtney, Kelly is a big Hollywood name (her grandfather was Mickey Mantle) and a top-notch singer. She also has a pretty spectacular sense of humour to help round her out.
Weaknesses: Honestly, if it comes down to the singing Hollywood trio of Adore, Courtney and Kelly, it’s ultimately going to come down to preferences. Adore is the punk one, Courtney’s the pretty one, and Kelly’s the funny one.
Strengths: She’s from the house of Alyssa Edwards and is easily the best dancer out of everyone on the show. Unlike Alyssa or her drag sister Shangela, Laganja’s makeup skills are a little more on-point and diverse.
Weaknesses: As I said, lip-synching skills are meant to be a trump card you play at the last minute to keep you in the competition, rather than something that’ll keep you around long-term. Also, at the risk of calling the kettle black, her looks tend to veer a little too far on the slut side. She’s going to need to break out the gowns from time to time to shake things up.
Strengths: She knows her way around a comedy script, so if there’s ever a challenge that requires the queens to write and act, she’s going to be a shoe-in.
Weaknesses: THAT NOSE CONTOUR. Yikes. So her makeup skills aren’t the best, and there isn’t much in the way of lip-synching for her. Like Bianca, falling into the bottom two could spell doom for her.
Strengths: Yup, Milk. That’s her name. And she’s the best. Out of all the queens, she probably has the edgiest, most experimental style, and that’s going to set her apart. Before you write her off as just a weirdo, I should also mention that she’s a figure skater and her partner is a professional ballet dancer. They gots the skills to back up their weirdness.
Weaknesses: She has technical skills and vision, so the real challenge for her is going to be whether she can compromise to fit Ru’s expectations without losing what makes her unique.
Strengths: See Gunn, Gia or Fox, Joslyn.
Weaknesses: Once again, being pretty and lip-synching will no longer cut it.
Strengths: Vi is the only house queen on the cast, and her style and energy puts her in a league all her own. Out of all the queens, she’s shown the greatest variation in her style, and her ability to go from avant garde to pageant is amazing. Also, there’s something about her that reads as equal parts Latrice Royale and Nina Flowers. I adore her, completely and totally.
Weaknesses: The makeup is a touch kitchen-sink, and like Milk, she’s going to need to compromise her look a bit to fit Ru’s criteria without losing her edge.