For 7 years RuPaul’s Drag Race has entertained the hell out of us with a TV show that’s as absurdly outlandish as it is filled with creativity, uniqueness, nerve and talent. The set-up: a number of lucky drag queens compete against each other in the competition reality show to survive elimination and walk away with the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. The winner also receives $100,000 in cash, prizes and bragging rights for the rest of her life. The show stands as Logo and Out TV’s largest draw, increasing in viewers year-to-year which is almost unheard of in television these days. The wildly popular show has launched the careers of many of its memorable competitors into the entertainment stratosphere and beyond the show, each has found immeasurable success in their devoted fan following. The fan following is the reason Battle of the Seasons exists and as part of the 2015 Condragulations Tour, Montreal was treated to 7 queens who came to Montreal to prove their talent does translate beyond the small screen. Though RuPaul herself wasn’t part of the show, her brand-conscious spirit was present throughout the night.
The fearless Michelle Visage, RuPaul’s BFF and one of the Drag Race’s two regular judges, hosted the Montreal leg of the tour. She kicked things with a rousing welcome from the audience as everyone cheered for their favorite queens. The highlights of the night were Alaska 5000, Jinkx Monsoon, Ivy Winters and Bendela Crème. Alaska was first out of the gate with a signature version of ‘I Have Nothing’ by Whitney Houston and an introductory course on how to act when one meets a drag queen. Alaska’s strengths lie in comedy and she brought her A-game to Montreal last night.
Ivy Winters was up next with a dazzling performance as she changed costumes at a breakneck speed (no less than 8 times) during her three-minute performance. She followed up with a juggling act that lit up the stage. Bendela Crème next gave us a strip tease burlesque number that left the audience howling and covered in glitter. This was followed by season 5 winner, Jinkx Monsoon (pictured below) who came out singing a knockout rendition of ‘Creep’ by Radiohead and wowed the crowd with her French speaking skills. As the show continued we were treated to a live Snatch Game with hilarious results. Snatch Game is a recurring sketch on the show that has each queen impersonate her favorite female star. Appearing in the Snatch Game was Alaska as season six whiner, Lajanga Estranga, Darienne Lake showed up as Adore Delano, Jinkx eyed Bette Davis and hit the nail on the head with her act and finally, Pandora Boxx as Alaska. As usual, it was hilarious and over the top.
Rounding out the show, Jiggly Calente, Pandora Boxx and Darienne Lake disappointed with phoned-in performances that may have been good on paper but ended up poorly executed. This wasn’t enough to quash the momentum of the night as Michelle Visage took to the stage to entertain with her own vocal prowess and further performances by all the Queens. Visage was once the lead singer of Wild Orchid and last night she proved that she hasn’t lost her singing edge.
The show went off without a hitch to a packed crowd who eagerly await the return of RuPaul’s Drag Race (this Monday, March 7th on Out TV). Seeing these performers live for the first time was a spectacular treat as their creativity, uniqueness, nerve and talent, like them, are larger than life.