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RPDR RANT: Season 8 Pre-Season Impressions!

Aedan Roberts

Hey everyone! That time of year is FAST approaching! Where my rants are long, superfluous, and WAY too passionate. Yes, of course I’m talking about Aedan Roberts' RuPaul’s DRAG RACE SEASON 8 Rants! And to kick things off early I’m going to do something stupid, but fun: first impressions of each Queen and links to some youtube videos I’ve selected for you to get to know the girls a bit better before they strut their shit. I’m also going to probably give my pre-show top four or five (or more, ugh). Because honestly? This season seems just as jam packed with talent and people I love as season 6 was so a top 3 will be impossible.

Without further ado:

ACID BETTY:
I’m incredibly excited to see this visually explosive Queen make her way to Drag Race. She seems, in my book, to have it all: a distinct, insane visual style, intelligence, wit and irreverence. Plus she’s a home girl (NYC BITCHES!). As of now- based on the Ruveal alongside what I already knew of her before - Acid is one of my top Queens going into Season 8. I’m not familiar enough to know if she will be the self-proclaimed bitch of the season (which was stated in her description) but I’m hoping that, if so, she will be the good kind of bitch (Bianca) and not the bad kind (Roxxxy, Phi Phi).

To get a small sampling of what Acid Betty is all about, go here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDhugx_scVg

BOB THE DRAG QUEEN:
If I had to pick a Queen, right now, that I would want to win Season 8 of RPDR it would be Bob the Mutherfuckin’ Drag Queen. This girl is hysterical, talented, and commanding. She’s possibly the smartest queen I’ve seen and her performance skills are right up there with Bianca-levels of polished. I was made aware of this girl after she was speculated to be in Season 8 on the RPDR subreddit (which was, not shockingly, amazingly accurate) and proceeded to binge-watch as much as I could of her youtube videos. My favorites are the performances where she splices music with clips from movies/stand-up routines. I know this is a common Drag Performance Practice, but hers are absolutely wonderful and especially clever. And if that weren’t enough she is also an NYC girl! Bob is definitely taking a spot in my top choices for this season.

Some choice samples of Bob:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaekaFzDACo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdZU-XQUOdw

CHI CHI DEVAYNE:
I don’t really have much to say about her. She seems polished, adorable, and has a sense of humor- but nothing really stood out for me. She’s kind of an unknown entity for me so if anyone has any more info on her I’d love to hear it. As of now I kind of see her as middle of the pack.

I couldn’t find any videos on youtube of her so that doesn’t help, lol.

CYNTHIA LEE FONTAINE:
She’s actually one of the only Meet the Queens I couldn’t finish the clip of. I kind of got this Kandy Ho vibe from her. Both in the way she talked and how good she was at making an impact on me. I hope to be surprised by her when the show finally airs, but as of now she’s towards the bottom of my list. From what I’ve been able to tell from her youtube videos she can at least perform well and her lip-synch always seems on point. But that’s about all I could tell you of this Puerto Rican Queen.

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIE8Evv8_FI

DERRICK BARRY:
Derrick seemed to get a lot of hate on the subreddit when her name was floated for Season 8. It’s something I don’t understand completely, but on some level I *kind* of get it. She’s Britney. That’s her job, that’s what she does best, and that’s what seems to be on her mind constantly (she says Britney a total of 7 times in her short Meet the Queen clip and referenced her multiple other times). Which kind of gives me the sense that her range is rather limited. However she’s a vegas girl- so the girl can DANCE, perform, and look polished to filth. Will she have the ability to break away from her one trick alla Chad Michaels? Or fall flat like Venus Delite? Who knows. As of now I like her, but not one of my favorites so far.

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9ZIPDaNKNo

DAX EXCLAMATIONPOINT:
I have to admit: I had not heard of Miss Exclamationpoint before her Ruveal. But I’m completely excited for her now! She has said many of the magic words to get me behind her: she’s a nerd, she’s a Cosplay Queen, she loves comics. In other words, the girl speaks my language. She also seems pretty damn smart, amicable, polished, and fun. She’s definitely in my Top Picks based on the RuVeal content and a couple other videos. Will she turn it out? Who knows! But regardless I'm an instant fan. PS: extra points for the Violet shade (out of love, seeing how she is Violet’s Drag Mom (!) )

Her IMPECCABLE Storm Drag:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ee_d6QG2o8

KIM CHI:
Much like Bob, Kim-Chi first appeared on my radar when the Subreddit pointed to her as one of Season 8’s predicted queens (also correct). And ever since I have been an ever-growing fan of hers. Falling in a similar vein to Trixie Mattel (in terms of makeup application) she distinguishes herself from the pack as one of the most visually avant-garde and on-POINT queens I’ve ever seen. She’s playful, silly, and I *LOVE* her adorable little lisp that she has in her Meet the Queen video. She’s a walking work of art, really. And she definitely has my support and a spot in my Top Picks.

Video of Miss Chi:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTkuR7j3Ir0
Instagram of Miss Chi:
https://www.instagram.com/kimchi_chic/?hl=en

LAILA MCQUEEN:
I was initially bored and thought she was forgettable (a bit of a Poor Man's Adore Delano). Then I watched her Meet the Queen and was like “huh, she seems more fun than her picture and RuVeal clips implied.” Then I looked her up on youtube and watched a compilation video (or maybe it was her audition tape) and now I kind of love her. Not enough to make my Top Girls list, but I’m excited to see if she can weasel her way on there once the show starts (which, I’m sure, is the only thing she’s ever wanted.)

Video that made me excited to see her on RPDR:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGKO9-LrErU

NAOMI SMALLS:
I don't know if it is the 5th Element Stewardess Meets 1960s Go Go outfit she wore in the Ruveal, the way every movement she made had a sinewy grace about it, or the alien beauty someone with limbs that long and thin possesses, but I was immediately captured by this queen during her Meet The Queens segment. I don't know much about her, but her look was one of my favorites in the trailer, her makeup was wonderful, and subsequent youtube perusing has shown me she moves with a confidence I've only ever seen in Raja before. She may be the youngest person in the competition (or one of the youngest) but I can't help but have high hopes for her.

Some fun videos showing off the fierce:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LB7SuLysN8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HbzoDjoyDA

NAYSHA LOPEZ:
Another middle of the pack, in my eyes. We get it, she's pretty, fishy, polished. But there just wasn't anything in that interview that made her stand out. No quirks, no oddity of character (which helps a lot on a TV Reality Show). Honestly? She just seems like a confident, pretty, talented and utterly milquetoast individual. And while that's probably who I'd prefer to be stuck in a broken elevator with it's not really what I'd be into watching on RPDR- especially with the caliber of talent and personality Ru has for us this upcoming season.

A rather boring but competent video of Miss Naysha:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yo9gLxgVCI

ROBBIE TURNER:
Robbie Turner. This woman is WONDERFUL. Robbie's flawless, often-vintage looks, wonderful mug, and (far more importantly) HYSTERICAL performances quickly makes her one of my favorites. She has that Golden Age of Hollywood sensibility about her, a bit of Lucy mixed with Katherine Hepburn and then funneled into the body of a Drag Queen. I was made aware of her, yet again, through Reddit's Season 8 predictions, and boy was I happy about it. As someone whose favorite queens include Jinkx Monsoon and Ben DeLaCreme this girl was right up my alley (it helps that she hails from Seattle and is good friends with both the aforementioned queens). But even if those two weren't your all-time favorites Robbie should still be on your list of Top Girls for season 8- because this woman is flawless, smart, and turns it OUT every goddamn time.

Some videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFgIUkR3acA

THORGY THOR:
I should know more than I do about Thorgy Thor. She's a homegirl (BK!) after all. But shamefully I was somewhat ignorant of her until now. Some very basic searching on the inter webs, however, has led me to think this girl may be severe competition in the upcoming season, and I'm definitely giving her a place in my Top Girls. Her Meet the Queens interview was delightful- and she said something I think more queens need to take to heart "Drag is supposed to be fun." She looks like she lives for every second of it, and that enthusiasm is extremely infectious.

Thorgy vids:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqFauEC9T5I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9TKyORuwJ0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs_g091GW7g

So here are my top picks (which are obviously probably going to change significantly once the season starts):

Bob The Drag Queen
Robbie Turner
Kim Chi
Acid Betty
Thorgy Thor
Dax Exclamation Point
Naomi Smalls

Yeah . . . . that's a lot (SEVEN). And that makes me so freaking excited that this many queens make this list- two more than I anticipated!