Dragnique: Week 1 Recap

Good morning, ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in-between. It’s time for our weekly recap of Dragnique: Season 3! Every Thursday, I’m going to be recapping the events of the previous night, so if you happen to miss a week, you can still be in the loop about the week’s events.

Now…let’s get started.

Last night’s event at Jungle was hosted by the hilarious combo of Bubba D. Licious and Phoenix, who will be present every week. Phoenix performed double-duty by also serving as the head judge. Phoenix was joined as judge by the big draw of the evening, RuPaul’s Drag Race season three winner, Raja, who dazzled the audience with two performances that bookended the show. Also joining in on the judges’ panel was Dragnique: Season 2 winner, Rapture Divine Cox.

Of course, no drag competition is complete without a stellar lineup of contestants. How did the contestants do?

Well…in order of their performances, let’s see how they did:

Angelique Simmonz [“It’s Raining Men” (The Weather Girls)]: Angelique opened up the competitive portion of the show, and I have to say, she did quite well. Unfortunately, when a contestant goes first, they need to stand out in order to have a shot, since there are so many performances that follow, and I don’t think Angelique stood out that much.

aRoara Thunder [I Am a Good Girl” (Christina Aguilera) / “Supermodel” (RuPaul)]: Now aRoara knows how to stand out. I mean…a drag queen with a beard? That alone is enough to draw attention. aRoara describes herself as a trainwreck, and…well, physically, she’s a bit of a trainwreck. But it works. aRoara is a stellar performer; look for her to go far in this competition.

Christina Payne Crawford [“E.T.” (Katy Perry)]: There’s a lot to like about Christina, including the massive pop-up she carried with her during the last portion of the song (Katy Perry’s “E.T.”). As the judges correctly pointed out, though, she needed to do something with the back of her popup, which Phoenix compared to “a pile of Hefty sacks.”

Edie Cheezburger [“A Whole New World” (Aladdin) / “Bad Girls” (M.I.A.) / “Run the World (Girls)” (Beyoncé)]: Standout performance of the night. If I had to call a winner based solely on tonight, I’d give it to Edie. Edie’s performance was probably the biggest spectacle of the night, with a look that echoed Madonna’s Super Bowl performance-wear and a rocking mix of songs. Plus, she was the only performer to bring up a crew of (incredibly sexy) dancers with her.

Elea Atlanta [“Enter the Circus” (Christina Aguilera) / “Circus” (Britney Spears) / “Hold It Against Me” (Britney Spears)]: Ooh. So…it’s hard to describe how I think Elea will do in the competition based on last night’s performance. She’s a great dancer. But…she basically copied the choreography from the two Britney songs she performed (“Circus” and “Hold It Against Me”), going with the live performance choreography for both. Again, she’s a great dancer. I just don’t know how she’s going to do once the competition moves into theme weeks. She also needs to work the audience a lot more, rather than just staying on stage dancing.

Evah Destruction [Roman’s Revenge” (Nicki Minaj) / “Turn Me On” (David Guetta & Nicki Minaj)]: Now Evah gets how to pay tribute to the original artist without coming off like a carbon copy. Busting out a mix of Nicki Minaj’s “Roman’s Revenge” and “Turn Me On,” Evah pulled off a very convincing homage to Nicki’s Barbie persona. The audience agreed, too: Evah received a standing ovation for her performance.

Miami Royale [“Who’s That Chick?” (David Guetta & Rihanna)]: My vote for best dancer among tonight’s performers would go to Miami. The girl knows how to dance. With a little more audience interaction, Miami could go very far in this competition. Well…that, and a little more tucking. Love you, Miami!

Prima Alexandra [“Run the World (Girls)” (Beyoncé) / “Muny” (Nicki Minaj)]: I might go on a rant here. If there’s one contestant who truly needs to go, it’s Prima. I don’t necessarily expect lip-syncing perfection from all of the performers, but there were whole sections of Prima’s performance where she didn’t move her mouth. Her dancing wasn’t there. And when Phoenix brought it up in her critique, Prima had the nerve to interrupt and talk down to Phoenix. Now, it’d be one thing if Phoenix was being a bitch, but…she wasn’t. If this competition were decided solely by judges’ votes, Prima would be gone. And deservedly so.

Violet Chachki [“Mr. Sandman” (The Chordettes) / “I Need a Man” (Eurythmics)]: If there was an award for biggest 180° turn-around in the middle of a performance, Violet would get it. Violet uses “vamp” to describe herself, and it’s certainly accurate, as she went from a very 1950s housewife look to, well, a vamp in her performance. Very entertaining. Vivacious. And…well, any other “v” words that help expand on my alliteration here.

Of course, since this is a competition, we have to say goodbye to some of our competitors this week. We also have two winners, based on audience votes and money raised. The winner of both competitions this week was the outstanding (and totally deserving) Edie Cheezburger. Meanwhile, we say goodbye to…Angelique Simmonz and Christina Payne Crawford.

Come out next week for the second round of Dragnique: Season 3. Next week, the performers will be bound to a theme: Past and Present, where the contestants must style themselves with a look from the 1930s or earlier, and music from the 1980s or later.

_____

Originally published online on March 8, 2012 on www.davidatlanta.com.

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