Written by: Trevor Cahill
It’s that very special time of year, folks! I don’t mean that magical time when brutal winter thaws into mild spring and we all start going at it like rabbits discovering the art of reproduction. No, friends, I am speaking of the glorious new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the time of year when queens and fans of resemble the shouting fools of sporting events. Ever since Logo RuVealed season 7’s competitors, Drag Race fans have been all a-twitter over the latest season’s impending drama, and we all know that the most drama tends to pop up during Untucked. The shelarious sister show has presented us with some of the most memorable moments in Drag Race herstory, and has blessed us with classic one liners, like LaShauwn Beyond’s famous, “This ain’t RuPaul’s Best Friend Race!” Yes, as much as we eagerly anticipate the newest line of cross-dressers, we equally look forward to the antics we’ll see during the high-pressured “relaxation” show.
This time around, Logo, World of Wonder, and Ru are going about things a bit differently. Before season 7 aired, Drag Official News informed you that Logo would not be airing Untucked on TV this season, but would instead allow World of Wonder to air it on their YouTube channel (WOWPresents) every Tuesday following the week’s new episode. Though Ru and WOW have marketed the move under the guise of unedited, uninterrupted footage, fans expressed worry and concern about the change. Not only do we no longer get to come down from the weekly episode’s high with finding out the backstage T, but we now have to remember to check out WOWPresents the next day! Hashtag first world problems for real, though…
Despite the concern, the new Untucked appears to be settling in as comfortably as new regular judges Ross Matthews and Carson Kressley. Gone are the days of elaborate, Form Décor sets and furry pink boxes; now is the time for bare bones “sets” and a large glass of honesTEA (see what I did there?). Though some may shudder at the unpolished presentation of Untucked, it seems that most find the change refreshing. Above all, the “on-camera” personas seem to be wiped away, replaced with what appears to be (it’s only week one, people) the queens’ true selves. This may be due to change in scenery and protocol, or it may be that, for once, we’ve got a batch of real bitches. I guess time will tell.
This week, audiences adjusted to the new Untucked format, which deprives the queens of the order of events and topics we’ve come to expect, and allows them to truly veg out and spill the T. While the revised series boasted unedited footage, it seems that language took the backseat to looks as we were subjected to the queens’ different interpretations of nudity. Calm down, Beyonce, we didn’t get to see anything untucked (which is a shame because a handful of these boys this season are traaaaade), but we got a big ol’ eyeful of Ginger’s Minj.
Topics this week were pretty typical for episode one: audition experiences, being in front of the judges for the first time, how difficult the competition actually is, etc. But Season 7’s queens upheld their dramatic reputation by launching right into the tough topics of who they deemed weak and who they felt to be annoying. These girls were not shy as they openly expressed feeling a coldness from Pearl, being thrown off by Max’s wavering British accent, and not taking Sasha’s work seriously. It is evident that we are in for some extra chilly shade this season!
The final most notable change made to the Untucked series is the focus paid to the queen who would ultimately sashay away. Towards the end of the episode, before the queens returned to the main stage for the lip sync elimination, cameramen followed bottom two potentials Tempest DuJour and Sasha Bell as they practiced the lip sync lyrics together. It was both endearing and difficult to watch these two come together to prepare for such an overwhelming performance.
SPOILER ALERT!!! After being eliminated, Tempest is followed throughout her journey from the main stage, to the car that would take her away from the studio for good. It was so interesting (and quite sad) to see what the eliminated queens experience after taking their final exit from the runway. Normally we just get a quick goodbye and a glimpse of them signing the mirror in the workroom. Now, we get to see how they process the many emotions felt after being told to sashay away.
Overall, I feel this is a necessary change to Untucked. This show has been credited for giving us the truest view of these queens, as it depicts them in their most vulnerable moments of filming. The new approach provides an even deeper look at these girls, and lets us see the person beneath the drag better than ever. So while it sucks that we have to keep our excitement up until the next day, I feel that the new Untucked will definitely take Season 7 to the next level!
In case you missed it or just want to RuVisit the episode, check out the full first installment of Untucked below. And for even more behind the scenes realness, be sure to check out the many bonus clip videos on WOWPresents!