Arranquen sus motores! Just as one of our Drag Race seasons draws to a close tomorrow with finale of Drag Race Belgique and another airs its penultimate episode with the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 reunion, a new season looms on the horizon. It’s Drag Race España Season 3, which debuts on April 16! That means it’s time to meet a cast of 12 drag artists for my Pre-Season Power Rankings!
What is there to rank before we have seen a single second of this new season? Drag Race España released perhaps the most epic pre-season promo of all time, with a campy 60s sci-fi theme and two minutes for each queen to distinguish herself from her competitors.
These combination interview + fashion shoot videos are called “Meet The Queens,” a phrase which España didn’t even translate for these videos (perhaps in a nod to the fact that they are largely for consumption by global audiences rather than local ones).
In addition to trying to divine some hints at how each queen will perform based on their Meet The Queens segments, I also spend a few minutes perusing each of their social channels to scope out their makeup skills, fashion, and performance style.
Remember: I write these pre-season power rankings purely for fun, which is the same reason I recap all of the many Drag Race franchises week after week. If I make any critiques of these incredibly accomplished drag artists, those critiques are purely within the framework of what the show expects of them.
Being good at Drag Race is just one way to be good at the art of drag. The fun of writing these analyses is not to tear queens down, but to spend hours of time and thousands of words on an art form that needs celebration and support now more than ever.
In the case of Pre-Season power rankings, my rankings double as a placement prediction. I have a pretty good track record this past year, including predicting all 3 Français finalists (and the winner), 3 out of 4 American finalists, 2 out of 3 Belgique finalists. Will my psychic powers continue for this Drag Race España Season 3? I have my doubts.
España is revered by many fans as the best of the many global franchises of the show. A lot of that is down to the wildly over-the-top fashions brought by its competitors, which are consistently some of the most elaborate, glamourous, and high-impact looks across all of Drag Race. Yet, España can also be the most unpredictable franchise. It holds queens to an incredibly high standard, which can lead to heartbreaking and sometimes shocking eliminations without ever seeming to be unfair or rigged.
So far, two seasons of España have placed an emphasis on crowning professionals. Season 1 winner Carmen Farala was a nearly-flawless competitor with the poise and graciousness of a real-life monarch, and Season 2 champion Sharonne was a seasoned reality show competitor and talented singer. Will the show keep up that trend this year by crowning another peerless professional? Or is it finally time to get a little weirder to embrace the wildly creative art of Spain’s drag scene?
Lectores, start your engines. Y que gane la mejor drag queen!
Reminders: I consistently refer to Drag Race artists with their drag names and with she/her pronouns even when they are not in drag, which is the convention of the show. Some performers may have different personal pronouns. Drag is inherently brave, political, and artistic, and all drag is valid. It’s also hard to do. Every drag artist in the world deserves endless essays dedicated to their talents and life stories. I’m commenting on drag artistry in how it fits the established expectations of this specific television program, but the reason I’m commenting at all is because I celebrate all drag.
Drag Race España Season 3 – Pre-Season Meet The Queens Power Rankings
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Will Pakita serve us high fashion fantasy or complete drag delusion? Either way, it should be incredibly polished and extremely entertaining!
Pakita is transfixing.
She is giving “actual supermodel” in her MTQ shoot. What she’s wearing isn’t that much more chic or complex than what some of these other queens brought, but she understands how to work all the angles. Honestly, I was too busy staring at her to hear what she was saying on my first time through!
Then I listened, and this is the sort of delusional queen this show loves. Her drag idol is the Virgin Mary and at one point she threatens a chatty crew member, and the fact that I can’t tell if she is saying she’ll pull out a knife or whip out her genitals just adds to the comedy.
There are some detractions. This chains look is big and inflexible, so when she struts it doesn’t move well with her. Also, it seems to be heavy, to the point that it is sagging while she walks and showing off her nipples. If Pakita can’t get those sort of details right in the controlled environment of the promo shoot, does she have any hope on the actual runway?!
Pakita says that she “comes to Drag Race so you can enjoy this face” and where is the lie? It doesn’t hurt that she is also stunningly handsome out of drag. Also, she might be wearing her natural hair in this promo? She has many photos of it worn down just like this on social media. She also says “everything you see is real” as part of her rejection of pads.
On social media, Pakita has committed to having a logo overlaid in the first photo in each row of Insta pics for four years running, which for some reason is incredibly impressive to me.
Yet, the biggest positive for Pakita is not mentioned in Meet The Queens: she has already been through the Drag Race machine once before! In 2018, Pakita was on the second season of The Switch Drag Race, which is a Chilean remix of Drag Race that featured Spanish-speaking queens from around the world (including Gia Gunn, who was a finalist on Season 2).
The difference between Pakita then and now is astounding. Though she has the same striking features, her drag has transformed from low-key femme realness to high-production-value supermodel of the world.
I often say that there is no better preparation for Drag Race than having ample camera experience, and Pakita is entering Drag Race España Season 3 with an All Stars level of preparation against a cast of first-timers. I think that means she will be a hard queen to knock out of contention for the finale, unless her delusion gets the better of her.
(Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Twitter | YouTube)
Visa has one of the biggest promo looks of all time and she has the big personality to match. If she her talent is also super-sized, she’ll go far.
There’s a risk of walking into Meet The Queens with an outfit this big. It means you’ll have to bring enough personality to match.
Visa easily exceeds that goal. She has an ease in speaking to the camera and she oozes natural charm.
Also, there’s a lot to be said for how practical her costume is, with it’s ridiculous super-sized wreath. I expected her to be gingerly supporting it with her hands the entire time, but it’s clear that it is firmly affixed to her garment and it can move with her.
A lot of queens will shoot for the moon in these promo looks and wind up with something not quite functional, or which doesn’t read well on camera. Visa planned this high impact look perfectly – especially because it frames her and forces the camera to always shoot her from the front!
Visa claims her strengths are sewing (which isn’t a surprise), dancing (which I entirely believe), and cooking chili (which might not come into play in the competition). I love that she says she has to be the next drag superstar because of “this preparation.” She definitely comes off as a multiple-threat queen through her confidence rather than talking a big talk about how fierce or kooky she is.
Visa’s social media is packed with terrific, high-polished, diverse drag.
Her illustrated face in the promo isn’t an outlier – she regularly paints graphic looks on a white-faced base. She also paints a stunning beauty mug, though sometimes her pearlescent nose contouring can be a little much.
Visa has also had a past brush with a drag multimedia empire. She was one of many contestants who were part of the audience process for La Más Draga Season 4. La Más Draga is a Mexican drag competition show that not an official Drag Race spinoff, but it is incredibly similar in format. While Visa didn’t make the cut for her season, she got a glimpse of what it’s like to make televised drag magic.
Between Visa’s level of polish, her personality, and her preparation, I think we have a major contender on our hands. What I don’t know is how España will receive a Mexican competitor who incorporates so much of her culture into her drag. That may be a deciding factor in if Visa can make it all the way to the Drag Race España Season 3 finale.
(Instagram (+ Art Instagram) | TikTok | Twitter)
Bestiah is an art-rock beast with personality to spare.
Bestiah seems confident quick-witted in her Meet The Queens. She has no trouble speaking to the camera. When a producer points out that her earring has fallen off she incorporates it into her boasting as if she had planned it, growling, “it fell off like a bitch.”
She’s easy to watch, and I feel safe while she is in control of the scene. That is the mark of someone with the skills to go far on the show.
Though Bestiah has terrific energy, I noticed that a lot of her posing seemed awkward. She always grimaces. Her firm metallic corset create odd angles tha thave the opposite of a slimming effect on her body. The frame around her face only looks good from straight-on angles.
Bestiah has a natural ease in talking to the camera, but when it comes to modeling I think she might be more accustomed to still photos and having a say in the final shot. I get that Bestiah is giving big beast energy, but I hope she can refine her monstrous stomping and scowling to something a bit more glamourous.
Bestiah references rock’n’roll and punk several times in her interview. It’s not just talk. Her Instagram puts those influences on proud display. In fact, Bestiah might have my favorite Instagram of the entire cast. She doesn’t post frequently, but all of her looks are killer. She also shares the digital illustrations that inspire her looks both on her main profile and on a separate profile dedicated solely to her art.
It seems like Bestiah’s wildly detailed eye make-up is her main differentiator, but even as she changes up her eyes she maintains a familiar stamp on the lower 2/3rds of her face. She often paints her top lip with rounded peaks at the center and tiny upturn wisps at the outer edges, giving her the appearance of having a plump trickster’s smile. She has also gravitated toward a thin, pure-white swordfish nose contour that resembles an exclamation point, with a tiny dot of highlight on the ball of her nose.
I think Bestiah has what it takes to make a deep run into Drag Race España Season 3. However, based on her promo shoot I worry she might dive too deeply into her fantasy in a runway or challenge and serve something that is unintentionally awkward or hilarious. España doesn’t tend to reward queens who are not completely self-aware. That might mean Bestiah makes a deep run only to be a painful final cut before the finale.
#4. Vania Vainilla
Vania Vainilla brought a completely different comedic vibe to her promo compared to her body-ody-ody social media. Is this queen a multiple threat or just confused?
Vania Vainilla is a comedy queen who looks awfully rough in her promo look. Luckily, it bears little resemblance to the sexy, skin-baring quality she tends to show off on social media.
She is also the one queen in this cast whose humor crossed the language barrier to land with me. At one point she is asked what she’ll bring to the show, and after restating the question in a resonant bass she switches back to her higher voice and answers, “You’ll see me out of drag, which is something new. And I won’t be able to have sex in public places anymore.”
The ability to whip out comments like that unrehearsed trumps having some funny lines prepared or saying you’re “fun” and “silly” a dozen times.
I wouldn’t typically place a funny but frumpy queen in my Top 4, but Vania Vainilla’s social media tells a completely different story from her promo look.
The common thread between the two is her va-va-voom body proportions. I think she did them a disservice in the promo by dressing in such wan colors and with a shape illusion that doesn’t slim her at the waist. Add to that a headsock and an oddly-small, oddly-angled hat and her body proportions look all wrong!
Meanwhile, on social media she delivers pure bombshell body in nearly every look. Granted, that’s because a lot of her looks are more catsuits. Will she be able to survive on the high-end Espańa runway? I suspect she’ll handle herself well, because her looks show off solid styling and some terrifically-large hair.
I enjoy that her paint isn’t a carbon copy of the current trends. Vania paints a wide nose that doesn’t come to a sharp tip, and strong, thick brows anchored low on the start of her actual brows. Paired with her red lip, painted beauty mark, and blonde hair it’s giving early-90s Madonna – which, of course, I love. Her brows are a bit thinner and more arched in her promo look, but all the other trademarks are there.
What I don’t have a sense of is who Vania is as a performer. The scant videos on her Instagram are her lip syncing into a microphone. It’s hard to say how she might do on the show’s gamut of performance challenges, but it feels like she has more depth to her than some of the other queens in this cast.
#5. María Edília
(Instagram | TikTok | Twitter)
María Edília is a big queen with a small face and a magnetic personality.
María Edília is giving me what I want from Meet The Queens – someone who has so much to say that there’s barely enough time to capture it all. She has her airline stewardess routine, her dramatic soap villain monologue, her personal history… it feels like she has been waiting her whole life for someone to point a camera at her!
There might be some truth to that, as María is the same age I am – which makes her the oldest contestant on this season by two years over Vania. Some franchises are eager to humiliate and discard their oldest contestants (especially ones hosted by a certain youth vampire currently hosting her 15th season), but that has never been España‘s vibe. If María’s has drag experience commensurate with her age, this is the franchise that will celebrate her.
I am obsessed with how tiny María Edília paints her face! Maybe “tiny” isn’t the right word, but she contours the edge of her face starting so high on her chin that it shrinks the entire real estate. Combined with how she paints her already-tiny nose and GIGANTIC eyes it makes her look like a living doll.
My one concern for María is the level of polish she brings to her garments. Queens go hard on the Drag Race España Season 3 runway. María’s socials show off some cute looks, but they’re cabaret looks, not runway-ready fashion. I fear that even if she is full of personality and a terrific performer, she will be cut in a design challenge or on a week where the runway is used to break up a close competition.
#6. Kelly Roller
(Apple Music | Instagram | Spotify | TikTok | Twitter | YouTube)
Kelly Roller is a queen with a plain, pretty take on glam and a lot of wigs that could use more teasing.
There is something extremely off-putting about Kelly Roller’s dark, contrasty beauty makeup and her flat blonde wig. It’s not giving me a transformation. I’m just getting “guy in makeup and a wig.”
That’s not a comment on Kelly’s femininity or lack thereof, but on what feels to me like a lack of transformation. I’m still seeing a lot of her pre-drag face and features when she’s in drag. Yet, España doesn’t always demand an “erase your face”approach to drag the way RuPaul requests on US Drag Race. We’ve seen queens do quite well who lean in to some of their more masculine-coded features even while in drag.
I’m also not sold on this outfit. There’s something… misshapen about it, especially with the pair of bra cups that look like blue basketballs. I think the oddness comes from how flat each one of them are to her chest. If she really had a chest of that proportion, the cups would stand out from her body a bit.
Kelly is quick and self-obsessed in her interview, like any good Drag Race queen ought to be. She has a lot to say about her famous home town and wanting to have a street named after her. She also mentions her “rollers.” Is this queen going to spend the entire season on roller skates?!
Kelly’s Meet The Queens leaves me torn, because she’s Personality 10, Looks 3.
Kelly Roller’s social media reveals that this promo look is pretty on-brand for her. She paints a bold, 80s-film-star inspired face with thick brows and heavy blush that gives me shades of Katya in how it only slightly dresses up her strong jaw. It might not be giving me “transformation,” but it’s incredibly consistent.
Oh, and: she really does wear rollerskates. A lot. Not all of the time, but in plenty of photos and at least a few live performances I could spot.
More notable than Kelly’s looks is that she has released a string of 10 digital singles. They’re all club music, but they’re well produced and she has a rich baritone voice.
I always think queens who have actually done the thing they’ve always wanted to do before the show have an advantage over queens who are waiting for the exposure of the show to try. Even if Kelly hasn’t had a major viral hit with her music, having the wherewithal to record and release 10 songs in four years means she has a certain amount of grit to her outside of the determination it takes to do drag in the first place.
Even if I have some hesitations about Kelly’s transformative qualities – and, especially, her wigs – she seems like a queen who comes to the show with a solid understanding of who she is. She stuck in my mind more than most of the queens in this cast. Will she be able to adapt that memorable quality to the demands of Drag Race España Season 3 – especially if she gets some critiques on her hair or makeup? That will decide whether she sticks in the top half of this ranking or winds up an early out.
(Instagram | TikTok | YouTube)
Pitita could be the look queen of the season, but will she be able to think fast in challenges that aren’t all about looks?
Pitita is giving me everything I am looking for out of a Drag Race promo look. It’s huge. It goes from head to toe. The details are all well-considered. It slightly clashes with itself in a unique way.
Yet, what stuck out for me was Pitita’s earring falling off twice in the middle of her prepare speech. Not because it fell off – we’ve seen that dozens of times from queens who go on to win the show! It was more about how it stopped her dead in her tracks. It’s all well and good to bring canned bits to the show, but a moment like that one is exactly the sort of thing you need to be able to riff off of!
That, plus her following canned monologue, convinced me that Pitita is the fashion queen of the season who might have trouble translating her sartorial control into challenge spontaneity. She mentions her “meticulous” lip syncs, but that obsession with detail isn’t always a positive in the controlled chaos of the show.
Pitita’s social media confirms my assumption that she is a fashion queen. She shows off the most looks that I’d call “couture” out of everyone in this cast. When it comes to delivering stunning runways, I’m certain she is ready for the show.
Her socials show off photos of her in front of some big crowds (wearing some stunning outfits), but when it comes to performing it’s all about mouth. When Pitita says she is about “meticulous” lip syncs, she isn’t talking about her choreography but about her actual lips. Her YouTube includes clips of her syncing perfectly to a pair of ballads, and her Instagram has her performing a completely maniacal and seemingly endless custom mix of spoken word and random song clips.
Killer fashions and strong lip syncing skills are two of the major pillars of drag that will take Pitita far on this season, but I have some questions about what she’ll be doing in the challenges that come before the runway and the lip sync. Can she loosen up and have some spontaneous fun while singing, dancing, and acting? Or, is she going to be more of a Miss Fame – a picture-perfect fashionista who is always a bit on the stiff side?
#8. Hornella Góngora
(Apple Music | Instagram | Spotify | TikTok | Twitter | YouTube)
Hornella Góngora is a cabaret queen who really knows how to transform her face, but can she turn into someone interesting enough to make her mark on this competition?
Hornella Góngora says her style is “electric fashion chaos,” but I’m just getting chaos from her promo look.
Her silver glitter dress and matching arm cuffs are impressive, but wearing them over a peach blouse that is just smooshed beneath it inelegantly? And orange tights? And the strawberry blonde bowl cut? And a red lip?
Was her promo theme “make sure nothing matches but everything subtly vibrates against itself?” I am not living for it in the slightest. It is all high-key ugly.
Hornella also didn’t have much to say in her interview. Lots of talk about how funny she is while not saying anything funny. Not having a good line prepared for why she is the next drag superstar. Altogether, her Meet The Queens entry was giving me early out.
Of course, that’s why I turn to social media to back up my first impression from Meet The Queens.
After checking out her Instagram, I do think Hornella is as great at makeup as she claimed in her interview. She really transforms her face in drag and she has a signature stamp. Yet, within that recognizable brand she understands how to use subtle changes to her contouring and nose to create widely varying looks. I think she will fair well in a makeover and in Snatch Game, but first she has to make it that far.
(She also has a trio of singles out on Spotify, but they’re basic dance music with tuned vocals with years between them.)
It feels like Hornella Góngora is ready to be very KOOKY and I just don’t see that taking her too far on España. Yet, even if she brings high kook, she also has the makeup skills to back that up and she seems to be a well-rounded performer. I think she will needs to show off another level of herself if she is going to make her mark on Drag Race España Season 3 – and that other level needs to be considerable more fashionable than this promo look.
#9. Clover Bish
(Instagram | TikTok | Twitter | YouTube)
Clover Bish is a baby drag hyper queen who has the dance moves to back up her fierce attitude (but maybe not the wardrobe).
There’s no getting around saying this: I’m getting “basic” from Clover Bish’s promo look.
We’ve seen this in-pieces vinyl suit with tiny boob cups at least a dozen times across the franchises. It is rarely flattering even when you have a stunning body, yet queens keep wearing it. Clover Bish clearly has a naturally curvy body, but in this look she comes off big-shouldered and frumpy.
I think styling can possibly save a look like this one, but just adding a cape isn’t it. Also, the skirt isn’t skirting, and I am befuddled by the weird diaper I can see beneath it. This barely registers as clothing to me.
Luckily, there’s more to Clover Bish than this non-outfit. In her MTQ she is quick-witted, boastful, and fast with a snappy comeback. She never lacks for something to say about herself. She has clearly has spent some time on camera before. It didn’t surprise me at all to see she has her own YouTube show reacting to Drag Race.
I was puzzled that at one point she says she personifies “el empoderamiento de la mujer negra” – “black woman’s empowerment.” It could be that Clover is a part-African queen and it’s simply not obvious from her light skin tone. However, coming off a winner who was nearly scuttled for her past performances in blackface, it struck me as an odd selling point without any further context.
From spending even a minute on her social media it’s obvious that Clover Bish is an absolutely wild lip sync performer. She does upside-down choreo while in a headstand and backwards leaping splits. She is clearly a trained dancer in peak physical shape to be able to pull of her tricks.
She is also an experienced Drag Race recapper! We’ve seen many superfans of the show make on and think they’ve cracked the code. However, being an avid viewer is different than making your own content every week dissecting every aspect of the show (a-hem). I think that will make it easier for Clover to anticipate some common pitfalls that baby queens typically tumble into. For example, I wouldn’t expect her to bomb at Snatch Game. Also, I bet she practiced some sewing.
Overall, I’m getting baby drag queen who is an experienced performer. Some of Clover Bish’s newest drag looks on Instagram are impressive, but I think they might be from after she shot the show. I don’t know if I believe she had enough weapons in her drag arsenal at the time of filming to compete with these experienced queens. Yet, her fiery personality and performance skills should help her avoid being amongst the earliest eliminations.
#10. Drag Chuchi
(Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Twitter | YouTube)
Drag Chuchi is Gran Canaria queen of the season, but this hoofed queen might put too much “statue” into “statuesque.”
Drag Chuchi struck me as being somewhat reserved in her Meet The Queens segment… as much as that is possible for a seven-foot tall person covered entirely in silver and fringe.
By the way, THIS IS HOW YOU DO FRINGE. It barely even reads as fringe in her photos because it is so thick and so full that you can barely make out individual tassels or see any space between them. I expect all fringe to be this lush and swaying in time to your every move.
It’s a good thing that Chuchi’s look was loud, because aside from mentioning that her drag is somewhat androgynous there wasn’t much to remember from this interview. She said “Chuchi” a lot and talked about art, but I don’t feel like I learned anything about her beyond her name and what I could already see.
Like Clover Bish, Drag Chuchi has her own YouTube Drag Race recap show. Where Clover is gregarious and effusive, Chuchi is… reserved.
Are you sensing a trend?
Chuchi’s Instagram features a handful of stunning looks, but mostly focuses on her makeup skills. She is definitely a versatile, transformative painter who can deliver some fantastical mugs, but they’re rarely paired with a fully-realized look.
We’ve seen a pair of thrilling, memorable Gran Canaria queens on the show with Drag Vulcano and Drag Sethlas. Sethlas, especially, turned in some truly stunning moments on Season 2. While it’s not fair to compare Chuchi to the pair of them at every turn, I think they both were powerful representatives of Gran Canaria’s drag that left me wanting more. Yet, for both of them fantastical looks were not enough to reach the Drag Race España Season 3 finale.
If all Chuchi brings to this competition is soft-spoken fantasy in that same Gran Canaria mold, she is not going to fare much better than her sisters.
#11. Pink Chadora
(Website | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Twitter)
Pink Chadora has a lot to say, but… what is she talking about? This queen has a lot of style, but I have questions about the substance.
Pink Chadora is giving us BIG DRAG. Big hair, voluminous outfit, big personality, and obvious humor.
I think Pink Chadora was more successful in creating a silvery look than some of the other queens. This dress reads less like armor and more like an actual garment that moves with her body better than looks from Pakita and Bestiah. If anything, I think it could use some editing from the waist down. I don’t think all the dangling ribbons and lace-up ankles are doing her any favors. Let those long legs shine!
Pink Chadora says something interesting in her interview, that “you don’t only need to come from the night scene, clubs, and bars.” That’s intriguing to me. I agree with the idea that drag isn’t just a nightlife artform, and as the Drag Race platform continues to encourage more people to perform in drag we can expect to see queens who have no interest in bring club performers.
Yet, club performance demands queens try many different things in high-pressure, low-resource environments where they have to DEMAND attention. That serves them well on the show. It’s hard to replicate that tenacity by exclusively doing social media drag or hosting drag bingo.
The problem I have with her interview is she never defines that statement. Nor does she reveal anything else particularly notable about her drag. She feels very there. Many of the other queens could barely shut up about themselves, but I don’t feel as though I learned much about Pink Chadora. That is never a good sign in “Meet The Queens.” It does not correlate with success on the show.
I don’t know what that means for Pink Chadora. I’m just not sure what she is about. That rarely leads to a winning run.
There are a lot of photos on her Instagram feed of her with a microphone in hand, but she isn’t one of the queens with her own Spotify or YouTube. I think Spanish queens simply tend to lip sync with prop mics. She’s the one queen in this cast with her own website, but it reveals nothing about her except that she has merchandise for sale.
To me, that tells the story of a queen who is living a fantasy that she thinks the show will turn into a reality. I don’t meant that in a cruel way and I am sure Pink Chadora has worked incredibly hard at her craft for years. I’m critiquing her website, but she’s the only queen in this cast who I could buy merch from today! She’s a professional! Yet, I feel like that professional brand is solely for the consumption of audiences who have already seen her perform live. As someone from around the world who is actively trying to become her fan, there’s not much for me to latch on to.
I doubt Pink Chadora is destined to be a winner on España, but I’m sure she will give us a good show – and, I think she will ready to use her new fame to take her career to the next level.
#12. Chanel Anorex
(Instagram | TikTok | Twitter)
Chanel Anorex is a glamorous monster with a memorable eye who eschews sequins.
I think Chanel Anorex’s promo outfit looks fine from a distance, but it borders on hideous up close.
Yes, it’s giving space rabbit and is voluminous around her face, creating a big visual impact. But, what else is it giving? I think the shape of Chanel’s body relies heavily on the skirt’s hip extensions to give it form. Since a lot of her poses in the MTQ video are either reclining or shot from the waist up we lose that effect. Also, when Chanel moves, the stiff hip panels make her entire skirt ride up. That makes her mid-section look boxy and frumpy.
If I’m negative on her promo outfit, I’m positive on her makeup. I don’t usually enjoy a purple lip, but I do like it in the context of Chanel’s other make-up. I love her massive purple eye, high-on-the-cheekbones blush, and irritated red nose.
While Chanel had an easy way of talking, on re-watch I realize that she is always responding to prompts with lots of words but little meaning. She is rarely telling her own story. At one point she says that she’s a “monster queen,” but what does that mean? There’s nothing scary about her other than the illusion of sharp teeth. Plus, anyone who says their strength is “being fun” makes me wonder what their drag is actually about.
“I’ve come to Drag Race to show that other types of drag are valid too… and you can be pretty without sequins.” This sentence is a death knell. The only queen who ever came to Drag Race to prove a point about their drag and win is Sharon Needles, and that was largely driven by her lack of funds.
You can’t win the game of Drag Race by insisting the rules are wrong. Many have tried.
Chanel Anorex’s Instagram feature a lot of cosplay-inspired looks and monster-faced drag. I think she does a terrific job of translating cosplay into high drag, but it doesn’t strike me as an aesthetic that the España judges will appreciate. We’ve definitely seen instances of them being inexplicably cool on perfectly fine drag before.
Yet, when Chanel pulls out a full-on femme drag look, it tends to be terrific. The way she draws eyes and brows is fantastic. They are always massive and often with an impressive gradient or ombre effect.
I think Chanel is a talented, experienced queen with some killer makeup abilities, but I don’t think she is sure of her brand or secure in her aesthetic. If she wasn’t insistent about proving a point about “other kinds” of drag I’d be convinced she can make it much farther, but with that emphasis in her interview I’m sensing an early-to-mid out.
[…] and “Spain is Different” runways in this episode, which allowed a few of them to climb much higher than I had them in my pre-season Meet The Queens rankings. We also had a first elimination of a queen I thought might be a frontrunner, though clearly I had […]