RuPaul’s Drag Race is back with a full cast of 14 queens in RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16, Episode 3 – The Mother of All Balls! Tonight the trio of ball categories are Mother Goose (a look inspired by a nursery rhyme), Significant Mother (a look paying homage to a famous mother), and Call Me Mother/Father (an eleganza look constructed entirely from menswear).
We love an early ball challenge – or, at least, I do – because it shows off a ton of looks while also challenging the queens on their abilities to conceive, construct, and style a look under pressure. I think it’s critical that this challenge now occurs early in the season because it means we can see more of what the entire cast of queen is capable of. That tends to help the show avoid heartbreaking early cuts of potentially powerful queens. It separates the queens who are capable of a deep run from the ones that are still struggling to define themselves.
Meanwhile, alongside this episode we also had not one but TWO cast announcements this week for a pair of All Stars seasons! First, we’ll get Drag Race España All Stars Season 1, followed a week later by the Ru-hosted RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs. The World. The casts for both shows are incredible – there are Drag Race Mexico queens on España and two of the fiercest queens from Philippines and France on UK vs. The World.
I’m not sure if there is enough time in my day to power rank BOTH of those franchises, but I absolutely cannot wait to watch them!
Back to Season 16, I am feeling slightly high on my initial rankings of this full cast from last week’s Queen Choice Awards. Not only did I clock all of the Top 3 and 2 of the Bottom 3, but I correctly called the previously top queen who wasn’t as strong as her first episode showing. My rankings aren’t just about my personal preferences, but about what the edit is saying about each queen’s narrative and how they are positioned to tackle the challenges ahead.
Readers, start your engines. And, may the best drag queen win!