After months and months of build up, RuPaul's Drag Race returned with it's biggest ever season premiere today, promising bigger guest stars, bigger personalities, bigger challenges and bigger wigs than ever before. Since it's announcement, this season of RPDR has promised to be bigger and better than those before it, starting with the shows move from specialty LGBT network Logo to the more mainstream VH1 (which earned the show a cool one million viewers, breaking records for the series) and the announcement of the shows first guest star: one of the biggest popstars in the world and probably the biggest LGBT icon around, Lady Gaga.
In actuality, Gaga's appearance was pretty lowkey compared to the extravaganza the queens put forward. She entered the show through a cute little gimmick where she played the thirteenth drag queen, code name Ronnie, who was Gaga's biggest fan and best impersonator; but the PlantGa plot didn't last for too long and the popstars true identity was revealed pretty quickly. Gaga and her lip fillers ended up taking on more of a mentor role, guiding the queens through their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent pageant categories of hometown drag and Gaga illusion, and giving them personalised feedback during this week's Untucked episode.
Ru announced at the beginning of the week that no queens would be eliminated during the premiere episode, which was a good choice given how much airtime Gaga took up and how little the queens themselves got the chance to shine. In the pageant, Eureka and Sasha Velour scored high with Nina Bo'nina Brown taking the top prize - a nice twist of fate given Eureka's own prediction that Nina would be eliminated - but as we all know, producer picks and fan favourites rarely coincide, and there were plenty of other queens who audiences loved. Farrah Moan and Kimora Blac stood out thanks to their strikingly fishy looks, while Aja, Charlie Hides, Peppermint and Valentina all scored tens across the board for their winning personalities.
Jaymes Mansfield, on the other hand, sat in the corner like a lost puppy in need of a hug, making her the most loveable queen since Kim Chi last season. It will be interesting to see if she manages to come out of her shell or if her insularity ends up being her downfall.
And now for the question on everyone's lips: who is the elusive fourteenth queen teased in the episodes final moments? If you're a Reddit user, you'll probably agree that the most likely option is Cynthia Lee Fontaine, whose voice was allegedly heard in the background of an NPR interview RuPaul conducted last August. Other prime choices include Laila McQueen and Serena ChaCha, both of whom audiences have observed were absent from social media during filming.
I'm not gonna lie though: I would be totally here for the surprise return of Shangela, the House of Edwards queen who has so far starred in two seasons of Drag Race and cameoed in a further one. Shangela's had more than her fair share of chances to snatch the crown, but I wouldn't mind producers continuing the gag just one more time for longtime viewers of the show.
After just one episode of the show, it's hard to predict a top three, but if we had to put money on it we'd bet that Aja, Kimora Blac and Charlie Hides will go far in the show. Drag Race traditionally features a top three involving a seasoned professional (think Chad Michaels or Bianca Del Rio) alongside some younger ingenues (say Alaska Thunderfuck or Naomi Smalls) and we can't see them changing that formula up anytime soon.
Who are your picks for the top three? Did Gaga live up to the hype? Sound off in the comments below and stay tuned for more of our coverage of RuPaul's Drag Race season nine!