It was a foregone conclusion that RuPaul would eventually bring back a sashayed, old queen from a past season to be a contestant again on RuPaul’s Drag Race. In the reality competition world, that move is nearly older than RuPaul herself. But the gal that was chosen for this extremely illustrious distinction was completely out of left field: It was none other than last season’s polarizing first-episode cast-off, the delightfully named Shangela! “And it’s Shangela!” said fellow contestant Mariah, in reaction. “Halle-lou!” she added, referencing Shangela’s “famous” sound bite. Halle-lou, indeed!
Truthfully, I was hoping for the glorious return of EW fave Pandora Boxx! But, then I reconsidered: Everyone would have loved that—well, at least I would have—and such a move probably wouldn’t have gotten any tongues wagging. Instead, pick one of the most loved/hated contestants from last season, bring her back, shake it up, and stir! Instant drama. Those sluts producing Drag Race are smart. It was genius, too, when right after Shangela emerged from that huge gift box (see: the ridiculousness above), footage from last season popped on the screen showing the young queen getting booted in last year’s premiere, after she lip-synced atrociously against Sahara Davenport. “I have a feeling,” RuPaul intoned at the time, “we haven’t seen the last of you, yet.” What ominous foreshadowing that none of us could have seen! Did RuPaul know something then that she wasn’t sharing a year ago—or was it just coincidence that she said such a thing? I can’t wait to ask next time I chat with Ru. I’ll keep you all posted, of course.
The rest of the episode was your typical episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race—but super-sized into 90 full minutes of ridculata instead of the usual 60! Here are my quick, recappy thoughts about last night’s premiere: