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“She done already done HAD herses!”
… and we’re back. Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race begins, right off the top, with acknowledgement that this is the 100th episode and, coming up, we’ll meet the 100th drag queen. I’d have been happier with a longer retrospective package but I suppose there was just so much show to get to…
Keeping with tradition, we open immediately with an introduction of each queen this season:
Naomi Smalls, who says she’s “legs all the way up to her asshole.” Her name came from Naomi Campbell and Biggie Smalls, and she's obsessed with 90s supermodels.
Cynthia Lee Fontaine. From Puerto Rico but living in Austin. It’s all about the "coocoo" apparently. She said it twice in the intro.
Dax ExclamationPoint. Inspired by superheroes, “strong bitches who don’t take crap from anybody else.”
Naysha Lopez. Super cute as a boy, if I say so myself. “The most important element of my drag has to be… appearance.” We see Naysha is also from Puerto Rico and so her and Cynthia trade hugs. About Cynthia: “you don’t really understand what she’s saying but you don’t really care.”
Acid Betty. Her drag style is “completely over the top, a drug trip without the drugs.” Referring to herself: “She’s a bitch, even Bianca [Del Rio] won’t fuck with her.” That’s the sort of thing you say only if it’s really happened. LOVE!
Robbie Turner, emulates “old classic Hollywood, Rita Hayworth hair, Jean Harlow robe. Gorgeous.”
Kim Chi. Describes herself as “crazy over-the-top pure anime fantasy.” To the camera she warned “donut come for me cuz I’ll destroy you" and held up, literally, a donut. A groaner of a joke, yes, but she found it so delightfully hilarious that I couldn't help but laugh too.
Thorgy Thor. Phyllis Diller in drag, if that's even possible. Said she's “colorful, fun, I’m a fashion clown.” Is it just me, or does he look like Skippy Handleman from Family Ties?
Bob the Drag Queen. He said: “my drag is funny, it’s irreverent. What you see is what you get. I’m hilarious, beautiful, talented, and humble.” She mimicked a butterfly stroke across an empty work table and I fell in love. Hugs all around for Thorgy and Betty, an NYC trio.
Laila McQueen. Described herself “a whorey blazè rock star, I don’t wanna say gothy but… gothy.”
Chi Chi DeVayne. “My drag is that real Southern dragged out style of drag.” The realness is real.
Derek Barry. “I’m a Britney spears impersonator. I would love to believe I’m the best Britney in the world. That’s what people say.” I saw that and thought, Michelle's gonna tear her to shreds, every single week.
The first episode mini challenge is a photo shoot with previous season winners Bebe Zahara Benet, Tyra Sanchez, Raja, Sharon Needles, Chad Michaels, Jinkx Monsoon, Violet Chachki. Added Ru in the introduction: “Bianca Del Rio couldn’t be here so we just hired a circus clown" and literally some random clown sat off to the side of every photo. You can't help but wonder if Bianca ditched them all and this is Ru's way of, you know, making things right.
Each queen took her turn individually sitting in, each one of them draping an oversize sofa, leaving space in the center for the competitor to stand. RuPaul: “We’re gonna find out if you have what it takes to stand out amongst greatness.” Added the photographer: “We’re looking for that spark of individuality to see who knows how to get their cream to rise to the top.” I fell in love more with Bob the Drag Queen, as well as Acid Betty — easily the two breakouts from this season already — and cringed a little bit watching Laila McQueen and Thorgy struggle to find their place.
For the maxi challenge on the runway: “each of you will be assigned a legendary design challenge from a past season.” For some reason Robbie Turner was ‘randomly’ chosen to assign the looks for each queen. She chose:
Naysha: Drag on a Dime
Naomi: Pride Floats
Acid Betty: Money Ball
Cynthia: Sugar Ball. The show is barely a half hour in and she’s referred to her “coocoo” five times now.
Chi Chi: Glitter Ball
Thorgy: Cake Couture
Kim Chi: Hair Ball
Dax: Hello Kitty Couture
Bob: Gone with the Window
Derek: Queen who Mopped Xmas
Robbie: ended up with Bitch Ball. “Can you believe I forget to pick a theme for myself?” he said.
No. I don’t believe it.
In the werk room...
Naomi complained about having to build a pride float, due to the weight and that it’ll obscure her legs.
Derek wanted to hold on his “Britney vibe” and add to it. “I think a lot of girls are not gonna think I can do anything else. And maybe the judges even.”
Naysha said she’s a pageant queen and has never created an outfit before. She’s a former Miss Continental, which most agree is quite prestigious.
Bob the Drag Queen: “there’s two breeds of queens. There’s Halloween queens and then there’s pride queens. I was a pride queen. Yeah, I started drag on gay pride wearing a shitty potato sack and a wig from who knows where…”
Acid Betty: “Brooklyn drag is unpolished and hairy, so I try to elevate myself and shave my beard.” The cutaways to Thorgy — a Brooklyn drag queen — appear to be clipped in out of context, but for entertainment value they totally work. Also: Thorgy is Skippy Handleman.
Laila rambled, took a stab at some cattiness, and RuPaul said, “you seem a little shy.” She acknowledged it. She’s 22 and it shows.
Kim Chi: “I’ve been doing drag for 2 and a half years. My family doesn’t know that I do drag. My mom thinks I’m a make up artist. Growing up I always felt like I could never be the model child that all Asian mothers want.”
After the runway, it appeared Acid Betty stood a chance to win this episode but in the end it was Kim Chi. Carson Kressley said to her: “you were giving me this cowardly lion anime ferociousness. It totally worked.”
Bottom two was Naysha (“this is actually the first garment I’ve ever made. I don’t really sew. I felt like it was wearable and I got the challenge down”) and Laila (Carson: [her look was] “like Wynonna Judd opened the oven too quickly and got burnt on the outside”)
To my eyes, it seemed clear Laila was on her way out. Yeah, Naysha didn’t shine but Laila consistently underperformed, from the photo shoot to the werk room and then (though not quite so much) on the runway. Until it was time to lip synch for her life.
Skippy Handleman said (in voice-over): “Laila is giving you sex on a stick, it’s awesome. She’s looking so good right now, throwing her body all over the floor.”
Naysha couldn’t stop swinging her arms around and grinning obnoxiously, like a cheerleader. Or that guy outside at the airport who directs airplanes into the gate (sans the grin, yes).
And so Naysha went home, becoming one of … well, eight, now, who we’ll all see again at the finale and think, “Oh YEAH, I remember her,” but we kinda won’t really.
RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE recap: "Keeping it 100" (season 8 episode 1)
RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE recap: "Bitch Perfect" (season 8 episode 2)
RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE recap: "RuCo's Empire" (season 8 episode 3)
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.