The crowd might not have been the biggest the Crystal Ballroom has ever had, but it certainly was the most vicious.
After waiting in freezing temperatures Wednesday night in a line that wrapped around the block, not a soul at the RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons show would accommodate the girl with two vodka crans trying to squeeze her way to the stage. When my friend Nathalie and I tried, we made it only four human rows before a guy blocked the space in front of him. “You’re OK,” he said to Nathalie, who’s a few inches shorter than I am. Then he turned to me: “But not you.”
The territorialism was understandable, though, considering the show. This wasn’t Sharon Needles preaching about our dads at Pride two years ago or Willam getting drunk at the Fez and singing for three minutes. This was a slickly produced spectacle, powerful enough to quell the embarrassment of spending $30 on a Wednesday night to watch reality TV drag queens.
Alaska Thunderfuck teetered on stage, crowned with white ruffles, to sing “Your Makeup is Terrible,” during which audience members repeatedly screamed, “Show us your dick!” (Alaska is reportedly well endowed).
Carmen Carrera, who came out in 2012 as a transgender woman, totally relied on that body, showing off her pastie-covered breasts and thong-strapped backside. She announced that Victoria’s Secret, which fans have petitioned to make her a model, is “ready,” and that she “has a lot of time to tone up” before the fashion show in the fall.
Sharon Needles, dressed like an evil queen in studded black leather, did the best Portland pandering—“If I eat one more Voodoo Donut I’m going to lose my tuck”—and she put the bouncing Crystal Ballroom floor into overdrive with this speech: “Can I thank you guys for one little thing? You’re not Seattle. So they won the Super Bowl, but you know what me and Manilla [Luzon] had right before went on stage? A super bowl." (Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.)
Ivy "Cirque-de-so-gay" Winters dressed like a butterfly and walked on stilts to Little Mix’s “Wings,” and Willam and Detox nailed an impressive performance of “That Boy is a Bottom”
(sung to the tune of “Girl on Fire”) with live vocals and raps. Before walking off stage, Willam asked the crowd for a ride to Silverado. “I ain’t proud,” she said. “Don’t nobody Instagram this shit.”