Gia Gunn's Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent Make Drag Race Worth Watching

Screenshot: VH1, World of Wonder

On Friday’s season premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, the bewiggèd host told the contestants that if they could “harness the power” of their “charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent,” they’d “rule the Drag Race hall of fame.” I’m pleased to report that Gia Gunn disregarded RuPaul’s advice entirely, unleashing her cunt on every queen in the workroom.

Upon noticing that she and Monique Heart had taken similarly devotional turns with their Sacred Heart-inspired entrance looks, Gia clarifies via confessional that “honey,” there’s no comparison: “Mine is couture, and hers is just hot glue.” She reads Trinity the Tuck for her “kitchen table” silicone, calls Farrah Moan “untalented and unoriginal” during the otherwise friendly-fire reading challenge—the show’s annual, generally anemic attempt at paying homage to the sharp wit and cutting brilliance of Dorian Corey et al from Jennie Livingston’s Paris is Burning—and says that Valentina, one of the only other contestants giving unabashed girl with her drag, left her “so bored” at the episode’s variety show main challenge.

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When Monét X Change gives an off-key rendition of her original song, “Soak It Up,” released earlier this year to coincide with her season 10 elimination, Gia wonders, “Soak what up? I mean…maybe some of that sweat on that forehead.” While main challenge winners Monique and Trinity decide which of the main challenge losers, Farrah or Jasmine Masters, they’ll eliminate should they win the episode’s Mariah Carey lip sync, Gia tells the other safe girls that queens like Farrah are “not showgirls.” “They look good on Instagram, and they hope that the clothes and jewels are gonna [make up for talent], but it doesn’t, and tonight proved that,” she says. She’s a bitch, but at least she’s mostly telling the truth (mostly). And besides, wouldn’t you be a bitch, too, if people still didn’t get what you were bringing to the runway, mistaking your Chanel spring/summer 2013-inspired hula hoop handbag for a “huge, circular purse”?

“Step aside, boys, ‘cause the real queen is here,” she says upon entering the workroom, recalling the part-time/full-time trans/drag binary of old. It’s a binary that would separate Gia, the only trans woman in the workroom, from the part-timers to her left and right, though not necessarily one that would put her on top. For all I know, she’ll be eliminated next episode, but at least I can be sure that she’ll be charismatic and unique, with nerve and talent, until her final moment onscreen. Her cunt has teeth, and, based on the teaser for next week’s episode in which Farrah—whom lip-sync winner Trinity ends up saving from elimination over Jasmine—accuses her of “forc[ing] storylines to get airtime,” I can’t wait to see who she takes a bite out of next.

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