Drag Race fans have lots of thoughts about Mirage’s talent show performance

Drag Race season 16 queen Mirage in her promo photo.

The engines have been started, and the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, season 16, has landed. Yet in the first episode on Friday (5 January), all eyes were on just one queen – Mirage.

In the first of two premiere episodes, RuPaul introduced the world to seven of the 14 gorgeous glamazons who will be competing in season 16.

Upon entering the werkroom and taking part in the classic photoshoot mini-challenge, contestants Dawn, Xunami Muse, Q, Amanda Tori Meeting, Morphine Love Dion, Sapphira Cristál and Mirage were told that they would then be sharing their signature talents in an MTV’s Spring Break-style talent show.

Of course, there were a couple of twists announced ahead of the contest: firstly, the winner of the week would get immunity from a future elimination, and secondly, this season would introduce the ‘Rate A Queen’ element, whereby the queens would judge one another, not RuPaul.

Eventually, Q and Sapphira Cristál were selected as the top two queens of the week; Q for her brilliantly bizarre ballerina puppet show, and Sapphira for her smutty opera singing.

Yet, according to the Drag Race fandom, 29-year-old Las Vegas-based performer Mirage was the true queen who stole the episode.

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Mirage left her fellow competitors and the judges’ panel, which included LGBTQ+ ally and Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron, slack-jawed thanks to her heel-clacking, floor-wiping performance to an original song.

“I’ll put your man in a leash, because all men are dogs,” Mirage began, before pretending to be pulled down the runway by an imaginary pooch.

“She’s such a b***h, I’m not that nice and I’m not your sis,” she then growled. A cartwheel, splits, endless heel-clacking and a shoutout to her Vegas sister – season 15 finalist Anetra – followed.

The gagworthy performance elicited hysteric laughter and a big round of applause from RuPaul, while the fans at home were equally shook by the sickening routine.

“The way she got pulled by a fake dog and strutted … Mirage you will always be famous to me,” one mind-blown fan wrote on social media.

“At first I was like ‘OK’, but then those heels clacked and it cured my depression,” another fan joked, while a third admitted: “I’m slowly becoming so obsessed with Mirage.”

Other fans were shocked to find out that Mirage hadn’t landed in the top two for the performance, while some declared that they believe Mirage could be “the one” of season 16, AKA the eventual winner.

In this week’s episode on Friday (12 January), the second set of seven queens will enter the werkroom for part two of the talent show. “Shower” singer Becky G will join the panel as a guest judge.

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 is available on MTV and WOW Presents Plus.

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