Saturday, March 31, 2018

Stuck on Repeat: March 2018

Once again, we've found ourselves at the end of another month, and it's once again time for me to share the songs that I've been listening to throughout the month. Every month, I seem to have a different struggle when narrowing my list down to my 10-15 most-listened-to songs, and this month was... no different. lol. This month, my struggle was that there was a fairly compact list of songs that I listened to an embarrassing number of times, and then a much, much larger list of songs that I listened to fairly consistently throughout the month. In fact, there was one album that I listened to throughout the entire month, and if I hadn't cut it off, it would've overtaken the entire list. 

Look by Got7

Got7 is my #1 ult bias group, so obviously I listened to their comeback on a constant loop. When I first heard the chorus in a teaser video, I was immediately sold. On full listen, I didn't think the verses quite lived up to the amazing potential of the chorus, but after listening to it a few times, I really grew to love it. I'm not sure that this is necessarily my most-played song of the month, but it's definitely one I've been blasting quite a lot. The music video is super pretty (Jackson's set is my FAAAAAVE), and Jinyoung's voice on the music video is actually stunning. 

Mamma Mia by SF9

I've been on the verge of stanning SF9 for several months now, so when they started releasing teasers for their new comeback, I got very excited. And TBH, this might be my favorite of their title tracks to date. I'm planning on making a video about my favorite musical sounds/genres within KPop, and one of them that's definitely on my list is retro/throwback. This definitely reminds me of some of the musical trends of the 50s/60s, and I absolutely love it. It stole my heart upon first listen, and I've had it on constant repeat ever since.

Power by EXO

Often, the songs that wind up on this list are ones that I first started listening to within the last month or so, but there are a couple on this list that I've had for a while, but only recently started appreciating. And Power is one of those. I've been listening to EXO casually for a while, but Power was one of the songs that I thought was just alright. I knew a lot of people were disappointed by KoKoBop, but loved Power, but as a non-EXO stan, I really liked KoKoBop. But, over the last month, I've been listening to EXO a lot more, and I started to really love Power. It's a lot of fun, and even though it's still not one of my absolute favorite EXO songs, I've been listening to it a ton and have really started to enjoy it-- probably more 

Only U by VIXX

As I anticipated last month, I've been listening to a lot of VIXX this month. I've still been listening to last month's VIXX songs quite a bit, but this month, I was mostly centered around the Voodoo album, which I've totally fallen in love with. And Only U is one of the songs I've had on constant repeat. It's such an interesting song that's a hybrid of a ton of genres-- with the interesting synth motive & the electric guitar in the background, among lots of other things. For some reason, it gives me almost Latin vibes, even though I really don't have any explanation as to WHY it does so lol. Either way, I really love it. More on the Voodoo album to come!

Hesitate by Got7

As I said in my Eyes On You unboxing, I wasn't immediately sold on this new mini album by Got7. So, I set it aside for the first few days after its release and then returned to it at the end of the week and ended up falling in love with it. What I realized is that while 7 For 7 had a huge standout song (Teenager), this mini doesn't. Not even Look. Where 7 For 7 was a bit of a roller coaster (a couple amazing standouts, the rest= just average Got7 songs), Eyes On You is like... a plateau. Lol I'll stop the analogy. What I mean is that while the songs on Eyes On You are all above average Got7 songs, none really stand out as one that will be an all-time favorite like Teenager. However, the one that gets closest is Hesitate. The chorus is super catchy, and like a lot of the other songs on the album, it has a bit of an acoustic feel to it. That's something that I really love and appreciate on this mini. I'll talk a bit more about it when I get further along, but I think Hesitate is probably my favorite song on the new mini, despite loving the whole thing. 

Ooh Ooh by Eric Nam (feat. Hoya)

If I were to give out an award for my most-listened-to song of the month, it would undoubtedly go directly to Ooh Ooh without a single moment's hesitation. How did I just now discover this song?!? I really like Eric, Infinite is my ult bias group, and I have a major weak spot for brassy/funky pop songs. This song is exactly right up my alley and I've been obsessed with it all. month. Seriously, I'm listening to it while writing this and I don't think I'll ever get sick of it. It's such a bop. It's so much fun. I have nothing else to say. Just go listen to this perfection.

True Love by Sunggyu

I've often stated that ballads and slower songs are typically songs that I have to warm up to or that I have a harder time loving. But this song. This is the type of slower song that I immediately fall in love with. When I heard the teaser, I was immediately hooked because the song is one of those that makes your heart feel like it's soaring. I can't figure out any better way to explain it. The instrumentation/backing track is pretty sparse, but it's still so powerful and uplifting. It makes my heart do weird somersaults and backflips. But maybe that's just Sunggyu in general haha.

Mama by EXO

Like I said earlier, I listened to a lot of EXO this month, and that started with me dowloading all of their title tracks. And I fell in love with Mama immediately. Growl is still my favorite EXO song, but Mama is giving it a serious run for its money. First off, if you include strings and a choir in a KPop song, I'm sold. It gives it such a cool, dark, almost Gothic feel that I really love. Then, fast forward to the bridge section with the rap/scream/whatever that is, and I'm totally sold and in love. It's so good, and so epic.

Just Do It by BSS (Seventeen)

This song is so cheesy and silly, but it's so much fun and it's another song that is directly up my alley. It brings back Seventeen's funky vibes that I love so much, and punctuates it with an electric guitar. Seriously, if you put an electric guitar in a pop song, I melt. Also there are brief brassy interjections, which we've also established is something I love. Add onto that the chant-like 2nd half of the (already mega-catchy) chorus and I'm totally in love. Seriously, this song is so much fun and I couldn't care less if it's just a silly little fun song.


Like I said earlier, VIXX's Voodoo album has been on constant repeat for me, and although this song definitely falls squarely within the "guilty pleasure" category, I can't help but love it. If you've heard this song & read this post to this point, you already know why. It's brassy. It's funky. It's everything I love. This whole album is amazing, but this song is a definite standout. I was going to list some other songs on the album that I love, but honestly I love every single one of them. I wasn't exaggerating when I said that this album has cemented itself as one of my favorite KPop albums ever. It's actually fantastic. I just scrolled through it on my phone and I think the only one I'm not totally obsessed with is Someday, but I still even love that one. I'll talk more about them at the end, though!

One and Only You by Got7 (feat Hyolyn)

Right off the bat, the video they released for this song is so cute and fun. I also immediately loved the song, and in some ways I almost wish that it was the title track, because I think I actually like it more than Look. But that's neither here nor there. I want to take a moment to mention my two other faves from the album that I have yet to mention on here-- Us & Thank You. Yugyeom's songs aren't always my fave, but I'm in love with Us. IDK what it is about this month, but apparently everything has vaguely Latin vibes, because that's what I get from both of these songs. They both heavily feature the acoustic guitar, which I think adds to that vibe. Anyway, I've said it already and I'll say it another 10 times-- this mini is really strong across the board. So. Good.

Love Me Right by EXO

Like with Power, this is another song that I kinda re-discovered this month. I think in the past, I've preferred Call Me Baby over this one (Call Me Baby was the title track of their 2nd album, and then the album was repackaged with Love Me Right as its title track), but this month, I changed my tune (heyoooo, bad pun!). Love Me Right is so fun and funky and I just absolutely love it. Call Me Baby is as well, but I don't think I love it quite as much, even though they're both fairly high on my list of favorite EXO songs. Either way, I really love this song, and I've been listening to it a lot lately. I've also been listening to Growl a lot, but TBH I'm always listening to Growl a lot, and I felt like that might be a bit redundant to keep including it haha.

Hot Potato by N.Flying

I've been aware of Hot Potato since around the time that it was first released, and I even listened to it a couple times around then, but at the beginning of the month I found it getting stuck in my head (for some reason, it and Mamma Mia get conflated in my mind), so I ended up downloading it and it's one of the songs I've had on a near-constant loop. It's just a ton of fun and super quirky. Plus, we all know how I feel about bands, so obviously I really enjoy this. I'm not sure if I plan on seeking out more N.Flying music, but I do really like Hot Potato.

Electric Kiss by EXO

There were a couple reasons I started getting more into EXO lately. One of them was their performance at the Olympics. The other was this song. I had no idea they'd released a new Japanese song until I saw The Bias List review it, and when I listened to it, I was immediately in love. It's so intense and in-your-face and so much fun. I'm absolutely obsessed. 

Beautiful Killer by VIXX

While there were other songs I considered from Voodoo for this list, I wound up with Beautiful Killer mostly because I think it was the one I listened to the most and the most consistently throughout the month. But like I said, pretty much the entire album applies here, and I'm in love with every single song, so I'll just stop repeating myself and tell you to go listen to this amazing album. 

Aight, so it's time to reflect on last month's predictions and my predictions for the coming month. I said I'd be listening to a lot more VIXX, Got7's comeback, Day6's Japanese debut, and Golden Child. Obviously, check and check on the first two. I've also been listening to Day6's Japanese debut, but I thought that it would be more than 2 songs (one of which I already had), and although I have been listening to Baby, It's Okay, it didn't quite break into this top 15. As for Golden Child, Lady almost found itself on this list, but they simply just ended up getting overshadowed by VIXX and EXO. I also mentioned that Sunggyu and SF9 would be on here, and hey look, they're here!

Going forward, I think I'm going to be listening to even more VIXX and EXO. I finished downloading all of VIXX's music on iTunes near the end of the month, so I've been listening to some of those songs a lot and expect to do so for the coming month. I also plan on downloading more EXO music. Also, Monsta X's new mini just got released, and I really love the new Stray Kids single, so I think those will be on repeat a lot. PLUS, Pentagon is having a comeback on the 2nd and VIXX is releasing a full album mid-month, so I think I'm going to be listening to that a lot as well. I want to fit Golden Child in there at some point too, but TBH April is always super busy for me because of finals & stuff, so I'm not sure if I'll have time. We'll see! 

Anyway, that's it for this post. I always ramble way too much at the end of these. Let me know which KPop songs (or just any songs in general tbh) you've been listening to on a constant loop!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Korean Journal [한국어 블로그] #1: 3-27-2018

안녕하세요, 크리스입니다!
Don't worry, I'm not about to start journaling in Korean on this blog, despite how much a small part of me wants to. Nah, I'm just going to start keeping track of my Korean learning. I kinda want to post weekly. Ish. And I want these to be short little posts that are largely used just as a way to keep myself accountable and to track how I'm doing. Not that I think many people are going to actually read this. I just want to have a place to talk about my learning, where people can possibly read it and potentially communicate with me/ comment on it/ etc. I also just want these to be pretty short, so I'll try not to ramble too long.

A bit of a background (hopefully keeping this short too). I first began learning Korean in May 2017. I'd been watching The Genius for a few months and was just getting into KPop. Since the beginning of 2017, I'd been wanting to learn a second language, and I originally set my sights on Spanish. I took it all throughout school, so the decision to work on Spanish made sense to me. However, upon getting interested in The Genius and KPop, I turned my sights toward Korean and have been fascinated by the language ever since. For about a month, I was really diligent with my learning, getting all the way through the first level of Talk To Me In Korean and moving on to level 2. I studied a lot, and learned quite a bit as well. But I soon got discouraged and took a break. Which got longer and longer. And eventually turned into intermittent learning, with the excuse that I was just taking a break. And now here I am, after only learning a tiny bit intermittently since about.... August. And then, a couple days ago, I discovered that DuoLingo added Korean a few months ago, and that reignited my desire to learn. 

So, now that we're up-to-date with the state of my Korean learning, let's talk about what I've been doing over the past few days and what I want to do for this week. So, initially I was using DuoLingo. I've admittedly never been the hugest fan of DuoLingo as a language-learning tool. I feel like it can sometimes encourage lazy learning with some of the types of questions with word banks rather than typing and actually spelling. After working on the app quite a bit, I switched over to the desktop version, because that actually allows me to type and spell things, whereas the app doesn't (it's in beta-- you can actually type for different languages that are fully complete). Anyway, that also caused me to want to work more on my Korean typing, so I found a typing website (TypeRacer) that allows you to practice your Korean typing, and have been using that a few times a day to improve my typing. When I started typing, I think I was at literally 10 characters per minute or so. That sounds like very little, but when you're learning a completely new keyboard, it's to be expected. I've gotten to the point where I can type up to 25 characters per minute, but that's a far cry from how quickly I can type in English, because I can get to upwards of 90 WPM. I think. Maybe more. It's been a while since I tested myself. 

Anyway, I also downloaded an app called Quizlet, which is basically used for studying. I was able to make flashcards, and the app allows you to study kinda whatever way you want to. There's a way to match the word, a way to use it just as normal flashcards, and, my favorite, a way to translate the English words into Korean by typing-- not just choosing from a word bank. I started taking the words I didn't already know from DuoLingo and put them into Quizlet and studied them using the app. However, then someone suggested a different Korean learning app, LingoDeer, to me, and I switched over to that one (at least for the time being). So far, I think I actually like this app better than DuoLingo, but we'll see. I think my biggest complaint across both apps is when the app wants you to translate something, but translates it audibly. This is meant to help you, but it actually just makes it easier for me to be lazy and just focus on what I hear and not what it actually means. 

That said, the one aspect where I think LingoDeer is particularly helpful is where there's actually a speaking & hearing section. It was really great to use words in sentences and to practice actually saying the words. And let me tell you, I have so much difficulty pronouncing 의. It's one of those sounds that can change depending on what comes before it, but what's really difficult for me its its "normal" pronunciation, aka the way it sounds when it's on its own. It sounds like "eui" and idk if this is the same for other American native speakers, but it's a difficult sound for me to make without thinking super hard about it. It takes a lot of work for me to actually say it correctly. Anyway, I also plan on starting to journal daily in Korean, even if that means just writing disjunct, incomplete sentences. I haven't quite decided if I want to journal on my normal word processor or if I want to do it handwritten. I like the idea of handwritten because it helps me work on my writing, but I feel like typing is easier and will help me work on my typing, which I think is more helpful because my typing is weaker overall. IDK. We'll see. I think I'm going to go to the store later today and see if there's an unlined journal that I want, and that might dictate how I decide to do it. 

OK, I think that's it for this post. I'm not sure when I plan to update. I should probably figure out an actual schedule, but I'm not sure what will be easiest going forward. This ended up being a little more robust than I wanted, so hopefully my future posts will be a bit more brief. I think that by next week what I really want is to have decided on my system for learning. AKA-- Am I going to keep using DuoLingo? Am I going to keep using LingoDeer? How am I going to implement Quizlet? Ho will I journal? How often will I practice typing? Etc. Hopefully, throughout the coming week, I'll figure out how I want to deal with that. But for now, this is where I'll end this post. Let me know in the comments if you're also learning Korean, and if you want to see me continue doing these (I will anyway, but tell me so that I feel like people actually care lol)

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

RuPaul's Drag Race Season 10 Pre-Season Predictions

Somehow, a year has already passed since the last time RuPaul's Drag Race graced us with a fresh bunch of queens, so I'm back here again to give my pre-season thoughts on this new cast for Season 10! Last season, I predicted the boot order and listed the queens in the order I thought they would be eliminated, but I'm shaking things up this time around. For this list, I'm going to be listing them in alphabetical order, discussing my general thoughts and opinions on each. For each queen, I'm going to list whether I think they're an early boot, middle of the pack, or going deep. In some instances, I'll modify these slightly (aka an "early-middle boot" but I'll explain my reasoning each time). At the end, I'll conclude by listing both my favorite and my winner pick. Because I think they're going to slightly differ. I'll also do a quick lil list predicting the boot order bc why not? and I'll also rank them from least favorite to favorite. IDK, I guess I just want to have more things to be wrong about.

Also, a general note: if there are spoilers out about the season, I'm unaware of them. I glanced around reddit for about 5 seconds before deciding that I wanted to go into the season without being spoiled. So if the entire season has been spoiled a la All Stars 2, I have no idea. I'm going based off the Facebook live, the meet the queens videos, and any other random videos I've watched while putting this together.

Without any further ado, ON TO THE QUEENS!


Two past Drag Race queens immediately came to mind as I began watching more of Aquaria's meet the queens content, as I'm sure they did for you-- Violet and Aja. For me, Aquaria is the personality of Violet mashed up with the fashion sense and Insta following of Aja (on her first season). Personally, I'd be begging for the exact opposite-- a queen with Violet's fashion sense and Aja's personality. But that's just me, and now I'm off track. Anyway, Aquaria has a large following on social media, and I find her to be one of the two queens who is the most prevalent in the promos (probably due to said following). However, unlike that second queen (we'll get there), I don't think Aquaria will live up to the hype. I think we're looking at an Aja S9 trajectory at best. Upon just seeing her looks, I was impressed, but when I watched the videos, I was super underwhelmed. Aquaria just seemed very unimpressive, and to me came off as a look queen that will last for a while... but not too long. 

Prediction: Early-middle boot 

Asia O'Hara

Whatever Drag Race employee made Asia wear that wig needs to be reprimanded immediately, because I know she did not choose that for herself. Anyway, Asia was the exact opposite of Aquaria for me. On first glance, I was not impressed. That hair is horrible, and the bodysuit didn't do much for me. But then, I watched her videos and I changed my tune real quickly. Asia has really impressed me. I'm not usually a huge pageant girl fan, but Asia seems to be able to do it all. She makes pretty much all of her outfits, which gives her major props in my book. She also came off as very well-spoken and she definitely is one of the more mature queens who knows who she is. Typically, when queens describe themselves as chameleons, I roll my eyes. But I believe Asia when she says it. I'm all-in on Asia, and I'm really excited to see what this pageant girl can bring to the show.

Prediction: Going Deep

Blair St. Clair

I went back and forth several times on Blair. At first, I wasn't a fan. The 50s/60s housewife aesthetic isn't my thing. But then, when listening to her, I found her endearing and was excited about a Broadway ingenue. But, once again, I did a 180 and have found myself a bit skeptical as to her ability to do well on the show. I like her. In the videos I saw, especially her confessionals, she was adorable. But I just don't think that she has the chops to make it far. I could easily see her skating by the first couple challenges being safe and/or because she can perform, and then promptly getting axed in the 4th or 5th week. A bit of me hopes that she ends up proving me wrong, but I would be surprised if she made it past episode 5.

Prediction: Early-middle boot

Dusty Ray Bottoms

I'm throwing any potential sense of objectivity to the wind with this prediction. I have no freakin' clue how well I think Dusty will do, but I want her to make it all the way to the finale and win because a punk girl who's also very Broadway?!?! SIGN ME UP. I've fallen head over heels for Dusty and I cannot wait to see her on this season. Ever since S8, my pre-season favorite has won, so... watch out for my girl Dusty (I probably just Jinkxed myself. Yikes).I love her makeup and those splotches on her face, and I love her witchy aesthetic, and she seems like a lot of fun and just... ugh I love her. She's speaking right to my soul with punk, witchy, and Broadway. Gimme gimme gimme. She also said that she sews, so she definitely gets points there. Also, this look in the picture was made by Mondo Guerra, AKA one of my favorite people to ever be on Project Runway (the two of them seem to be friends, bc he's shouted her out more than once on his Insta). Also, Sasha said she was a big fan. I'm 100% sold on Dusty. I was listening to a cast assessment on my favorite Drag Race podcast (RHAP) and they didn't seem to like her, but I juuuuust don't get it. I love her. I'm all in.

Prediction: Going Deep

Eureka O'Hara

If you saw last year's predictions (you definitely didn't, but that's alright), I predicted a 5th place finish from Eureka. While she went out much earlier than that due to her injury, I think that she was on a trajectory to absolutely kill a large chunk of the season, and I think she definitely could've made it all the way to 5th. And I feel kinda the same way about her this season! I quickly fell in love with Eureka last season, and I'm so excited to see her on the new season. My one hope is that she doesn't do hair loaves all season long. Hopefully, she switches things up and tries different things. She's said that she thinks she's found herself and her true drag aesthetic in the year between seasons filming, so I'm hoping that means that she has improved beyond where she was in season 9. Either way, I think we'll be seeing quite a bit of Eureka this season. 

Prediction:  Going Deep

Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams

Do you want to know what my biggest drag name pet peeve is? Naming yourself after a celebrity or brand (I'm looking at you, Mariah Balenciaga). Honestly, the second I heard Kalorie's name, I knew that this was not my queen. Look, I don't want to sit here and bash her, but I really found myself getting sleepy while watching her videos. I didn't think she was very interesting or compelling, and I found myself getting pretty bored. To her credit, I love that she embraces everything that "a big girl shouldn't be," and she does know how to sew. I feel like the entire fandom is pretty underwhelmed by her so far and thinks she'll be out early, but it's always possible that she'll be solid enough to make it to the middle of the pack. Because at the end of the day, a boring personality doesn't always show through when walking on a runway or performing. That said, I definitely think that there's no way she wins, and more likely than not, she's not going to be around too long.

Prediction: Early boot. (First boot potential)

Kameron Michaels

Kameron is one who's really interesting to me. I immediately loved her vibe. In all of her videos and interviews, she came off as very chill and easygoing, and that's always something I enjoy. She has a really unique perspective that I've never seen on the show before-- she's super buff. Like... that's kinda her thing-- she has muscles and she embraces it. From what she said, it sounds like people criticize her for it, but I'm intrigued to see how the other S10 queens react. One of the words she threw out about her aesthetic was grunge, and that immediately piqued my interest, because I'm a big fan of grunge. All that said, I have a sinking suspicion that she's not going to kill it. I see her going out somewhere in the middle, probably right after those early-middle boots. IDK why I get that vibe, but that's just where I think I see her falling. Maybe it's because she comes off largely as a "look" queen above anything else, even if it is a different take on it that we haven't seen before on the show. I would be thrilled if she got further, because I really like her personality and aesthetic, but I'm not confident about that possibility.

Prediction: Middle of the pack

Mayhem Miller

This is one of those moments where my bias kicks in and I have to try really hard not to let it overpower everything else. From what I've seen of Mayhem, gurl is just not my type of queen. Everything I've seen so far from her screams old-school dancing pageant queen who lip syncs the house down. It's a casting type that I personally get sick of. I'm very strongly biased toward quirky, weird, artsy, and comedy queens, and pageant queens tend to bore me. Also, I know this is a comparison that has already been said many times and criticized many times, but the girl looks like Kennedy from certain angles. I'm not saying she's a Kennedy reboot, but it's hard to not see that immediate connection. Anyway, back on track, Mayhem does seem like a lot of fun. Her personality seems very upbeat and positive, and I do find myself enjoying what I've seen of her personality. Mayhem seems to be very well known by the other queens, and it seems like a lot of people are impressed by her, so despite my own biases, I can see her doing pretty well. I'm hesitant to say that she's going deep, but I could certainly see her still being around when the group is narrowed down to 7.

Prediction: Late-middle of the pack (6th/7th place)

Miz Cracker

I was extremely hesitant about Miz Cracker. Miz Cracker is the second queen I feel has been the most prominent in the promos. And when a queen is super prominent, I immediately get worried about how well they'll do. Plus, she knows a ton of NYC queens and is the drag daughter of one Bob the Drag Queen. I feel like she's coming in with all these accolades already, and that almost feels like a setup for a quick and surprising elimination. But, as I mentioned earlier, I think that of the two most prominent queens, Aquaria is the one who's more likely to get that story arc. Despite the fact that I went into Cracker's meet the queens videos knowing about her accolades and being worried that would somehow lead to an ironic twist of fate where she's out early, I found myself being charmed by her. Miz Cracker. is. smart. She's knowledgeable. Several queens mentioned being old school and new school, but Cracker made very specific references that I really appreciated. Also, in her interview with Sasha, she referenced the Feminine Mystique. I mean. Knowing all of her connections, I had high expectations of her, and I think that pre-season, she's meeting it. Like I said, I was very hesitant to love her, but I just really couldn't help but appreciate her. I can't wait to see what she brings. 

Prediction: Going deep

Monet X Change

This is another queen where I've essentially thrown objectivity to the wind. I love Monet X Change. I love her personality, she's well-spoken, she's really funny, and not only is she friends with Bob the Drag Queen, but could also pass as his twin out of drag. Just throw a pair of Harry Potter glasses onto Bob and you might not be able to tell the difference. They have the same New York accent, seemingly similar senses of humor, and they're both bald. Bob comparisons aside, though, I just found myself really loving Monet. Apart from being funny, she doesn't really fall into typical "types" that I immediately gravitate toward, but I found myself gravitating toward her nonetheless. I'm not totally sure of the general fandom opinion on her, but the people on the RHAP Drag Race podcast really liked her, so that makes me feel like I'm not alone there. Hopefully, my lack of objectivity with Monet doesn't come back to bite me, but in general, I feel really optimistic about her potential on this season. (Also she's an operatically trained vocalist and I AM GAGGING. SOLD. I LOVE HER)

Prediction: Going deep

Monique Heart

If you've been reading this post thinking "wow, she seems to think everyone is going to do well," prepare yourself. Because this post is about to go real downhill. Real fast. Starting here, with Monique Heart. I did not get good vibes from her at all. Not in the "she's going to be the villain" way, but in the "I think she's going to annoy me" way and the "I don't think she's going to last very long" way. I just reeeeeally don't have high hopes for Monique. Maybe she'll prove me wrong, but she screams early boot to me. I just really can't see a scenario where we've made it to the midpoint of the season and Monique is still around. She seems messy and she seems loud, so hopefully we get some laughs along the way, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if she was a first boot. Also, maybe I'm reading into the edit a bit too much, but when I watched the first 15 minutes of the first episode, her entrance received that "shade" music that often accompanies someone doing something poorly and foreshadows their demise. The last person that happened to was Jaymes Mansfield, and we all know how that ended.

Prediction: Early boot (first boot potential)

Vanessa Mateo

And here we have another instance in which I'm unable to be objective, but like... in the opposite way. Vanessa grated on my last nerve in everything I saw her in. This is another "type" of queen who just isn't my thing, but while I'm able to recognize that Mayhem has some strong potential, I can't see the same in Vanessa. Vanessa, to me, falls squarely in line with queens like Gia Gunn & Kimora Black before her. She gives great looks, gets shaded for asking dumb questions, and is promptly eliminated in the first few episodes. And, for good measure, she probably lands in the bottom 2 on the first challenge, wins the lip sync, and then gets eliminated episode 2. We've seen so many queens follow that same trajectory at the beginning of the season, and I think that's where Vanessa is going to fall this season. I really can't see a situation for her where she gets any further than episode 5, and that's being generous. 

Prediction: Early boot

The Vixen

I want so badly to believe in The Vixen, but I just don't. First of all, based on the pictures alone when they were first released, The Vixen was the one I kept forgetting existed. To me, she didn't stand out in the promo shots whatsoever. Then, when the video content started being released, I continued to be underwhelmed. I liked the look that she wore when talking to Sasha, but that was the extent of the impression she left. But then, I watched her upon her entrance in the beginning of the season premiere. She talked about protesting and making a statement with her drag and how artsy her drag is, and I wanted so badly to love her. And I might find myself really loving watching her. But after everything else I've seen, I don't have confidence that she'll make much of an impact on the season. Also, the show threw the shade music at her when she entered the workroom. Not a good sign. I've got her making it to about episode 5, but that might be me being a bit too optimistic.

Prediction: Early-middle boot

Yuhua Hamasaki

I feel like a broken record, but Yuhua was another queen that I wanted really badly to fall in love with, but I've gone back and forth on her so many times. Her interview with Sasha was so. freaking. awkward. She was completely tone-deaf. AKA, she didn't realize that her sense of humor was NOT coming off well. She kept trying to be funny, but it fell flat. There are a couple queens in this cast where I worry that they could say something that would potentially be off-putting and offensive, and Yuhua is right at the top of that list (the other queen is Cracker, BTW). She doesn't seem to have a great filter, and while that isn't necessarily something that impedes you from winning Drag Race, it is something that can turn RuPaul against you if you try to be funny and offend her instead. Some people said she seems like Gia Gunn mixed with Bianca Del Rio, and while the Gia comparison is lost on me apart from them both being Asian (please tell me that's not the reason for the comparison??), I can definitely see the Bianca comparison. Hopefully, Yuhua doesn't offend anyone, and hopefully she's actually funny, because she seems to be friendly with the other New York queens in the premiere, and I want to like her and want her to do well. Keeping my fingers crossed with this one, thus concluding the cast list!

Prediction: Middle of the pack

Winner Picks & Rankings

Winner Prediction: Asia O'Hara
(AKA the person I think has the best shot at winning)

Asia just seems to be incredibly well-rounded and good at everything. I'm not sure if I can peg one thing that I think she's going to be best at, but never underestimate the power of being versatile and being able to be decently good at everything, even if you aren't amazing in one certain field. Our S9 winner, Sasha Velour, didn't necessarily have one type of challenge that seemed tailor-made for her, but she was able to do well at all of them, even if she didn't win a ton of challenges. That said, I can see Asia absolutely killing this season, and I can't wait to see it happen. 

Predicted boot order
(AKA the order I think they'll get eliminated in)
(I moved this around about an hour after initially posting, so if you remember seeing something different, that's why. I started feeling less and less confident in Kalorie, so I moved her down to the bottom)

14. Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams
13. Monique Heart
12. Vanessa Mateo
11. Blair St. Clair
10. The Vixen
9. Aquaria
8. Kameron Michaels
7. Yuhua Hamasaki
6. Mayhem Miller
5. Eureka O'Hara
4. Miz Cracker
3. Dusty Ray Bottoms
2. Monet X Change
1. Asia O'Hara

Personal Winner: Dusty Ray Bottoms
(AKA the queen I would most like to see win)

To be fair, my heart is currently being torn in 4 directions right now, because while my thoughts are a little scattered on the cast overall, my top 4 are veeeeery definitive and are the same across my predicted boot order and my favorite queens. So there are 3 other queens begging me to pick them here, but Dusty's pulling at me just slightly harder. She hits so many of the bullet points of things I immediately gravitate toward in a queen, and that has just immediately completely endeared her to me. Plus, at this point, given how down my podcast was on her, I want to see her prove them wrong. I just hope she goes out there and kills it, because I have high hopes for her.

Favorite Ranking
(AKA least fave to most fave. Or, I guess, my ideal boot order.)

14. Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams
13. Monique Heart
12. Vanessa Mateo
11. Aquaria
10. Mayhem Miller
9. Blair St. Clair
8. The Vixen
7. Kameron Michaels
6. Yuhua Hamasaki
5. Eureka O'Hara
4.  Asia O'Hara
3. Miz Cracker
2. Monet X Change
1. Dusty Ray Bottoms

So, that's it for my Pre-Season Drag Race Season 10 Predictions! For some reason, I'm feeling overly-confident with my predictions, so feel free to laugh at me if Dusty or Asia get eliminated tonight on the season premiere. I'm super, super excited to see these queens in action & I can't believe we've already made it to another new season of Drag Race!! Hopefully these predictions pan out well, but if not, oh well-- I'm excited either way. 

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