• Fans were impressed by Nicki Minaj's stint as a guest judge on 'Drag Race'. (World of Wonder, VH1)Source: World of Wonder, VH1
The new season's premiere has long-time fans cheering.
Samuel Leighton-Dore

2 Mar 2020 - 12:40 PM  UPDATED 2 Mar 2020 - 12:40 PM

Last weekend's premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race has already topped expectations, with long-time fans of the reality TV series commenting on the season's strong and diverse cast of queens.

However, one unexpected highlight of the episode was guest judge Nicki Minaj, who not only seemed like she actually wanted to be there (unlike a slew of previous guest judges), but gave constructive, nuanced advice and was having FUN.

“Welcome to the main stage of Nicki Minaj’s Drag Race,” RuPaul said before taking her seat at the judge's table. “I’m so glad you’re here, Young Money in the house.”

The rapper's energy was contagious, too, with RuPaul and fellow judges Michelle Visage and Carson Kressley sharing multiple laughs throughout the show's runway and group challenge segments, which required the episode's seven contestants to write and perform their own raps.

Following the challenge, the episode's top two contestants - Gigi Goode and Widow Von'Du - had to perform a lip sync to Minaj's hit single Starships (probably one of the star's only PG-appropriate tracks), with Minaj delivering a decade's-worth of reaction GIFs as she watched on in awe.

While Minaj clearly liked some contestants more than others (“I hate, hate, hate your hair and makeup today!” and “Your face is shutting everyone else down."), she also had a clear respect for the contestants, taking the time to give feedback on their rap lyrics while also giving advice on how to approach criticism in the public eye.

Basically, shantay she can stay (please).

Previous high-profile guest judges have included Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera, with LGBTIQ+ community icon Robyn set to appear on this weekend's episode, which will introduce the season's second batch of queens.

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