After the casting episode came the 1st episode of the new season. It began like the previous 2 season openers with the cast members entering the work room 1 by 1 and getting to know each other. Once all 12 had arrived, Ru showed up and explained there was a surprise awaiting them. The Pit Crew guys wheeled out a large box and out popped Shangela, the 1st drag queen eliminated from season 2. She explains later in the episode that she auditioned again, just like all the others, and was happy to have a 2nd chance. Ru also explains that not only do they have a larger number of queens competing this year, but that the size of the cash prize for the winner is also larger this year: $75,000. Additionally, the episodes are 90-minutes long this season.
The girls have a Christmas-themed photoshoot with legendary photographer and uber-hottie Mike Ruiz (right), then Ru takes the queens to a thrift store and explains that they are to create a holiday outfit ("Christmas Couture") using clothing and items from the thrift store and Christmas decorations they'll find back in the work room.
I noticed in this episode that RuPaul used a good bit more street slang which thrilled me to no end! I love it when she gets a little 'ghetto' and ends a sentence with "Oh-kuy?" (rhymes with oh-guy).