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Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 12 episode 7 recap

This week is all about Madonna – the unauthorised rusical, with all the queens singing and dancing. But who didn’t quite get into the groove?

Drag Race s12
Credit: Twitter/@RuPaulsDragRace

   

It’s worth saying first off that annoyingly in the UK, Netflix won’t be showing Untucked until the series is finished – I’ve no idea why, but on the plus side we are getting little snippets online and in the main show.

The episode started off with Brita talking fondly of Aidan (whom she beat in the lip sync the week before) declaring “I love  Aidan.  She stuck with it.”  This caused a few raised eyebrows and Widow in her VT to call out most of the girls for their two-faced behaviour.

There was also some beef between Gigi and Heidi which the latter seemed less keen to forgive and forget.  In Untucked it looks like Gigi called out Heidi for not improving her make up week on week.  Widow also seemed to have beef with Jackie and some of the others for calling her out on her Snatch Game performance.  Widow coined the phrase ‘Apolo-lie’; when someone gives a fake apology – stealing that! By the way when are we getting this spin off show Rupaul’s Best Friend Race that the queens keep going on about?

 


As a new week started in the Werk Room, Ru quickly revealed that there would only be a maxi challenge this week, which I happen to think works better than having the often silly mini challenges.  The queens were excited to learn that they would be starring in a new musical all about the life and times of Madonna.

Each of the girls would have to choose from a list of predefined Madonnas, record their vocal to a song that they’d then have to lip sync to and learn a dance routine.  With noone put in charge of the task it was up to the group to sort out the roles between themselves.  Jackie called the girls to order and ran through the list of Madonnas with people shouting out if they were interested.  The first role was Early Madonna and no one was volunteering, but Jackie and Widow managed to persuade Jan she’d be perfect and she reluctantly accepted.

The rest of the roles were distributed with only Gigi and Brita conflicting over the cone bra era Madonna.  Brita claimed the other song (for Unapologetic Madonnna) was too high a key for her so Gigi ended up conceding and letting Brita have the cone bra era.

As the girls headed to the main stage they were met by Madonna’s biggest stan, Michelle Visage as well as a couple of record producers.  Each girl went up in turn to record their vocals starting with Jan who showed her music school training by easily belting out her song.  Things weren’t quite as pitch perfect for many of the other girls;  Jaida looked embarrassed trying to get her sexy whisper on for her Justify My Love inspired track, Jackie wasn’t hitting the right notes and missed his direction and Crystal was shattering glass.  Brita managed to use her lower register with comic precision much to Michelle’s delight.  Gigi was visibly shaking with nerves as she tentatively approached the mic and failed to enunciate.

 

 

Next came the dance choreography with Jamal Sims who has worked with Madonna on hand to walk the girls through their moves.  Pretty much instantly, Widow started complaining about a knee injury she’d sustained in week 1.  As much as I have enjoyed Widow she does show a side of her I’m not a fan of.  Special shout out to Jan’s legs – wit woo!

Jackie had the other girls not knowing where to look as she awkwardly thrusted her way across the floor.  Brita put all her energy into the dance routine but wasn’t quite able to nail the Roger Rabbit.

Gigi seemed nervous and struggled somewhat here too with the choreography, much to Heidi’s delight as she cheekily told the camera that she’s happy to let Gigi have a break from being in the top – we all need a rest!  Speaking of Heidi, she delivered some street dance moves that impressed.

As the girls prepared themselves in the Werk Room, it was Heidi’s turn to tell her story about her gay uncle who died from HIV when she was young and how she doesn’t have a good relationship with her dad.  Crystal also opened up about her father, who is very supportive of her but now he has parkinsons and how she’s struggling with that.

This week’s special guest judges were supermodel Winnie Harlow and congress women Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Ru surprised her bestie by revealing that the runway category would be A Night of a Thousand Michelle Visages.

Then it was straight down to business as the lights dipped and the music started; Madonna the unauthorised rusical was beginning.  A video played of Michelle as Madonna X parodying Madonna’s promo clips from last year’s brilliant Madame X album.

Jan kicked things off with a Holiday era Madonna and she served some on-point dance moves complete with the trademark Madonna skips.  She was going to be a hard act to follow.  That task was given to Jackie as Like A Virgin era Madonna.  I thought she did a good job, considering the rehearsals but he was quite cutesy and not as tongue-n-cheek as Madonna was.

Next came Gigi who looked stunning in a black off the shoulder top and pedal pushers and peroxide Marilyn wig for the Papa Don’t Preach era look.  All my worries about her rehearsals disappeared in an instant as she absolutely slayed the dance moves including throwing in some impressive gymnastics to boot.  Plus she recreated Madonna’s trade mark strut perfectly;  I just couldn’t keep my eyes of her – is there nothing she can’t do?

Brita had a hard act to follow and although she looked the part and tried hard with the dance moves, she didn’t bring the Madonna attitude and her lip sync was a bit odd especially as she sang along to the backing vocals.  Jaida looked super fishy as she parodied Justify My Love, all rehearsal nerves clearly disappeared.

 

Sherry’s Evita style Madonna felt like we’d seen it before with her, she’s definitely a theatre and comedy queen.  As she exited stage right, Crystal emerged from the bottom of the screen as Ray of Light Madonna and channeled her inner hippy weirdo, bringing comedy and energy, good job.

Widow was Fempire Madonna from the Music era, and there was no sign of her knee injury as she cartwheeled across the stage.  Heidi as Bitch I’m Madonna era served hip-hop style moves including some breakdance moves.  All the Madonna’s returned to the stage for a finale number that cleverly used Madonna’s hit titles and some career highlights to full effect as the queens vogued.

All in all, it was a great rusical and a great episode.  The runway was going to play a key role in separating the tops and bottoms.

 

I wasn’t actually that taken with the runway looks, it all felt a bit fancy dress rather than taking inspiration from Michelle and taking it further.  Gigi stood out because she was the only one who did blond Michelle from her pop star days but the outfit (no matter how accurate) was a bit meh.  Jaida gave a great Icon leather look, Brita was plain, Sherry I felt we’d seen before, Crystal served an all red look and Widow also gave red haired Michelle.  Heidi gave a super bun but the rest of her look was a bit simple – she really doesn’t have the best catwalk looks.

Ru called out Jan, Gigi, Crystal, Jackie, Heidi and Brita telling them they represent the tops and bottoms of the week, sending Sherry, Widow and Jaida to safety.  Jan was praised for her performance in the rusical and they loved her Michelle Visage air hostess look.  Jackie’s runway look was given a thumbs up for detail but her Madonna act wasn’t quite taking it far enough.  She got emotional talking about her mother being an immigrant to Alexandria.

Gigi was told she really embodied Madonna and Winnie told her she thought she was her competition on the runway.  Brita was told that her performance wasn’t quite there and critiqued from the wrong earrings in her Michelle look.  Crystal made the judges laugh in her Madonna routine and Michelle told her she was on an uptick.  Heidi’s dance moves were bigged up but she was pulled up for not being Madonna enough.  When asked what was in the middle of her oversized bun, Heidi replied “hairspray and desperation.”

As the judges deliberated, it was clear that the win was going to be between Jan and Gigi with Brita, Heidi and Jackie possibly in trouble.  When the girls were called back to the stage, Ru told Jan she was safe and you could see the disappointment in her face that she hadn’t won the challenge.  To be fair she was as deserving as the others.  Crystal was told she was safe and then Gigi was crowned the week’s winner.

A nervous Jackie was sent to safety leaving Brita and Heidi in the lip sync.  Both girls had to perform to Madonna’s Burning Up and I was pleased to see Heidi holding her head high.  Both girls did a good performance but for me Heidi had pulled out some bigger moves and outshone Brita.  Rupaul agreed with me, Brita was sent home – it’s been a few weeks coming and the right person left.  Brita just hasn’t excited me from the start of this show and I love Heidi, though appreciate she needs to lift her runway game.

Next week’s challenge is to create a product and make an infomercial.

   

   and Episode 6

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