Welcome to our weekly look at what has been going on in the Werk Room and Main Stage of Rupaul’s Drag Race stateside.
If you want to avoid spoilers for Rupaul’s Drag Race, stop reading now.
Following last week’s elimination, there was clearly something that went down in Untucked (that we don’t have in the UK) with Tamisha and Kandy going at each other. It seems that Tamisha thinks Kandy is being arrogant and also dismissing the girls who lost the very first challenge as not a threat in the competition. We saw a flashback to Untucked where Tamisha said, “There’s a couple of girls I don’t care for…cos you have some really nasty attitudes.” which seemed to be directed at Kandy and Tina.
This week, Ru came into the Werk Room to tell the girls that they needed to pair up, but they should choose wisely as they’d be with that partner for both the mini and maxi challenge. Last week’s winner Gottmik had to wait for the girls to pair up and then choose to join one of them to create a thrupple. It was no surprise that she joined Kandy and Tina – they call themselves the Mean Girls; do we have a new Rol-aska-tox? The mini challenge was to create a look from wallpaper and model it in front of the same wallpaper as your partner give commentary. The goal being to stand out from the wallpaper.
As the queens paired up, Tamisha and Elliott found themselves forced to couple up when they were the last two left standing. It turned out to be a winning combination as they were given the mini challenge win for their creation – complete with huge shoulder pads, a pink leopard print wallpaper and a Carol Baskin (Tiger King) bashing commentary.
This week’s main challenge was for the girls to create a Discomentary about the herstory of disco, staying in their pairs (or thrupple) from the mini challenge to each take on a different stage of the disco story. Tina, Kandy and Gottmik were covering the birth of disco; Elliott and Tamisha had disco and sex; Olivia and Utica were given Studio 54; Rosé and Denali had disco fashion and Lala and Symone had disco sucks.
In these pairs, they had to learn choreography and pull together their own outfits that summed up that period in disco. Whilst getting ready, Ru visited the Werk Room and it became clear many of the queens didn’t know about the history and impact of disco on the LGBT movement. Denali and Rosé were super confident due to them both being dancers with the former revealing she has some disco on ice experience on cruise ships. Rosé told Ru she needed to let go and that’s how she was going to get from being Top 3 (where she’s been the last few weeks) and win this week. Symone was uncharacteristically quiet this week, so either the dance challenge scared her or she didn’t want to show her lack of disco knowledge?
As the queens headed to the Main Stage to learn the choreography, Gottmik looked like she was struggling as did Utica. Elliott and Tamisha had hula hoops to contend with which seemed to beat Tamisha as she explained to camera she has colostomy bag to factor in following her cancer battle.
Whilst the queens got ready for their performance, Olivia revealed that she used to be overweight in high school, weighing nearly 300lbs (approx 21 stone) and even got turned away from an amusement ride once due to her size. It was her mum who put her on a strict diet and she built her confidence through drama and theatre. Kandy declared her biggest battle is with her inner demons and how she had to be hood-smart as a kid and she thinks that’s one of the reasons she’s so defensive now.
Guest judge Loni Love was back to help critique the queens this week alongside Michelle, Carson and Ru. The lights went down and the discomentary performance began. Gottmik, Tina and Kandy kicked things off and whilst Tina was giving it her all, Kandy’s outfit was a little basic and she looked a little lost at times. Elliott and Tamisha hula hooped with Tamisha looking great but she seemed to be lacking confidence. Studio 54 began with Olivia channelling Beyonce in Goldmember and Utica pulling all kinds of weird faces.
Next up was the trained dancers Rosé and Denali, who to be honest felt a bit forgettable and didn’t scream fashion to me. A group ensemble number was followed by the disco sucks pairing of Lala and Symone in a segment that didn’t make any sense with the theme but I do love Lala Ri’s dancing, she gives it her all whereas Symone looked a little less natural. This was going to be a tough challenge to judge as no one was terrible but nor did many really stand out.
On the runway category was LBD with Tina adding her trademark red, orange and yellow on her black dress. Kandy had a canvas paper comme de garcon number with a black painted dress on it. Gottmik was naked bar some sparkly nipple coverings and a mini dress to cover her privates and a bow over her bum. Elliott and Tamisha played it fairly safe in simple black dresses and I would’ve added Olivia to that category if it wasn’t for her huge hair and tiny handbag! Utica had gold arms and legs with a long black dress and crazy make up – she later explained she was a giant version of the earrings she was wearing. Denali added a touch of gothic with black eyes and sparkly spider’s web pseudo cape. Rosé gave us a tuile look that felt very samey to another she has already shown us this season while Lala left nothing to the imagination with a dress that went right up to there. Symone showed her legs for days in a skimpy dress made from black braids and blond hair inspired by a Rupaul video. I found it a bit underwhelming this week.
Rupaul called out Gottmik, Symone, Denali, Lala Ri and Rosé as safe (much to Denali’s disappointment – she really is very competitive). Tina was told she needed bigger hair on her runway look but praised for her performance. Kandy was told her look was fun but needed to be more finessed and her performance is a bit one note. Elliott’s moved were applauded but his LBD was a bit too simply for Drag Race. Tamisha was told to enjoy her performance more as she looked too scared, which she explained that she was in her head and still on a road to recovery. Olivia was complimented on her hair in both parts of the challenge and her general joyful aura. Utica was criticised for being too much of a caricature in her performance and her outfit wasn’t clear without her explanation.
And it looks like Tamisha and Kandy managed to move past their differences in the Untucked lounge.
When the girls were brought back, Ru sent Tina to safety before crowning Olivia this week’s winner. Elliott was also told he was safe as was Utica, which left Kandy and Tamisha in the bottom two; the two queens who started the episode at logger heads would have to lip sync against each other! The song was the brilliant Hit Em Up Style by Blu Cantrell and both gave it their all, although there were definitely some rhubarb rhubarb going in places. Kandy’s performance was more energetic and slightly frantic but Ru declare her the winner. She got emotional as she left the stage and looks like her and Tamisha will be able to let bygones be bygones as she hugged a teary Kandy as she left the runway. Tamisha said that she’s looking forward to having time to heal before All Stars – and do you know what, I think that could be a definite possibility.
Next week is the return of Bossy Rossy’s chat show – eek!
Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 13 is available on Netflix in the UK with new episodes added every Saturday.