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.
Last week the queens paired up to give us a herstory lesson on the birth and influence of disco. Tamisha and Kandy found themselves at loggerheads, and facing each other in the lip sync battle. Sadly, Tamisha was asked to sashay away leaving Kandy free to fight another week. As we joined the girls post-elimination Kandy was actually feeling less celebratory than she thought she would. As Elliott pointed out that two girls who were in a previous group with her are both gone and the other queens take the chance to tell her she’ll be next!
Ru entered the Werk Room to set the girls their mini challenge which this week was the reading challenge; the library is open! Rosé was up first and delivered some nice put downs to the other queens, but it was Gottmik who really slayed the competition. She even said Kandy was representing for the pug community which had me in hysterics. Unfortunately Elliott had some big tumbleweed moments when she delivered her quips, despite having prepared some props.
For this week’s maxi challenge it was the return of the Ross Matthews fronted, Jerry Springer-esque Bossy Rossy. For avid Drag Race fans like myself, you’ll remember how cringey this was in season 10 with Eureka dressed as a giant baby and Miz Cracker as a pickle. I was not looking forward to this. Ru assigned the girls scenarios randomly (in the order they were standing) putting them into either pairs or thrupples for this improv challenge.
As the girls read through their scenarios, Michelle’s words from last week were clearly still ringing in Kandy’s ears; she needed to bring something different to her usual banjee girl style. Her improv partner Symone wasn’t convinced this was the challenge to be playing it coy. Tina was paired with Elliott and was also worried about her partner, especially after watching the earlier reading challenge.
Denali and Lala had something to prove after they flopped hard in the previous acting challenge and were glad to have improv ace Rosé in their group. The three would be playing out a scene about a woman who claims to be pregnant by her imaginary boyfriend. Utica joined Olivia and Gottmik for a skit about mimology, with Olivia managing to nicely manipulate Utica to get the role that she wanted.
As the challenge began, it was Rosé who was first out and started strong as a pregnant, trailer trash gal but surprisingly Denali outperformed her as her also pregnant mum. Unfortunately Lala Ri just couldn’t hang with the pair and so her performance felt lacking.
Next up was Gottmik the shrink with her mime client Olivia. The former did a good job of setting the scene with the latter stealing the show literally without saying a word! Then came Utica as Olivia’s mum but she looked more like a trailer park hooker and she started talking about Starbucks much to Ross’ confusion. Utica felt very much out of the scene.
Symone and Kandy did a parody of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie style BFFs that had fallen out since filming their TV show stopped. Kandy really played it quietly which actual did show a different side and worked with Symone’s confident persona. Lastly, Tina came out as a woman with a huge butt implant giving a large performance. Elliott joined her as a timid ex co-worker and friend before revealing that she had had a massive boob job. The pair then ended up getting off with each other. Elliott was a little muted compared to Tina but did an ok job with what was a pretty naff scenario.
Back in the Werk Room, Elliott confided in Tina that she felt the other girls hadn’t given her enough credit for her performance in the challenge and that she suffers with clinical depression. The pair bonded over this as Tina explained her mother also suffered from it.
On the runway, the guest judge was TS Madison who joined Ross, Ru and Michelle for the category of Bead it! (not Beat It! as I first thought). Denali came out as a human chandelier; Olivia through it back to a 90s block party and Symone had her name spelt in beads in her hair piece. Utica was a vampire bride; Elliott looked dapper as a flapper and Lala took us to a low rent carnival.
Following the runway presentations, Ru asked Rosé, Denali, Gottmik and Tina to step forward and told them they were safe; Denali is not going to be happy about that! That left Utica, Kandy, Symone, Lala, Elliott and Olivia as the tops and the bottoms of the week. It soon became clear that Utica and Elliott’s runway looks were a hit but their performances were a miss. Kandy, Olivia and Symone were all highly praised for both their looks and their acting chops, and Lala Ri was criticised for both.
Ru picked Olivia for the win and saved Symone and Kandy, building the tension with the remaining three before saving Utica; the lip sync would be between Lala Ri and Elliott. Lala had already proven herself to be a fierce lip syncer but then again Elliott is a dancer. Both girls put on a good show but it was Elliott who won thanks perhaps to some splits and kicks.
Next week the girls will be performing in a rusical about social media.
Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 13 is available on Netflix in the UK with new episodes added every Saturday.