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 queen’s got trashy for the return of the Bossy Rossy chat show. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting with many impressing in this improv challenge, but unfortunately for Lala and Elliott they just couldn’t match the larger-than-life performances of their fellow queens. The pair lip-synced against each other with Lala being asked to sashay away.
Episode 8 is all about Social Media the Rusical. As the girls sat around picking their roles, there was a slightly awkward moment with Utica and Denali who both wanted the same one and the former deciding she’s been too nice and now needs to put herself first. She wasn’t budging which led to Denali challenging Rosé for the Cabaret parody role and when it reached a stalemate, it was Elliott that suggested the pair audition to the rest of the queens for the role. Rosé was quick to accept and gave a much stronger performance than Denali with the majority of the remaining queens picking her for the role and Denali getting just two votes; Utica who I felt was doing it to be nice and Tina who admitted to camera she did it to ratttle Rosé!). That left Denali with the role of a Russian and she wasn’t best pleased.
A surprise alert went out and the queens rushed to the TV screen expecting to see Rupaul but instead it was a live Q&A with actress Ann Hathaway. She gamely answered the girls questions and gave some good advice, especially to Denali, which seemed to lift her spirits and bring back her fire for her role. She told Denali to think of other Russians she knew and basing the character on one of them. Denali said she knew many ice skaters who were Russian and would definitely use the for inspiration.
On the Main Stage the girls had to record a vocal with Michelle Visage and then learn choreo with Jamal Simms. For the first time in the competition we saw Symone struggle – on both counts. Whilst Tina, Rosé and Olivia showed some vocal prowess, Utica was left with a tongue twister of a rap that she just couldn’t seem to get her head around. Maybe she wishes she’d let Denali have that role after all? However, she did manage to take the pee out of Symone which made me laugh!
Werk Room talk turned to the theme of the week as Kandy described a post she made about sitting lonely in the VIP became a meme, but not one to rest on her laurels she turned it into a song. Tina’s relationship with Graham Norton was raised by Rosé and Tina had nothing but good things to say about him. Maybe she should’ve entered Drag Race UK instead this year.
As the lights went down and ‘Social Media the Unverified Rusical’ began, Tina took to the stage as the M-She where she delivered a competent, if a little forgettable, performance. Olivia did a good job as the inventor of Face, Face, Face Look with Rosé looking like a natural as she had a small role to play initially. Symone looked unsure of herself as her awful vocal played out over the speakers, Utica did a great job with her fast lip-syncing and Kandy’s wig seemed to cover her face for most of the performance so we didn’t see her. I really enjoyed the Billie Eilish inspired section from Elliott with 2Ts and Gottmik and Rosé’s solo number was a standout moment. Gottmik and Denali also turned out show stealing performances as the evil Russians sent to bring down America. Wasn’t my favourite of the rusicals but there were a few good performances.
Runway category was Yellow Gorgeous and Tina started things off with a latex NYC taxi inspired number complete with campy headlights for boobs. Shame for her that Elliott also did a similar look and to be fair, I think Elliott’s outfit was slightly elevated. All the girls brought good looks this week with my favourites being Gottmik’s crash test dummy and Denali’s white and yellow python goddess. The only one I personally wasn’t keen on was Utica’s medieval outfit which felt a bit arts and crafts and didn’t really make sense for the category.
Rupaul asked Tina, Symone, Kandy, Rosé, Denali and Gottmik to step forward as the tops and bottoms of the week, leaving Elliott, Utica and Olivia as safe. Tina’s outfit was said to be fun but her performance was a little lacklustre and apparently she stopped lip-syncing at the end of the show. Kandy was told they couldn’t see her face and she mis-timed some of the choreo, but they did enjoy her Beyonce dress. Symone’s outfit was high fashion but her performance lacked the confidence the judges come to expect from her. These were clearly the bottom three as the remaining three got nothing but praise, although Michelle did think Rosé’s The Mask inspired outfit was orange not yellow (looked yellow on my TV screen?).
As the judges deliberated, it definitely felt like a Symone vs Kandy lip sync and I was a little worried that they might try and throw Tina under the bus to keep essentially the winner of the whole thing (Symone) and one of the biggest characters (Kandy). Thankfully, Rupaul did the right thing and after crowning Rosé this week’s winner, she told Symone and Kandy they would be lip-syncing.
The pair were both determined not to leave and pulled out some sass as they lip-synced to Fifth Harmony’s Bo$$. For me Symone is just that bit more watchable and although Kandy was doing bigger moves, Symone nudged it I’d say. Rupaul agreed with me as she asked Symone to stay and then told Kandy to sashay away. A very grateful Kandy was halfway down the runway before Ru called out and stunned everyone by asking her to stay instead. It’s probably a little unfair on some of the other queens but Kandy does make for good TV.
Next week….it’s the Snatch Game!
Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 13 is available on Netflix in the UK with new episodes added every Saturday.