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.
It’s been a long season and we still have eight queens left fighting for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. Last week we waved goodbye to Elliott with 2Ts as the girls tried their hands at impressions for The Snatch Game.
This week’s episode started with a special guest, psychic medium Char Margolis, giving the queens some personal messages. She asked which queen initially didn’t like one of her competitors but now does and Kandy put her hand up to reveal she has taken a while to warm up to Rosé. Don’t think Rosé knew that! Speaking of Rosé, it seems that Char picked up on her and Denali having formed a strong friendship, possibly a bit of a mutual crush. Rosé pointed out that she has got a boyfriend and wanted to assure everyone nothing is going on. Char then went on to tell Tina that she had a message from her truck-driving father who has passed. He apologised for not being there for her, causing a few watery eyes amongst the girls. She then told Utica that a calf she had hand-reared was also in the room and said ‘mooo!’.
Back in the Werk Room, Ru revealed that this week’s maxi challenge would be for the girls to be paired up and transform each other in their own image. Char had used her powers to pair off the queens with the person they could learn the most from; Rosé and Tina, Gottmik and Kandy, Olivia and Denali and Utica and Symone.
As the queens discussed ideas and started to try on each other’s outfits, some pairs were clearly more comfortable than others. Olivia and Denali seemed thick as thieves as they discussed their plan of attack. Olivia would be embracing the icy, figure skater theme that is a big part of Denali’s brand while Denali would be serving pageant queen realness.
Tina and Rosé was an interesting dynamic. Despite both being New York queens it appeared that they have never really had much of a relationship. Rosé clearly isn’t a fan of Tina’s more comedic aesthetic and Tina in turn, felt Rosé was a bit uptight. As they got to know each other, it was Tina in particular that seemed to be making a big effort to bond with her drag sister and it was working – they even jokingly flirted with each other!
,Symone looked a bit terrified of what Utica was going to suggest she wear and how she’d look. As Utica started giving long-winded explanations of the story behind severak possible looks, Symone looked confused. However, in the end she chose to trust Utica and embrace her quirkiness. On the flip side Symone wanted Utica to wear an outfit that was a tribute to Halle Berry’s character in film BAPs (Black American Princess). This made Utica feel uncomfortable about racial appropriation, but when they asked Rupaul in his walk through, he said it’s coming from a place of love and respect so will be fine. Utica didn’t look convinced.
Kandy and Gottmik are already great friends but their struggle was the size difference. Where as all the other queens were pretty much able to share outfits without much altering, these two had to get creative to make outfits fit their different body sizes. What was in their favour is both girls are or have been make-up artists. Gottmik also opened up about her personal journey.
All the queens got to rehearse in their pairs on the runway, trying to master each other’s walks and attitude. Utica surprised by getting her fashion walk on; Gottmik struggled to stop laughing as trying to give Bronx attitude; Olivia had to master faux skating and Rosé had to rein in her dancer flourishes to give more of Tina’s comedic delivery.
On the Main Stage, guest judge Loni Love returned to help Michelle, Carson and Ru judge the make overs. Rosé was out first and her make up was a bit brash as she delivered a campy performance. Tina followed and actually looked very different facial including Rosé’s trademark big pink hair. Olivia looked a little plain but was obviously a Denali look. The latter looked good but it didn’t scream Olivia, more just pretty ball gown. Symone served oddness in her own fashionista way in a skin outfit and Utica served attitude in her BAPs inspired look. Gottmik gave it loads of street attitude in a flame inspired body suit and then came Kandy with half white face (trademark Gottmik) and black and white bodice with exposed sparkly nipples.
Rupaul announced the girls would be judged in pairs so there were no specific tops and bottoms of the week. Utica and Symone were praised for stepping out of their comfort zones; Rosé and Tina were told that they did indeed transform into each other but it could’ve been more elevated; Denali’s look was criticised for not really screaming Olivia Lux and Gottmik and Kandy were given great feedback.
Ru then asked all the girls who they would send home based on the challenge and most answered Olivia for her look on Denali. Kandy got a bit feisty when one of the other girls dared to criticise Gottmik’s look. As the girls retired to the Werk Room, Ru and the judges deliberated.
As the queens were asked back to the stage, Ru saved Gottmik and Kandy before crowning Utica and Symone as this week’s winners. He then saved Rosé and Tina which meant Olivia and Denali would be lip-syncing. I did feel a little sorry for Denali as she had landed in the bottom two mainly because of Olivia’s work, although her make up and outfit on Olivia were a bit basic. The pair both turned it out for a performance of Mary Mary’s ‘Praise You’ but it was Olivia that Ru chose to save. It’s a shame really as I think Denali finally seemed to be loosening up and showing more personality and Olivia has peaked too early perhaps.
Next week the girls will have to create and promote a new drinks brand.
Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 13 is available on Netflix in the UK with new episodes added every Saturday.