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 we saw the remaining queens host a comedy roast of three previous Miss Congenialties. In the end it was Symone and Utica that didn’t bring the gravy and had to lip sync. It was Utica’s turn to leave the competition after giving Ru the finger…all in jest (we doubt we’ll see Utica back for All Stars now ha!)
Episode 13 opens directly after the elimination and the pressure of nearly being in the final is clearly starting to take its toll on the girls.
A new week begins and this time there is no mini challenge, just straight to the maxi challenge which sees the girls acting in Henny! I shrunk the drag queens. Acting challenges aren’t my favourite and in this scenario it’s all scripted so the queens can only work with the material. Let’s hope it’s funny!
As the girls sat together to read through the script they each said which character they wanted to play. Olivia chose the nice but dumb girl, something we’ve seen her do so many times before. Rosé and Gottmik had no competition for the roles they chose, which left Kandy and Symone both wanting to play the villain of the piece. With neither girl seemingly backing down, it was eventually Symone that conceded and took the role of the brainy, leader of the pack instead.
Before the girls headed to set there was a surprise video chat with actress Scarlett Johansson who joked with the girls and gave them tips on the acting challenge. Oh and there was a man who popped in at the end which (after some googling) I can confirm to be Scarlett’s husband, comedian Colin Jost. Buoyed by this, the conversation in the Werk Room later turned to who the girls had looked up to growing up. Olivia said there weren’t many gay people of colour to look up to when she was growing up and Gottmik said that being a femme trans guy she hopes that her being on the show can inspire young people today.
Michelle and Carson waited for the queens to join them for some green screen fun including Gottmik being attacked by a giant kitty paw (wielded by Kandy) and climbing up a sewing machine cable.
The runway category was Haute Pockets and Michelle, Ru and Carson were joined by British actress, singer and stage star, Cynthia Eviro. Symone came out as if in a giant denim pocket with a fiery red and yellow wig (maybe Tina left it behind?) complete with flared jeans. Rosé served a black and white pvc 60s pocketed fantasy; Kandy looked like a hot mess; Olivia looked like she was going to Prom and Gottmik wore a flasher mac lined with lots of pockets full of watches and a matching watch bodice.
Then came the time to view Henny! I shrunk the drag queens. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t very funny and overall a bit lame. Rosé stood out as the best actress with all the other girls delivering what we’ve seen from them before. Oliva’s comedic timing was off, Kandy didn’t bring enough villain and Gottmik was a whiny Paris Hilton type that was all very one-note. Symone looked disengaged but did ok. All-in-all it was a bit cringey to watch.
Then came the critiques and surprisingly the judges praised Symone for her acting and subtle character. Olivia was told she shouldn’t have played it safe and that although her runway look was gorgeous, it didn’t scream pockets. Rosé’s 60s inspired outfit was a hit as was her acting; Kandy’s outfit was a massive miss and her performance in Henny! only acceptable. Gottmik’s outfit went down well with the judges who thought it was a clever take on the theme and something they’d not seen on the runway in 13 seasons.
After the judges deliberated, Gottmik was told she was safe, Rosé crowned the week’s winner and Symone also saved. That meant Olivia and Kandy would be lip-syncing to Cher’s ‘Strong Enough’.
Both girls fought hard, but ultimately Ru saved Kandy and sent Olivia home. That means the final 4 are Kandy, Gottmik, Symone and Rosé. From the start it felt like Symone’s competition to lose, but she has had a few stumbles along the way whereas Gottmik has proven she’s not just a fashion gal and Rosé has grown as she’s learnt to let go and is peaking at the right time. Kandy is not going to win I don’t think, but is a big personality so you never know.
Tell us @eftelevision who you think will win.
Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 13 is available on Netflix in the UK with new episodes added every Saturday.