I’m still gagging over last week’s Monsters Ball on RuPaul’s Drag Race and there are still ten queens left in the competition – can you believe that? This week, our top 10 faced another choreography challenge and discover that all that glitters may not be gold…at least for one queen. Let’s get started!
The queens return to the workroom after Ariel’s elimination and Shuga is still a little shell-shocked, initially thinking she was going to perform well on the show but acknowledging that she was read to filth last week.
As for the requisite critique post-mortem, if you are playing the home version of “Which queen is going to get under Yvie’s skin?” this week, it’s Silky, who, after saying she was negatively critiqued because she was “beautiful”, echoed Ra’jah’s sentiment last week of stating point blank that she doesn’t care if she has to lip sync. Yvie reminded her that Ru didn’t want any of the girls to play it safe. Vanjie was glad she was safe, suggesting she thought she looked fierce and then Yvie pointed out that since she was criticized for bringing the same silhouette to the runway numerous times that maybe it was a good time to change things up. Vanjie said she didn’t need any input from the “peanut gallery” and A’keria chimed in, suggesting that the queens were simply working with what they had. Yvie pointed out that the queens actually had a lot of things to boost their looks at their disposal, like the fabric wall and lots of other accessories. Silky says of Yvie that “there’s not much more than spook” and can’t wait until she’s sent home. She’s probably going to have to wait a while. I am still totally #TeamYvie in this debate.
The next day, the queens hit the workroom and Brooke Lynn points out how many of them are still there, comparing the room to a “house party when people don’t know when to leave.” I feel you, Brooke. Silky and Yvie get into it, with Silky saying she would never be spooky, but added that Yvie could never be glam. Meow. Who is stirring the pot now? Ru enters in a tracksuit that’s very reminiscent of the look he sported at a 2017 New York Fashion Week event and introduces this week’s mini challenge. Inspired by Ru’s fitness and diet regime – exercising 11 times a day and eating “three sensible meals…per month” – The queens have 15 minutes to get into quick 80s-inspired jazzercise drag and take part in the latest exercise craze, “
Connie gets the queens pumping with a Jane Fonda-era workout and snappy one-liners. She pulls out Scarlet for a solo and tells her “you make me feel feminine with that beard.” Scarlet is cute, but girl has absolutely no rhythm. I fear this may come back to bite her in the ass later on. Yvie pulls off some impressive flips. Brooke Lynn delivers some amazing high kicks (as she should.) Plastique executes a couple of perfect death drops. When Vanjie engages in some bicep curls, she asks Connie if they will make her look “too masculine” and my workout idol replies, “No, but your face will.” Can we please have Connie on every episode from now on? Silky does just fine, but it’s more important to point out that she is rocking a Taco Bell bodysuit. A TACO BELL BODYSUIT. I am living. A’keria gives her all, sticking the choreography and adding cartwheels and some “four on the floor” twerking. This was definitely the most fun mini-challenge this season. And, since Connie (sadly) can’t win, A’keria and Plastique declared the winners.
For this week’s main challenge, the queens will compete in the “first-ever, international Draglympics” in front of a live audience. Two teams will perform a freestyle floor program consisting of Fanography, Voguing and Shablam. Ru helpfully demonstrated the first two categories but when it came to the third, joked that “the AARP don’t cover that.” Since A’keria and Plastique won the mini-challenge, they are the team captains and proceeded to make their picks.
Team A’keria is Brooke Lynn, Silky, Yvie and Shuga
Team Plastique is Ra’jah, Vanjie, Nina and Scarlet
After watching Scarlet flailing about in her mini-challenge, it’s no surprise that she was the last picked. Nina is definitely not thrilled to have Ms. Envy on her team, stating, “we are in trouble. SOS!” In this “Puss-tegious” event, Team A’keria is representing the “sovereign nation of Tuckpantistan” and Team Plastique is representing “the people’s republic of Glamazonia.” The teams will be coached by Emmy-winning choreographer (for So You Think You Can Dance) Travis Wall and Olympic figure skating champion Adam Rippon.
From the get-go, Vanjie is not thrilled about her team’s prospects. Aside from Scarlet, there’s Nina, who Vanjie says isn’t a dancer, adding, “She ain’t solid gold and this ain’t comedy.” She said “This ain’t America’s Best Dance Crew right here, we can’t even make the auditions. We are f**ked.” Vanjie gives such good confessional.
Over at Team Glamazonia, Plastique is excited and Ra’jah is having flashbacks to her disastrous performance in the Grease-inspired musical in episode for and her run-in with sassy choreographer Yanis Marshall. She is not sure what to expect and is a little “shook.” Scarlet is hoping her lack of dance experience could be a positive, but Nina points out that a poorly-executed death drop is never a good thing, even if it came from a place of self-awareness.
On Team Tuckpantistan, A’keria is confident that her team is solid, and Brooke Lynn is a little concerned about Silky and Yvie working together after their earlier heated exchange. Silky vowed to put her personal issues aside and concentrate on the task at hand. I’m sure they will come back to their feud later. A’keria assesses the skills of her team – Brooke Lynn is obviously a ballet dancer and we discover that Silky has some baton skills. Yvie shows off some of her extreme flexibility that’s a by-product of the connective tissue disorder she talked about on episode 4. Yvie teaches the other queens how to discover their inner shablam, especially Brooke Lynn, who admits that death drops “terrify” her. A’keria, who admits she isn’t a dancer, says her goal is to show the judges that she can be a leader.
Team Tuckpantistan is the first to work with Travis (and Adam) on the choreography. The moves are pretty complex but damn, I love to watch Travis move. The queens are having issues with the Fanography from the start and Travis tells A’keria not to get too much in her head. Brooke Lynn nails the vogueing (no surprise) and might I add that I also love to watch her move. Silky is having a hard time hitting the floor, but to her credit, gives it the old college try. Brooke Lynn says that “Silky is flopping around on the floor, looking like the greatest catch,” but adds that “the bitch is committed,” which is sort of an accurate assessment of her dance skill. All of the rehearsal is starting to get to Yvie, who announces that she needs to “cheat” her moves for the rest of the time because all of her joints are hurting. Travis pulls her aside to make sure she’s okay. She doesn’t want to be “babied” and is frustrated that she has to hold back, wanting to give it her all because she is more aware than any of the other queens that being safe will get you sent home.
It’s Team Glamazonia’s turn to work with Travis. Vanjie is excited to show her stuff because she has experience “backup dancing for all those chickenheads” and wants to “win something”. Travis again demonstrates some of the vogue moves and Ra’jah has a ru-demptive moment this week, as she does a decent job of picking up the choreography. Vanjie also impresses Travis. During the fanography rehearsal, both Nina and Scarlet are struggling. Especially Scarlet. Eek. For a show famous for its twists, it sure looks like there’s already a clear winner for this challenge. Let’s hope, however that Vanjie’s wish that her team gets “hit with the rhythm nation stick” comes true.
It’s elimination day and the queens are getting ready to compete. Ra’jah, A’keria and Silky take a time out to make a twerk sandwich. Vanjie and Silky have a chat and Vanjie says she hopes to hit the homerun and “sell it” on the runway because feels like she’s been letting Ru down since she was given a second chance. She knows she needs to step it up. Brooke Lynn talks a little about how she got her start in drag, dancing with the famed Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. He described his four years with the troupe as a “life-changing experience.”
Yvie called his disorder a “double-edged sword” because while it makes him crazy flexible, it also results in times where she feels “my bones sliding apart.” She said growing up her bones were always hurting and, until she was diagnosed at 13, chalked it up to growing pains. Her condition, she says, will eventually take her “out of drag condition, at least the way I’m doing it now” and says it’s getting worse as she gets older. She says she met someone 10 years older than her with the same condition and that person is already in a wheelchair with a heart condition, giving Yvie an less-than-optimistic outlook for her future. She knows she’s not going to be able to do drag forever but says if she has to go on stage in a wheelchair that she will do it. She is one tough queen and I love her commitment to performing.
Ru hits the runway in a dazzling golden gown. I am gooped and gagged. She and Michelle along with Travis, Adam and Olympic figure skater/Drag Race superfan Mirai Nagasu are ready to witness the “69th international Draglympics”, as we all are. After the opening ceremony parade, the teams get to competing with color commentary from Michelle and Adam, the return of Connie and a hottie in a unicorn mask.
First up is Team Tuckpantistan, performing their program to a ditty called “Shade” by DJ Shy Boy (a dance track injected with famous Drag Race quotes from the past 10 seasons. Is this available on iTunes, Mama Ru? I need this in my life.) Brooke Lynn takes center stage during the Fanography portion of the routine and is looking amazing. Yvie demonstrates her flexibility and visibly slips during one of her moves. Uh-oh. The vogue section goes off without a hitch and Silky dies prove to be pretty adept with the batons and A’keria’s twerk game is on point. Brooke Lynn and Yvie are definitely the team MVPs, but the whole effort is quite impressive, as we kind of expected.
Up next, Team Glamazonia, performing to another Shy Boy track called “Serve the Children.” Vanjie is serving it from the first note and Nina is also giving it 110%. I think Ra’jah’s confidence is still a bit shaken from her run-in with Yanis, as it looks like she’s counting the steps in her head. Scarlet is still pretty terrible, but she’s pretty. Also in the pretty department is Plastique, whose only standout moment comes during the vogue portion. Despite all of their lack of skill coming in, I think they did an alright job (with Vanjie and Nina as MVPs), although you know who won before Ru even opens her mouth. Unfortunately, Yvie hurt her ankle when she slipped on stage. Let’s hope that this doesn’t hinder her in the rest of the competition (of course, she’s definitely not lip syncing this week, so there’s that.)
Let’s bring it to the runway! This week’s theme is “All that Glitters” and the queens are true golden girls with way more toots than boots.
A’keria took my breath away in a gold sequined gown and a wig she could have mopped from Ru herself. She is giving us “curvaceous eleganza” and I am here for it.
Brooke Lynn puts the golden in “Golden Age of Hollywood” in her dramatic turban and gold lamé gown accessorized with a marabou boa and long cigarette holder.
Silky wears a “sanctified church lady jumpsuit” with a huge bejeweled cross on the chest.
Yvie uses her injury to hobble down the runway with a cane (and sky-high stilettos…that’s commitment) in a look Ru describes “Tyler Perry presents the Golden Girls”. Yvie says she’s giving “underground Japanese drug lord.” I don’t see that, but the look is uniquely Yvie and I dig it.
Shuga is giving us “Aztec goddess warrior” realness in a sleeveless jumpsuit made from a patchwork of gold fabrics with feathered epaulets and a headpiece that would put She-Ra to shame.
Plastique always looks radiant, and this week is no exception. She features this season’s second-most overused accessory – wings – to serve as the focal point for her “Alyssa Edwards fantasy” – with “25 things on at once,” golden goddess look.
Ra’jah made her own catsuit and it’s cute. She accessorized with a ball-shaped bag and a thin layer of golden lace over her eyes. She’s serving “Mary J. Blige at the Met Gala meets old money.” Michelle gets joke of the runway with “Eyes of Tammy Heeeey!”
Vanjie is giving us Playboy bunny meets Ariana Grande with (yet another) bodysuit and a bunny ear mask that looks like it came directly out of the “Thank U, Next” singer’s wardrobe. She says that while “I can’t feel my genitals” she looks good.
Nina is serving a look I thought was reminiscent of Julianne Moore in The Big Lebowski with her Viking horns (NO. MORE. HORNS. I beg of you!), braids and comically huge breasts.
Scarlet describes her golden gown and long red locks as “expensive hippie” and “Lucille Ball meets Brooke Shields meets Ann-Margret.” So, basically, she has no idea what she’s going for. Adam, who as a joke teller is a great ice skater, compares her look to Lana Del Rey. I can see that.
Ru (not surprisingly) declares Team Tuckpantistan as the winning team, which means that Brooke Lynn, Silky, Yvie and Shuga are all safe and A’keria is the week’s big winner. Congrats, girl, you were due. Ru complements her on picking her team, including the “handicapped hooker” (or “handicapable whore”) Yvie. Ru asks Yvie about her injury and is reassured that this girl is “a fast healer.”
It’s time for the judges to critique Team Plastique. Mirai complemented Plastique, saying she was “well put-together” and Michelle was happy she gave more but still thought she was capable of better things, as did Travis. Michelle said Ra’jah’s outfit was “fun”. Travis said she needed to lift her performance up as even though she had “the most tools in her box” going into the challenge, her Draglympic routine was “slightly unmemorable.” Travis said that Vanjie’s energy was “infectious” and that she “slayed” the performance, but her runway look got slammed by Michelle, who said she knew what she was going to wear when she walked around the corner and admitted she was getting “bored.” Nina was complemented for selling her Draglympic routine and Michelle confessed that she couldn’t keep her eyes off of her. Michelle advised her to adjust her padding to balance out her big shoulders and upper body. Scarlet was lost in the performance even though Travis said she was the “most improved” after rehearsals. Michelle said her gown was pretty but not grand.
Ru then asks the girls who they think should go home and why. Everyone said they felt that Scarlet should sashay away. When she was asked, a tearful Scarlet at first said she couldn’t say, but when pushed by Ru said Ra’jah, since she’s been in the bottom a few times.
After the judges deliberated, rehashing their critiques, Ru decides that Scarlet and Ra’jah must lip sync for their lives. They perform the classic “Last Dance” by Donna Summer. I know Ru loves the late, great disco diva, so these ladies had better bring it. During the slow part of the song, Ra’jah is kind of killing it. Scarlet pulls a pair of scissors out of her dress and proceeds to awkwardly cut herself out of the garment, revealing a jumpsuit under her skirt as the song picks up tempo. Once she gets out of the skirt, she and Ra’jah are giving it their all, and Scarlet says that even though she’s not a dancer, she is ready to pull out all the stops, which includes throwing a bagful of gold glitter into the air.
Sadly, all the glitter in the world could not save Ms. Scarlett, who is chosen to sashay away. I will miss her and her hilarious confessionals, but I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of her. Next week, two of my favorite things: more quick drag and a fashion challenge – one Ru describes as “farm-to-runway” with the queens using produce to pull together their lewks. This looks delicious! See you next week!