Last week, we had to say goodbye to Ra’jah O’Hara on RuPaul’s Drag Race, who in her farewell mirror message quoted the theme song to Mister Rogers Neighborhood and had an enigmatic PS that read “She was the only one to take me out.”
Silky says she feels bad that she had to sashay away, but is more concerned about Yvie, who she basically wanted to take out back and shoot last week because “She’s hurt.” Silky thinks Yvie sees her as a threat and also has got it in for Brooke Lynn, who told her during Untucked that she felt her farm to runaway look should have landed her in the bottom two.
Yvie knows there’s tension between she and Silky is so thick that in order to cut through it, “you’re going to need a chainsaw.” Nina asks an uncharacteristically quite Silky what she’s thinking, and she replies that she’s tired of the “fake” and “phony” and adds, “If you’re a judge you need to be on the judges’ panel and that’s all I’ve got to say.” Gee, I wonder who she’s referring to?
She’s still really annoyed that Yvie called her “talentless” on last week’s Untucked (she really didn’t utter that word, she merely pointed out that Sasha Velour was safe every week but won “because she was talented.”
The word “talentless” never came out of her mouth but, hey, semantics.) Silky channeled her inner Mystique Summers (miss you, girl) and said “I’m from Chicago” so you know she’s ready for a fight.[irp posts=10253]
Vanjie also has issues with Yvie. She felt like Yvie was kind to her one moment and fake the next and she let Yvie have it on Untucked last week. Brooke Lynn tries to play peacemaker, reminding the queens that they were the top eight, but Yvie stomped off in the middle of her pep talk. In the confessional, said she was getting tired of being the villain when she’s really “the one bitch who’s telling it like it is.” I know she might come off a little harsh at times, but she really has relevant advice, so I am still firmly on #TeamYvie.
The next day, the queens assemble in the work room and Miss Silky is visibly frosty, still upset over the “talentless” accusation. All of a sudden Ru shows up, telling the queens “If you want to be invited to the party, you must have something to bring,” which just happens to be a nugget of wisdom from her latest book Guru (available for download or purchase wherever fine books are sold.) This week’s mini-challenge has the queens once again getting into quick drag (yay!) and posing for the cover of their own self-help books.
A’keria looks more amazing after a mere 20 minutes that I could ever look with an hour of prep. She is plugging her book, “Bend Over Girl: Show Me what you’re Working With” (I hope this is title and subtitle because these are some long-ass names.) Vanjie hilariously consults her index cards to read her own name (I love you, Vanjie) while promoting her book, “Walking Backwards Into Fame: All You Bitches” (which is the perfect title for a Vanjie biography.) An unusually unattractive Plastique plays off her critiques and names her book, “Personality: Not Everybody Has One.” Shuga’s “Booty Food: Confidence from the Kitchen to the Bedroom” promises to teach you how to “serve cakes and eat them too.” Yvie is giving me a Lilly Pulitzer explosion complete with a retro patterned jumpsuit and a pastel-hued face paint promoting “Odd-acity: Release Your Meek and Get Your Freak On.” Nina played off the judges’ critiques she’s received with “The Broad Broad: From the Football Field to the Runways of Paris.” Silky said she wrote her book, “Eat It: Chronicles of the Buffet” “due to the fact that I was HUNGRY!” Brooke Lynn shared some sage advice for the job seeker in “From Bitter to Glitter: How Cross Dressing Changed My Life”, which included, “lie on your resume, sleep with your boss and after parties are the new job fairs.” This was another fun mini challenge and I would buy all of these books.
Ru chooses Silky as the winner of the challenge and she receives a $1,000 credit for Postmates and Morgan McMichaels shows up as a Postmates driver for a far too short cameo. Then, as its no surprise from the episode title, it’s time for Snatch Game…at sea…okay. (The game is sponsored by an LGBTQ+ travel agency, so I will allow this. Plus, Ru in a captain’s hat, later on, is a treat.)
My fellow theater nerd Nina West is so excited about the challenge. She tells Plastique she hopes it’s her schtick but doesn’t want to jinx herself. She does, however, know the ingredients for a successful “Snatch Game” performance, “be in character have fun and make Ru laugh.” I have high hopes. Shuga is playing a character influenced by her Latinx roots, the incomparable Charo. A’keria says she’s doing Tiffany Hadish. Wise choice. Brooke Lynn is freaking out because she says impersonations aren’t her strong suit. She consults with Vanjie, who notes that the other half of “Branjie” is shook. Brooke tells her she’s decided to do Céline Dion, to which Vanjie asks, “Is that your final answer?” Vanjie then reminds her that her take on Rosie O’Donnell in the Grease-inspired musical was a flop and offered this advice, “make them laugh and don’t freak yourself out before.” Vanjie admits that she needs to take the same advice.
Ru bursts in and announces that they’ve got company and what good company it is – season 5 winner Jinkx Monsoon, whose Little Edie is a “Snatch Game” classic. I love me some Jinkx and I am living for her cat eye. Consider me obsessed. Ru and Jinkx visit the queens to talk about their choices. Ru was jokingly expecting an Oprah knock-off from Silky (like “Oprah’s second cousin Cornecia Winfrey”) but was pleasantly surprised to hear that she was taking on internet personality TS Madison. Fun fact: TS Madison is a frequent contributor to the RISK! podcast. When Ru asks Silky if she has any questions for Jinkx, all she can muster is “Can I have your phone number?” Jinkx suspects she’s going to be golden with her big personality. She’s probably right. Yvie is doing Whoopi Goldberg but confesses that she doesn’t do impersonations very well. Jinkx says it’s a “good sign” that Yvie won the first acting challenge. Ru and Jinkx do their best to pump Yvie up. I hope their inspiration works.
Jinkx and Ru then head over to see Brooke Lynn. Seeing an iconic white jacket, Ru jokingly guesses she’s giving us Sammy Davis Jr. Brooke tells them she’s going to be channeling my favorite French-Canadian chanteuse. When Jinkx asks if she’s got Céline’s voice down, Brooke proves she most definitely doesn’t (she sounds like something out of Fargo, actually. She also doesn’t know how to pronounce “poutine” – AND SHE’S CANADIAN.) Could this be Brooke’s first time in the bottom two? I am worried for her.[irp posts=10326]
Nina is up next, and I am so excited for both of her “Snatch Game” options. Ru knows that Nina knows how to play the game and she does. Nina is between two characters – Laugh In star Joanne Worley (yes, I am old, slightly younger than Ru, and I was as delighted as she was to hear that name) and Harvey Firestein in character as Edna Turnblad from Hairspray. Jinkx says that “kids today” probably don’t know Joanne or Harvey and it’s up to Nina to just give a solid, entertaining performance. Jinkx offers her some advice: have a few go-tos and catchphrases, but always stay in character no matter what you’re saying.
Miss Vanjie tells Ru and Jinkx that she’s doing the “cash me outside” girl, Danielle Bregoli. (Ugh.) Ru doesn’t think this will result in a “goddamned laugh riot” and asks Vanjie why she’s not doing the Latoya Jackson impersonation she did on her audition reel. Vanjie said she didn’t feel comfortable doing a comedic take on a “friend of the show”, to which Ru replied, “if you’re doing it with love, there’s no disrespect.” Ru presses on, implying that a person primarily known for being (obnoxiously) rebellious might not play well and Jinkx reminds her that Detox’s Kesha impersonation, where she pretended to pee on the set, was a disaster. Girl, listen to Ru and Jinkx.
Plastique is once again doing a variation of the Asian nail technician character she played in the Black Panther parody. She’s playing Lovely Mimi from Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta. Ru asks how different the characters are and Plastique says Mimi is a “little different,” as she jumps in and out of dialects – sometimes Asian, sometimes from the ‘hood. Ru asks for a sample of that accent, and it sounds like Plastique’s regular speaking voice. This also doesn’t look good. Ru tells all of the girls to make her laugh and I think some of them are going to disappoint her.
It’s time for Snatch Game at Sea! Our celebrity contestants are Veep stars Clea DuVall and Tony Hale, who posted the best tweet promoting his appearance. Silky’s TS Madison comes out on fire, which didn’t surprise me. Nina went with Harvey Firestein and, making sure we didn’t confuse her with Harvey Weinstein, said, “the only thing I ever assaulted was a cheese plate.” Plastique is doing the EXACT same character she did in the Black Panther challenge. Yvie kind of sounds like Whoopi but says (in character) that she hasn’t had a role in many years. Ru reminded fake Whoopi that she is currently on The View. Whoops(i). Shuga’s Charo is charming, but not nearly as over the top as the real thing. Vanjie chooses to use an off-brand high, squeaky voice for Danielle that doesn’t work at all (but don’t worry, she’ll soon be talking just like Vanjie again.) A’keria IS Tiffany Hadish. She is an absolute blast. And then there’s Brooke Lynn. Oh, Brooke Lynn. Her Céline is already going down like the Titanic.
Tony gets the first question, “Bianca Del Rio is so mean. Recently, when someone yelled ‘man overboard’ she didn’t throw a life preserver, she threw ___.” He replied, “another man” (not that funny, but he’s not up for elimination, so I’ll allow it.) Silky’s TS had “ruler” for an answer and then asked Tony if he had “nine inches.” (She’s gotta hit on the judges at some point in time, I think it’s in her contract.) Plastique said she threw TS Madison overboard, a not-so-subtle dig at Silky (but it made Ru laugh.) Vanjie, who keeps calling Ru “Dr. Phil” (hoping it’s funny, but it’s not), got faux confrontational with Tony and threw out the famous “cash me outside.” Eek. Brooke’s Céline was asked her favorite song. When she replied, “It’s All Coming Back to me Now”, Ru asked her why and she proceeded to ramble on about music and passion, completely losing her (terrible) accent in the process. Silky said she wasn’t giving Céline Dion, rather, she was serving up “Céline Ya Done.” I have to agree.
Clea’s up next and her question is, “Lady Bunny is so thirsty. In her cabin, instead of portholes, she has ____.” (I immediately thought glory holes because I am a terrible person.) Clea’s response was “man holes” (that works.) Nina went there and said, “glory holes.” I love you, Nina. Yvie went back to the dry well and once again brought up her “failing career.” Shuga’s Charo replied “Mazola” and explained her reasoning in a very Charo-esque way. A’keria used the question as a chance to perform her tribute to Tiffany’s infamous grapefruit scene in Girls Trip. I loved it and so did Ru.[irp posts=10205]
For the bonus round, both contestants had to provide an answer for “Nicki Minaj loves going to the beach. Her hair always stays dry but her ____ don’t.” Tony and Clea responded with “badonkadonk”. Nina has now changed from Harvey Firestein to Joanne Worley and she is adorable and hilarious. Silky has also changed into a long wig, referencing her viral Vine clip, “New Weave 22 Inches.” Shuga says S8ilky is killing it. Yvie, not so much, making an awful weed joke. Shuga, sort of not surprisingly, says “cuchi cuchi.” I was still hoping for her to give me more, because her accent and look were on point. Vanjie as Danielle uses the question to promote her “mixtape” and when Ru asks her to sing something off of it, she shuts up. Brooke tries again and fails again. Oof. As far as Snatch Games go, it wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst either.
Back in the workroom, the queens get ready for the runway. Vanjie says she’s shaking in her boots. Brooke feels nauseous, realizing how bad she was in “Snatch Game.” Yvie is also aware of how unfunny she was and asks Silky how she’s feeling. When she gets no response, Yvie apologizes for coming at her on Untucked and calling her “talentless” (even though she didn’t.) She goes on to say that she still sticks by her other comments and tells Silky she killed it in the challenge. Silky isn’t here for Yvie’s “half-assed apology” and isn’t buying it, as she’s still stung by the insult. Vanjie didn’t like how things played out between her and Yvie on Untucked and called her over for a little chat. Vanjie apologized for her behavior and said it was a “bad moment” for both of them. Yvie also apologized for snapping at her and the two sisters made up. Take a lesson, Silky.
It’s time to bring it to the runway! Ru is showing off her amazing legs in a fringed bodysuit. The theme this week is “Sequins on the Runway.” A’keria is serving zebra stripe realness, complete with tail. Vanjie is in – surprise! – another leotard. She accessorized with a blond wig and cape (but she’s still wearing a leotard and Michelle’s face lets you know she’s going to be read to filth for it.) Nina is showcasing her patriotic side in a look Michelle calls “Paul Re-queer.” She’s wearing a white wig, tri-cornered hat and a stunning blue coat over a red white and blue minidress. Shuga looked gorgeous in a purple flamenco gown that looks like she could have stolen it from Ru’s wardrobe. It’s stunning. Can we talk about Brooke Lynn? She had one of the most dramatic runway reveals, one that rivaled Violet Chachki’s plaid bodysuit reveal on season seven. She came out in an oversized afro wig and a cape – both of which were whipped off to reveal a long blonde wig and a cut-out pink bodysuit. The judges were absolutely gagged. Yvie is in another colorful jumpsuit and green sparkly boots. She describes her look as a “Peg Bundy androgynous 60s Barbie.” Silky bounds down the aisle in a beautiful green gown with a ruffled wrap, serving up the “big baby” of Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross. Plastique is in a bubbly jumpsuit with a transparent “wave” around her neck. It’s a different silhouette for her and I dig it.
A’keria and Plastique are safe. The judges go down the line with critiques for the remaining queens. As expected, Michelle read Vanjie for her runway look. I don’t know what else to do. It’s just the same thing again.” As for her “Snatch Game”, Michelle said she didn’t embody Danielle at all, she was just being Vanjie. Ross told her, “the Meryl Streep of drag you are not,” to which Vanjie replied, “Who dat?” Say what? (She did figure out Meryl was in The Devil Wears Prada.) Nina got compliments on her makeup and her camp. Michelle said her Snatch Game characters made Ru laugh, and the other judges were also entertained. Ru told Shuga that her dress was one of her favorites on the runway – ever. That’s a huge compliment. Clea “can’t get enough” of her dress. The judges liked her Charo, but Michelle said she should have gone further.
Brooke Lynn gets kudos for her runway, which Ru described as “Nomi Malone 2019” (and who doesn’t love a Showgirls reference?) The discussion moved to the challenge and Michelle said that beyond the white jacket, there was no Céline to be seen, only a “confused realtor maybe from Toronto.” Ross added, “Canada called and they’re pissed.” Yvie got positive comments for her jumpsuit, but Michelle said her hair, although great, was gave off a 60s vibe which didn’t mesh with her glam rock, 70s-eque outfit. As for the challenge, she brought no Whoopi to the game or take the easy opportunity to reference her Ghost character and Sister Act. Ross said it was a “misfire.” Michelle said Silky looked beautiful on the runway and Ross said since she always looked like she was having fun, the audience did too. Tony complimented her ability to “yes, and” like the best improv comedians. Michelle, however, had nothing good to say about her second “Snatch Game” wig, saying it looked like a dog had chewed it up.
While the queens untucked backstage, the judges continued to critique them. The guest judges loved Vanjie’s take on Danielle, but Michelle said that Vanjie is funny, but she was just giving them “Vanjie in a red wig” in the challenge, which wasn’t what the challenge was. Tony said that Nina “exudes joy”. Michelle loved her performance in the challenge and the fact that she brought a “fully realized character – not one but two.” Michelle loved Shuga’s “merlot she betta don’t” gown spot and the judges loved her Charo, but Michelle and Ru think she didn’t take it far enough. That said, Ru pointed out that she is “emerging” in the competition. Brooke Lynn’s Céline was “all wrong” but her runway was “one for the history books” – but was it enough to keep her out of the bottom two? Ross loves Yvie and says it’s fun to watch her funnel the challenges through her unique “Yvie filter” but this tie she “got in her own way.” Michelle says she missed “almost the entire essence of Whoopi.” Ru asserts that Silky has “star quality” and Ross added that her star quality worked for her in the challenge. Ru liked that she could volley with her during the game.
Ru has made her decision. This week’s winner is Dr. Silky Nutmeg Ganache. Shuga, Nina and Vanjie are safe. This leaves Brooke Lynn and Yvie in the bottom two. NOOOOO! I’m hoping for a double save before the song even starts. The two lip sync for their lives to Demi Lovato’s “Sorry, Not Sorry”, which reminds me of shopping, as I always seem to hear it at Macy’s. Both queens absolutely kill it and I am tickled when they cut to Tony, who is lip syncing along with the tune as well. Yvie does a flip, revealing a wig that totally looks like from LaDonna from Square Pegs (remember, I am old.) Both of them have all of their acrobatics skills on full display and I am now 100% hoping for a double save. This definitely was a lip sync for the ages, and Ru agrees, thankfully saving both queens. Ru told the other girls that they’re dealing with some true lip sync assassins and warns that no one is safe. Truth. Next week, the queens face another acting challenge with a Cops-inspired show featuring Fortune Feimster from The Mindy Project (RIP) and the delightful (and gorgeous) Cheyenne Jackson. Cheyenne is joined by Russian Doll’s Natasha Lyonne on the judges’ panel. This one is going to be good. See you next week!