Read All About It! The Final Four Become Three on RuPaul’s Drag Race

8 Min Read
RuPaul’s Drag Race

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Hello, hello, hello! Can you believe it’s the semifinals of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 16 already? Last week, we said goodbye to lip sync assassin Morphine Love Dion, which Sapphira said was “not part of her fantasy”. The other queen-testants were happy that Sapphira Cristal showed some vulnerability after landing in the bottom two last week. Q and Plane Jane are still taking jabs at each other, Q gives Jane grief about the leotards she and Lazy Susan wore last week, and Jane retorts by saying that Q dressed her and her new drag sister like Muppets. Checking the scoreboard, Nymphia Wind and Q have 2 wins, and Jane and Sapphira have 4 wins apiece. Nymphia is hoping that this final challenge doesn’t involve comedy or writing…judging by the episode’s title “Booked and Blessed”, I think she may not get her wish.

The next day, Ru enters and imparts these words of wisdom on the queens: “Stay kind, stay humble and don’t be afraid to play the fool,”…which is the perfect introduction to the last mini-challenge of the season. The queens have 10 minutes to get into quick drag and lip sync Ru’s song “Kitty Girl” with their faces submerged in water. It’s Kiddie Pool Karaoke! Sapphira finally found a breastplate that fit her properly, and she gives a performance for the ages – as do all of the other queens, to be honest. This is another chaotic mini-challenge, and I am so here for it. Sapphira wins and earns herself a trip to Mexico.

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For the final maxi challenge of the season, in honor of Ru’s memoir The House of Hidden Meanings (which is really good, by the way), the queens are tasked with writing stories about their lives for their own memoirs (uh-oh Nymphia.) They have to come up with a catchy title, pose for the book’s cover and get interviewed about their book by Las Culturistas co-host Matt Rogers.

The dolls get to writing, and Q wants to share true stories from her youth while Jane wants to keep things lighthearted (so there are no “dead Grandma stories” from her). Nymphia gets a title, but not much more (for now.) At the photo shoot, Nymphia wears a crazy latex outfit with a sculptural spiked jacket and some insane platform shoes. Her book title is “Breaking Wind: The Art of Letting Go” (at least there were no banana references.) Ru acts as art director and gives a lot of editorial advice (and she’s not wrong with any of her tips.)

Q’s book is titled “Alphabet Soup: Savor Every Bite.” She poses for her cover in a sparkly gold dress (which was not one of her strongest looks). Sapphira goes all-out Cookie Lyon (damn, I miss Empire) with a huge braid and lots of snakeskin. Her book is called “Slue Foot: Embracing All of Me” and she looks fabulous. Jane’s book is called “Plane Crash: How I Walked Away from Disaster,” and her look was interesting. She had the illusion of crying with her eye makeup and a cool violet outfit. Her hair was not as voluminous as Ru wanted, and he tried to help.

In the interviews with Matt Rogers (which reminds me that I need to listen to Las Culturistas), Jane sticks with her sentimentality-free musings, stating that “being a bitch can be an act of kindness” and proceeds to trash talk the season’s queens. Not a great look. Sapphira reveals that she suffers from hip dysplasia and that she was made fun of as a kid because of it. She learned to embrace it (especially because it really did endear her to Ru.) I love Sapphira.

Q discussed her drag journey and evolving from a theater kid to a drag goddess. She states that she had humble beginnings, growing up in a low-income household with a single mom and three siblings. Much like Sapphira (who had a stint as a homeless individual), Q’s honesty and openness made for a great interview. Lastly, Nymphia started with a story about how she was ghosted by a date (a story that involved dog poop) but went on to talk about her self-doubt that arose from her thinking that white women were the beauty standard and that drag helped her “escape her face.” Her vulnerability also won over Matt.

On elimination day, all the queens were confident they nailed the challenge. They talked about what they felt were their strongest and weakest moments in the competition and shared their first impressions of each other before they headed out to the runway.

The runway theme is “Fandango,” and, as always, Ru stuns. Our judges this week are Michelle, TS Madison, and Ronan Farrow (who is quite handsome.)  As for the looks, Q is wearing a beautiful, structured orange tutu with a bedazzled corset and an elaborate backpiece, and her hair is so cool. Sapphira is again in blue (her best color) serving African queen with a reveal of pleated fans enveloping the skirt of her gown. Nymphia gave us an Asian interpretation of Marie Antoinette, complete with flames on her undergarments, and Jane was a golden goddess descending from Mount Olympus.

The judges’ critiques were obvious to anyone who just watched the challenge. They weren’t crazy about Q’s book title or cover look, they loved Sapphira’s runway and TS understood her more after her interview, Nymphia’s cover got kudos and Jane’s cover hair wasn’t great and she didn’t reveal enough of herself in her book and interview. In the end, Nymphia scored the win (I really thought it would be Sapphira) and Jane and Q are in the bottom. The pair did a lip sync to Tina Turner’s “Better Be Good to Me,” and Jane immediately stripped off her gown, leaving her in a nude body stocking with boobs a’ bouncin’. She killed it all the way through while Q’s energy took a moment to kick in. Sadly, Q is not heading to the finale. Our top three are Nymphia, Sapphira, and Plane Jane. Who is your favorite? Next week, the eliminated queens will face off in the LaLaPaRuza Lip Sync Smackdown. Who will take the $50,000 prize? We’ll find out next week.  


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