Greetings, RuPaul’s Drag Race fans! We are down to the final five in what feels like the longest season of the show ever. This week, our remaining queens forego the mini-challenge and plunge into another acting challenge. This week, the dolls tested their on-stage chops in a new sci-fi adventure, playing teeny, tiny characters in “Henny, I Shrunk the Drag Queens.”
The queens were given descriptions of the characters and were forced to choose their roles. Rosé was happy to play Brandy, “the sarcastic one”, Gottmik grabbed the part of Chardonnay, “he whiney one” and Olivia went back to what she knows, playing the “real sweet and real stupid” Ginger Ale (I also heard it as Gingerella, which would make for a great drag name, if you ask me.
We finally got some casting conflict when Symone and Kandy Muse both wanted the role of the devilish Dominique Perignon, who is mean, powerful and “a little cray-cray.” Surprisingly, Symone gave up the part and took on the role of Margarita, “the smart one”, leaving Kandy with the part of her dreams.
After getting the movie cast, the queens got a surprise visit from Scarlett Johansson and the queens were worrying that they were running out of drag the judges hadn’t seen and needed clothes that were green screen-friendly. They all managed to get their wardrobe woes solved and went on set to shoot with Michelle Visage and Carson Kressley.
Symone embodied her strong character, Kandy was forced to scream the same line over and over again (much to Michelle and Carso’s delight), Olivia was playing the same sweet, demure character she’s brought to pretty much every challenge and Gottmik says Rosé is “the one to watch.” The most hilarious segment to be filmed was that of Gottmik (whose character was allergic to kitties) getting attacked by a giant cat paw (controlled by Kandy.) I honestly could have watched an hour of that.
On the runway, the theme was “Haute Pockets.” Symone was literally a doll in a pocket with a wig from the Tina Burner collection (which totally worked), wide-legged pants and an oversized zipper. Olivia sparkled in a minidress with balloon pockets and embellished with rhinestones. Rosé gave us a 1960s back and whit mod fantasy, with an overcoat revealing a dress covered in pockets.
Kandy gave us what she said was a Japanese-inspired look, a patchwork of pockets held together with neon cord, accompanied by an asymmetrical blond wig. Gottmik sported a head of Cher-esque curls and a flasher’s trenchcoat, which revealed a bodysuit covered n watches, with timepieces lining the coat and even serving as her shoe straps.
The judges, including guest judge Cynthia Ervio (who I loved in Bad Times at the El Royale) got to see the premiere of “Henny, I Shrunk the Drag Queens”. As expected, Rosé and Gottmik stole the show. You sure couldn’t tell Margarita was Symone’s second choice, but Kandy and Olivia weren’t a match with their fellow thespians.
Once again, Ru asked the dreaded question, “Who should go home tonight?” Everyone except Olivia replied that Olivia should go, while Olivia, reluctant to give any answer, finally said Kandy.
In the end, Rosé proved she was “not going anywhere” (which she said at the start of the episode) and clinched the win. Gottmik and Symone were deemed safe, which left Kandy and Olivia to lip sync for their lives. They performed their heart out to Cher’s classic “Strong Enough” but, apparently, Ru is strong enough to live without Olivia, who has to sashay away.
This Week’s MVP: Gottmik
Yes, I know, but Gottmik truly had the best look on the runway this week. The use of the watches was so creative and I always love any nod to Cher. This queen, who claimed she couldn’t act, turned in a hilarious performance as the whiny Chardonnay. Her battle with an oversized cat paw was the highlight of “Henny.” I’m boldly predicting she will be in the top three this season.
In the werk room, Gottmik also made some important points about representation. She said she didn’t really ever see anyone like her on TV. Her only trans male role models were people like Chaz Bono and other very masculine trans men. She said if she had someone like her to look up to, she could have shaved years off of her transition journey. I am so glad she is here now to inspire kids growing up today and help them be their true selves.
Honorable Mention: Symone
Once again, Symone killed it in the challenge and on the runway. She may have squabbled with Kandy over casting, but the role of Margarita seemed written just for her. With her animal print mini and blonde locks, she exuded power and took hold of our hearts. She got emotional talking about the pressure of being a member of the House of Avalon (with Gigi Goode) but we all know she has pure star quality. And, that runway look? Amazing. We also got to see her be relatable to all of us girls who have had stiletto mishaps. I love this queen.
Had to Mention: Scarlett Johansson
The queens had a special (virtual) guest in the werk room this week, the Black Widow herself, there to offer some acting tips. Scarlett Johansson said, “I’m such a fan of the show. I’m so sad I’ve not been in the werk room, but it’s been a dream of mine to participate for a long, long time, so this is really exciting for me.” When asked about fighting imaginary monsters, she told the queens that, “Acting is all about making a situation that’s unreal feel very real,” adding, “So, I’d say the most important thing is that you have a lot of conviction, whether you’re fighting Thanos or a giant, spiky heel, you know what I mean? That comes from believing in yourself. If you don’t believe in your own self, then no one in the audience is going to believe you.” She said to play a convincing villain, you need to get into the character, love them and find some sympathy for them. She said that, as far as taking on smaller roles, “there are no small parts, just small queens.” And hubby Colin Jost came in with the last-minute assist on the virtual visit, jokingly asking about the film’s title, “Will it be called ‘Size Queens’?”
And so, we are down to the top 4. Who do you think will take the crown? Find out next week who is heading to the finale! Until then, don’t forget, if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an “amen”?