This week, the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race get psychically paired and make each other over – and things do get a little freaky.
As the episode opens, Symone shares a little more about last week’s powerful runway look and it’s hilariously revealed that Tina gave herself a very unique hairstyle to accommodate last week’s wig and headpiece.
The next day, Ru arrives with a surprise for the queens, a different type of reading than what they’re used to in the form of a psychic reading with medium Char Margolis. She brought a message to Tina from her father and to Utica from her cow. Really.
Ru tells the queens that Char matched each queen with someone she could learn the most from. The psychic pairings are Tina Burner/ Rosé, Denali/Olivia Lux, Utica/Symone and Gottmik/Kandy Muse. Ru then announces that it’s time for the family resemblance makeover challenge but, because of COVID, there are going to be no visiting family members and the queens have to make their partner into their drag doppelgänger.
Denali wants to turn “polite diva” Olivia into an ice queen. Tina is a little worried to be paired with “Scottish caveman” Rosé and Rosé says of Tina’s aesthetic that it’s “fun and expressive and I don’t like a lot of it” and adds that “swapping styles will be very fun…for her.” Utica brings a reluctant Symone into her world, hoping to make her a “walking piece of art” but Symone admits she is getting very anxious when Utica shows her an elaborate mouth spreader and a restraining dress designed to make it difficult to move.
It’s then Utica’s moment to be uncomfortable as Symone shows her the BAPS fantasy look she had in mind. Again, she feels it’s inappropriate and has fears of stepping on toes. Symone just wants her to exude the “essence” of Symone but it’s risky if Utica is visibly uncomfortable. Gottmik and Kandy are facing the biggest challenge, as they have two completely different body types.
After Ru’s walkthrough, where we learn that Kandy is actually more certified as a makeup artist than Gottmik is, Tina hates the color pink and as long as it comes from a “place of love”, Utica shouldn’t worry about doing BAPS drag, the queens work on their runway walks. Olivia teaches Denali her pageant flair and Denali teaches Olivia how to glide on the runway without skates. Rosé adopts the “Tina point” and Tina takes on Rosé’s dancer flourishes.
Utica becomes a “panther on the runway” quickly as she mirrors Symone’s “ebony enchantress” moves and Symone picks up Utica’s “Looney Tunes” modern dance-inspired contortions. When it comes to Kandy and Gottmik, Kandy just needs to “touch her body and say ‘gorge’” and Gottmik has an uphill battle (and a giggle fit) trying to bring Kandy’s outrageous flavor to the runway.
On the “Freaky Friday” runway, the pairs showcase their hard work and, for the most part, it paid off. Rosé pulls off Tina’s campiness and serves 50s housewife fantast in a signature red wig and an A-line patterned dress that reveals a leopard print leotard. Tina looks great with Rosé’s makeup and is all flicking and spins in a mini dress and thigh high boots. Olivia is pure Elsa from Frozen in a tulle skating-inspired look and Denali is a glamour puss in a full-length beaded gown and orange wig.
Symone wore Utica’s skin-toned restraining dress with what looks like a muscular bodysuit (think Slim Goodbody) underneath. She rocked the pastel floral wig and really got into her movement. Utica looked completely different with a tiger print jacket and pants, towering blond hair and even a gold tooth. She was definitely living her BAPS fantasy and didn’t look uncomfortable at all. Gottmik served up Kandy-level attitude ad a lot of ass smacking, and Kandy looked amazing with Mik’s signature white face, a yellow wig and a black and white outfit that showcased her exposed, glittery nipples.
Before Ru made her decision, she asked the dreaded question “Who do you think should go home tonight?” Poor Olivia was chosen by everyone except Denali (who chose Kandy) and herself, which doesn’t bode well.
The winners this week, not surprisingly, were Utica and Symone. Gottmik and Kandy and Rosé and Tina were safe, leaving Olivia and Denali to lip sync for their lives. The pair took us to church with a rousing performance of a gospel song, Mary Mary’s “Shackles (Praise You).” While they both turned it out, it was time for our ice princess, the lovely Denali, to sashay away.
This week’s MVP (tie): Team Mus-ik (Kandy and Gottmik)
While Utica and Symone (deservedly) won the makeover challenge, Kandy and Gottmik used their chemistry and artistry to make the best out of being the most mismatched pair of queens. Gottmik, who, frankly always looks (in her own words) gorge, made Kandy’s brash attitude all her own and Kandy was a revelation rocking Mik’s signature look and avant garde fashion (and she even admitted to shaving her ass, because she thought that, not her chest, was going to be “out”. That’s commitment. )
While they were getting ready, the pair shared their struggles. Mik said he developed his signature mask-like face because when he started drag, he felt her face was “too womanly” and wanted a look that was “so not human”, so the mask was born. He goes on to say that he’s been on an emotional rollercoaster wither transition, putting it off because he felt she looked too feminine and felt relegated to a second category.
He said he felt different from every other strong and masculine trans man he had encountered before, but after realizing that her guy friends were as feminine as he was, he said, “Just because I have a feminine side doesn’t mean I’m not a guy too.” Mik also suffered from severe depression before his transition and once he stopped caring about what other people thought, it brought him power. He told Kandy “Now I can look in the mirror and be happy for once.”
Kandy admires Mik because he can be who he wants to be and doesn’t give a shit what other people think. Kandy says her confidence comes from years of self-hatred. She said it took her a while to love the way she looks, her body, her mannerisms and her lisp, and she admits she’s still growing every single day. These two, as they said on the runway, solved the trauma in their lives “through the art of not giving a f—” and that attitude has definitely paid off for them both.
Honorable Mention: Symone
Symone is not only a sure thing for the top three this season, but her ability to adapt to Utica’s eccentric fashion and moves and make them her own is why she was one of my top picks for the week. She also managed to turn Utica into a “tiger on the runway” with the most fun look of the episode…it almost makes me want to watch BAPS again…almost. Also, I just love Symone and her fashions – especially the outfit and statement she brought to the runway last week.
And so, this ends our weekly serving of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and (so much) talent from the queen-testants of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Next week we will be back with another recap so, until then, remember that if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an “amen”?