This week on RuPaul’s Drag Race, the queens jump in the wayback machine and revisit the days of bell-bottoms, platform shoes, and funky beats. As the queens head back into the werk room after Joey Jay’s elimination – and a drama-packed Untucked which saw Tamisha Iman and Kandy Muse at odds and the birth of the new iconic Drag Race catchphrase, “I said what I said,” the tension is still a little palpable. But, as it seems Kandy and Tamisha have agreed to disagree, it’s time to move on.
Ru enters and sets up this week’s mini challenge, which is a cross between my two favorite things on Drag Race: quick drag and a design challenge. The queens pair up (and Gottmik gets to choose the pair she wants to make a trio since she won last week’s main challenge) and create a fashion crafted entirely from wallpaper. One queen models, giving everything she’s got to stand out against a backdrop of the same pattern of wallpaper while the other queen gives runway commentary.
Gottmik, Kandy, and Tina Burner (who have dubbed themselves the “mean girls” of season 13) let us see their sushi roll with a cute outfit and our other teams –Denali and Rosé, LaLa Ri and Symone and Olivia and Utica present looks that are all really fun, but Elliott and Tamisha, with their neon animal print and Tiger King commentary win the challenge.
For this week’s main challenge, the queens are putting together a “Disco-mentary”, covering the history of the soundtrack of the 70s. Each team has a different time to cover through dance and fashion. The “mean girls” (Mik, Kandy and Tina) are assigned “The Birth of Disco,” Elliott and Tamisha have “Disco and Sex”, Olivia and Utica take us to “Studio 54”, Denali and Rosé showcase “Disco Fashion” and LaLa and Symone take on the “Disco Sucks” movement.
Luckily for the queens, they only have to learn choreography for this challenge, but some of the queens truly have two left feet inside of their heels. On stage, some of the queens dazzle and some fizzle in their choreography (I guess it’s good to know that Gottmik isn’t great at everything), but the overall routine is a great, exhilarating tribute to disco.
The theme on the runway is “Little Black Dress” and the queens bring it, with Gottmik coming out in the smallest ever outfit on the runway, a literal little black dress that just barely hides her candy and Utica giving us earring realness (a look that the judges didn’t seem to get.)
Olivia, Elliott, and Tina are the tops of the week, with Tamisha, Kandy, and Utica finding themselves in the bottom three. With her big har and small purse, Olivia takes the win and the feud from the beginning of the episode comes full circle, as Kandy and Tamisha have to lip-sync for their lives to “Hit Em Up Style (Oops)” by Blu Cantrell. Both queens give a smashing performance, but, in the end, Ru said what she said and sent the legendary Tamisha Iman home.
This week’s MVP: Olivia Lux
Our queen who came into this competition (tiny) purse first had a winning week. Her floral print wallpaper gown she created with Utica was fashion-forward, but she really glowed in the disco-mentary, with the judges telling her they couldn’t take their eyes off of her. She nailed the choreo, and her glittery red outfit and enormous blond afro gave us disco diva vibes. Her runway look, with the perfect strapless LBD and huge red curls was also a winner, baby!
Olivia has overcome a lot to get to where she is, and she shared her struggles in the werk room this week. She confessed she was bullied as a kid because she was overweight and unsure of her identity. She told the queens that going through the rehearsals for the disco number, she recalled a time when she couldn’t do what she can now because of her weight.
She went to a doctor in high school and was told she was obese, so she worked to lose weight and did, especially after she found theater and drama, which led her to drag. She said, “It took a long time for me to be confident with my own body…as long as I feel amazing, that’s all that matters.” She definitely earned her win this week, and I am looking forward to what else she’s got up her sleeve (or in her purse.)
Honorable Mention: Tamisha Iman
She may have been in the business for years, but the lovely Tamisha Iman had far too short of a reign on Drag Race. With five little words, she has firmly planted herself in Drag Race her-story and she truly gave us “black excellence” during her far-too-brief time on the show.
This week, she showed her tenacity by working through the choreography (which incorporated a hula hoop) after admitting that she still has an ostomy bag as a result of her cancer treatments which limits her mobility. And, while her performance may not have been outstanding during the disco-mentary, she gave it her all. As she demonstrated her “classy woman walk” while sashaying away she left a true champion.
Had to be mentioned: Gottmik’s parents
I mean, this happened during Untucked, but it was a lovely moment. If all parents could be this accepting…
And so, we wrap up another week of drama, dancing and delights on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Until next week, remember that if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love someone else? Can I get an “amen”?