The Season 16 Queens Get Dolled Up on Drag Race

Miu von Furstenberg 8 Min Read
8 Min Read
RuPaul's Drag Race Season 16
Screenshot via YouTube

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Hey Barbie! This week on RuPaul’s Drag Race, our queens faced another design challenge, this time creating their own Mini-Me and a very special guest helps the queens showcase their dancing feet.

As the episode opens, the queens return from the mainstage to see the world’s lengthiest mirror message from Amanda Tori Meating. Dawn is bummed that she’s gone, and Q admits she’s surprised that she landed at the bottom (but those dance moves, though…). She vows she’s not going to have to lip sync again. Everyone underestimated Thicc & Stick, and Geneva Karr was very happy she wasn’t at the bottom (for once.) Q and Xunami Muse get into it a little bit – and we do need a new rivalry since Amanda is gone. Plane Jane is asked who she’s going to pick on now, and she said she listened to Sapphira Cristal’s advice last week and is turning over a new leaf. Not surprisingly, everyone is skeptical about this statement.

The next day, Ru brings the cuchi cuchi queen herself, Charo, into the werk room for the week’s mini challenge – The Spanish Fly Girl Flamenco Challenge. The queens have 30 minutes to prepare to show off their spiciest moves with two very handsome dancers (Alfredo and Diego). All of the queens do well in this challenge. Some standouts: Geneva, who has already shown her Spanish dance moves, gives a fun performance. Jane dons a mustache and does a raunchy dance, Xunami definitely brings the heat and Plasma almost pulls her partner to the floor. (Q was also hilarious.) The winner: Xunami!

For this week's main challenge, the queens are tested on their design, branding, and storytelling skills as they have to create their own “limited edition” doll based on their drag persona. They have to make look-a-like fashions for themselves and have a backstory about their creation. This one ought to be good.    

YouTube video

The queens make a mad dash for fabric. Geneva gets her hands on a bolt of red fabric, much to Jane’s dismay and, of course, Nymphia Wind grabs yellow material for her look. Q, who is delighted to have another chance to showcase her design skills, decides to use golds and browns. Plasma is envisioning a 1950s travel outfit for she and her doll, which Nymphia calls a “no-taste disaster.” Jane hates her fabric choice and tries to sidle up to Geneva, under the guise that she’s looking out for her. Geneva doesn’t relent, so Jane executes her plan B and gets some light blue fabric from Plasma. Mhi'ya Iman LePaige struggles and gets an assist from. Sapphira. Nymphia is searching for inspiration (banana, perhaps?) but the other queens don’t seem to be buying her audible “doubt”. Morphine Love Dion calls her “the little banana that cried wolf.”

As the queens continue to work on their dolls, Dawn says she will give her doll a custom mug, and Jane decides on an aquatic theme to go along with the light blue fabric she mopped from Plasma. Sapphira wants to have an opera coat for her look but fears she won’t have time to execute it, and Morphine vows not to make her BBL the center of attention. Plasma and Geneva are having doubts about their looks, and eventually, Geneva starts over…using the same light blue fabric as Plasma and Jane.

The next day, as the queens prepare for the runway, they talk about dolls. Dawn’s mother would grab her Barbie dolls to play with, and Plasma actually brought the shoes she wore with her childhood Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz costume with her. Jane said her father replaced her dolls with fire trucks. She blames her Russian upbringing for the way she perceives drag and says her upbringing gave her deep-rooted insecurities (and is why she is the way she is on the show.) Q says she came from a poor family and felt guilty that she wasn’t more of a breadwinner for her family because she wanted to pursue her art. And after all of this sharing, no one believes Jane has turned over a new leaf.

Ru takes the runway in a gorgeous, structural minidress, and we learn that Michelle Visage also had a Tiffany Taylor doll (Google it. It was one of my favorites.) We also chat with guest judge Law Roach, who ends up being the first judge of the season to give some actual critiques. We then meet the dolls. Xumani brings us the “Fashion Week Edition” with velvet bell bottoms and a pink top. Sapphira’s “Grand Dame Diva: Metropolitan Opera Edition” has sideswept red hair (I wish Sapphira’s was a big as her doll’s) and a blue floral print dress (she jokes that the doll comes with “opera coat – not pictured”.) Plasma’s “Passenger of the Pacific Edition” is okay, but she struggles with keeping her head wrap on. Plane’s “Aquatic Edition” used the light blue fabric the best out of the three looks using it. It’s kind of a skating outfit but it’s very well executed – and the doll is a perfect match. Nymphia delivers another great look with her “Spring Banana Yellow Carpet Edition” (she certainly has the branding part of this challenge down pat.) Morphine does display her BBL with her ”Miami Bimbo Edition,” and Mhi’ya’s “Queen of Flips Edition” is a somewhat simple bodysuit, and her doll is not quite a look-a-like. Megami dons blue sequins and an orange crown for her “Native New York edition”, Geneva confuses with her ”Daintiest Doll Texas Edition” – which screamed second attempt (and featured more of that light blue fabric.) Dawn’s “Galactic Empress Edition” was a stunning gown of metallic silver and royal blue, and Q stunned with her “Fantasy Edition” with an elaborate headpiece, wire wings, and a beautiful combination of browns and metallic fabrics.

Xunami, Morphine, Nymphia, and Megami are this week’s safe queens. When Ru asks Sapphira if she wants to take advantage of her immunity potion, she (somewhat surprisingly) says yes. After she drinks it, she regrets her decision immediately. Jane opts to hold onto her potion. Q wins the challenge (and she deserves it), and Mhi’ya and Geneva find themselves in the bottom. The pair lip sync to “Control” by Janet Jackson. Mhi’ya channels her doll and flips, jumps, and splits all over the stage, while Geneva seems to have given up, delivering a low-energy performance. In the end, it’s Geneva who sashays away.  Next week, the Rusical goes old school and pays tribute to a classic. See you then!


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