The Week in Drag – The return of the Rusical, Drag Me to Dinner, a lesson in Pride from Willam, and more

Christine Fitzgerald 13 Min Read
13 Min Read
Joan: The Unauthorized Rusical

Hello, hello, hello! We are back with your weekly round-up of all things drag. This week, the season eight All Stars showcased their pipes and acting skills in the eagerly awaited Rusical challenge and delivered a fashionable tribute to a musical icon.

We also meet the judges of the new Hulu series Drag Me to Dinner, which pits your favorite teams of queens against each other in a culinary and entertaining competition as well as the queens competing on the next season of Drag Race France.

In addition, we get a little Pride history lesson from Willam, wig wizardry from Trixie, new music from Manila and so much more. Let’s get into it and let’s bring it to the runway!

This week on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, the queens took to the stage for a Rusical celebrating an iconic star from Hollywood's golden age and paid tribute to an equally iconic singer on the runway. After Jessica and Kahanna were saved last week (when Heidi took herself out of the competition), the queens returned to the werk room to find out who would have gone home if Heidi hadn't left. Not surprisingly, Kahanna got all of the votes (except hers) and she said it was a good kick in the pants for her renewed her quest for the crown. Jimbo said she was embarrassed about last week's lip sync and teared up as she acknowledged that she hasn't won one yet. Kandy feels like she may be targeted after what Heidi had said about her last week (I guess someone needs to be the villain.)

The next day, the queens notice that the photos of Ru on the walls of the werk room have been replaced by images of Joan Crawford (and Faye Dunaway in Joan drag) and Ru's video message is packed with lines from Mommie Dearest, so it's no surprise when Ru announces that Joan is the subject of this season's Rusical. The queens all play Joan at different stages of her career and, as they choose their characters, all is pretty much smooth sailing until Kandy and Jessica fight over “no wire hangers” Joan. They end up “auditioning” for the part, and Kandy emerges victorious. 

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Once the roles are assigned, the queens work with Leland on their songs and director Adam Shankman on choreography. Jaymes nails her song, which could qualify her as a “dark horse” while Jessica had a really hard time saying “axe” (it kept coming out as “ass” – and yes, this made me giggle. As for the moves, Kahanna, who performs in Ru's Vegas show, was having a hard time with the technical steps while LaLa and Jessica were knocking it out of the park. Jimbo and Jaymes struggled and Kandy had problems negotiating her huge wire hanger prop. 

On show day, Jimbo and Kandy were particularly on edge, as their Rusical performances on their seasons got them eliminated (well, not technically for Kandy, as Ru saved her at the last minute.) Ru's runway look was particularly killer this week – a turquoise gown and Greek goddess realness. Then our judges (Michelle, TS Madison and Adam Shankman) were treated to “Joan: The Unauthorized Rusical”. 

I am a self-professed “theater nerd” and I always like the Rusical, but this one was a real standout (IMHO, the best one we've seen.) Kahanna was the young, Women era Joan and she looked gorgeous, even if she looked a little unsure of herself while singing) and Jaymes was hilarious as “Mommie Dearest” (complete with a Christina stand-in). Kandy got over her choreography issues and nailed her “wire hanger” Joan and Jessica finally figured out to pronounce “axe” in a solid, rocking performance. LaLa did a really fun Vogue-esque number as Mildred Pierce Joan, Alexis nailed her country-themed number as Boardroom Joan and Jimbo did Joan’s Baby Jane era justice. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I would see this on Broadway.

The runway theme was “Night of 1,000 Grace Jones” and avant-garde fashions took over the stage. Kahanna brought her showgirl sensibilities to a rose-inspired look, James had a bodysuit covered in fox tails, and Kandy rocked a colorful geometric look. Jessica wore a gorgeous purple hooded gown (that I seriously covet), LaLa wore a black latex dress with a hat bearing an oversized bow, Alexis wore Grace's iconic umbrella hat and a stunning gown, and Jimbo (gasp!) did not have his usual breastplate. Still, he had a fabulous hat made of hair and a corseted bondage outfit. The looks all get a “toot” from me. 

Alexis and Jimbo were deemed safe, Kandy, Jessica, and LaLa earned kudos from the judges, and Kahanna and Jaymes found themselves in the bottom two (but as Michelle said, it was a difference between “A+ and A” performances and looks this week. Kandy is declared the winner of the challenge and faced off against lip sync assassin Angeria Paris Van Micheals from season 14. The pair faced off to Grace Jones' “I'm Not Perfect But I'm Perfect for You,” and there were lots of dips, dives, and splits. Kandy won the lip sync and voted for Jaymes to sashay away. Noooo! Next week, it’s time for another improv challenge (and Kahanna is not happy about it.)    

Kornbread and Bianca discuss last week's Snatch Game of Love and revealing looks on “The Pit Stop.”

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Bob and Monét have a lot to say about the Snatch Game and they do a deep dive into the episode on “Sibling Watchery.”

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Laganja and Joseph share their two cents on the episode on “Queening Out.”

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Raja and Kerri Colby toot and boot the “Ruveal Yourself” runway looks on “Fashion Photo Ruview.”   

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Jaymes discusses the origin and creation of her revealing runway look from episode 5.  

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The season eight All-Stars test their friendship with Glamour. 

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Singer Maren Morris talks with Symone, Sasha Colby, Eureka O'Hara, and Landon Cider about drag bans and the current environment for drag performers for Billboard.

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Drag Me to Dinner is such a fun show. Murray Hill (who is spectacular on Max's Somebody Somewhere) hosts and Bianca Del Rio and actress Haneefah Wood are on the judges' panel (along with Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka) and they recently discussed the show with Pride.

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Jaymes Mansfield is one of the many contestants on Drag Me to Dinner and she created a wig for judge Neil Patrick Harris. Here, she recreates the 1960s classic bubble flip she made for NPH.

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The premiere episode of The Sherry Vine Variety Show‘s second season dropped this week on OUTtv. In case you don't get the service, you can catch the episode here (with my personal summer anthem, “Grab ‘Em”.) The episode is a lot of fun, and if you'd like to know more about the series, check out our interview with Sherry. 

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Yes, it’s June, but it’s never too early to get ready for the holidays. Some of your favorite “slay belles” are heading to a city near you for the annual “A Drag Queen Christmas” tour. Hosted by Miz Cracker, the tour kicks off November 14 in Detroit with stops across the country. Performers include Jimbo, Heidi N Closet, Jessica Wild, Alyssa Edwards, and more. Get your tickets now here.   

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Say “bonjour” to some more international sensations and meet the queens of Drag Race France. The queens competing to become France's Next Drag Superstar include Mami Watta, Sara Forever, Piche, Ginger Bitch, Keiona, Vespi, Punani, Rose, Moon, Cookie Kunty and Kitty Space. Nicky Doll returns as host and the new season premieres on June 30th on WOW Presents Plus.

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Trixie and Katya take us to school this week as they talk all things college on the latest “UNHhhh.” 

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The delightful Nicole Byer shares some tee-hee-hees with Delta Work on the latest episode of her “Very Delta” podcast. 

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Fashion photographer Marco Ovando is releasing a second volume of photographs of some of your Drag Race faves in The Dolls Vol. 2. The book contains never-seen images shot exclusively for the release, and over 250 pages featuring icons of the award-winning program and cultural phenomenon, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Some of the subjects include Yvie Oddly, DeJa Skye, Naomi Smalls, Asia O'Hara, Mistress Isabelle Brooks and so many more. Marco has worked extensively with many of the artists in the ground-breaking international tours “Werq the World”, “Drive N’ Drag”, “Night of the Living Drag”, and beyond. Pre-order the book here.

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Bob and Monét  chat about ethics on the newest “Sibling Rivalry.”

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Bob reviews his own knock-off merchandise.

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On a special “Portrait of a Queen,” Bosco takes us along on her facial feminization surgery and talks about life after Drag Race.

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In honor of Pride month, Willam is here to share a little her-story on history on a new series called “Nobody Died at Stonewall”. The first 2 episodes deal with the Stonewall uprising and the ,King Cobra murders. 

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Sugar and Spice face off in Cosmo‘s Expensive Taste Test. Can they pick the most expensive water, tequila, sunglasses and other luxuries? 

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Better late than never, right? Sugar and Spice open up their DragCon diaries and take us behind the scenes at the event.

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Drag Race UK's Bimini sits down with Joseph Shepherd on the latest “Exposed” (and congrats to Joseph for a successful Kickstarter campaign for a new season of the series.)

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Daya Betty chats with Matty Morphosis on “Give it to Me Straight.”

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Trixie restyles her enormous wig from DragCon 2016.

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Kimora Blac is back with a new GRWM where she shows off some of her favorite skin products and gets us up to speed on her busy life.

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Manila Luzon recorded a naughty parody of Kylie Minogue's “Padum Padum.”

And that’s it for the week. Week in Drag is taking a break, and we’ll be back with more drag news and updates for you in two weeks. We’ll leave you with something refreshing to tide you over until we meet again. Enjoy a Hemingway Daiquiri made by the fabulous Bendelacreme. And, as always, stay safe, stay healthy, support the queens, and say, LOVE! 


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