The Week in Drag – the season 15 queens had a ball, Laganja Estranja opens up, Pandora Boxx pops by and more
Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to our weekly wrap-up of news and updates from the world of drag.
On this week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the queens were challenged to strut down the runway in custom-created crystallized fashions and…finally…a mini challenge that almost makes up for the lack of them so far this season. Last week, the queens showed us what they do best with an epic lip sync smackdown and some of our favorite alums have lots to say about the performances.
In addition, the premiere of season 2 of the singing competition Queens of the Universe is on the horizon and we’ve got a look at the cast. And, as always, we have videos from some of your favorites, including Bob and Monét, Trixie Mattel, Jaymes Mansfield and more. You know the drill…let’s bring it to the runway!
This week on RuPaul’s Drag Race, it’s time to celebrate! Congrats to Mama Ru on her 200th episode. If that wasn’t a big enough milestone to elicit shouts of jubilation, we finally have a quick drag mini-challenge! This is not a drill. The queens have 15 minutes to create a look and, thanks to the magic of green screen, photobomb iconic moments from Drag Race her-story. We are treated to Salina injecting herself into Laganja Estranja’s werk room entrance, a (terrifying) Marcia in the background of Jinkx’s coronation and Luxx karate kicking Vivacious (and Ornacia!) into the foam pit from her episode one photo shoot. Anetra wins by hilariously cannonballing into Willow Pill’s talent show bathtub.
After this amazing challenge, Ru announces that it’s time to have a ball…the Crystal Ball. The queens each have to bring three looks to the runway: a reimagining of Ru’s iconic racing costume, a creation paying tribute to the balls of past seasons and a scratch-made look using crystals.
As the queens begin work on their looks, Carson joins Ru on a walkthrough. Spice gets critiques on her previous looks. Carson says they lack personality and Ru encourages her to “switch it up.” Mistress tells the pair she’s trying to avoid going “gluttonous and gaudy” with her look and Salina, who struggled with the last design challenge, was told to edit, edit, edit. (Speaking of edit, these are the only queens we see chatting with Ru. The return of 90-minute episodes can’t come soon enough.)
While the queens prepare for the runway, we get a moment with Anetra, who talks about her family with Salina. She tells her that her Mom found her drag ad encouraged her to come out only for her to kick her out of the house a week later because she felt Anetra was making everyone uncomfortable. On the upside, this did allow Anetra to reconnect with her biological Dad, who actually bought her first sewing machine. This was such a sweet moment and I would love many more of these.
The other queens take a few minutes to discuss their favorite standout moments from the show’s previous seasons. As they brought up Shangela and Mimi’s fight, Bianca’s Judge Judy Snatch Game and Alyssa Edwards just being Alyssa Edwards (which gives Luxx a chance to whip out her Alyssa impersonation.) Is it just me, or wouldn’t a 200th episode retrospective special with these clips (and SO many more) be great? Maybe for #250?
So, now we get to the runway – and guest judge Julia Garner from Ozark…but not before we take a few minutes for Ru to debut her new song “Cake and Candy”. Okay…NOW it’s runway time. For the “Start Your Engines” runway, the standouts include Mistress, who adorns her jumpsuit with sayings from the series’ full-figure queens, Luxx, who gives us a pink, motocross-inspired look, Anetra, who gets Michelle fired up in a neon green bodysuit and Sasha, who looks le stun in the most glam interpretation of Ru’s look with a flesh-baring pink gown.
Runway number two is quite a mixed bag with some winning looks. Mistress gives us her take on the “Ball Ball” with a look constructed from deflated beach balls, Salina serves “Money Ball” in a dress made from food stamps bearing her image, Luxx shows us a Mugler-inspired and beautiful look that fits perfectly in with the “Hair Ball” and Sasha delivers dime bag realness in a “Bag Ball” look that is a must for your 420 celebrations.
Lastly, the runway sparkles with Crystallized Eleganza. Mistress and Malaysia both serve similar silhouettes (which I am not mad at, as they both look effortlessly glamourous), Spice has a cute disco ball-esque corset and a tragically amateur skirt, Luxx is an Ice Princess, Salina fashioned a pink gown that needed a better fit, Sasha was a golden coral goddess and Anetra delivered the look of the episode with a gold gown with a perfectly executed trumpet hemline and crystal vertebrae (it was truly stunning.)
Our safe queens this week were Marcia, Luxx and Loosey. Even though Anetra’s crystal look was amazing, her misunderstood “Candy Ball” look cost her the win (I liked her “taffy titties”) but Sasha is a very deserving victor. Loosey’s dog poop bag look in round two put her in the bottom, but she lives to slay another day as Salina and Spice face off in the LSFYL. The pair perform Lil Nas X’s “That’s What I Want” and Salina performs the hell out of it which means Spice has to sashay away. Who’s going to bunny hop down the runway now? Next week…Charo!
Canada’s Drag Race host Brooke Lynn Hytes joins Bianca Del Rio to discuss last week’s lip sync LalaPaRuza on “The Pit Stop.”
Thorgy Thor and Bob the Drag Queen are truly a dynamic duo and they reunite to discuss last week’s lip syncs on “Sibling Watchery.”
Here’s a treat for you (and me). Watch the first few minutes of Willam and Alaska recapping last week’s challenge on their “Race Chaser” podcast.
The lovely Jasmine Kennedie joins the stunning Yuhua Hamasaki to “Yu-view” the lip sync challenge performances (and not so much the looks, which Yuhua accurately pointed out were all leotards) on “Bootleg Opinions.”
Rock M Sakura and Militia Scunt (from Queens of the Universe season 2) talk all things LaLaPaRuza.
Last week’s eliminated queen, Jax, talks to Michelle Visage on “Whatcha Packin’?”
Get ready for Queen of the Universe season 2, the international drag queen singing competition hosted by Graham Norton. The star-studded judging panel is made up of Mel B, Michelle Visage, Trixie Mattel, and Vanessa Willams. The ten queens showcasing their vocal skills are Aura Eternal, Chloe V, Jazell Royale, Love Masisi, Maxie, Militia Scunt, Miss Sistrata, Taiga Brava, Trevor Ashley and Viola. The new season premieres Friday, March 31 on Paramount+.
Congrats to Canada’s Drag Race, which has been nominated for nine awards at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Reality/Competition Program or Series and Best Host or Presenter, Factual or Reality/Competition for Brooke Lynn Hytes, Brad Goreski and Traci Melchor.
The fabulous Mariah Balenciaga is Delta Work’s special guest on this week’s “Very Delta.”
If you’ve read this column enough, you might know of my undying love for Pandora Boxx. We haven’t seen much of her since All Stars 6, so it’s great to see her again (and I, for one, can’t wait for her album). In this video, she chats with David Pakman about the targeting of the drag community by the right. It’s a great way to spend 15 minutes of your time (and we love you, Pandy!)
Trixie Mattel is heading back out on the road for the last leg of the Trixie and Katya Live tour and, before she does, she repacks her makeup and brings us along for the ride. Along the way, she shares her favorite products.
Laganja Estranja is Joseph Shepherd’s latest guest on the fabulous “Sissy That Talk.”
Bob and Monét talk about getting that money and cover topics like school fundraisers and crowdsourcing on the latest “Sibling Rivalry.”
Mo Heart, Bob the Drag Queen, Bebe Zahara Benet, Shea Couleé and Peppermint discuss changes in the new queen experience and the institution of “drag mothers” in this clip from their OUTtv series “Nubia Amplified.”
Jaymes Mansfield pays tribute to the late, great Raquel Welch (no stranger to wigs herself) in her latest “Iconic Brunette” wig transformation, recreating her 1960s ingenue style.
That’s all folks! We will be back next week with more from the queens. So…until then…stay healthy, stay safe and say LOVE!