After last week’s 42 fashions, Willy Wonka drama and the elimination of June Jambalaya (our first “officially” eliminated queen of the season) on RuPaul’s Drag Race, we weren’t quite sure what Ru could do to step up the game, but this week’s episode brings the hilarious (and manufactured) drama and a runway tribute to J-Lo (with a guest appearance from the diva herself.)
The queens return to the werk room after June’s elimination and Jasmine Kennedie is definitely not happy about merely being safe with her red, white and blue fashions. She vocally expresses this (with tears) and as Bosco noted, “it’s a lot of tears for safe.” The next day, Kornbread expresses her frustration about Jasmine’s endless chatter and constant interruptions. I see battle lines being drawn here.
Ru enters and tells the queens that this week’s main challenge (when are we getting a quick drag challenge? I need to see this.) is our first acting challenge of the season (besides the queens acting like a lip sync is the perfect thing for a talent show.) The dolls are putting the edit in their own hands, creating enticing super teasers for the season.
Willow, who won the main challenge last week, and Maddy Morphosis, who won the LSFYL are made captains and get to pick their teams. Team Willow Pill is made up of Kornbread, Lady Camden, Bosco, Kerri Colby, Jorgeous and Jasmine (who was last picked and able to choose her own team, much to Willow and Kornbread’s dismay.) Team Maddy is Deja Skye, Daya Betty, Angeria Paris Van Micheals, Alyssa Hunter and Orion Story.
As the teams start to work together, Jasmine’s copious note taking and questions rub Kornbread the wrong way, like an oatmeal raisin cookie (but she was an advertising and marketing major in college, so there’s that.) willow, who has a background in sketch comedy, suggests they take page from the Drop Dead Gorgeous playbook and play heightened versions of themselves.
Kerri agreed to be ridiculous as long as she could be pretty and Jorgeous is holding back, which is a mystery to Willow. Jasmine volunteered herself for a mirror talk where Kerri and Kornbread have to tell her to shut up (which Kerri seems very agreeable to). Over at team Maddy, Angie is flexing her acting wings for the first time and Maddie suggests a new take on Shangela’s epic “Sugar Daddy” speech. Alyssa’s ideas get shut down and she hopes she’s not only being perceived as a pageant queen.
The teams get coached by Michelle and Carson and they wrestle some good performances from the queens – including Jasmine’s chatty mirror talk. They also get a fierce catfight from Angeria and Daya, with Angie channeling Mystique (“I am from Chicago”) and Lashawn Beyond (“this isn’t RuPaul’s Best Friend Race.”) Sadly, poor Alyssa is struggling with a one-note performance.
In Willow’s Untucked moment, she goes on a hilarious search for Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. Kerri’s also too much in her head, getting tongue-tied when trying to recite her lines. Kornbread nails her tribute to Silky’s “if they wanted me to lip sync, I was ready” Untucked rant. Before seeing the finished products, I already had a good feeling about this challenge. Afterward, my feelings were confirmed.
On the runway, the theme is “Night of 1,000 J-Los” and the queens are treated for a pre-show pep talk by none other than Jennifer Lopez herself. Alyssa Hunter was beside herself, as she won pageants with her J-Lo look. Ms. Lopez offered sage advice to the queens, telling them, “Don’t be afraid to be loud, be proud and shake it.”
It’s time for the runway. Ru looks like a golden goddess, returning guest judge Loni Love looks, well, lovely and, while I was sad no one did a Fly Girl or Hustlers J-Lo look, every look was truly unique (which means, thankfully, we were spared from 13 interpretations of the infamous green, barely there Versace gown.) Willow kicked things off with a look from the 1998 Grammys, showcasing that brink of superstardom Jenny from the block.
Kornbread recreated the 2018 Met Gala look, Lady Camden wore the 2019 CFDA bare midriff top and coral-hued pants. Bosco’s rocked “wet gold Versace” 2009 Golden Globes look and Kerri modeled the Versace Spring 2020 green dress redux, which she got out of J-Lo’s very own closet (and, sorry Jennifer, she wore it best.) Jorgeous and Daya Betty brought us looks from J-Lo’s Super Bowl performance in 2020 and Jasmine looked lovely in a pink ombre bedazzled gown from the 2015 AMAs.
Maddy was clad all in white, recreating Jen’s smart pantsuit from the 2020 inauguration and Deja showed off another Versace look from the 2018 Grammys. Angeria was dripping with jewels from head to toe in J-Lo’s 2019 Met Gala look serving “sass, class and ass.” Alyssa looked like a smooth criminal in her white pantsuit (and a money gun) that revealed a bejeweled bustier from Jen’s appearance on the 2018 Billboard Awards and Orion was a goddess in a hand-stoned red velvet gown recreating a look from a 2013 HRC dinner.
After the judges’ critiques, Ru awards Angeria her second main challenge win, with Willow and Deja also receiving kudos for their looks and teaser performances. This leaves Kerri and Alyssa battling it out in the lip sync to Jennifer’s “Play.” Alyssa’s money gun malfunctioned at a most inopportune time and Kerri manages to out J-Lo our boriqua queen and send her packing (a decision that many Drag Race fans are not happy with). But wait…does her chocolate bar reveal gold? Sadly, it does not and Alyssa sashays away.
So, who’s this week’s MVP? Angeria and her “non-acting ass” definitely deserved the “W” (and that J-Lo look left my jaw firmly on the floor) but I thought Willow was amazing. It’s the first time I saw a queen tell us she has some sort of talent and actually prove it in the challenge. Girl was FUNNY. She also led her team to what should have been a victory. That and her early J-Lo look was a subtle winner. I’m glad she, Angeria and Kornbread have emerged as the strongest competitors (so far) this season and that Ru has stopped doing that “she doesn’t want a big pill” thing anymore (for now.) She’s conquering her health problems and dominating in the challenges and on the runway – and she’s just so cute and has a propensity for giant flip flops (which make a cameo in her super tease.) I love her. Oh, and I still think Bosco is amazing but not shown nearly enough.
And that wraps up another drama-packed episode of Drag Race. Until next week, remember that if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an “amen”?