Greetings, RuPaul’s Drag Race fam! We are at episode 12 and we still have seven queens competing for the crown!
Will that number be reduced by one, or will the infamous golden ticket finally come into play this week? This week, the queens take the stage for the challenge that has made and/or broken many a queen, the Rusical. Everybody say l’amour because we are off to the Moulin Ru-ge!
As the episode opens (after last week’s stellar LaLaPaRuZa lip sync smackdown), the queens are greeted by Jasmine Kennedie’s less-than-pithy mirror message (which she even joked about on Twitter.) Bosco says that even though she had to lip sync three times last week, she’s built up some “residual anger” to help ensure that she won’t stay in the bottom this week (we will see about that.)
Ru enters and tells the queens that it’s time to work their singing, dancing and acting chops as they are transported to romantic Par-ee to pay tribute to the Tony Award-winning musical Moulin Rouge. It’s time for “Moulin Ru! The Rusical”. Ru takes us through the cast of characters, including the tragic heroine Saltine, Mama Z., a bearded queen who runs the Moulin Ru, the green fairy, a “genie in a bottle…of absinthe” and the scene-stealing Moulin Ru girls – Charisma, Uniqueness Nerve and Talent (of course.) And, to keep the stakes high for the queen-testants, Ru says they are to cast themselves in the roles.
As the queens battle for their dream parts, there are lots of feet being placed firmly on the ground. Bosco and Lady Camden both want to play Saltine. Badly. Bosco is looking for Rudemption and Lady Camden needs to break out of her shy bubble. Daya Betty, who asserts that “compromise is for losers” lays claim to Moulin Ru girl Uniqueness and DeJa Skye, who reminded everyone that she relented on her top choice during the 60s girl group challenge insists on playing Nerve. (It was kind of a lot of showboating for nothing, as no one else seemed to want those roles.)
Angeria Paris Van Micheals and Willow like the green fairy character, but Willow Pill seals the deal by stating that when you think of a teeny, tiny fairy, you have to think of her (she is right.) Angeria then tries to wrangle Talent out of Jorgeous, who put her little stiletto down and refuses to play any other role. This leaves Angeria as gold-digging Charisma.
So we are now down to the battle royale for Saltine between Lady Camden and Bosco and it’s decided that the other queens will vote for their pick. Willow has the deciding vote and picks Bosco, leaving Lady Camden to grudgingly accept the part of Mama Z. Bosco is confident that this burlesque showgirl is her vibe and will give her a win. Let’s see how this plays out.
Lady Camden is visibly upset that she didn’t get the part she wanted, but after a pep talk from her BFF Angeria, she decided to bring a little Freddie Mercury from her fantastic runway of a few weeks back to her portrayal of Mama Z. and she seems to have unleashed some power that could make her performance this week’s standout. Side note: I love the relationship between Camden and Angeria. Give these two their own WOW Presents Plus show. I would definitely tune in.
The queens then hit the stage to work with musical producer Leland, choreographer Miguel Zarate and “special guest director,” internet darling Leslie Jordan (who I now believe should be the coach on every future acting challenge.) Leslie (who, at 4’11’ could be the only person Jorgeous could tower over) informed the queens that he did drag before Ru in Atlanta, as the “sweet and petite Miss Baby Wipes.”
I adore this man. Bosco does well with her choreography and Camden asserts she doesn’t want her competitor to fail, she just wants to be the queen who does better.
Curtain up! For the second week in a row, the queens proved that they truly do have talent as the Rusical is absolutely stellar, mixing show tunes and RuPaul hits for a really fun watch. As with last week’s lip sync smackdown, I wouldn’t want to have to judge because everyone turns in a solid performance. Of course, to no one’s surprise, Lady Camden kills it as Mama Z. And, even though she was good, Bosco didn’t make the most of her star turn as Saltine. Don’t get me wrong, she looked lovely, but squandered chances to flex her acting muscles, like her character’s trademark sneeze.
It was a scream to see the Guys and Dolls gun moll voice coming out of Angeria’s mouth and Willow was hilarious as the green fairy, repeating her whole number at increasing speed and looking adorable while doing it. But…the best performance has to go to Leslie Jordan as the rival for Saltine’s affection, the Duke of Dickington. Have I mentioned how much Iove Leslie Jordan?
The theme on the runway was “Mirror, Mirror” and, while not a night of fierce fashions, we did get a few impressive looks. Lady Camden is a shooting star, inspired by The Little Prince in a sparkly, mirrored pantsuit and while Bosco says she’s serving Mugler and Linda Evangelista, all I see is the same silhouette she’s brought to the stage numerous times before. I know she’s got more to her than relying on that body, but you know Michelle is going to rip her a new one during critiques.
Willow combined Elton John, Joan Jett and Evel Knieval to create a silver-toned “spirit of ’76 rocker look”. Angeria was a galactic mermaid queen in a mosaic of iridescent tiles. Love it. I also loved Daya’s spiked tribute to KISS, but I didn’t love DeJa’s miss that looks like a reflective harness plopped on top of a lovely, beaded gown. Jorgeous took a break from her barely-there dance costumes with a Cardi B inspired cutout mini dress and knee-high boots. I also just had to add that guest judge Andra Day looked beautiful. While the looks were nice, it did seem like many of the queens missed the assignment.
I’m sure you can guess who this week’s big winner (and our MVP) is. Lady Camden deserved the win fair and square – and she’s so freaking charming. Picking a bottom two pretty much came down to the wire, but Bosco’s stale Saltine and Jorgeous failing to stand out as much as her fellow Moulin Ru girls landed them at risk of going home.
Bosco and Jorgeous lip sync to a remix of Whitney Houston’s “Heartbreak Hotel.” Proving once again, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she is a lip sync assassin for the ages, Jorgeous gets yet another save and Bosco has to sashay…wait…she has a chocolate bar to unwrap…and…she got the golden ticket! She now gets to stay and we still have seven queens left in the never-ending story of season 14.
And so, we bid adieu to the werk room and the runway until next week, where we might actually see a queen eliminated from the competition. Until then, remember that if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an “amen”?