We’ve reached the third week of RuPaul’s Drag Race with nary an elimination in sight. This déjà vu (déjà Ru??) of a season continues as the lip sync losers are finally released from captivity in the Porkchop Loading Dock and free to fly, fly, fly like gay little birds!
My name is Daniel Trainor and I’m not allowed to eat my dinner until I make three puns about RuPaul’s name.
And my name is Sam Stone and the greatest burden in my life will be having to correctly spell Rosé throughout these recaps. Let’s see who doesn’t get eliminated this week!
DT: We begin in the afterglow of Symone’s lip sync victory, as the girls sit around saying things like “it’s so crazy to me” and “that’s insane” to each other, clearly unsure of what’s coming next.
SS: The self-dubbed “Winner’s Circle” congratulate themselves on coming out of a round of challenges unscathed, and Elliott pats himself on the back for being part of the winning group, despite technically having been the first eliminated queen. The delusion…shocking.
DT: The Winner’s Circle eventually waddles away to make room for, well, The Losers, who immediately start talking about how being so close to elimination will only make them work harder, something the Winners could never relate to! Don’t you love STORYLINES?
SS: The Losers appear in the Werk Room out of drag for the first time, and in what I’m calling the gag of the season, Utica’s boy hair is revealed to be simultaneously a mullet, a ponytail, and a fade. Your barber could never. Name a more confusing hairstyle, I’ll wait.
DT: Utica talks about being tall and attracted to everybody, which is the logline of my biopic. RuPaul enters and introduces the first Mini Challenge, identical to last week’s, except for its theme: Lady and the Vamp.
SS: RuPaul mentions that “top designers and fashion editors are watching this show” which is indicative of the direction this show has been heading for some time, but also a weird thing to say!
DT: As the girls get ready, Kahmora reveals that she takes upwards of 5 hours to paint her face, and when things start to go haywire under pressure, she says “this is the biggest struggle bus ever and I feel like the hot mess express.” Move over, Mayor Pete! Kahmora for Transportation Secretary!
SS: Kahmora’s makeup dilemma begs the question: how could your makeup possibly take five hours? What exactly do you put on your face for that amount of time?!
DT: When it’s time for the runway, Kahmora isn’t even dressed, which in all my years of watching “Drag Race,” I’ve come to understand is a big part of the competition.
SS: She wouldn’t be a drag queen if she wasn’t extremely late to the point of ruining the whole gig, but somehow Kahmora shows up in time, and the runway begins. First up is Denali, who we found underwhelming in a blue Goldilocks and the three bears looking dress that she describes as “just a blue…dainty doll dress.”
DT: Joey isn’t wearing a wig and struts down the runway looking like a lost member of the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” having a debauched après ski moment. To describe her look, she says “I’m wearing…a vest.”
SS: Other notable looks were Rosé’s enormous pop-art dress which was incredible, and Utica’s 60’s mod ball-themed moment. I’m not sure Utica’s look screamed “Lady,” but it definitely was screaming, and that’s what counts.
DT: Denali and Rosé have similar vamp ensembles and they both make reference to high-end designers when talking about their looks, so maybe this really has become a show about securing an editorial campaign. WHO KNOWS ANYMORE?
SS: Are you watching, “top fashion designers and editors?!” Utica is serving “Hocus Pocus” for her vamp look, but the serve of the episode comes from Tamisha who walks the runway in an Elvira dress made from hair. So weird, and so incredible — mostly because Tamisha makes all her own clothes.
DT: After the challenge, Tamisha keeps up the drama by revealing that she’s 49 years old, which the girls respond to with the shock and terror typically reserved for organized sports.
SS: These demonic queens deem her “prehistoric,” but the real gag comes when Tamisha reveals that she not only has biological children, but that her children are all older than every other queen there. (Tamisha I-mom, is this something?!)
DT: For the Maxi Challenge, the girls are asked to write a verse and perform choreography for RuPaul’s song “Phenomenon.” Promo queen. Synergistic marketing icon.
SS: Rosé is quick to share that she can sing, she can dance, and she’s horny to be team leader for this challenge. I can smell the inevitable group mutiny from here.
DT: On the main stage, the predictable choreography cock fight ensues. Denali and Joey Jay are in a battle with Rosé to see who is best at telling other people where to point and when to pivot.
SS: Have these queens ever seen this dang show? This happens every single time a choreography challenge is presented. When will the children learn? Finally Tamisha chimes in and starts telling people what to do. Resistance to her matronly gravitas is futile, and everyone falls in line pretty quickly.
DT: Kahmora is having trouble with the difficult maneuver of…walking in a straight line. Will she ever master pivoting and pointing? The suspense is, dare I say, titillating.
SS: Dan, keep your weird fetishes to yourself, you sex freak. Kahmora can’t stick to a schedule or figure out a kick-ball-change, but back in the Werk Room she proves she can definitely create a compelling personal narrative on reality television.
DT: She says her boyfriend doesn’t fully support her drag career and all I can say to that is: get a new boyfriend, girlie!!!
SS: Tamisha dispenses some quick motherly advice, and before you know it we’re ready to see these hoes turn it out on the mainstage.
DT: Everybody kind of does their thing during the “Phenomenon” performance. Kahmora lives up to her reputation as a pretty queen who can’t do much else, Rosé performs with the chaotic intensity of small-town theater girl trying to make it in the big city and Utica is a gay ostrich on stilts.
SS: I, unfortunately, identify deeply with Kahmora’s vaguely terrified step touching, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the absolute best lyric we heard in this challenge which is credited to creative genius Joey Jay who expertly crafted the line “I’m a gay ass bitch.” The power that has, the intelligence that has, etc.
DT: For the runway, the theme is “We’re Sheer, We’re Here, Get Used To It,” which is A PLAY ON WORDS. Denali, who is out first, is really addicted to the same silhouette and that silhouette is boring!
SS: Kahmora shows up in another Bob Mackie nod, living up to her nickname as the Bob Mackie queen. Will we see something new? Who knows. Tamisha’s dress is elegant and understated, and the judges love it, and Utica has bravely chosen to walk in what is basically a kimono. Not at all sheer, but certainly a choice!
DT: Utica reminds me of somebody who would be able to convince you that Jesus is cool and that religion is unproblematic, and then the next thing you know you’re giving half of your paycheck to the church and shoveling Joel Osteen’s shit.
SS: In judging, the only queen who really receives harsh criticism, from either the Winners or Losers group, is Kahmora. The judges ask for more personality, and something more than glamorous looks, and I have to say I agree. Utica, too, gets a gentle note from Michelle that her schtick can’t just be quirk — it’s gotta make sense.
DT: Ultimately, pointing and pivoting legends Denali and Rosé snatch the top two spots and lip sync to “If U Seek Amy” for the win.
SS: Without a queen on the precipice to go home, the stakes couldn’t possibly be lower! Between Denali and Rosé there’s a big heap of stage presence to contend with, and a lot of terrifying type-A energy, too. In the end, it’s Denali’s lip sync, and she takes the win this week.
DT: The ice princess takes the gold! Another week, another lack of elimination. Will this show ever end? Will we be writing these recaps until we both die? It’s possible!
SS: I’m immortal, but I love that for you!
Image courtesy of VH1