RuPaul’s Drag Race recap S13 E4: “A Tree Falls In The Forest”
Hello to our fans, friends, frenemies, and fathers and welcome to another recap of the always titillating “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 13! We have a new Commander in Chief, and RuPaul is back in the Werk Room nitpicking Cher impressions, so all feels right in this country. Just kidding, it’s still mostly bad <3
I’m Daniel Trainor and, personally, I think all elections should be settled by lip sync.
Whereas I’m Sam Stone, and I prefer to settle disputes by fighting.
Violence is the best way to resolve conflicts, and if you disagree…fight me! Let’s get into this thing.
DT: We begin with the Winning Queens awaiting the Losing Queens in the Werk Room. The girls are giving off “you can’t sit with us” energy, especially Kandy, who is dressed like a waitress at a restaurant where you pay for your meal in horse feed.
SS: As a “fun prank” the Winning Queens have Elliott hide before the Losing Queens enter. These girls simply can’t resist a reveal.
DT: I’m not sure if the girls were hiding Elliott to be mischievous, or if they just can’t stand her, either.
SS: The losing girls enter, and Tina wastes no time in stirring the pot. With Elliott still hidden, the other girls start to absolutely shit on her, and it’s immediately clear that this fun, little shenanigan could have used a bit more forethought.
DT: Olivia declares the Losing Squad is “gooped” when they see Elliott, but really, she’s met with the shock and intrigue of a wet blanket.
SS: Before long, Elliott springs out from the divider she’s been hiding behind to confront the girls who’ve been talking shit about her.
DT: With all of the queens in the same room for the first time, the competition immediately kicks into high gear. Joey says “I’m going to have to work really hard to give them the Joey Jay experience, girl” with the exuberance and energy of a peanut.
SS: Finally, Ru arrives in the Werk Room, wearing some kind of satin Prince-knock off suit, to announce this week’s Maxi Challenge: The girls will be divided into teams, and will perform in cheesy RuPaulmark Holiday movies. The stage is set for certain disaster.
DT: After being placed on the same team, Tina makes the brave reveal that she likes Kandy, a friendship that will either end in world domination or a murder-suicide.
SS: Denali is determined to succeed, and prove that, in her words, she’s a “top threat” which is, I think, supposed to be the diametric opposite of a sub-bottom? Hold on I’m checking in my homosexual dictionary (The Velvet Rage).
DT: Meanwhile, Rosé continues to allege she’s an actress, just like I continue to think going on two walks a day will make me skinny.
SS: Daniel it’s about calorie in/calories out. And speaking of out, Tina is out for blood in this challenge. Hold on sorry, I have to accept a Pulitzer for that transition.
DT: Pulitzer? I hardly know her! (RuPaul is spinning in his grave!) On that note, Ru asks Utica if she’s ever smoked weed and Utica rattles off a long series of, uh, vaguely funny facial reactions? RuPaul responds as if hysterical laughter is the only thing preventing the soundstage from caving in on itself.
SS: Tamisha, meanwhile, has been tasked with every drag queen’s worst nightmare: performing a Cher impression for RuPaul, who, I guess, is an ardent Cher-head? He demands Tamisha name five Cher songs on the spot, like some kind of enraged teen who sees one of the hot girls wearing a band t-shirt.
DT: When Tamisha struggles, RuPaul advises her to do a Natalie Cole impression and pretend it’s Cher, which is actually not how it works and now RuPaul unfortunately must be sent to gay prison.
SS: As the challenge begins, Denali struggles mightily with her lines in the lead role, while Kahmora has put on a breastplate to play a tree. Sometimes the smallest roles require the most amount of dedication from a performer. Sometimes the most thankless job is the most important. Sometimes you don’t get a better role in the musical senior year BECAUSE OF POLITICS WITHIN THE DRAMA DEPARTMENT, MOM!
DT: Despite her dedication, however, Kahmora cannot say the words “I was rooting for us” correctly. She can’t stop putting the wrong emphasis on the wrong word. It’s safe to say she gave foliage everywhere a bad name.
SS: Way harsh, Dan.
DT: Utica, ironically, cannot remember any of her lines about being high and misplacing her bong, but it’s really Lala Ri who struggles the most, giving a performance so cardboard only a moving box could love it.
SS: While Utica flounders, and Lala Ri does her best to remember how to act like a human, Symone’s natural comedic timing and solid charisma shine through. I’m not saying that Symone carried her entire group, but actually that is exactly what I’m saying, sorry.
DT: In the final group, poor, sweet Joey struggles with the basic concept of acting and, uh, knowing what a camera is. Thankfully, Kandy is around to save the day.
SS: Kandy isn’t chewing the scenery. She’s chomping. She’s gargling. It’s a scenery buffet. Miss Muse proves that the key to every “Drag Race” acting challenge is, in fact, shouting.
DT: As the girls get ready for the runway, Kandy is forced to make last minute alterations to her look because it’s not going to work for some reason, so she employs Gottmik and Tina as little Cinderella mice seamstresses to help with her dress.
SS: It wouldn’t be a Werk Room scene without some personal history storylines aired out, and after Tamisha’s biological children are brought up again to general gasps and amazement, Symone tells the girls about the first time she went out in drag.
DT: Going to prom in drag is fierce as brave as hell, and it’s safe to say her prom gown look probably would have been at least top 5 in Season 7.
SS: The queens are ready to reveal their “Trains for Days” runway looks, and up first is Denali who comes out in a look that immediately made me crave Fruit Loops. Also notable is Kahmora who has a “Game of Thrones”-inspired dress in the sense that it resembles the Mother of Dragons and in the sense that it’s very beautiful but ultimately pretty boring! Lala Ri, for her part, looked like a COVID-compliant fortune teller in a snakeskin bodysuit that somehow fit into this week’s runway theme.
DT: Kandy’s look is messy, messy, messy and that was after some help from her mice. I struggle to imagine what it would have looked like without her minions’ help. However, her performance on the RuPaulmark Channel is enough to keep her safe.
SS: At this point, we always expect Symone to arrive with a serve, but she still exceeds expectations. Her runway look featured a floor-length durag, and we’re left wondering if there’s even a point in holding the rest of this competition. Hasn’t Symone clinched it already?
DT: Honorable mention should go to Joey Jay. There’s little chance I would have known it was supposed to be a tongue coming out of Joey’s ass, but I wouldn’t hate to try myself.
SS: And we should also mention Rosé, who looked like Nancy Pelosi on a Pride float — uncomfortable, and in a ruffled power suit.
DT: Rosé also delivers as Gnomey the Gnome. Tina, too, shows off her comedic chops admirably, and Symone, quite frankly, should win an Emmy for God Loves Flags and I am not kidding.
SS: Unfortunately, Kahmora, Denali, and Lala Ri under-delivered in their RuPaulmark Channel videos. The judges are quick to clock Kahmora’s self consciousness, and she gets a little emotional on the mainstage. We hate to see a queen get in her own way, especially a queen as stunning as Kahmora!
DT: In the end Kahmora must lip sync against Denali, who immediately gets that Type-A, professional athlete, Terminator fire behind her eyes. She’s determined to win, and she will resort to violence if she needs to.
SS: Finally a queen after my own heart. Kahmora, it seems, has trouble moving in her dress, and her lip sync is distinctly lackluster. Could it be that she’d given up before she started? Did the judges critique rattle her too much? Who knows, but one thing is clear. It’s a Denali victory through and through.
DT: The dragon was slayed before the lip sync even began. Thus, the beautiful and, uh…beautiful Kahmora is our first queen sent home.
SS: We’ll miss her face and her sparkling…gowns.