Good evening, hoes, and welcome to this week’s recap of the world famous, Pulitzer Prize winning show critics are calling “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” This week’s episode is especially chaotic (in our unsubstantiated opinions) and we can’t wait to parse through the inchoate madness of this grand experiment we call reality television.
My name is Daniel Trainor and I don’t know what inchoate means. Sam wrote that.
I’m Sam Stone, and I chose the word inchoate to let our gorgeous readers know that I have read two (2) Joan Didion books.
Let’s get recapping.
SS: We join the girls after Kahmora’s elimination, as they sadly clomp into the Werk Room, mourning the loss of their Bob Mackie sister. Kandy wastes no time in sharing that she thinks Elliott should have been in the bottom three, and let me tell you she is not alone! Twitter agrees, Mz. Muse!
DT: Denali, who was in the bottom, says that “all these girls are looking at me like a bottom bitch,” which I imagine is something she’s familiar with.
SS: Girlie, we’re not bottom-shaming on this platform! Elliott stands up for herself, and Kandy moves on to Symone, who, she tells the group, is her biggest competition. Kandy is talking today. Tamisha takes offense, and the sound designers do their best to indicate to us that there’s a feud brewing here.
DT: Something to watch! RuPaul enters the Werk Room and announces, for some God forsaken reason, that the Mini Challenge this week involves the girls getting into something called “baby drag.”
SS: It turns out each queen’s baby drag look was directly inspired by the sleep paralysis demon that haunts me each night.
DT: The entire challenge was like if the Rugrats took hallucinogens. Elliott throwing a tantrum and rolling around the ground screaming “I want a new Daddy!” is worse than the final act of “Hereditary” and I’ll need therapy.
SS: Dan we should all be in therapy already!!!! As gay people trauma is key part of our personality!! LaLa Ri wins this insane baby drag challenge, and we can all finally move on with our lives, strive to find happiness, forget our troubles etc.
DT: If the baby drag challenge wasn’t confusing enough, Ru tells us that the Maxi Challenge this week is a Bag Ball, which includes each queen turning three (!) looks: Mixed Bag, Miss Money Bags and one handmade look made out of what?
DT: When it comes time to fight for bags (!), the girls scratch and claw for bags on the bag table like RuPaul at a cowboy hat blowout sale.
SS: RuPaul sure does love cowboy hats. Kandy grabbed a bunch of Jansport backpacks, which has naturally inspired her to dress “like a hoe.” This is the kind of galaxy brain logic that makes Kandy such a unique, gorgeous talent. A light in our lives. Her mind….
DT: When it comes time to start sewing, it’s shocking that many of the girls can’t, um, sew! Symone, among the non-seamstresses, is showing some cracks in her armor for the first time. I swear to God, it’s wild that these girls don’t watch some YouTube tutorials about sewing before showing up on a national television show where they will be…sewing!
SS: LaLa, also a non-sewer, offers up a prayer to gay Jesus saying “Lord…bitch, can you please help me out? Because I didn’t come here to be a bottom bitch,” which aside from being a top ten RPDR talking head moment, is very me in Catholic school vibes.
DT: Utica plays the role of eager Home Ec teacher and helps LaLa with her sewing machine. They’re bobbing, they’re weaving, they’re having a great time. Until LaLa, in an iconic move, breaks the machine anyway! Slay, girl!
SS: As the girls sew (or hot glue) their looks together, they begin to chat about the ballroom scene, and Utica reveals she’s never been to a ball! Quite frankly nothing has shocked me less in my entire young/gay life, but Tamisha, always the drag mother, decides to rectify this egregious error by bringing a mini-ball to the Werk Room. The girls dip and kiki for a minute, and, YES I did think it was cute, ok? I love the queer community!!!!! Sorry to be earnest!!
DT: Joey attempts to participate in the ball, but cannot do much because he “has a bad knee,” which is relatable but also not a great sign for his future in a drag competition show!
SS: Dan, if that’s a fellatio joke, it is in bad taste, you disgusting, centrist sex freak.
DT: As RuPaul makes her rounds in the Werk Room, she goes on a 15-minute sermon about believing in yourself or something (I don’t know, I fell asleep). Kandy (who also fell asleep) responds with a deadpan “I love it” and RuPaul, for the second week in a row, breaks out into absolute hysterical laughter. Kandy is just as confused as the rest of us but says “Miss Thing is getting her life.” I think Miss Thing may also have been getting her happy pills before entering the Werk Room this season.
SS: When it’s Utica’s turn for a Ru moment, she tells Ru that her fashion aesthetic is “weirder than Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball.” Ah yes, noted fashion kooks Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball!
DT: The girls will be provided with a customized Coach bag for their Miss Money Bags look, and we have the pleasure of Skyping with Coach’s creative director, possibly the least charismatic person ever invented, from his basement made of leather.
SS: Hearing this man utter the phrase “purse first” with all the enthusiasm of a clinically depressed coma patient sent me into a spiral, but nonetheless we love cross-promotional synergy. First and foremost, this recap is about capitalism.
DT: After Kandy wistfully describes her love for Joey despite his “questionable taste level,” the girls have a really emotional, and personal, conversation about the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically mentioning all of the trans women of color who have, and continue to, lose their lives. I think the season has really done an outstanding job of honoring the social unrest that was happening during filming.
SS: While “Drag Race” is often fairly apolitical, we were so happy the girls had a chance to address racial injustice in an immediate and honest way. LaLa Ri in particular had a vulnerable moment in her talking head wherein she got emotional recalling the death of Rayshard Brooks at the Wendy’s near her house. For me, this was one of the most poignant moments in the show’s history, and we hope to see more going forward.
DT: For the 36-look (!!) runway show, Nicole Byer is back as a guest judge. Is #MakeNicoleByerAPermanentJudge a thing we can start?
SS: Nicole Byer, if you are being held against your will, please wear head to toe sequins, and make puns on each of the girls runway looks.
DT: The Mixed Bag looks are up first which were, frankly, a mixed bag! Denali is dressed like some kind of avant garde crash test dummy, which is funny because we all know gay people can’t drive. Elliott, meanwhile, says her look is “Dollar Store gift bag ready to be re-gifted,” which is, uh, not what I want from a drag queen?
SS: Olivia walks down the runway in a “Punching Bag” look that is almost stitch-for-stitch the exact same as Symone’s first runway look. Symone is the star of the category in a stunning dress with huge, basketball-sized tits which she unceremoniously pops at the end of her walk. Reader, my jaw dropped, I will admit.
DT: The next category is Miss Money Bags. Most of the queens seem to correlate having money with having a structured suit jacket and a skirt (looking at you Tamisha, Tina, Elliott and Joey). Thank goodness for Symone, however, for daring to put any kind of spin on what it means to look rich. Kandy killed it, too. Money doesn’t grow on trees, but it grows on her head and suddenly I care about the stock market!
SS: Hello? Give me one thousand shares of something called “GameStop.” Utica and Gottmik come in with a serve each (Sally Bowles but make it hoe, and pinstripe sparkly off the shoulder realness, respectively), and finally we’re ready for our last category: Bag Drag. Phew, someone get me a sports drink because I am exhausted.
DT: It’s never good when a queen walks out on the runway and you say “Oh no” audibly, but alas, we have LaLa Ri. She has made the decision to hot glue pink and purple bags to her body suit which, unfortunately, looks exactly as bad as it sounds!
SS: She looks like the floor of a 4th grade classroom on Valentine’s Day.
DT: Utica comes out of nowhere to slay again. She has wrapped a huge blanket around her and she’s pretending it’s a dress, which is what every gay kid would do growing up and pretend to walk the Oscars red carpet. I really pray this wasn’t just me. Hello? But she looks stunning.
SS: Gottmik is unequivocally the star in this category, bringing us a high fashion, strappy, baggy, skimpy uh…moment in history.
DT: After all of the stress about her handmade look, Symone looks like the sexiest lifeguard you’ve ever seen. Help me, I’m drowning. Kandy, meanwhile, is dressed like a tough girl from middle school who actually would have stood up for my gay ass in a fight, and then walked away and simply said “you’re welcome.”
SS: In the end, Gottmik, Rosé, and Utica are our top three queens, while Joey, LaLa, and Tamisha round out this week’s bottom queens. Gottmik takes a well deserved win this week, and we’re on the edge of our seat waiting to see who will be lip syncing.
DT: It’s actually an act of terrorism forcing LaLa to stand on the runway with those bags glued to her. Not only does she have to stand there and get absolutely BERATED for her massacre of a dress, she has to lip sync against Joey to determine who is leaving us.
SS: I am not exaggerating when I say that LaLa’s bag uh…dress (?) is literally falling off of her as she lip syncs, but she’s charismatic enough to pull it off somehow. When she actively started ripping those tiny bags off her, we knew she’d clinched it.
DT: Not even Joey’s efforts to throw money into the air could save her. She and her bad knee get sent back home to Arizona, of all places.
SS: We’ll miss Joey, but her time on the show was a beautiful moment of representation, and a victory for Gay Ass Bitches everywhere.