Hello, whores! Welcome to another delicious recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the show where every guest judge is “very special” no matter how many times they’ve been forced to sit next to Ross Mathews.
We’ve reached the point in the competition where things are getting tight and the queens are saying things like “splitting hairs” and “why is Elliott still here?”
My name is Daniel Trainor and the last time I tried splitting hairs I ended up in the ER!
While my name is Sam Stone and I actually went to medical school, but threw it all away to write these recaps because I love to have fun.
Come on, girls and girls, we’ve got a Rusical to produce!
DT: Before we get to the Rusical, however, it’s time to mourn the loss of LaLa Ri. She didn’t die, but she got kicked off the show, which is almost as bad. As the girls saunter back into the Werk Room, Elliott, who was already dealing with the fact that most of the cast dislikes her, now has to reckon with the fact that she sent one of the most beloved members of the cast home.
SS: LaLa is gone but never forgotten. Denali’s lamp-inspired runway look will also never be forgotten, because she won’t ever stop talking about it.
DT: Now that LaLa has left, Tina says it’s “time for the Tina Burner motherfucking experience” and I’m just wondering what’s taking so long.
SS: If my sources are correct, the Tina Burner experience is eating a cigarette on the sidewalk at 2 in the morning. Utica is also getting restless, and pledges to stop being so nice to all the girls.
DT: YOU WON’T LIKE UTICA WHEN SHE’S ANGRY! As the queens await their next challenge, they continue to run with this bizarre, slightly uncomfortable storyline of Kandy being obsessed with Joey Jay, who left the competition weeks ago. I will not be surprised if one day we find out Kandy has made a jacket using Joey’s skin and wears it while rocking back and forth whispering “filler queen.”
SS: Finally, the time has come! The Rusical, baby. For those of you who don’t know, “Rusical” is a type of musical that is “not good.” This season’s Rusical is called “Social Media: The Unverified Rusical” and it’s about…you guessed it….social media.
DT: Finally somebody dares to make commentary about social media.
SS: It’s the mediocre take we’ve all been thirsty for: social media is bad. Rosé could not be more excited, however. “The Rusical is very important to me,” she says without a hint of irony. Reader, if a Rusical is very important to you, I’m gonna go ahead and suggest cognitive behavioural therapy.
DT: Rosé is shitting her god damn pants and ready to tell everybody about the night she saw Patti Lupone in “Gypsy,” but it’s time to get down to business. Tina Burner volunteers to be the narrator of the Rusical, which is the part I would get in my high school productions. It’s when the director says “we really need a great actor here,” which translates to “nobody wants to hear you sing.”
SS: I was famously Millie in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” so I’m not sure I’ll be able to relate, unfortunately (it’s the titular Millie).
DT: There is contention over who is going to play the characters of Foxy and Lady Tweets. Denali says “I’m going to rise up to the challenge and play Lady Tweets,” which is unequivocally the funniest sentence a human being has ever said.
SS: It is very inspiring to see a queer person finally rise up to the challenge and play Lady Tweets. Kids everywhere will see that anyone can rise up to the challenge and play Lady Tweets.
DT: Don’t get too excited, because Utica doesn’t budge. She keeps the role and says “Tweet Tweet Tweet, motherfuckers,” which is what I say when anybody asks me which early 2000’s R&B singer didn’t really get their due.
SS: Denali is not done yet. She and Rosé both try to put dibs on the Barbra Streisand-inspired role, Foxy. Elliott makes the incredibly shady suggestion that the two girls both sing the part, so that the group can vote for the best performance. Rosé, who has been auditioning since the age of three, is more than comfortable, and easily beats out Denali for the part. The vote is near unanimous, and it’s a tiny bit horrible to see one ounce of Denali’s soul get crushed.
DT: Tina Burner only voted for Denali to “fuck with Rosé’s brain” and I cannot stress enough that Tina Burner is 39 years old. Just when things can’t get any worse, Anne Hathaway shows up.
SS: Anne Hathaway pops up on the giant video screen and the queens scream with horror. She’s there to give acting tips, and also because she has some kind of gay brother or something, probably.
DT: Utica says everything Anne Hathaway has been in has “been incredible” and I’d just like to direct Utica to 2020’s “The Witches.”
SS: Anne Hathaway relatably has hives during this interview for some reason, but she still manages to share some knowledge, and the queens continue to scream in response.
DT: These girls had the opportunity to ask Anne Hathaway any question they wanted and not one of them asked her to explain the plot of “Interstellar.”
SS: It’s time to record the vocals for “Social Media: The Unauthorized Rusical” that no one asked for. Tina kicks things off by sounding like Elaine Stritch after stubbing her toe.
DT: Out of nowhere, Olivia sounds like a goddamn angel. It’s always a stealth attack from this one. Symone, the most confident person I’ve ever personally laid eyes on, becomes a shell of herself in front of the microphone and ceases the ability to pronounce four-letter words. But the fact that Symone cannot sing does not upset me spiritually and that’s frankly all that matters.
SS: We don’t need that from her! After fighting tooth and nail to secure the role of Lady Tweets (inspiring) Utica simply cannot get her mouth around the super-fast rap that the role demands.
DT: Iggy Azalea ruined an entire generation of young people and that’s not a conversation that many people are ready to have.
SS: Jamal Sims is here, and that can only mean one thing: some uncoordinated queens will have a panic attack when asked to do a jazz square.
DT: Not only is Utica tasked with rapping, Jamal says the inspiration for her choreo was “Hamilton,” which feels like an absolute recipe for disaster. When it’s time for Rosé to learn her choreo, she’s forced to use an umbrella, looking like a gay ass Mary Poppins. Mary Poppers? Will workshop this.
SS: Speaking of workshopping, Gottmik and Denali struggle with their joint choreo because Denali is a dancer and Gottmik struggles to walk in a straight line. They’re bopping around the stage like a couple of hyperactive tweens who are gonna hope for the best!
DT: After we’re treated to the gorgeous news that Tina was once in a relationship with Graham Norton, it’s finally goddamn time for this Rusical.
SS: I feel it must be said, and I don’t enjoy saying this, that this Rusical, and, again, I hate to be this person, was badly written! And also, 10 minutes too long!
DT: Wow, somebody drank their Haterade (joke about Gatorade). I actually thought it was pretty entertaining! To kick it off, Tina does a Liza impression that sorta hits, sorta doesn’t. Symone looks predictably amazing, but her verse is very underwhelming, which makes me nervous.
SS: As the embodiment of LinkedIn, Kandy slinks and writhes around the stage in a blouse and miniskirt like Ashley from HR after one too many cocktails at the holiday party. It’s not particularly enjoyable, but you also can’t take your eyes off her.
DT: Rosé is predictably (and begrudgingly) amazing, churning out a powerhouse performance, terrifyingly precise choreography and a respectable amount of charisma. The summer intensives at Stagedoor paid off.
SS: Gottmik and Denali come out of nowhere with a show-stealing duet, as two Russian bots. They’re hilarious, and high energy, and their confidence is a welcome contrast to the awkward half-dancing that made up much of the Rusical.
DT: As dedicated viewers of this show know, after the challenge comes the runway. This week, the theme is Yellow Gorgeous, unfortunately! Tina is dressed as a taxi, which is really an analogy for Tina’s entire persona: covered in yellow and deemed useless by modern-day society, but somehow still chuggin’!
SS: Also dressed as a taxi is Elliott. Taxis are yellow, which is a fun thing to think about.
DT: We get it, you live in The Big Apple! Utica looks like the gayest bitch at the Renaissance Fair, while Symone and Olivia both look like they’ve massacred America’s sweetheart Big Bird, but made it fashion. Symone’s look, per usual, is slick and cool and might be enough to save her ass.
SS: Rosé is in an admittedly orangey-yellow homage to Jim Carrey’s Zoot suit in “The Mask,” and Kandy Muse is in some version of Beyoncé’s yellow dress from Lemonade that doesn’t quite hit the mark for me (too much fabric, not enough baseball bat).
DT: Once again, Gottmik appears in the serve of the episode wearing a yellow latex crash test dummy look, that blows Denali’s earlier attempt at the same concept out of the water.
SS: In final judging, the judges praise Gottmik and Denali’s committed performance, and of course they heaped praise on Rosé, who’s the obvious standout this week.
DT: The judges were not here for Tina’s Rusical performance and call out the fact that she stopped lip syncing before her big death moment (a big no-no in Broadway culture). Symone is praised for her look, but dragged for her lackadaisical Rusical performance. She and Tina are in the same damn shaky boat.
SS: Michelle gets on Kandy for her Rusical number, complaining that we couldn’t see her face most of the time, and that her performance lacked energy.
DT: Ultimately, Tina is saved by her taxi ensemble and survives, which means it’s Kandy and Symone (GOD NO!) in the bottom two, while Rosé takes the win, assuredly the best moment in her Christ-fearing life.
SS: The Kandy/Symone lipsync is truly the most charisma that mainstage has seen so far this season, and it’s so evenly matched that it’s tough to give either queen the advantage.
DT: Thus, they don’t!
DT: It means like “due to that fact.”
SS: Don’t condescend to me Daniel, I am gorgeous and mysterious.
DT: That you are! RuPaul gives the classic “Shantay you both stay” and neither Symone nor Kandy are forced to hop into the rented Ford Astrovan that takes them to the airport.
SS: Thus, we end our recap. See you next time!