Welcome to the inaugural AwardsWatch recap of “RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race,” a mouthful of a title for a show that may or may not be necessary, but certainly will be ridiculous.
My name is Daniel Trainor and I love secrets and celebrities, so I’m optimistic.
I’m Sam Stone and I actually hate surprises after an incredibly traumatic incident with a clown in 9th grade which for legal reasons I cannot mention here!
Let’s get into it!
DT: First, we are introduced to our three veteran drag queen mentors for this episode: season 8 winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Bob The Drag Queen, season three winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” Trixie Mattel and season four winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” Monet X Change.
SS: I’ve always assumed RuPaul keeps past contestants frozen in cryo chambers backstage, so it was nice to see these three defrosted.
DT: It’s time to meet our….”celebrities!” The mentors do their best impression of the judges on “The Masked Singer” and theorize who the contestants might be, throwing out names like Eminem and Michael B. Jordan.
SS: Very optimistic of the queens to assume Eminem would put on a wig.
DT: First up is Nico Tortorella, who introduces himself by saying “you might know me from a little show called ‘Younger.’” Sorry Nico, I do not know you from a little show called “Younger.”
SS: As an 87,000-year-old statue of an old woman, I will admit that I also don’t know anything about the show “Younger,” and I’m not proud to say that I also did not recognize our next queen-to-be Jordan Connor who “ALLEGEDLY” stars on “Riverdale,” a show that, legally, can only be watched by Gen Z.
DT: I am officially 0 for 2 on knowing who these people are.
SS: We stan an anonymous queen!
DT: Jordan mentions that he played football twice in the first five seconds he’s on screen, firmly securing his role as the Troy Bolton in this production.
SS: Our last celebrity is Jermaine Fowler who has a jawline that could cut glass, and clearly understands the assignment of Drag Race – be shady and create emotional stakes for yourself.
DT: I knew him! I knew Jermaine! This is exciting! A celebrity!
SS: I think I speak for Daniel and myself when I say…Jermaine….hello.
DT: To kick things off, our contestants are challenged to get into quick drag and, like, scoot around the werk room on little toy scooters?
SS: At the end of their obstacle course, the girls must lip sync to a RuPaul song that they absolutely have never heard before. It was a weird challenge, but it was even weirder to see our two “heterosexual” men struggle to figure out how bras should fit around fake boobs. Isn’t that like freshman level straight person training?
DT: Beats me! Jermaine’s titties are falling out all over the place, literally and spiritually, throughout this challenge, and everyone looks like a busted-ass drag queen getting ready for her 3 a.m. timeslot at a dingy basement bar.
SS: Despite looking like a Troll Doll that has nothing left to lose, Jordan takes the win for this challenge and has the privilege of matching up drag mentors with their contestant. Jordan picks Trixie and assigns Bob to Jermaine and Monet to Nico.
DT: RuPaul informs us that the boys will be performing in what is always Drag Race’s cringiest challenge: Snatch Game. Nico decides he wants to impersonate Lucille Ball, which made me choke and say “oh god!” at the same time.
SS: Jordan somehow lands on the unsnatchable Chrissy Teigen with Trixie’s help, but drama ensues when he begins to have confidence issues! With good reason, bitch!
DT: At one point RuPaul stops by Jordan’s station and asks him “on Riverdale, is your character funny?,” just fully admitting that he has no idea who this person is. We’re with you Mother Ru!
SS: Jermaine and his national treasure of a jawline want to do somebody named Joan, but cannot remember her last name, which is not a great indicator of his ability to impersonate her, but after words with RuPaul, he changes his mind and settles on “Kevina Hart” a person who does not exist, technically, but is a fun idea nevertheless.
DT: The boys get made up into the first ever true drag lewks, and there are mixed reactions. Jermaine gets emotional because when he’s all made up, he looks so similar to his late mother, and Jordan bravely tries to use drag slang exclaiming “I’m looking fish, and these other bitches don’t even have gills!” Almost, baby. Almost.
SS: Our baby drag queens take the first important step in any drag career when they choose their names. Jordan is Babykins La Roux (actually iconic), Nico is Olivette (sure), and Jermaine is Miss Mimi Teapot (I’ll take it, my standards are low).
DT: Nico also mentions that they’re non-binary and that they want to include this in their look drag.
SS: It was nice to see one of these boys go into the competition with some intention and actual queerness.
DT: Snatch Game goes about as you’d expect. Jordan claims to be Chrissy, but seems more like Jordan in a whack wig. Nico comes in with an impeccable Lucille Ball look and a pretty solid impression, but their timing and comedic sensibility are all off.
SS: It’s clear that Jermaine is the only real comedian in the group, and his Kevina Hart performance is funny, even if he was wearing some kind of quinceanera dress moment.
DT: RuPaul does not announce a winner, but let’s be honest…when we play the Snatch Game, everyone’s a loser.
SS: It’s time for our final runway looks. Can these boys walk in heels? Will they be shaving their eyebrows? Is the concept of this show offensive to me? Reader, my breath was bated.
DT: The boys are dipping into the RuPaul archives and turning iconic RuPaul looks as they clomp down the runway in heels they were not emotionally or physically prepared to wear.
SS: Babykins La Roux appears on that stage with big hair, a sparkly cape, and a walk that says “Are you physically ok? Have you walked before?”
DT: Miss Mimi Teapot comes in with the absolute serve of the episode. A bold lip, a big old bouffant on her head, and, once again, a jawline that we don’t deserve.
SS: Olivette looks stunning in her runway look, but more importantly sells it with her confidence. Some chest hair makes a prominent appearance – Nico’s nod to their non-binary community. We love to see representation! Make drag political PLEASE!
DT: During judging, the panel is very nice and gracious about basically everything. IT’S FOR CHARITY! But, we reach the emotional high point of the episode when Jermaine gets teary-eyed talking about how his late mother would have been proud of him. We know her assuredly perfect jawline was smiling down from heaven.
SS: We have a brief moment back in the werk room where friends and family enter to see their loved ones in drag for the first time. Mouths are agape. Everyone is stunned, and then we get ready for our final lip sync.
DT: The girls are given the gift of “Express Yourself” and everybody comes ready with a reveal – Jordan has a flower up his ass, Nico has a tear-away dress and Jermaine has a look of sheer terror in his eyes that reads “when is this over?”
SS: In final judging, it’s Babykins La Roux who wins $30,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Canada, while the other two queens win $10k each for RAINN and the Transgender Law Center. Everyone dances, and we as the audience come out a little stronger for having seen adults ride toy scooters around a hot pink werk room with their titties falling out.
DT: This episode was a bit of a mess. But, was I crying at the end? Yes. Was it because of Jermaine’s jaw line? Also yes.