It was barely referenced this week, but we think it was pretty clear that the queens are all still a bit unsteady if not downright traumatized by the seven-month lockdown interruption. It’s the only reason we can come up for why so many of them burst into tears talking to Ru this week. After the second or third “I don’t even know why I’m crying,” we were all but yelling at the TV “It’s 2020! We’re all crying, bitches!”
To be fair, Ru is very good at teasing out these little crying jags, mostly by doing something that would come across as bullying in any arena other than reality television: he chats with them until he finds what looks like a weak spot or a bright red emotional button and he just starts poking at it to get the queen to open up. We’ve been a bit critical of Ru’s attempts over the years to recast himself as an Oprah-esque figure, but there’s no denying that when it comes to drag queens, he knows the roadmap and he knows the pitfalls. All of the “inner saboteur” talk has long passed into parody at this point (most of the queens seem to find it tiresome), but when it comes to getting a smack-talking queen wearing an armor of bravado to break down and be honest, no one does it better than Ru.
But there wasn’t much drama to be mined, despite Ru’s best efforts. The queens still seem a bit out of sorts after returning to the production, but to our surprise, none of them seem to be bearing any grudges or doing much in the way of shady talk. A’Whora half-heartedly made a few jabs at Sister for copying her look, but they all come across refreshingly good natured.
Of course, part of the reason the queens avoided any drama this week is because they all knew they were facing possibly the toughest challenge of the competition. The number of queens over the years who’ve said that the Snatch Game is the hardest thing they’ve ever done is practically legion at this point. No one goes into this one thinking they’re just going to wing it. Although, as per usual, some folks let their cockiness trip them up a bit.
For American viewers watching Drag Race UK, there’s the added bonus of sitting through the Snatch Game trying to figure out who any of these people are. We had to do some Googling, but we’re pleased to announce we knew who roughly 75% of the Snatch Game panel were supposed to be. Even so, you should take all of the following with an America-sized grain of salt.
Tia kind of broke our hearts a little this episode. We’ve been rooting for her all season because she’s the funniest of the queens by far and because, like Ru, we think she has enormous potential as a looks queen to boot. If she’d found a way to combine the two (comedy + lewks), she would’ve sailed through this competition, but we could feel her anxiety rising with each passing week, as the queens all ganged up on her and she kept disappointing Ru on the runway. This wasn’t the worst bit in the challenge, but she really failed to do anything with the character. We wonder if Shirley Bassey would’ve been a better choice for her.
Girl, we guess so.
We thought we sensed a bit of cockiness in Lawrence this week, but that’s exactly the sort of thing a queen needs to watch out for when she’s heading into the Snatch Game. Miriam Margolyes seemed like a perfect choice for her, but she didn’t do a thing with it.
We don’t want to be mean here, but we’re starting to wonder why Ellie acts like she’s one of the top girls. She occasionally pulls out a good look and she hasn’t totally embarrassed herself in the challenges, but this week’s effort was like most weeks with her: fine, passable, safe.
Surprisingly funny! She stuck to the character, worked in a few bits, absolutely nailed the accent, and did the one thing Ru values the most in this challenge: she stayed on her toes and she hit every ball Ru lobbed at her. As Alan noted, it’s notable that she went for a wholly unglamorous snatch, which is to her credit.
Had to google. She was fine and the judges seemed fairly charmed. We can’t really speak to her impression, although the bit with the legs was funny.
Absolutely drop-dead hilarious. She had the character and the look down cold. She had jokes ready to go and even her speech was perfectly modulated, hysterical and consistent throughout. This was the week we realized Bimini is the front-runner of the pack.
The girls were asked to serve a “Pre-Herstoric” look for the runway and the results were surprisingly uneven. This didn’t seem like a particularly tough theme to execute, but some of the queens went straight to Halloween for it.
Sister’s look felt like a mish-mash of ideas, none of which combined effectively. We don’t think the beehive goes with the b one mask and we don’t think the tiger skin dress works all that well with a cat skeleton as an accessory. It’s the kind of look that you need to be told what the theme was in order for it to make sense.
Ellie went for a punk Pebbles Flintstone and it was cute – but again: a bit of a cliche. We shouldn’t be seeing Halloween costumes on the main stage of Drag Race.
A’Whora’s look was genuinely stunning, although it felt like the shoes, wig, and coat were afterthoughts. Tayce’s look might have been the best of the lot in terms of execution, but Bimini outshone her in concept.
As we said, Tia broke our hearts this week. This was a terrible look. It tries and fails to be campy and it’s ugly to boot. We knew she’d be leaving this week when she stepped out in this. Just as we knew Bimini had it all wrapped up when she opted to do an Iris Van Herpen homage as a pre-historic bacterium. As creative interpretations go, you just can’t beat that.
Lawrence served us Halloween and we’re completely confused as to how she could’ve messed this one up. Her looks have been so witty and polished all season. We can’t say she lacks polish here but everything about this look is a cliche. Combined with her underwhelming snatch, her place at the bottom was assured.
We can’t say this was an epic lip sync in any real way. If we’re being honest, we can’t even claim that either of them was the clear winner. It seemed strangely low-energy from both queens, although we can understand why Tia may not have had it in her tanks at this point. She was pretty beaten down and the writing was on the wall for her. Lawrence would have had to pull a Ginny in order to not win this one. Ru loves him too much and she’s too disappointed in Tia at this point.
We’re sad to see her go, but we can’t claim she wasn’t given every chance to improve. Bitch, you better step that pussy up and get yourself invited back for an All-Stars season.
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[Photo Credit: WOW via Tom and Lorenzo]