Let’s bang out a quick ‘n dirty bare bones recap before the biggest tsunami of red carpetry we’ve covered in YEARS (aka the Oscars) hits us in a couple of hours, shall we? Fortunately for us, it was another straightforward entertaining episode with a minimum of drama! Unfortunately (but perhaps not unrelated), once again, no one was sent home!
We’ve been defending the lack of eliminations this season with the argument that Drag Race is a variety show first and that there’s nothing wrong with giving as many queens as possible as long a time under the Drag Race spotlight as they can manage. Even so, it’s a bit weird seeing such a full Werk Room this late in a season. This was the first episode that had us thinking that we might be looking at some unprecedented number of queens in the finale. We’re not sure how to feel about that.
But first, a little bit of drama. Lady Camden and Bosco handed the producers and judges a storyline on a platter. Both queens dug in their heels on the lead part based entirely on things the judges said to them and their own frustration with how they’re handling certain aspects of the competition. Camden felt she needed to show the aggression the judges were asking for and Bosco, who really was kind of a bitch about it, was desperate for a win after being put through the wringer during last week’s lip sync smackdown. The queens voted on it and Bosco won the part. We don’t know if the producers planned on having the queens name who should go home this week on the main stage, but the moment where the vote once again turned toward Bosco was a nice bit of symmetry.
As you can see (which they don’t normally show), the parts all have costumes ready to go for the queens. The production used to be a bit weird about showing this, giving the impression sometimes that the queens made their costumes for the Rusical. We suppose the time spent in rehearsals gives the production enough time to size the costumes up or down for the wearer, but that’s gotta be quite the scramble, given the range in body types each season.
Anyway, we were treated to the usual rehearsal scenes, except with the added (and very welcome) addition of Leslie Jordan, who should be on the main stage every week, regardless of what the challenge is. The Rusical itself was really great. The idea of remixing Ru’s songs was a brilliant one and we wouldn’t be even a tiny bit surprised if World of Wonder wasn’t floating the idea of jukebox musical based on RuPaul’s song catalog. You heard it here first.
Given how elaborate this Rusical is, we have to figure that the production always planned on keeping this many queens in for this length of time. For us, it’s an argument in favor of the practice. It comes down to the question of whether you watch Drag Race to see drag queens do what they do best or to see drag queens eliminated in a competition.
Personally, we were thrilled to sit back and watch these girls ignite their pussies. There really wasn’t a terrible performance in the lot. Camden gave them the storyline they needed by once again stepping up and going supernova on the main stage. There’s a long history in Drag Race (and Camden even referenced it in a really self-aware manner) of queens getting terrible or underwritten parts that they wind up turning into star performances through sheer force of will. Camden knew that was the only option available to her when she got stuck with the part that no one wanted and she executed the turn flawlessly. Go and watch the number again, she is acting her ass off in every single moment, whether she’s in the spotlight or not. It’s impossible for your eyes to stay off her. The C,U,N, & T girls all acquitted themselves nicely. Angeria’s no performer and the part was miniscule, but she “kept her head above water” as Ross put it. Daya may be one annoying and sour queen, but when she steps it up, she makes the case for why she’s still there. She was great. We would not have credited Deja with being that good and forceful with a rap, but she ate it up. Jorgeous wasn’t terrible. Her dancing was on point and she knows how to sparkle when the spotlight’s on her. She just has a tendency to fade when it’s not her moment.
Willow was flat out spectacular. She and Camden are pretty much ready to go, skills in hand, if either of them wanted to do a theatrical musical right now. As Andra Day (who was a wonderful judge) put it, it’s very hard to convey the idea that your energy is waning while at the same time ramping up your performance.
If Bosco hadn’t made such a stink about getting this part, forcing the queens to vote her in, we suspect she might not have been in nearly as much trouble as she wound up. She was … fine. The part needed her to be way more than fine, though. Our eye kept wandering away from her whenever she had the spotlight. It seems like a silly thing to focus on, but she couldn’t even act out the sneezes correctly.
And we were practically cheering when a judge FINALLY said that she uses the same face for every costume and character. That makeup made no sense for a romantic part. We like Bosco, but she is starting to look incredibly limited the longer she’s in the competition.
The runway category was “Mirror, Mirror” and once again, we nearly cheered when the judges finally started calling out some of these queens for throwing on any old costume that might partially fit the brief.
Camden’s costume wasn’t great, but from the neck up, she looked stunning. Honestly, Bosco should be sent home just for wearing the same damn look four weeks in a row. With no context, it’s great. Seen against her other costumes, it’s starting to look lazy. LOVED Willow’s ’70s glam rock look, but it really didn’t have anything to do with the category.
This was pure stunning.
We didn’t love Daya’s look because it’s overdesigned and a little awkwardly proportioned, but it’s definitely a serve and her makeup looked great. Deja should’ve been embarrassed to walk that look down the runway and the judges were right to blast her for it. We think the judges overpraised Jorgeous’s look, but they tend to overpraise her for everything. It’s fine. It’s just not as much of a swerve as the judges claimed. It still looks like showgirl drag to us.
Lady Camden is the one to beat. We think it’s down to her and Willow in the finals. Granted, anything can happen, but with this win, she really sealed the deal as the frontrunner. She’s a powerhouse when she puts her back into it.
Two queens who have had to lip sync way too many times already faced off and we probably would’ve been okay with a double elimination. Neither one of them were terrible in the main challenge, but at this stage, we’re getting tired of seeing them both defend their spot.
Haha, of COURSE this happened. Fine. Whatever. Let’s go with seven queens for one more week. We just really hope they narrow the finals down to a reasonable three or four. Time to start shoving some of these girls out the door.
Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life, a New York Times “New and Notable” pick, praised by The Washington Post “because the world needs authenticity in its stories,” and chosen as one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR is on sale wherever fine books are sold!
[Photo Credit: VH1 via Tom and Lorenzo]
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