Well, it’s been quite the few weeks in the world of Drag Race!! Queen of Queens Rupaul has been the source of many discussions regarding her recent decisions on the show as well as her MET Gala look and recent TV appearances!!
First the last two episodes: Episode 10.
One of the best episodes so far, with a good story-line and a great challenge. Oh, and lots of Pit Crew!! Ah, and an appearance of Delta Work! You know: classic Drag Race!
It was also home of a first: namely Vanjie finally winning a challenge. Okay, a mini challenge, but still.
The win meant she could select her team for this weeks main challenge: a drag magic show!!
Sadly, she didn’t use this position to her advantage, as the team she selected … well, let’s just say, sadly, it didn’t do too well. This is sad, as a team consisting out of the more vocal queens of the show (Vanjie, Silky, A’keria and Yvie) could have worked.
The main reason as to why this happened is soon clear as during creating and rehearsing their show the team doesn’t seem to listen to each other (Silky even falls asleep) and Vanjie is seen trying to please everyone and feeling uncomfortable. Then they have to redo it all again as Team Da Black Magic as they call themselves are told their material is too blue for family VH1 viewing. Despite performing reasonably well, the poor girls didn’t stand a chance.
The other team (The Mighty Tucks) consisting of Nina, Brooke Lynn and Shuga Cain immediately seems prepared and ready: working on a full back story, a naughty but suitable for family script and an almost professional act. The moment they start you feel as if you’re watching a group of queens who’ve been doing this for years. They could basically tour this act!!
It is clear that they are this weeks winners.
After a strong Kaftan based Runway the judges start their critique. It’s easy: They loved The Mighty Tucks and disliked Da Black Magic. Nina rightfully wins this week while Yvie and Silky are especially singled out for respectively their stage presence and their shocking padding, We think we know who will be in the bottom two.
But … there is a twist: the winning team doesn’t win as a team, with Shuga Cain singled out as a week link and put in the sing of. This is very odd as Shuga proved herself a strong and funny team member and should not have been part of the bottom two.
As team leader of Da Black Magic it is Vanjie who ends up as second bottom two member and turns out a very strong lip sync.
It is goodbye to Brooke Lynn.
Soon after Ru appeared at the MET gala and, sadly her outfit wasn’t to everyone’s taste and caused an absolute storm on the internet with some people actually sending death threats. Now I know fashion and glamour is a serious subject to many, but really?!!
Ru later explained her decision not to wear drag to Stephen Colbert: she had been lead to believe there would be hundreds of drag queens and had opted to stand out in a different way. To her this outfit was camp. It is a shame, as this being the year drag queens were finally invited and the theme being camp it could have been the perfect year for Ru to once again make history.
Soon, though, the MET controversy was forgotten as Ru surprised Anne Hathaway live on TV and her response was … interesting to say the least.
Things became even more heated after episode 11. An episode that saw a few of the eliminated queens return.
Before that, though there was a return of the “reading and slapping” challenge, which Ru left entirely in the hands of the girls, after he accidentally hit Asia for real last year.
The girls take full advantage of their chance to hit their colleagues and release some pent up energy.
Brooke Lynn is the best, using her ballet skills to amp up her comedy, and rightfully won.
Then the eliminated queens return for a challenge (and a fight.) They are to be made over by the still standing queens. As usual “family resemblance” is the key. Brooke Lynn gets the honor of pairing up the queen with their future sister and on the whole her pairings could work. The only problem seems to be the pairing of Silky and Soju and this played out rather painfully on screen. Feighning friendlyness during the challenge Silky madfe it rather clear in her backstage chat that she didn’t care for Soju as a partner at all. Seeing Soju working hard to do anything to please and help Silky made you feel for her. Come on, the girl tried to work in heels for you despite it hurting and let you work on her face with a sharpy!!
Meanwhile a few fights about wigs and opinions broke out. But considering all that happened online between the season 11 queens during this seasons broadcast we can expect far worse during the reunion!!
Judging from what we are shown in the episode the people setting themselves up for fail are Silky and Nina. Silky because she and Soju are just not in that “sisterly vibe” zone as all the other and Nina because, even though her her idea is wonderful: The Rainbow Flag and the Transgender Flag embracing each other, the outfits do not look alike. This is sad because Nina’s idea and look would have been a winner in a “Pride” challenge, but for a twin look it is just not working.
This all plays out as expected.
Meanwhile Vanjie is followed throughout the episode and from what we see and hear we’re certain: this will finally be Vanjie’s week. She’s had such a rough time after being brought back from last season. Now, finally her anxiety and hard work will be validated: Vanjie will get her win AT LAST!!
Come decision time, though, things turn confusing. The runway and judges critiques made it clear: clearly this will be a redemption win for Vanjie. She made Ariel into a virtual twin, so much so you can’t even spot the difference between them at times. This is actual family resemblance!! Adding to this: the look was gorgeous.
Not that Brooke Lynn didn’t turn it out, but Vanjie’s work was perfection. Seeing the hopeful expectation on Vanjie’s face turn to heartbreak after being denied a win yet again was sad.
Thankfully Brooke Lynn said she would share her reward (a holiday for two) with her.
Then the lip-sync: Nina vs Silky. A lot of accusations have been thrown towards Rupaul for putting Nina in the bottom two, but it was clear that though her idea was beautiful, the execution just didn’t look right for this challenge. Then the performance itself: seriously? Silky, after ten weeks of bigging herself up turns out with this? Nina clearly was the best one here performance wise, though only by a small margin.
The only reason I can see for keeping Silky might be because, at the time, production thought she would be a fan favorite and the face she had thought up a reveal (a small and confusing one, but still) and attempted to use the entire space and tried a split? Yes, grasping at straws here.
Meh indeed …
So, this week the finale was recorded, taking six hours in total. Queens old and new walked the red carpet and later the runway. You can see what this seasons queens wore on this Drag Race Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/rupaulsdragrace/?hl=en
To keep the mystery two exciting crownings were recorded. Soon we will find out which one will be shown when we the audience help Ru decide the official winner. Shockingly WOW had already leaked the official top four earlier this week in their recording announcements, rest assured if you missed it I will not spoil it for you.
There was some drama with two audience members being evicted for posting live pictures and updates to social media. Having seen some I can reveal one important thing: this time Ru looks absolutely gorgeous!!
Dannii Cohen is a stand-up comedian (drag name Divine Varod) and comedy writer turned author, psychologist, professional counselor, life coach and self-help expert. Specialized in LGBT issues, anxiety, empowerment, children’s issues and bullying.
Published works include children’s books about childhood depression and the importance of being yourself (When Clouds Hide The Sun and Christopher the Lonely Bear) and an easy to use self help manual 50 Things To Know To Have A Better Life: Self-Improvement Made Easy.