Previously on Drag Race: The queens competed in two teams doing evangelical diva worship sessions, and one of the teams soared while the other had a Shakesqueer-level meltdown. Nina West emerged as the week’s winner, while all six queens in the bottom team had to lip-sync, with Honey Davenport getting the axe.
Back in the werk room, the queens are all still shooketh from the plot twist RuPaul threw at them, with several unable to contain their feels. Shuga Cain in particular, who came very close to going home, tearfully says this was the wake-up call she needed to step her pussy up.
The next morning, the queens are tasked with a front-page-worthy mini-challenge: they must each dress up like, and impersonate, Rachel Maddow, during one of her fast-talking news segments.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache has to put on her regular glasses under her Rachel glasses so she can properly read the teleprompter… Then goes on to do a hilariously poor job.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo looks like a man and has a very hard time reading off the teleprompter. Issa mess. A fun mess.
Yvie Oddly, Brooke Lynn Hytes, and Nina West do a decent job, but Scarlet Envy is the only one who truly knocks it out of the park, reading everything perfectly and adding in a lot of personality. So naturally, she wins.
This week, we’re getting extra political: the queens will be performing in a lip-sync extravaganza using the music of Grease, but inspired by President Tr**p and the women in his life.
As the mini-challenge winner, Scarlet Envy gets to assign the roles. When the main role, “Shandee,” comes up, Mercedes Iman Diamond volunteers.
Several of the queens immediately pivot and take the main role away from Mercedes by handing it to Ariel Versace… who didn’t really want it.
Mercedes gets Ivanka Trump instead. Turns out she wanted Shandee because that’s the only fictional character in this thing and she knows next to nothing about the Trumps or any of the political figures around him. “I should’ve done a lot of research before I got here,” she admits.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache wants the lead role, but all the queens suggest that she take Oprah instead, which she feels is typecasting and kinda limiting. But everyone insists she’ll kill it.
After taking some time to memorize some of their lines, the queens head to choreography rehearsal with the fab Yanis Marshall.
Todrick Hall may not be here, but Yanis is representing for the shady-ass ho: he’s just as snappy and harsh as Toddy. When Ra’Jah O’Hara introduces herself as a fierce dancer with tons of experience but then fails to nail a routine, Yanis smacks her down hard.
Meanwhile, Yvie Oddly reveals she can’t go too hard on the dancing because she suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which causes her to have a lot of excess skin and joints that can pop out of place very often. Ouch. Nonetheless, she says she’s not going to let it affect her.
Ariel Versace is struggling too. She just can’t get the moves down and gets to a point where she just gives up and stands there while everybody is pussy-poppin’ around her. She’s afraid she’s going to majorly bomb this challenge.
The next morning, as the queens are doing their makeup, Nina West talk about how she was threatened and had people try to kill her in college because of who she is. This is why she is politically engaged and she does what she does.
Mercedes Iman Diamond has decided to fix her mistake from last week—blowing off the other queens’ interest in her religion—by pulling them to the side and finally talking about it. It’s a brief conversation, but she does talk about what it’s like to be Muslim in this day and age, and especially in this country.
Now for the good part.
Without further ado, we get to the lip-sync performance.
Scarlet Envy doesn’t get to do much singing, but her Betsy DeVoss is excellent.
Ariel Versace has a difficult part, as she’s the main character and the only one not playing a caricature of a real person, but she pulls it off in the end.
Brooke Lynn Hytes does a great job with the facial expressions as Ivana Trump.
Plastique Tiara looks perfect as Melania.
Unsurprisingly, Mercedes Iman Diamond fades into the background.
Nina West amps up the camp factor with her Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Ra’Jah O’Hara is playing Omarosa, but as the judges later tell her, she isn’t portraying much of a character.
Shuga Cain totally sells a rebellious, leather-jacket-wearing Hillary Clinton.
Miss Vanjie’s Rosie O’Donnell hits the moves and has the words down, but her facial expression is just blank. I think she forgot she was supposed to be playing a character. Oops.
A’Keria Chanel Davenport, as Stormy Daniels, looks good but doesn’t exhibit a ton of personality.
Yvie Oddly completely steals the show as butt-ugly, terrifying, weirdly slutty Kellyanne Conway.
And while Silky Ganache really didn’t want Oprah, she ends up slaying the role with excellent characterization.
Special shout-out to Ginger Minj, who makes an amazing cameo as the Cheeto himself. Werk.
Now the runway! Category is “Orange Alert.”
Yvie Oddly is giving genderfuck, citrus-y clown realness. It’s not the cleanest lewk, but it’s fun and fresh. Literally.
I wish Plastique Tiara’s corset was a tiny bit more cinched, but other than that, it’s pretty damn perfect.
Ra’Jah O’Hara’s wearing this cute assless chaps lewk with a fun sleeve. The fabric looks a tad cheap, but the construction is glam.
Nina West strikes a good balance between campy and glamor in this Hello, Dolly! Barbra Streisand homage.
I still have occasional misgivings about Scarlet Envy’s makeup, but there is no doubt that this bitch is talented. She made this gorgeousness herself, head to toe.
A’Keria C. Davenport looks great in this banjee, dripping in jewels, Vegas showgirl lewque. Werk.
Silky Ganache is giving us Latrice Royale with this beautiful pageant gown. It’s nothing outstanding, but it works very well.
Ariel Versace’s feathery look is cute and polished, but it feels like we’ve seen it before.
I’ll give it to her, this Mercedes Iman Diamond look is nice. It’s very Vegas, and I love the shoes.
A lot of girls tonight chose to wear feathers, so Vanessa Vanjie Mateo’s at a little bit of a disadvantage because of how similar her look is to some of these other ones. However, it’s definitely one of the nicest. She is giving Fergie realness with that wig and mug.
Brooke Lynn Hytes is serving assy hooker who moonlights as the supreme being in this Fifth Element-inspired getup. Werk that Multipass.
Shuga Cain is a clever bitch—she took this week’s Trump theme all the way with great boy drag, complete with a bag of Cheetos.
Scarlet, Nina, Ariel, Plastique, Shuga, and A’Keria are safe. Yvie, Silky, and Brooke Lynn killed the challenge and the lewk. Mercedes, Ra’Jah, and Vanjie didn’t do too good.
Backstage, the safe girls are discussing their fellow queens’ temperament. Scarlet Envy brings up the fact that Yvie Oddly can be overly aggressive sometimes with her commitment to being truthful with everyone.
When the top and bottom queens return, Ariel Versace is ever-so-slightly dismayed to find out the judges lived for Yvie’s look, having thought they’d hate it.
Brooke Lynn comforts Vanjie, who’s in her feelings about her bottom placement. That comforting happens to involve some sweet, sweet lady kisses.
Naturally, just about everyone else is shooketh with this development.
When legendary guest judge Tiffany “New York” Pollard comes for a backstage visit and asks the queens if there’s been any hookups among the cast, Vanjie and Brooke Lynn get paraded around the room and it’s real cute/awkward.
It’s all very 3rd grade “Timmy’s got a crush on Susie” and it’s pretty entertaining.
When all that craziness has died down, Silky Ganache goes over to comfort Vanjie, repaying a favor from when Vanjie gave Silky a pep talk earlier in the week. Vanjie tries to hold back tears as Silky is boosting her up.
Back on the main stage, Silky Nutmeg Ganache wins the challenge.
At the end of the day, despite Vanjie’s extreme trepidation, she is safe. Ra’Jah O’Hara joins Mercedes Iman Diamond in the bottom two.
The lip-sync song is “Living In America” by James Brown. Mercedes’s headdress slips off halfway through the number and her hair is left a little frazzled.
But then, Ra’Jah’s entire wig falls off and everyone is shooketh. The performers included.
Despite that, Ra’Jah turns it out and really sells the James Brown vibes. So she wins nonetheless.
Mercedes Iman Diamond had drive, but she was not quite ready for this competition and she allowed herself to be overshadowed a little too often. I hope she learns from this and grows into a more confident, outspoken bitch.
Now for a run-down!
Yvie Oddly – Yvie’s been doing excellent throughout this competition and is still one of the clear frontrunners. She does occasionally show a slight lack of polish, but she’s so brilliant, it rarely matters.
Plastique Tiara – Plastique has been fading a little bit since her first two weeks, where she shone so much. Having been in that bottom six last week, she needs to do something to stand out again soon.
Ra’Jah O’Hara – I’m glad Ra’Jah fought to stay this week. Not only because it was absolutely Mercedes’s time to go, but because Ms. O’Hara is really fun. Her abrasive personality and strange-ass confessionals make for great TV.
Nina West – I didn’t think Nina would do that well, but she’s been serving it. I’m still a tad concerned about her runways, though. Let’s see how she does.
Scarlet Envy – Somehow, I went from hating Scarlet to seriously rooting for her in a matter of a couple weeks. She’s a compelling gal with a lot of talent and a strangely alluring persona.
A’Keria Chanel Davenport – I definitely think A’Keria has what it takes to get to the top. She hasn’t had a standout moment yet, but I can feel it coming.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache – Silky had been doing fairly poorly up until this week, where she solidified her place in the competition. Between this recent win and her personality, she’s definitely here to stay for a while now.
Ariel Versace – Ariel got some decent screentime from being a shady beeyotch early in the season, but that villain role has faded now and she needs to do more to get the judges’ attention. Stat.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo – Vanjie stumbled this week, but she’s still been doing pretty good regardless. I don’t know if she’s close to getting a challenge win, but I don’t think she’s going anywhere.
Brooke Lynn Hytes – Brooke Lynn is still killing it. She is a shoo-in for the top four at the moment, and her new relationship with Vanjie is helping for sure.
Shuga Cain – Shuga was clever this week and stood out with a risk on the runway. Still, I think she doesn’t have a solid enough brand or shtick compared to a lot of these girls.
That is all for this week! Tune in again, dearies.