Previously on Drag Race: A’Keria Chanel Davenport and Brooke Lynn Hytes were the shining stars in an improv acting challenge. Silky Nutmeg Ganache was clocked for looking messy. And Plastique Tiara was sent home for doing too much, hennie.
The queens regroup after the elimination where Brooke Lynn Hytes rejoices about her acting redemption in the past challenge. Nina West sits there, watching Brooke Lynn bask in her own glory and not give Nina any credit at all for giving her the good part or being a helpful teammate. Regrets are being had.
The next morning, RuPaul and guest queen Delta Work come in to introduce the mini-challenge: a naughty ball-carrying game with the Pit Crew menseses.
Shuga Cain gets one ball in the basket but loses her second one.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo gets three balls in the basket with some help from the hottest Pit Crew boy Wilson Lai (here’s his Instagram. You’re welcome).
Silky Ganache bends the rules and straight-up picks Shawn Morales up to carry him to the basket.
Miss Vanjie wins!
This week’s maxi-challenge is a two-team magic show performance. As the mini-challenge winner, Vanjie gets to pick the teams. She teams up with Silky, A’Keria, and Yvie Oddly. Silky thinks they’ve got this one in the bag with all the biggest personalities in the same group.
The gals meet Kyle Marlett, a professional magician who teaches them one magic trick each to include in their show. A’Keria and Silky have some very dirty ideas for their presentation, which effectively scandalize Mr. Marlett—clearly an extremely straight man. Maybe a little too straight.
Also, Silky Ganache falls asleep.
Back in the werk room, Yvie Oddly is worried about their upcoming performance. Team “Da Black Magic” is planning on relying a lot on their natural comedic skills and getting through this show with mostly improv, but Yvie saw how structured Brooke Lynn, Nina, and Shuga are and thinks they should prepare at least SOME written material. Silky and A’Keria disagree.
To the main stage with our bad selves!
Nina West leads Team “The Mighty Tucks” with an excellent performance. She’s full of jokes, never boring, and a great leader, keeping the magic show entertaining at all times.
Brooke Lynn Hytes had a last-minute magic trick change, presumably because she couldn’t manage the original one she was assigned. Still, she brings the comedy and does a good job.
Shuga Cain doesn’t stand out quite as much as her two partners, but she’s still funny and looks fucking great.
Now for some cringe! Yvie Oddly starts out the magic show from Team “Da Black Magic”, and she does not do great. A lot of her jokes are particularly raunchy, which the team had been told to lay off of. She also doesn’t land many.
Silky Ganache trips over a couple of her lines, but for the most part, she still manages to deliver that good ol’ Nutmeg-flavored comedy.
Miss Vanjie looks cute, but her magic trick is weird and boring and doesn’t make a ton of sense. She also doesn’t manage to pull off a lot of jokes. Eek.
A’Keria C. Davenport pulls off a very impressive trick but doesn’t have a ton of humor to go along with it. She’s just okay.
Overall, their group is super disjointed and looks really unrehearsed. Sounds like Yvie was right. Oop.
Now for the runway: Category is “Caftan Realness.” Honey Mahogany found double eliminated.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache’s caftan honestly looks pretty cheap, like the kind you’d find in a $9.99 costume shop. But her giant sculptural wig is fierce, so that makes up for it a little.
Yvie Oddly looks incredible in this medieval illuminated manuscript fantasy, giving us devoted religious figure with a side of high fashion. Toot.
A’Keria looks super pretty in her butterfly getup, but… that’s not a caftan, gurl. You misunderstood the assignment! (Also: Asia O’Hara is shook.)
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo is looking goar-juss in this cheetah print fantasy. The makeup is stunning, the silhouette is different for once, and my goodness, that septum ring. I have such a thing for those.
Brooke Lynn Hytes is killing it with this simple but beautiful look. Her extra-long caftan is floating around her, the golden armor underneath is fierce as fuck, and the hair and makeup are stunning. Werk.
Shuga Cain comin’ atcha with a double reveal! Unfortunately, as bold an idea as it was to pull off three caftans in one, none of these three looks are particularly beautiful—especially that middle one with the flowers. Please burn it.
Nina West is putting her cutesy camp lewks on hold for the week and giving us high glamor with this gorge piece. It’s really beautiful, and she sells it well.
Now for some juicy critiques: Yvie looks great but seemed nervous in the challenge. She pins her mindset on the lack of rehearsing and written lines in her team’s performance, which pisses Vanjie right the fuck off.
Vanjie was too Vanjie and not enough of a different character. A’Keria didn’t do super awesome and her look isn’t a caftan. Silky Ganache’s padding is a mess and a half.
Brooke Lynn was excellent, and so was Nina. But here’s where an otherwise great episode becomes a total travesty: Shuga Cain is told she was completely overshadowed by her teammates, and that perhaps she would’ve been better off in the other team so she wouldn’t be as bad in comparison (what?!).
Backstage, Brooke Lynn sings Nina’s praises, telling her how happy she is for her complete success this week. Brooke Lynn doesn’t know it, but this is a great redemption moment from her accidental credit theft for last week’s challenge performance.
Yvie and Vanjie’s little spat on the main stage comes up. Yvie explains she was thrown off because she wrote a lot of lines for everyone beforehand and the other three queens in the team didn’t use the text. But Vanjie insists she also wrote her own lines. Silky jumps in to tell Yvie she should’ve said something about this earlier.
Brooke Lynn gets a video message from her mom with a heartfelt story about how she learned to reshape the way she saw her son when he started doing drag, saying “children were given to me so that they could mold and shape me.”
Back on the main stage, Nina wins. Because duh.
Silky Ganache has a close call in the bottom three, but she avoids lip-syncing. That privilege goes to Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and… Shuga Cain.
The song is “No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige. Shuga Cain does a good job with it, but she’s also doing that thing where she has her eyes closed for half the performance, which makes it hard for her to connect to her audience.
Vanjie, meanwhile, is popping jewelry off, tossing her headdress, and flipping that hair back and forth like she means every word of that song.
So Vanjie stays and Shuga goes. The lip-sync win is fair, but Shuga’s bottom two placement made no sense at all. The show clearly had no idea what to do with her and decided to blow her slight shortcomings way out of proportion to avoid sending one of its favorites home instead.
With that nastiness aside, let’s do a run-down anyway.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache – Silky was once again clocked for her lack of polish this week. We’ve now gotten to a point where all of the show’s cannon fodder is gone and it has come down to the nitty-gritty—and I’m not sure how much longer Silky can fly under the radar with those iffy lewks.
Yvie Oddly – Yvie has been considerably weaker lately than she was earlier in the season. Remember the jellyfish lewk? The “Good God, Girl, Get Out” performance? It seems Yvie’s lost a bit of her spark, and I wonder if part of that has to do with the constant fights she’s been getting in. That’s gotta be tough on her stamina. I hope she can pull it together regardless.
A’Keria Chanel Davenport – A’Keria didn’t do great in the challenge and failed on the runway, but she’s still serving confidence and humor in a way that tells me she still has a great shot at the top four.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo – Vanjie is scraping by with the skin of her teeth these days, and as the last remaining queen with zero challenge wins, I fear her days are (very) numbered. This may be the end of the line for our gal.
Brooke Lynn Hytes – Brooke Lynn has been murdering the competition left and right, and her presence in Untucked lately has given her a much-needed soft side to avoid making her look like too much of a robot. It’s all coming up Brooke Lynn.
Nina West – I wasn’t sure about Nina’s chances of making it to the top before this week, but now, I think she just might edge out one of the other frontrunners (Silky?) to push through to that spot. Werk, mawma.
We’re down to our top six—but wait! The eliminated queens are coming back next week! If Scarlet Envy doesn’t get brought back into the competition, I am rioting.
Ta-ta for now!