Previously on Drag Race: The queens performed in a magic show and Nina West was a shining star. Silky Nutmeg Ganache continually failed to take the judges’ critiques under advisement. Vanessa Vanjie Mateo seemed unable to succeed at much of anything according to the judges. And Shuga Cain was eliminated because that’s what the script for that episode said should happen.
The queens reconvene post-Shuga, where Silky Ganache is feeling a little bit shooketh at how bad the critiques on her lewks have been lately. She was brushing them off earlier in the competition, but she is starting to realize how poorly she’s been doing on the runway.
The next morning, the queens chat about the top six (almost there!!) and how badly they all want to make it to the top four. A’Keria Chanel Davenport has a strategy to get herself there.
Speaking of violence, this week’s mini-challenge is a fun one: we’re bringing back last season’s slapping challenge! Except this time, the queens are slapping each other.
Yvie Oddly bends backward with her bad contortionist self after a slap from Silky. RuPaul is horrified.
A’Keria Davenport snatches off her curly red weave and smacks Silky with it.
Brooke Lynn Hytes pulls out both some acting chops and her dancing moves for some excellent reactions to getting slapped.
Brooke Lynn takes it!
Now for a fun twist that should bring some excitement to the competition: the eliminated queens are back!! Well, some of them.
However, unlike in past seasons, these girls are only here to be the subjects of the season’s makeover challenge. They will not be given a chance to return to the competition. Even if they win. Kind of an awful thing to do to these girls if you ask me but…
As the mini-challenge winner, Brooke Lynn gets to assign each eliminated gal to a corresponding top six girl. Most of the matches seem fair and just until Silky’s turn comes… and Brooke Lynn hands her Soju.
The ladies get ready to start working, but Ariel Versace has some business to attend to before she can get serious. Remember that wig drama where Ariel left a bunch of wigs on Plastique Tiara‘s station because they were besties? Yeah, no, that was an accident. She just forgot all her wigs.Ariel realizes the other girls totally thought she just… donated all her wigs to them, which like, in retrospect, why the eff would they think she’d do that? So Ariel’s basically going to have to go visit every queen and get her wigs back, one at a time. Shit’s about to get messy.
Yvie Oddly has a fun idea for her partner, my fave, the one, the only, the legendary Scarlet Envy: she wants them to wear this deconstructed sequins-y denim fantasy as a pair. Scarlet Envy tries the outfit on and goes for one of her hilarious leisurely glam-walks around the werk room like she used to do before this season turned to shit.
Silky is trying to push past the cyst jokes and put Soju in some semblance of drag. New plot twist: Soju has tendonitis, so she’s never worn high heels. Ever. She tries on a pair of six-inch heels and literally does not know how to walk in them.
But like really. Who let this queen on Drag Race?
Ru comes in to do his usual tour/paranoia-inducing routine with the girls. When it comes to Silky’s turn, Ru questions her about that suspicious padding on the runway. The issue is Silky clearly wasn’t wearing enough tights over the pads and the pads were visible. But Silky doesn’t quite seem to get that. She attempts to get through the conversation with humor, but Ru’s getting a little tired of the ol’ Nutmeg deflecting act.
Nina West is kikiing with Scarlet Envy about the top six and asks her whether there are any surprises to her in the group. Scarlet thinks Silky and Vanjie are a shocker, that they seem a little behind the others and they’re probably the next to go. A’Keria Davenport, hearing this hot goss, makes a note to bring it up later.
First up, though, A’Keria wants to know what the T is with the stolen wigs. Did Ariel Versace leave them for Plastique Tiara or not? Clearly, the answer is no, which makes poor Plastique very uncomfortable. But throughout the unraveling of this drama, Ariel is practically mute, speaking up only when literally prompted and trying to tone things down, also making sure to only specifically accuse Ra’Jah O’Hara, who is conveniently absent. Boo.
Next up on the drama train: A’Keria pulls out Scarlet’s thoughts about Silky and Vanjie. Of course, Silky is terrible at taking criticism, so she is ALL OVER that. Vanjie jumps in and attacks Scarlet too. Scarlet stands by her opinion and is generally unbothered by the hate, but Yvie Oddly defends her sis, telling Silky she did get a lot of help throughout the competition and she shouldn’t get so pressed over someone else’s opinion. But it’s Silky, so…
At long last, the drama ends and the good shit starts.
Yvie Oddly and Scarlet Envy are serving these crazy sculptural denim lewks. They’re pretty damn cool, but Scarlet doesn’t look quite as good as Yvie—the makeup on her is not super flattering.
Nina West and Shuga Cain are giving us Pride parade realness with their rainbow and Trans pride-colored outfits. They’re cute and have a nice theme, but Shuga’s makeup is not great and those clown wigs are a serious disservice.
A’Keria C. Davenport and Honey Davenport (an actual family pairing!) are representing for the pageant queens. It’s a cute look, though a little simple—and A’Keria has worn that wig at least three times now, so… that’s not great.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache and Soju are doing a disco theme, which is fun… but Silky’s padding is off again, her belt slips down halfway through the walk, Soju’s proportions are way off, and the makeup… Soju’s makeup. No.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and Ariel Versace look absolutely gorgeous. Their looks are similar, but one has pants while the other is a gown. The hair and makeup are perfect, and this is such a different look for Ariel while being quintessential Vanjie. It’s amazing.
Brooke Lynn Hytes and Plastique Tiara are also serving flawless beauty with these pageant lewks. The gowns are beautiful and match perfectly, the presentation is excellent, and they even throw a little humor into the mix. Toot.
The critiques are in. Yvie’s looks are a little sloppy. Nina made Shuga look busted… and Silky did an even worse job with Soju.
A’Keria did decently and Brooke Lynn killed it as usual. But Miss Vanjie gets praise for possibly the first time this season on a job completely well done. She tears up at the victory.
Now for some more drama. Ru asks the queens—all of them—who should go home. Most of the queens name Silky Ganache for a general lack of polish. But Nina, A’Keria, Soju, and Vanjie call out Yvie Oddly. Silky adds America’s Next Drag Superstar needs to be kind and according to her, Yvie is not that. Wow.
Backstage, the queens unpack the piping hot drama. Brooke Lynn tears up and apologizes for singling out Silky, telling her she feels closer to her than she does to Yvie.
Silky isn’t taking Brooke Lynn’s apology, though. Brooke Lynn allegedly told her before the runway that she liked Silky and Soju’s lewks, then turned around and named her on the runway for looking bad. Rather than blow up about this one, Silky hides and tries not to let the tears come. Vanjie gives her a beautiful pep talk, telling her she’ll be fine and to twirl it out in the lip-sync.
On top of a series of congratulations from her fellow queens for probably winning the challenge, Miss Vanjie gets a beautiful video message from her mom, who looks 25, by the way.
Back on the main stage, the winner is announced. It’s Brooke Lynn Hytes.
The robbery is real. I am confusion.
The girls all named Silky and Yvie as the ones who should go home this week, but Yvie is safe—Nina is the one in the bottom two with Silky. The lip-sync song is “No Scrubs” by TLC.
Nina does her best with the song, hitting all the lyrics but delivering a rather boring performance. But Silky is worse—her belt falls off, her wig reveal is poorly executed and gets hair all over her face. She just looks real sloppy overall.
The show has a boner for Silky, though, so inexplicably, she gets to stay over Nina. Because this season is a goddamn mess with zero logic, so might as well keep the mess going.
Drag Race has been pushing for a big girl to win for years, and this season, they had their perfect candidate in Nina West. She’s not the most glamorous queen, but she is charismatic, funny, so kind, and a beautiful representation of the LGBT community.
Unfortunately, the show would prefer to hold on to a messy queen who doesn’t know how to pad and uses sharpies to apply makeup—all because she makes better TV. And that is why we are losing this gem this week. Nina, you shall be missed. Know you are gone but not forgotten.
Let’s get this over with. (I’m not bitter.)
Yvie Oddly – Most of the queens who named Yvie as the queen who should go home were Silky’s friends, so it was mostly a personal thing. That said, Yvie has been running out of steam lately and you can tell the drama is getting to her. I hope she can push through and make it to the top regardless.
A’Keria Chanel Davenport – Unless she fails spectacularly next week, A’Keria has a guaranteed spot in the top four. That said, can she take the crown? She seems to really thrive on causing drama and I’m not sure that’s what America’s Next Drag Superstar should be about.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache – It will come as no surprise that I am not a fan of Silky’s, but I have given her as many chances as I possibly could. Maybe the edit isn’t showing us everything, but what I’m seeing is an insecure person who feels the need to very publicly blow up every time someone breathes in her direction. She has a lot of work to do, both aesthetically and mentally.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo – Vanjie was fully robbed this week. All season long, the judges have been extra harsh with her, and when they finally do praise her start to finish on her performance, that’s apparently not good enough to win. Evidently, there are no plans for her to take the crown, since the show won’t even allow her a challenge win. She’s most likely the next to go.
Brooke Lynn Hytes – With a rather lackluster competition left, Brooke Lynn has basically already won this season. Yvie is maybe the only one who could challenge her for the crown, but she’s been struggling to keep up recently. That said, Brooke Lynn did not need another challenge win to drive home the fact that she’ll likely be taking this season. We been knew, gurl.
To be honest, I am looking forward to this mess of a season ending—and hope Drag Race takes some time to do some introspection before starting again next year. They know what they did.
Bitter queen out!