Previously on Drag Race: The girls played the Snatch Game, where Gigi Goode delivered an incredible performance. Crystal Methyd faltered and started to seriously doubt herself. Jan was continually (and criminally) safe. And Brita and Aiden Zhane‘s nasty season-long rivalry ended with Aiden going home.
The girls return to the werk room, where Brita does a full 180 and says “I love Aiden. She stuck with it. I’m proud of that bitch.”
Widow Von’Du, apparently one of the only voices of reason in the room, finds it ridiculously hypocritical that the queens are celebrating Aiden when they barely gave her the time of day all season. Like, really queens? You’re all better than this. Well, most of you are.
Right on cue, Heidi N Closet brings the fake-ass niceties to a grinding halt when she mentions Gigi Goode criticizing her makeup in Untucked. Gigi tries to explain herself but Heidi makes it clear she is pissed as hell and not really interested in Gigi’s reasoning.
Speaking of drama, Jackie Cox attempts to apologize for harshly telling the girls in Untucked that they should’ve been more prepared for Snatch Game. But Widow isn’t having any of that ish. She tells the girls she hopes a dance challenge is coming up next so all the self-righteous actors can have their turn to struggle.
This week’s maxi-challenge is the Rusical! This season, we’re paying homage to Madonna. Jan is a trained performer with extensive musical theatre experience and a killer set of pipes, so she’s beyond excited for this. She thinks there’s a good chance this’ll be her challenge to win.
This is a singing-and-dancing challenge, so it also looks like Widow’s wish has already been granted: Jackie is very nervous at the prospect of complex choreography.
Each queen must portray Madonna in a different era. The ladies get to recording their lyrics with Michelle Visage‘s guidance, and right away, it becomes clear most of these girls are not singers. Jaida Essence Hall is playing “Sex Madonna” and her lyrics need to ooze sex. But right now the cyst ain’t oozin’ much of anything.
During dance rehearsal, Widow reveals she wrecked her knee during the premiere’s performance and may have some trouble following a couple of these moves that involve getting on her knees.
Gigi Goode struggled a bit recording her lines, and now she’s struggling learning the choreography. This doesn’t seem to be her strong suit, and the other queens are realizing they may have finally found a weak point in that Goode-Goode powerhouse.
The next day in the werk room, the ladies discuss Madonna’s contributions to the LGBT community. Heidi N Closet explains she had a gay uncle who was diagnosed with HIV. He was her inspiration and provided a feeling of safety in between the school bullying and her unsupportive father. His death was a tough loss.
Crystal Methyd talks about her relationship with her father. As opposed to Heidi, Crystal’s dad was one of her greatest supporters and allies. But in the last few years, his health has been degrading very quickly due to suffering from Parkinson’s. It’s been heartbreaking for Crystal to watch him deteriorate.
Onward to happier thoughts!
First up, the challenge performance!
Jan opens the number as “early days Madonna” and is absolutely stunning. She nails the lewk, is 100% in sync with her backup dancers, and those PIPES! Mama can sang.
Widow got what she wanted: Jackie Cox is stiff and disappointing as “Like a Virgin Madonna.” She’s supposed to be selling us rebellious sexy girl, but it’s all very… blah.
So much for having a potential weakness: Gigi Goode looks amazing as “unapologetic Madonna,” slays the singing and dancing, and just generally does a fantastic job as per usual.
Brita does her best with the “Express Yourself / cone bra Madonna” number, but despite some fun vocalizing, her part is a bit slow and definitely doesn’t measure up to the bits before and after it. Also, those pants need to be burned.
Even though Jaida Essence Hall struggled a bit during the recording session, she ends up nailing the “sex Madonna” performance. Her body is snatched, she looks and sounds great, it’s a toot.
Crystal Methyd played it smart with her “hippie Madonna” part, and it pays off: she plays to the camera, she sings her own reverbs, and she kills the hairography as a bonus. It’s fun, it’s hilarious, and she looks great.
Widow Von’Du’s vocals aren’t particularly great, but she fully nails the look and attitude for the pimpy “Music Madonna.”
Heidi N Closet is a fantastic dancer, but her vocals and her mannerisms as “MDNA Madonna” leave a little to be desired. It’s still a good performance, though.
It’d be a crime not to bring up another amazing performance given throughout this Rusical, though: guest judge Winnie Harlow‘s incredible resting bitch face. That is a LEWK.
Now for the runway. Category is: Night of a Thousand Michelle Visages! So exciting!
Jan is giving us “Glamazonian Airways” Michelle and the lewk is on point. It’s stunning––there’s really nothing else to say. Brava.
Jackie Cox is giving quintessential New Jersey girl with this getup. It’s fun, it’s booby, the curves are right… I still have a bit of an issue with the makeup, but it’s great nonetheless.
Gigi Goode’s Soul System-era Michelle is a bold dare, but it looks great. The super long nails are a nice touch.
Brita’s Season 10 finale Michelle lewk is a faithful recreation of the dress, but the hair is iffy. To quote Michelle herself, “I’m getting boy.”
Jaida Essence Hall looks excellent with this punk-rock lewk. It’s a different kind of outfit for the very pageant-y Jaida, and it looks great on her. C’mon, breastplate.
Crystal Methyd went back to 1996 for this number, and the judges eat it up. It’s fun, it’s different, it’s a great lewk.
Widow Von’Du describes her Michelle look as something similar to what she wore the first time she did drag, and I think that says it all. It’s a faithful recreation, but it’s very basic.
Heidi N Closet has pulled a rather recent Michelle look out of her Heidi N Wardrobe (not sorry) with this chic getup. Michelle points out the hair is not quite right, but Heidi’s giant bun bounces and she describes keeping it together with “hairspray and desperation,” which is totally my new tagline for life.
Jaida and Widow are safe. Jan, Gigi, and Crystal get high praises for their lewks and performances. Jackie, Brita, and Heidi didn’t do so good.
Backstage, Widow is asked how she feels about everything now that a challenge has passed and she’s had time to get over Jackie’s rude outburst. Basically, she hasn’t. But Widow has decided that she’s not here to be BFFs with anyone and she doesn’t have to be nice. All she has to do is slay––other girls’ feelings don’t matter.
The top and bottom queens return, and Jan is overjoyed that she’s finally about to win a challenge.
Brita and Heidi are in their feelings about their bottom placements. The girls try to cheer them up, but Heidi, in a moment of clarity, announces she’s not what the judges and producers are looking for. She already knows she doesn’t stand a chance––they’ve made that clear.
Guest judge Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in all her glory comes backstage to kiki with the girls. She tells them how proud of them she is and how they’re doing their part to fight the system just by being themselves.
The queens return to the main stage, where the winner is announced: It’s Gigi Goode.
Ridiculous. Ludicrous. Preposterous. Incongruous. I’ve had it, officially.
Jackie Cox is safe, so the bottom two are Brita and Heidi N Closet. They’ll be lip-syncing to Madonna’s “Burning Up.” I’d be excited for this lip-sync if I weren’t so mad about Jan.
Brita does a decent job with the song, emoting well and throwing in a little STD humor. But it’s her third time in the bottom, and going against the fierce
broc-ally Heidi N Closet, she doesn’t quite measure up to the small town girl’s passion. Plus Heidi makes her hair bounce a lot, which is really fun. Heidi gets to stay.
Brita… boy. This queen has a lot of work to do on herself before she can consider coming back for All Stars. She needs to let go of her ego and stop putting other people down to make herself feel better about her own performance. At the end of the day, you are your own biggest competition and Brita would do well to remember that. Still, I wish her the best.
Do we want a run-down?
Jan – Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ, where do I start. It was one thing to keep making Jan safe when she realistically wasn’t the absolute best in the challenge or on the runway, but to take away her fully deserved win for the sake of a storyline is pure evil. The silver lining here is that the fandom will always root for a robbed queen, so Jan’s got a very bright future ahead of her. Lord knows Drag Race isn’t going to give her what she came for.
Jackie Cox – Jackie is starting to show her limits, especially now that the competition is getting incredibly tough. Her looks aren’t always very polished and she doesn’t seem like that much of a stage performer. Even with her strong suit, acting, she’s frequently overshadowed. I just don’t see her going all the way, sadly.
Gigi Goode – Look here: I LOVE Gigi, and I fully support her winning this season, which she most likely will. But why give the girl a third win this early in the competition––and right after she already won the Snatch Game last week? It cheapens the show for one girl to be getting challenge win after challenge win, especially when the rest of the cast is so damn talented.
Jaida Essence Hall – I really hope Jaida snaps out of it and makes an effort soon, because she’s been completely fading into the background these past few weeks. It’s such a shame. I know she can do better than this.
Crystal Methyd – Crystal finally got out of her own way this week and showed the judges what she can do. It was a great performance. She’s got a really fun sense of humor and is just genuinely super likable. She might make it far yet.
Widow Von’Du – Widow is still doing well, though she hasn’t won anything in a while. She also seems to be having some trouble connecting to the other queens, which may be an issue down the line. In the meantime, I’m tremendously enjoying her very honest confessionals.
Heidi N Closet – Poor Heidi had an epiphany tonight when she realized she wasn’t what the show is looking for. It’s really sad, but it’s so true. Heidi was definitely not cast as a potential winner, and the producers won’t allow her to be one even if she slays––just like Jan. Still, At The End Of The Day™, she’s a fan favorite and that’s way more valuable than a challenge win.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go scream into the void about Jan now. See y’all soon!