Previously on Drag Race: The dolls competed in a Madonna musical tribute. Heidi N Closet started having serious doubts about whether she belonged in the competition. Jan thought she had the challenge in the bag (and she did), but the win went to Gigi Goode again. And Brita was sent back to New York City
where she belongs.
In the werk room, poor Jan is a hot tearful mess. She’s dealing with being fully robbed in the Rusical challenge AND her best friend and drag sister being sent home. Rough night for Jan.
She explains that while she’s crushed about the challenge, she’s mostly just sad that Brita was sent home. A few of the other girls, though, see through that. They can tell she’s really pressed about losing the challenge.
This week’s mini-challenge is a fun new idea: the girls are paired up and must put on a little fake brunch with another team––emphasis on “fake,” with all the shade that goes with that.
The second group does okay enough, but the first group totally nails it––Gigi Goode and Jackie Cox in particular, who really have the essence of the bitchy fake socialites down to a T. Jackie and Gigi win the mini-challenge.
The maxi-challenge this week is a lil’ bit of friendly shade toward Miss Gwyneth Paltrow: the girls must put together wacky infomercials for the lifestyle brand “Droop.” They get to work on their ideas and RuPaul tours the room with branding expert Bob Harper to give them some advice on their products and presentation. During a conversation with Heidi N Closet, RuPaul suggests “Heidi Hydrates” as a title and Heidi runs with that.
Widow Von’Du has a decent enough idea, but RuPaul reminds her that she hasn’t won any challenges in a minute, which is not super awesome. What a great way to instill confidence in the gal!
The stakes get even wilder for Widow when she finds out one of her idols, Chaka Khan, will be the guest judge this week. She CANNOT fuck this up. No pressure!
Filming gets started for the infomercials. Jackie Cox goes first. Bob Harper is also “directing,” which apparently really doesn’t mean much because he has no idea what’s going on. Jackie is trying to do one of those cheesy old-school cuts where something magically appears on a table, and the guy is fully lost. She has to tell everyone what to do while frozen in her spot.
Jaida Essence Hall keeps slapping the mic hidden under her shirt by accident every time she goes into the “pearl-clutching pose,” and it takes a while to get her to stop.
Crystal Methyd has decided to finally harness RuPaul’s undying love for her mullet and makes that the product in her infomercial. Highlights of her frantic filming for the challenge include the phrases “in my vision” and “I need a table that we can do science on.”
The next morning’s makeup session is mostly uneventful. Jan talks a little more about being sad for Brita, then the girls break out into impressions of each other. The girls take cute stabs at each other until Jaida shuts everyone down by doing Aiden Zhane: she just stands there and says nothing.
The runway theme this week is “Black Wedding.” Dun dun dunnn.
Jackie Cox’s jilted/widowed bride lewk is cute from the waist up––I don’t know about that skirt’s length and those shoes, girl. She also tries to make it look like she’s searching for her dead husband, but I don’t know how much of that would’ve successfully come across without her narration.
Jan looks incredible in this polished bridal look. The huge feathers are amazing, and her bouquet of black roses is somehow emitting smoke. Werk, bitch.
Jaida Essence Hall’s trophy wife lewk is tailored and gorgeous, but following immediately after Jan, it does look a tad simple. Still, it’s great.
Gigi Goode looks absolutely incredible in this sculptural, high-fashion accoutrement. Girl, that Jessica Rabbit wave she’s got going on is a fucking stunner. There are no words.
Heidi N Closet is wearing a gorgeous gown and selling it well, but I must say, the hair and makeup are pretty lacking.
Widow Von’Du already looks amazing in this sequin gown, but then she lifts up her bejeweled veil and BAM.
A few of these girls went for a “dead/ghost bride” idea, but none took it quite as far as Crystal Methyd, who’s gone full corpse bride in this amazing lewk. The makeup is amazing, the dress and accessorizing totally work, and she sells it magnificently––she even coughs up smoke. Crown it.
Now let’s see these infomercials!
Jackie Cox’s I Dream of Jeannie-inspired “Magic Carpet Merkins” ad is silly, peppy, and doesn’t miss a step. It’s solid and funny, and her vision delivers.
Jan’s “Sure, Jan” energizing spray (or something) is a little confusing, mostly because, tragically, Jan failed to tone down her extreme enthusiasm as the judges have been asking her to. It becomes a bit hard to follow when she’s at a hundred the whole time.
Jaida Essence Hall’s selling bedazzled tucking panties. The product isn’t the most original, but she sells it really well. The comic timing is excellent, especially following Jan’s.
Gigi Goode has a couple of fun jokes (“Hi, I’m better than you.”), but overall her ad is a bit uneventful. As most of her jokes fail to land, the whole thing ends up being a bit awkward and just a tad condescending. Oopsies.
This challenge is all about showcasing your personality, and Heidi N Closet does that wonderfully by being her usual adorable, nutty self. She ran with Ru’s idea and sells it magnificently. I swear I could just watch Heidi talk about stuff for hours and never get bored.
Widow Von’Du’s ad is another unfortunate fail for inspiring/energetic spray products, right alongside Jan’s and Gigi’s. The general idea of the product sort of makes sense, but there aren’t nearly enough jokes and, ironically, Widow’s performance is the entire opposite of Jan’s: too slow and too uneventful.
Crystal dives deep into the ’80s vibe her mullet inspires and beautifully infuses her kooky personality into her performance. It’s charming, it’s snappy, and like her Madonna performance last week, it’s surprisingly funny.
The critiques are in: Jackie, Jaida, Heidi, and Crystal all did a great job. Gigi, Jan, and Widow… not so much. Widow breaks down while hearing the judges’ comments and expresses how crushed she is to be failing in front of Chaka Khan.
Chaka briefly pulls herself out of the weird Xanax-induced lull she’s been in to tell Widow she needs to see this moment as a turning point rather than an ending.
Ru asks the girls who should go home tonight. Everyone names Widow.
It’s a rough night in Untucked for Jan and Widow. Both are feeling pretty shooketh from the critiques. Widow is still recovering from being named by everyone else as the gal who should go home. But Jan is realizing she might end up in the bottom two against Widow, who established herself as a complete lip-sync assassin in the premiere. So she’s in danger, girl.
The girls try to “lighten” the mood by shifting the conversation from nominating who should go home to naming their biggest competition instead. But the conversation’s obviously a little biased at this point since Gigi Goode’s basically been winning every challenge this season. Jackie Cox says she thinks the top three will consist of herself, Gigi, and Jaida.
Chaka Khan comes backstage to kiki with the ladies. She sits down right next to Widow and gives her and the other girls a beautiful pep talk. She tells them to fight through those negative thoughts and feelings and whoop they ass.
Boosted by Chaka’s visit and her words, Widow feels reinvigorated and ready to murder this lip-sync like Jan expected. But before we get to that, the challenge’s winner is announced: it’s Heidi N Closet!
The lip-sync song is Chaka Khan’s “This Is My Night”. Jan has a reveal, she runs around the stage, and she pulls out all the stops, which includes a death drop and a few cartwheels. It’s a lot, which is exactly the critique she’s been getting all season.
Widow showed she was an incredible dancer (and contortionist) in the premiere, but she wisely doesn’t resort to those stunts for this song. Instead, she lets the spirit of Chaka Khan enter her and delivers a tight, heartfelt, emotional performance. It’s a real show.
So ends the tale of Jan the unfortunate. She had such a drive and an ambition that I think the judges felt almost intimidated by her––which obviously meant they didn’t like her very much. Nothing she did would ever be enough, and I think her desperation to stand out only made things worse for her. Still, she won our hearts with her joy and endless enthusiasm. Even as she’s eliminated, she fights the tears and manages to keep smiling.
Let’s run (on) down to the river!
Jackie Cox – Jackie is a smart gal with a strong sense of humor and a good aesthetic vision. But she’s never really been the best at anything throughout this competition, so I’m not sure she’s right when she says she has a spot in the top three. In a season so packed with talent, it remains to be seen whether she can really break through to that upper layer.
Jaida Essence Hall – Jaida is slowly gaining momentum again after losing it earlier in the season. I’m glad she’s doing better, but like Jackie, I’m still waiting for her to really shine. Maybe she can get a challenge win before this is over? It feels like it’s within her grasp.
Gigi Goode – Miss Gigi got a little complacent from all these wins under her belt, and she got a quick reality check this week. It’s actually refreshing to see her not do as well for once. It’s no fun when one queen just coasts through while everyone else struggles to keep up.
Heidi N Closet – I am so, SO happy Heidi got a win this week! I really didn’t think the show was going to let her have that. She has work to do as far as hair and makeup go, but her personality really shines through at all times and the judges finally had to let her get the credit she deserves. It sort of makes up for the injustice of Jan’s treatment this season.
Widow Von’Du – Poor Widow got in her head this week and crashed hard, but a divine intervention allowed her to pick herself up and slay hard. I hope she remembers to have fun in the future. She’s a fierce competitor, but she needs to allow herself to relax too or it’ll lead to stiff performances like this week’s.
Crystal Methyd – Crystal Methyd looked like she was close to going home a few weeks ago, and then somehow, magically, she turned things around. She’s emerged as a real contender, and I’m so happy she has. Like Jan and Heidi, she’s got an infectious joy to her; you can’t help but root for her.
We’re starting to approach the end of the road here; who knows what could happen next! See y’all soon.