Previously on Drag Race: The queens gave makeovers to some awesome superfans. Jaida Essence Hall continued to slay all day. Heidi N Closet and Jackie Cox fell into the bottom two, but turned it out so hard in the lip-sync that they both got to stay. Yay!
Back in the werk room, the ladies take a breather and regroup after that epic lip-sync. Jackie and Heidi are feeling excited and rejuvenated, but Gigi Goode is a bit annoyed that no one was sent home. She admits she was kind of hoping Jackie would get the boot.
The shade is real, y’all.
This week, we’re bringing back a favorite mini-challenge: the puppet challenge!! Yay! Unfortunately, most of the girls do a pretty so-so job at the comedy bits. These queens may be entertaining, but they’re not very good at off-the-cuff shade. Gigi Goode, in particular, lands exactly 0 jokes. It’s Cringe City.
The whole thing is a bit of a flop, sadly. Only Jackie Cox does really well. Anyway, on to the main challenge: the ladies are being tasked with putting on a one-woman show, which will be guest judged and mentored by none other than Whoopi Goldberg!
Jackie gets to assign the order the queens are going in. She volunteers to go first, but everyone else wants to go in the middle and is afraid of the end. Jackie puts Jaida Essence Hall in that unfortunate last-place position against her will.
The queens go in to run their ideas by RuPaul and Whoopi. Jackie’s idea is about the “behind-the-scenes secrets” of Drag Race, which rubs Mama Ru the wrong way because A. Jackie isn’t being her authentic self and B. Ru doesn’t like it when the queens talk shit about the show.
Whoopi tells Jackie “you got five minutes to make us love you,” which gives Jackie a brand-new idea––to talk about growing up with her parents. She’s going all-out with the authenticity, which is the exact opposite of what Crystal Methyd has in mind. Crystal plans on playing a male exotic dancer with silly dance moves. Ru asks her what kind of dance moves El DeBarge would have, which like… I thought we’d already established that Crystal doesn’t know who that is?
Gigi Goode has a clever concept––a flight attendant on a plane headed for hell. But her opening is very rehearsed and doesn’t feel super natural. Ru and Whoopi ask her to put her script down and try sprinkling some improv in there, and she buckles under the pressure. Gigi has been 100% in her head lately and she can’t seem to get out of her funk.
Jaida Essence Hall gets emotional in her run-through too, for different reasons. She’s been in love with The Color Purple and its soundtrack, and has felt like she’s figuratively following in Celie’s footsteps throughout the competition––getting through hard times to reach joy. Whoopi gets up and gives her a big hug.
The next morning, as the queens are putting on their makeup for the challenge, Gigi is coming to terms with the fact that she needs to stop avoiding her insecurities and her self-doubt and face them all head on.
Ru’s Lewk Ruview:
Mama is serving body and hair for dayssss. Not sure about the shoes, though. Still a great lewk.
It’s time for the one-woman shows!
Whoopi’s advice gave Jackie Cox the confidence to go with something really personal and really beautiful. She uses stools with pairs of glasses on them to represent her parents and goes back and forth, putting on the glasses and imitating her parents. Not all of the jokes land, but it’s a really well-conceived act that speaks from the heart.
Crystal Methyd’s turned her weird-o-meter up to 150 with this wild stripper skit. She pulls the silliest dance moves, has plenty of jokes, and sells the thing start to finish. It’s a huge win for Crystal.
Unfortunately, the rest of the show is all downhill from here.
Heidi N Closet made the mistake of having her act be a back-and-forth dialogue between her family members at a cookout. She spends the entire time trying to imitate her relatives, some better than others, and loses herself in the process. It’s so unfortunate, because you know Heidi would’ve nailed this if she’d just been her authentic self.
Ironically, Gigi Goode ends up doing much better with the off-the-cuff improv in her number than with the scripted outline she prepared for herself. She keeps interrupting her great rhythm to go back and check the outline hidden behind her prop, which totally kills her momentum.
Jaida Essence Hall does even worse, with a story about how she accidentally peed all over her boyfriend. The whole thing is a flop, and I’d say some of it probably has to do with Ru and the judges not liking blue humor. Remember Rock M. Sakura‘s fart joke? RIP.
On to the runway: In honor of Whoopi, the category is “The Color Purple!”
Jackie Cox is stepping away from her usual aesthetic and doing something bold and different, inspired by that old song from the ’50s, “The Purple People Eater.” The hair and makeup look great, but the outfit itself kinda looks like a bad Halloween costume.
Crystal Methyd’s still going full-tilt on the quirkiness with this wild purple cow lewk made of hundreds of pieces of mismatched fabric. It’s somehow kinda fabulous, and the makeup job is stunning.
Heidi N Closet is going full pageant wearing a gorgeous gown that matches her makeup really nicely. There’s nothing particularly new and outstanding about it, but it’s super pretty.
Gigi Goode’s recreation of Daphne’s outfit from Scooby-Doo is a clever mix of high-fashion and cartoony nostalgia, and she sells it really well. That being said, I must admit I’m starting to find Gigi’s lewks a tad repetitive? Sue me.
I would’ve loved a second color in this lewk, but Jaida Essence Hall is still turning it out with this fabulous (and probably hand-made) purple Jantasy. As usual for Jaida, it’s gorge.
Jackie and Crystal get high marks for their performance. Heidi, Gigi, and Jaida did so-so. But RuPaul takes a second to tell them she wishes no one had to be eliminated, because all of them are fantastic.
Backstage, Jaida is a little pressed about having been put last by Jackie. She’s aware tanking was her own doing, but she thinks Jackie making her go last made things a lot worse than they could’ve been.
Whoopi pops into the Untucked lounge to drop a few fabulous pearls of wisdom on the queens. She tells them that just because someone they’re comparing themselves to is super talented or super attractive, that doesn’t mean they are less than. “You are as good. Put yourself here. Never start yourself down here. Everybody else will do that for you.”
One more for the road: “Fuck ’em. They all want you to walk. Fly.”
Crystal Methyd is the week’s winner!
Heidi and Jaida are in the bottom two––my two favorites! What a tragedy. They must lip-sync to “1999” by Prince. Such a bop.
Heidi is the season’s lip-sync assassin, but in this pageant gown, her movements are pretty restricted. She still puts up a great fight, but she’s not able to perform quite as well as the last few times.
Jaida did put up a great performance when she lip-synced in the second premiere, but I hadn’t realized just how great she is at this. She does a jumping split, some kicks, she fully sells the song and, most of all, she has an incredible wig reveal. Miss Thing slays her way to another week.
As RuPaul bids her usual farewell to Heidi, she breaks from her scripted phrases and tells Heidi she’s a superstar and should consider moving to the big city. “I’m so excited for the world to see you. They’re gonna love you!”
Mama Ru said it herself: Heidi N Closet is a star. Few queens on the show have attained such a level of unanimous fan-favorite-ness in a single season. She’s up there with Monique Heart and Alyssa Edwards, easily. Give her a couple years to get some coin and fix up her mug and her runway lewks––she’ll be a winner, baby.
Not a lot of run-downs left!
Jackie Cox – Jackie had been doing a pretty so-so job lately, but she did wonderfully this week. Miss Cox may not be the most polished queen here, but she has an innate capacity for genuine authenticity that most queens never even get close to. That’s a huge strength on a show that values vulnerability so much.
Crystal Methyd – I’m so glad Crystal werked her way to a win this week. She’s been doing so well and I was afraid the show wouldn’t let her have that moment of glory she so deserved. Miss Crystal may have just scored herself a ticket to the top three!
Gigi Goode – Oh, Miss Gigi, Miss Gigi. The poor gal has been completely in her head with this streak of mediocre performances. I’m getting the sense she needs to work a little bit on her self-esteem, because her placement in the competition seems to be getting to her. Still, I hope she can pull it together and achieve perhaps one more good performance before this is over.
Jaida Essence Hall – Jaida had been on a roll lately, and that came to a stop this week. Still, she absolutely murdered that lip-sync––and that was against the season’s lip-sync assassin! I think if Jaida makes it to a lip-sync for the crown, these other girls are in serious trouble.
Where do we go from here? Only time will tell, hennies. Tune in next week for some more of this pink lemonade!