Previously on Drag Race: Thirteen queens entered, seven queens left. Or so everyone thought. For the first time in Drag Race herstory™, every freshly arrived queen was asked to lip-sync for her life on Premiere day and then sorted into one of two groups: the winners and the losers. Way to bring out those inner saboteurs early!
But wait, we’re not done! In order to return to the competition, the losing team must now go through an All Stars 5-type lipstick vote to elect the “worst” out of all of them, based only on first impressions. And that queen will be sent home.
So one by one, each queen goes up to this box in the corner of the room, picks the lipstick of a queen they’re not into so far, and puts it in the box.
As it turns out, there’s a tie: Utica Queen and Elliott with 2 Ts are tied for “worst.” So the queens have to vote again to break the tie.
The final results are in: Elliott gets the chop. The other six queens will get to return to the competition while Elliott has to leave, now. She says goodbye by stating “it’s been a lovely fifteen minutes with all of you.”
This whole thing’s just a smidge too cruel in my opinion, but hey. It’s a reality show. That’s how things work, I guess. Bye Elliott.
The next morning, the winning team enters the werk room for their real first day, ready to get started. They discuss the losing team and whether or not they’re likely to come back for revenge. Kandy Muse states that either way, this group is the “top six” and the “winner’s circle” and the other gang is going to have trouble living up to that.
RuPaul comes in to greet the queens on their first day… and lets them know there’s another queen who’ll be joining them in the competition. It’s Elliott with 2 Ts!!
She’s back! Thank God. Or thank Ru, I guess. Miss Paul gives the queens an inspirational speech about her new motto since last year, “losing is the new winning”—and how you should never allow anyone to make you feel like a loser.
For the first mini-challenge of the season, we’re bringing back last year’s fashion show to get a better idea of the queens’ personal taste levels beyond their entrance lewks. Yay!
As the girls are getting ready, Kandy Muse asks Tina Burner how she feels about Elliott with 2 Ts being back. Tina gave Elliott the chop in their initial lip-sync, so she’s feeling a little bewitched, bothered, and bewildered right now. She and Kandy don’t understand why Elliott’s back and they don’t trust her. They start calling her “Elliott the Spy.”
Elliott, unaware the girls already have some beef with her, asks Kandy how she feels about this recurring theme from the past few seasons of drag daughters of past contestants (like Kahanna Montrese or Dahlia Sin) not living up to their drag relatives’ hype and going home very early.
Evidently, this is a sensitive subject for Kandy, who is offended AF. Who is this little twink and how dare he question her legacy?! Without knowing it, Elliott has just soured her already touchy relationship with several of these girls. Especially Kandy.
Time for the fashion show! Each girl has to show two lewks: the first is “Daytime Drama.” Love a good argument over mimosas.
Gottmik is first with this cute paradox of a lewk: a dramatic latex outfit with giant shoulders depicting a blue sky and rainbow. It’s a clever idea, and the sun she’s holding above her is a nice touch—though it would’ve been even cooler if that was a purse.
Kandy Muse is wearing this interesting garment made of a bunch of different fabrics. The inspiration is sort of 18th century-esque, but it’s a tad messy. Especially these two long pieces of fabric in the back that are sticking out of her neck.
LaLa Ri is giving us very natural woman on a hot summer day, serving these cute braids and a large swishy dress. Unfortunately, she ends up tripping on the dress a little bit on her way back. Oops.
Olivia Lux is bringing a little ’60s flair to this runway lewk with the tinted, geometric glasses and the hairdo. The dress itself, however, is ill-fitting and not very flattering.
Symone is absolutely killing it with this ’90s, striped, half-cape lewk and this incredible hair. It’s such a look, and she is selling it. Brava.
Tina Burner looks cute in this vintage hair and giant bow paired with a tutu, all in her trademark fiery colors. Very Paris Fashion Week, which is the theme, so, werk.
I know this wig is actually pretty long in the back, but the way this French-inspired Elliott with 2 Ts outfit looks from the front is giving me very Princess Diana vibes, which I totally love.
Now for the nighttime outfits!
Gottmik’s second look is a total transformation, taking the cutesy colorful daytime gal and turning her into a glamorous succubus with a bejeweled nipple cover. It’s fierce and she sells it beautifully.
Kandy Muse is giving us little devil woman, I think? The concept is cute but the execution is a little lacking. I feel like there was definitely a storyline going with her first look, but perhaps it got a little lost in the sauce. I do like the smudged makeup, though.
LaLa Ri says she’s not an “over-the-top drag girl” and that her looks have a tendency to be more on the realistic side. That does worry me, in a competition where the runway lewks have become all about the extravagance and the spectacle. This look is cute enough, but the hair could’ve been a little bigger. Or tied in a ponytail?
Olivia Lux looks gorge in this dark amethyst Jantasy. She’s also clearly making a staple of her tiny little purses. You better copyright that shit, girl.
Symone is so beautiful, it’s downright offensive. How dare she look this good all the time? I will say this is actually not my favorite outfit, actually—but the hair and makeup? And the presentation? Yes ma’am.
Tina Burner’s giving us this intense latex number, which she says is her way of showing she can do sexy. I personally think she could’ve taken it a step further, but hey. Good for huh.
Now this showing from Elliott with 2 Ts is a delight. She’s momentarily stepping away from her brighter tones and giving us this gorgeous Marlene Dietrich lewk. She’s one to watch, y’all.
Having fun so far? We’re barely halfway through this rollercoaster of an episode!
This week’s maxi-challenge involves writing, recording, and performing a verse in Ru’s new song “Condragulations.” Quickly, it becomes obvious none of the dolls are choreographers. The number so far is looking like all kinds of amateur hour.
Elliott is actually a choreographer and ballet dancer, but rather than take over and lead the girls, she chooses to mostly stay in the background and follow directions to avoid attracting more of the queens’ suspicion.
As the queens are listening to the track and figuring out solos, Gottmik realizes his verse about being “born a girl” is playing in everyone’s iPods. He hasn’t discussed his gender identity with the other contestants yet and is horrified that they have to find out like this. Poor Mik spends the rest of the choreography session in a dazed funk, not sure what to do.
The next morning, Mik discusses his headspace with Olivia Lux, who cheers him up by thanking him for sharing and telling him he’s changing the shape of drag.
At last, the queens ask Elliott to explain the true T about her elimination. Elliott tells them what actually happened—the Porkchop loading dock, the lipstick vote, the second round of voting… all of it.
Knowing all of that now, Tina and Kandy and the rest of the queens decide to back off of Elliott a little, realizing she’s just a victim of circumstance. Elliott tells them she already loves them and no matter what, they’re all Season 13 sisters.
Ru’s Lewk Ruview:
Ru is looking so good in this bedazzled number, and that hair is coiffed for the gawds. Gorge.
Side note: Ru now says “Racers, start your engines, and may the best drag queen win!” YES for progress.
Gottmik starts off the group number with a very short verse. Perhaps she didn’t realize the other girls would be squeezing a lot more content into the amount of time they had on the song? She’s also a little tentative in the choreo, so it’s just not the best performance.
Kandy Muse looks good and her rap is great, but she doesn’t always do a great job lip-syncing to her verse and totally loses the choreo several times throughout the number. Oopsies.
LaLa Ri looks great, her verse is full of pep, and she makes up a little bit for the lack of energy in the two girls before her. It’s a pretty good performance.
Olivia Lux looks fantastic and is smartly showing off her musical chops and impressive range. She sangs the house down. Brava.
Symone isn’t serving too much choreography (like most of the girls), but her verse is full of sass and attitude. She’s got enormous stage presence and her charisma shines through.
Tina Burner was smart to use the other queens in her verse’s choreography, gathering them around her as she delivers a very well-written rap. However, she forgets to play to the camera and spends half of her act with her back to the judges. Oops.
This was the moment of truth for Elliott with 2 Ts, and by golly does she deliver. The fire that’s been under her padding all week finally bubbles to perfection with this number. The girl stands out with real choreography and a killer verse. Yas, bitch, werk.
Now for the runway: Category is “Lamé, you stay.”
I MEAN. Why even bother letting the rest of the queens walk the runway? This dazzling outfit and makeup by Gottmik is a serve and a half. Heck, it’s a serve and three quarters.
Kandy Muse is giving us a cute little “fembot at a sleepover” moment. It’s a tad basic, especially following Gottmik, but she does look real soft and feminine.
LaLa Ri describes her look as a “limited edition Willy Wonka golden ticket situation,” which, like, love that for her. It’s a bit on the bulky side and swallows her a tad, but aside from that, it’s really cute.
Olivia Lux’s lavish, sophisticated lewk is bringing a presidential flair to the main stage. But like, Michelle Obama presidential. Not those recent clowns.
Trend alert for the season: long-ass braids! Symone looks so different from her previous looks with this Million Dollar Baby boxer fantasy. The outfit is so well put together, and most importantly, she sells the character. It’s a whole storyline.
Tina Burner went full Tin Man with her lamé lewk, going so far as to include an axe-shaped purse (brilliant) and a glittery red heart hidden under her jacket. The hair could’ve been a tiny bit more silver, but aside from that tiny imperfection, it’s excellent.
Elliott with 2 Ts clearly applies an ’80s aesthetic to most of her looks, which is both a strength and, at times, a crutch. For this runway, she’s giving us prom queen meets ice skater (Denali found dead in the Porkchop loading dock). It’s cute, but feels a tad dated.
The critiques are in: Gottmik and Kandy weren’t great. LaLa and Tina were good. Olivia and Symone were excellent. Ross Mathews and Mama RuPaul herself both tell Symone she has star quality. She’s got “it.”
Elliott did a great job and proved that she deserved to be brought back to the competition. It’s a beautiful full-circle moment for her.
The girls return to the werk room to untuck and hash it out. Kandy Muse gets emotional about fucking up this week. She’s got a ton riding on her shoulders and she cannot allow herself to be the first out. She’s terrified.
Gottmik is still processing things as well. She finally comes out to the rest of the gang as a trans man who does drag, and explains why she felt so paralyzed earlier. All the queens immediately accept her with open arms and praise her for how much of a trailblazer she is.
The queens get back to the main stage, where another twist awaits. Olivia Lux and Symone are the top two queens of the week… and everyone else is safe! No one is going home tonight.
Olivia and Symone must lip-sync for the win of the week and a $5,000 prize, to “Break My Heart” by my gal Dula Peep.
Olivia is throwing herself into the lip-sync, pretending to trip then breaking down and sobbing for laughs. It’s a really fun performance. But Symone sells the song so, so darn well. Watching her is completely hypnotizing.
Symone is a winner, baby!
Doll call! (I think I like this one!)
Gottmik – Mik is so darn talented. I think she got in her head a little bit this week because of the gender identity situation, which is unfortunate. Hopefully she’s able to push through with challenge performances in the future now that she feels a little less uncomfortable about being out as a trans man among the other queens.
Kandy Muse – Kandy is such a fun personality, but the aesthetic and the performance were a bit iffy this week. I really, really want Kandy to pull it together and kill it, because she deserves her shot at stardom.
LaLa Ri – Okay. So I was a little harsh with Miss LaLa Ri last week. She did turn it out this episode. Am I amazed? Not yet. But she’s surprised me for sure. I’m also enjoying her confessionals—she’s a charming gal.
Olivia Lux – Olivia came into this competition an underdog, and she is slowly but surely starting to prove that she well and truly is a force to be reckoned with. She’s fascinating to watch, and I can’t wait to see what she turns out next.
Symone – Symone, Symone, Symone. Honestly. This gal has a first class ticket straight to the Top 4, no question. She’s such a performer, so smart, so versatile. We are blessed to get to watch her on our televisions every week.
Tina Burner – Like Kandy but on a slightly different scale, I do wonder if Tina will be suffering a bit from a case of aesthetic-itis this season. Her Tin Man look this week was great, but the rest of her outfits so far have been a little blah.
Elliott with 2 Ts – I am so, so proud of Elliott. And if I didn’t make it clear from this recap, I’m completely rooting for the girl. She didn’t deserve the rough treatment she got last week and I am so here for her Rudemption moment. I hope she continues to kill it.
That’s all she wrote, bitches. See y’all next week for a trip to Loserville!