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Previously on Drag Race: The girls competed in a Rusical-type challenge that involved no singing or lip-syncing but was “ABOUT THE FEELING.” Olivia Lux won her first challenge and solidified her spot as a real contender. Kandy Muse was smacked with a bottom two placement, but was able to save herself and send icon, legend, and star Tamisha Iman home instead.

The queens regroup for their usual post-episode discussion. Kandy originally thought she’d feel triumphant and, dare I say it, ARROGANT about sending Tamisha home, but she’s actually sad and guilty about it. It’s a huge relief not to see her act condescending in this moment.

I’m not sure what’s oil spill makeup and what’s actual mascara tears anymore.

The dolls kiki and shower each other with praise, but Elliott with 2 Ts is feeling a little lonely. She doesn’t get the sense that anyone here really appreciates her and is frequently left out of conversations. I feel that, sis.

Alexa, play “All By Myself” by Céline Dion.

We’re getting the reading mini-challenge early this season! Which means even more reads. Some highlights:

Denali reads Utica Queen and Gottmik‘s white girl twerking.

Gottmik calls Kandy Muse a pug and has an amazingly quick comeback for Tina Burner.

LaLa Ri compares Rosé to tap water, which gets a good giggle out of me.

Elliott with 2 Ts has a bunch of terrible jokes that don’t land at all. At least she looks cute.

Gottmik wins the mini-challenge!

A great honor.

This week, the queens will be split into teams to act out in an improv challenge with Ross Mathews. The teams are assigned at random, so a few of the match-ups are a bit strange. Tina Burner is particularly worried about being paired up with Elliott.

“Kill me now”

Utica and Olivia are on the same team and want to play the same character in their script. Utica is a self-proclaimed improv professional, while Olivia makes it clear improv isn’t necessarily her strong suit and the mime character might be easier for her since it involves less dialogue. Utica eventually caves.

We’ve got a little schemer on our hands!

It’s time to kick off “Bossy Rossy After Dark,” this time on a shoddy background set with no audience. C’mon, budget.

We start things off with Denali, Rosé, and LaLa Ri. Denali and Rosé are a mother-daughter pair who are both having Rosé’s imaginary friend’s baby (who comes up with these prompts?!). They both go all out with the trailer park trash vibe and kill it. LaLa, unfortunately, trails behind (get it?) as the therapist. She sucks a lot of energy out of an otherwise very funny skit.

Olivia Lux ends up stealing the whole show as the mime character in this next skit, though there is something to be said for the excellent chemistry she has with Gottmik, who kills it as her psychiatrist / interpretor. Utica Queen looks fishier than ever as the mime’s bitchy mother, but for someone who’s supposed to be great at this stuff, her improv style is very aggressive and doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the players at all.

Kandy Muse and Symone are next as a pair of former child stars who don’t speak to each other anymore. Kandy Muse got a note from Michelle Visage last week about needing to avoid serving the same “Brooklyn banjee” character all season, so she’s taking a risk this week with a very subdued, Mariah Carey-esque performance. She’s definitely not as funny as usual, but she’s still able to make it work, thanks in part to Symone’s effortless comedic stylings.

Last and quite possibly least, we have Tina Burner and Elliott with 2 Ts in a skit about a lady with a giant ass and her jealous friend (ex-lover?) with giant boobies. Tina carries Elliott through the skit and most of it is missing the context we needed to get to the insane face-sitting session that ends the act.

The next day, Symone is feeling nervous about her challenge performance. She reveals her brother went to prison and that it completely changed her dynamic with her mother from then on. Symone felt like she could never make mistakes or misbehave for her mother’s sake, and it’s led to a need to people-please in her daily life that’s hard to get away from.

That’s a lot of pressure.

Tina got a lot more compliments from her fellow queens after the challenge than Elliott did, and Elliott confesses she’s frustrated that she never seems to be on the receiving end of that love the rest of the cast has for each other. Tina tells Elliott it sometimes feels like she’s keeping people at arms’ length, and Elliott explains she struggles with severe clinical depression and can’t exactly be her true vulnerable self with people.

Ouch.

It turns out Tina’s mother has struggled with clinical depression for years, so Tina has first-hand experience of what it’s like to be around that. She understands Elliott a lot more now.

Three snaps for mental health awareness.

While they’re doing their makeup, the queens put on a little Maury-type “you are not the father” skit, featuring LaLa Ri running around the werk room screaming.

Gurl where was this energy in the actual challenge?!

Ru’s Lewk Ruview:

This week’s lewk is very safe, very classic RuPaul—the gown is gorgeous, but there’s nothing particularly dazzling about it.

Category is “Bead It”: beads aplenty!

Denali is starting things off with this total showstopper of a lewk: she’s a goddamn chandelier! This looks like it’s worth more than the contents of my entire bank account (which, to be fair, is a low bar). It’s incredible.

Rosé’s serving a Tinker Bell look made of those little beads for kids’ jewelry. It looks like it took an entire decade to make, and it is so clean and polished and beautiful. Plus the wig is so undeniably on the nose for what she’s aiming for. Well done.

LaLa Ri’s look is not nearly as opulent as the two before her, but she’s serving her Brazilian carnaval-type getup with sass and attitude. The Diana Ross hair is gorgeous.

Gottmik looks so good in this crazy anal bead look (her description, not mine!). It’s fun, it’s original, it’s polished, and her makeup is stunning as always.

Olivia Lux is giving us schoolgirl at recess with this cute little getup. Once again, though, the poor gal happened to bring something that looks exactly like another queen’s and wear it a couple weeks after her—in this case, Kandy’s wig. Ouch.

Utica Queen is giving us monstrous killer bride tonight. The garment is well constructed and gorgeous, though I feel the part of the train that’s in between her legs feels a little unnecessary.

Ladies, I have been known to (occasionally) be wrong about these things, and this is one such occasion: Kandy Muse actually looks stunning in this opulent vision of a lewk. The giant hat with dangling jewels, the huge fur coat, the exposed, bedazzled nips… I’m gagged.

Symone is delivering a gorgeous nod to Zulu culture with this beaded warrior fantasy. Her body looks glossy and amazing and her braided hair features her own name spelled out with beads. Amazing.

Tina Burner is attempting to give us a Mardi-Gras clown moment on the runway. The hair and makeup feel super disjointed compared to the rest of the garment, and removing her boob cups to expose her breasts doesn’t save the outfit. This color combo is not it, mawma.

Elliott with 2 Ts may not look quite as extravagant as some of the other queens on this runway, but her ’20s flapper moment is clean and effective, and I appreciate that she didn’t go the typical black hair route for it. It’s a toot!

Tina, Mik, Denali, and Rosé are safe.

AGAIN?!

LaLa, Utica, and Elliott didn’t do great, while Olivia, Kandy, and Symone are praised for their performances. Listen, I think Kandy did great and looks amazing, but did she deserve a spot in the top over Denali or Rosé? MEH. Still, happy for her.

Speaking of Denali and Rosé, there’s some disappointment in the werk room. The safe girls are upset because they’re not managing to stay out of that safe zone. Denali finally snaps when she’s interrupted by her sisters a few too many times and walks away. She feels she’s fading so much into the background that she isn’t even relevant in conversations. Rosé lends an ear and lets her vent a little.

Safe sisters united in beautiful misery.

LaLa is feeling deflated from the critiques she’s gotten. She doesn’t know what to do anymore. The girls, including Kandy, give her a pep talk and try to make her feel better about her current sitch.

Aww.

Elliott walks off, feeling very alone after watching everyone comfort LaLa. Kandy notices and walks over, listening to Elliott and telling her she did great, looks great, and that she can turn this into a one-time trip to the bottom rather than a defeat. They have a super sweet moment that makes up for their tension all season.

This is a whole new side of Kandy we’ve never seen before! I am shooketh.

Olivia wins her second challenge in a row!

Ladies, we have a new frontrunner.

Utica is safe, so LaLa and Elliott are in the bottom two. They need to lip-sync to “Whole Lotta Woman” by Kelly Clarkson. They both do great, but LaLa’s hair gets in her way a lot and Elliott has a little more power and intensity in her performance. The gag of the season, though, happens when both dolls pull the same move in perfect sync.

Pure sex.

Elliott gets to stay.

LaLa Ri was a first out in my mind, judging by the Meet the Queens and the first episode. But despite a few bumps, she has turned it out during her run on the season. LaLa brought this sense of ineffable joy to this cast that was truly infectious, especially in her confessionals. She will be missed.

Lord, bitch, bring this girl back for All Stars!

Does someone want a Doll Call?

Denali – Denali is officially the new Jan. Nothing she does is enough for the judges. It’s heartbreaking, because she’s SO good and she wants this SO bad. I hope the producers turn around on her, but I get the sense she’s just doomed to fail.

Rosé – Rosé is being treated almost the same way Denali is. She’s had some praise from the judges this season, but no wins—and now she’s been safe for a little while. She needs to get a win right freaking now if she doesn’t want to be drowned out along with Denali.

Gottmik – I said last week Mik needed to prove she’s got comedic chops along with the aesthetic, and she does. She hasn’t completely stolen the show yet, but she’s able to keep up with the comedy queens of the season, and that’s already important.

Olivia Lux – Olivia is seriously killing it. If it wasn’t already clear last week, she’s now almost set in stone for a top four spot. She’s got the looks, the comedy, the talent, and as we’ve seen a couple times, she’s also a good lip-sync performer.

Utica Queen – Poor Utica just can’t seem to do well at all lately. She’s been falling short on multiple occasions, and with most of the filler queens out of the way, I think her runways may not be able to save her much longer.

Kandy Muse – I am so proud of Kandy this week. She took her humbling trip to the bottom two in stride and developed, seemingly overnight, the sense of humility that Tamisha had told her she needed. She applied critiques, she consoled her fellow queens… I am gagged. She’s on her way to a major Rudemption moment.

Symone – Symone’s comedic skills are so effortless. She’s a joy to watch, and her runways are always incredible. She and Olivia are ruling the school so far this season.

Tina Burner – Tina did better this week, but her runways continue to be her downfall. The poor gal needs a little adjustment in terms of her taste level, I’m afraid. I still think she’ll last a while, though.

Elliott with 2 Ts – Elliott’s underdog status is finally starting to get to her. I hope she can take Tina and Kandy’s advice and allow herself to relax and be more vulnerable around the other girls; that’d allow her to spend more time focusing on killing the competition. We’ll have to see if she’s able to do that.

Tune in next week for another Rusical! This is shaping up to be the season of Rusicals and I am 100% okay with that.

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