Previously on Drag Race: Our seven survivors faced a branding challenge which forced them to think of themselves as specific marketable identities. Symone and Rosé soared and managed a double win. Utica Queen‘s peculiar sense of humor continued to baffle the judges. And Miss Tina Burner‘s fire was extinguished.
Utica is a bit shooketh coming back from this lip-sync. She tells the other girls she thought Tina should’ve stayed and deserved it more.
Kandy Muse is sad that her Brita City sister is gone and honestly thinks Utica is right that she should’ve gone home over Tina. But more importantly, Kandy is now faced with the worrying realization that we are at the top six and she is the only queen left without a challenge win.
For this week’s mini-challenge, the dolls are displaying new makeup palettes from Norvina and Anastasia Beverly Hills. And they get to do it in teams of two: one sits there and talks while the other pretends to be her arms. Craziness ensues.
Rosé and Kandy Muse kick things off beautifully with a hilarious performance. Kandy puts makeup in all the wrong places and Rosé’s improv is, as she puts it, “stunnelina.”
Symone and Olivia Lux continue the silly antics, but Symone’s improv isn’t quite as flawless as Rosé’s.
Lastly, Utica Queen and Gottmik bring the physical comedy with the completely unnatural proportions their character is displaying: Gottmik’s arms look absolutely gigantic and it’s super fun.
Rosé and Kandy win!
This week’s challenge is a roast! The queens will be roasting some of the show’s past Miss Congenialities. Instantly, a few of the dolls are terrified—Symone, Olivia, and Mik especially. They are not having this challenge.
Our mini-challenge winners get to pick the order everyone is going in this week. For some reason, Rosé seems to think the best spots are first and last. Which, like, isn’t it the other way around? Aren’t those the worst?!
The ladies sit down to start writing some material, and it looks like we’re having an Alyssa Edwards, Laganja Estranja-esque situation with Rosé, who’s quietly reading her jokes out loud and laughing at herself. Full-on insanity.
Before the real thing, the queens get to run their lines by judges Michelle Visage and Loni Love who are here to provide some feedback. Olivia’s jokes are not landing at all, so Michelle and Loni suggest that she use her natural cuteness to deliver some surprising zingers. I don’t think Olivia understands what they’re suggesting, though.
Rosé is doing a lot better than Olivia—or anyone else so far. Not only does she have a bunch of excellent jokes, she’s even got the rhythm and flow down pat. It’s already almost a finished number.
On the other hand, Utica has a lot of work to do. Her jokes are way too savage to be enjoyable, and when Michelle and Loni try to rein her in a little, Utica insults them instead?! Maybe she’s trying to test out material, but it comes off wildly disrespectful.
The ladies have some work to do, that’s for sure.
Ru’s Lewk Ruview:
The outfit is a little on the basic side—dare I say, pedestrian? But RuPaul‘s hair, makeup, and matching earrings are so flaw-free that I forgive her completely.
It’s time to introduce the roastees!
Nina West hasn’t gone all out in the lewk department, but she’s staying true to her brand with this fun pride dress and a giant collar that reads “love is love is love is love”. Love that!
Valentina‘s eyebrows look very light and I’m wondering if she ran out of time to do her makeup again—but she still looks so incredible as always. It’s such a pleasure to see her on my TV screen again.
The delightful Heidi N Closet looks so good with some improved makeup and this deconstructed Janet Jackson-type lewk. Also, RuPaul actually says her full name out loud!! Victory!
On to the roast!
Kandy Muse picked the hardest job for herself: opening the show to an audience of twelve people. But not only does she manage well, she shines. Her jokes are killer, her rhythm is perfect, and she takes a few moments in between jokes to hype up what little audience she has and increase the energy. And can we talk about that WAIST?! Mama is snatched for the gawds.
Symone looks SO good in this glamorous ’40s number, and her usual fun Southern accent allows her to land a couple of jokes. Unfortunately, the rest of them are terrible. She completely tanks her set. Yikes.
Utica Queen took Michelle Visage and Loni Love’s advice… and flushed it down the drain. Her roast is just as mean and unfunny as it was in rehearsal, and it makes everyone wildly uncomfortable. Loni Love is so over it she even reads Utica back, to everyone’s delight. Also, it looks like Utica grabbed everything that was left at the bottom of her suitcase and put it all on. I hate it.
One little highlight: Utica asks RuPaul to stand up, hinting at the rumor that Ru tends to take off the bottom half of her lewk and change into sweatpants under the judges’ table. Ru flips her off.
Gottmik has a difficult job bringing joy back into the room after the awkward tension Utica inflicted on the crowd. But she does fabulously with excellent jokes, a fun, casual delivery, and a Gorge™ lewk as always. Three cheers for Mik.
Olivia Lux has some good material, but she completely misunderstood Michelle and Loni’s advice, amping up her sweetness in an apologetic childlike way rather than balancing it with unexpected savagery like they suggested. Also, she’s fully reading off her cards and not engaging much with the audience. ALSO, her dress is terribly ill-fitting.
Rosé shines tonight, and not just because of that beautiful lewk. She’s memorized her entire set and didn’t even bother bringing her cards on stage, which is so bold. She has some fantastic jokes, though her rhythm could use a little work—ironic for a professional musician!
The critiques are in: Kandy, Gottmik, and Rosé did great… and Symone, Utica, and Olivia bombed.
Backstage, the Miss Congenialities join the contestants to give them some advice about being on the show and beyond. Heidi N Closet tells the queens to be there for each other and to stick together as the show is airing. Valentina explains they’re going to have to think about which direction they want to take their career in post-Drag Race, as that can be just as important as being on the show itself. And Nina West reminds them they’re here to elevate themselves as artists and as people.
Kandy Muse wins the challenge! All the queens cheer like crazy for her.
Olivia Lux barely makes it to the safe zone: this week’s bottom two are Symone and Utica, lip-syncing to “No Tears Left To Cry” by Ariana Grande.
Utica does a decent, if somewhat forgettable, job with the song. Symone, meanwhile, has a very subtle lip-sync style. There are no big tricks or gimmicks here, just emotion and the occasional touch of humor. It’s a win for Miss Symone.
Utica Queen brought such an eclectic and, often, stunning aesthetic to Season 13’s runway. She’ll definitely be remembered as one of the show’s best creative minds. It’s a shame there was frequently such a disconnect with her personality and sense of humor. I’m hopeful she can work on fine-tuning the way she presents herself and come back for an All Stars season as a fierce entertainter in her own right.
Another Doll Call?
Kandy Muse – I am so proud of Kandy. I never thought she’d go so far in this competition, and this win was 100% deserved. She might actually squeeze her way into the top four now, and with a renewed sense of humility that I feel she didn’t have earlier on this season. She’s managed to make me root for her. Brava, Miss Thing.
Symone – Symone fell hard this week. Her performance this season has been a complete rollercoaster: tons of ups and downs. It remains to be seen whether she’s going to be able to pick herself up in time for the finale… or if she’s going to fizzle out too soon.
Gottmik – Gottmik is just full of surprises. Every time I think she’s going to struggle with something, she pulls through and kills it. She’s had such an incredible track record on this season, and that crown is starting to look like it’d fit quite nicely on her head.
Olivia Lux – Olivia was such a frontrunner earlier this season, but she’s completely lost her momentum in the last few weeks. Her lack of drag experience is starting to show: I’m getting the sense she doesn’t quite know who she is yet. She has the potential to be a Valentina: drop-dead gorgeous, divalicious, and with the enigmatic poise and power to go with it. But she’s holding onto this childlike innocence that doesn’t suit her. She might just end up letting that top four spot slip through her grasp.
Rosé – Rosé did great again this week. Like Mik, she’s had a fantastic track record. I just wonder if that icy perfection she’s being trying to fight off is still going to get in her way in the end. As crazy as it is, that unshakeable confidence of hers might not make for the best storyline for a winner. A Symone or a Gottmik win might feel more correct, and it’s unfortunate that Rosé is doing everything she should to win but that it might still not be enough somehow.
We’re finally rounding the corner on this long-ass season, ladies! Who do you see in the top four?