RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Rapture? I Hardly Know Her.
This week we were treated to a record-breaking THIRTY-THREE looks.
The end is nigh! (What did you call me?). This week’s RuPaul’s Drag Race ep is another knockout, and riffed on the overarching theme of season ten: to take over the muther-tucking world. This time, it pointed to the fact that said world desperately needs saving. And there is no better way to save the world than
meaningful activism a ball!
This week, Ru took us to infinity and Lashawn Beyond with another post-apopkalakic challenge. Except this time, the queens weren’t designing a look for the end of the world. They were creating space-aged couture for their new lives in a colony on Mars.
Speaking of colonisers, how is everyone enjoying the Commonwealth Games? #political
Balls To The (Glacial) Wall
I don’t even have time for my standard “Nic goes on a rant about some deep-dish Drag Race cultural theory” bit because this week we were treated to a record-breaking THIRTY-THREE looks.
Usually, the ball challenge lands somewhere towards the end of a season, to pad out the runway and throw the remaining queens the curveball of serving multiple looks in the same episode. Never before have we had so many lewks in the one episode. Let’s jump on the tops and unload (our scorn) in the bottoms, shall we?
Let’s start with the best of the best. Aquaria walked into the workroom with a lot of expectation resting on her tiny, young shoulders. So far, she has delivered onstage but her primary function has been as a cypher for a timely discussion about Drag Race and race. Until now, that is. Aquaria finally showed us there is a reason why she has quickly moved through NYC’s most powerful party circles. Aquaria deserved this win, and I hope it matures her instead of making her too cocky.
You really felt for Monet X Change this week. The NYC queen thought she was en route to a spot in the top, but a couple of truly underwhelming looks landed her in the lip sync. Her wintery look put the ice in nice, however, and showed us she is capable of a dramatic runway look as well as bringing personality and humour to the workroom. But that red quilted fabric look was more read for filth, than red planet.
Can we just go into hyperdrive and fast track this bitch to the top four already? Whether or not she deserves the crown is neither here nor their, but she deserves a spot in the top. Cracker is polished, professional, and so, so quick. Unless we get a Trixie Mattel-style choke during Snatch Game, Miz Cracker should hopefully sail through.
As predicted last week by me, Australia’s most venerated (and venereal) RPDR expert, Dusty Ray Bottoms was not long for this world. She gave up her trauma narrative too soon, and her looks and performances weren’t of the same standard as the other queens. No hard feelings, DRB, but your store-bought swimwear look and your “Stardusty Ray Bottoms” Mars couture weren’t quite there. Also, that choppy black wig sitting atop your long neck just reminded me of Laganja Estranja’s elimination look from season six. I hereby announce that style of wig is a) ugly and b) cursed.
Anyone who spied Kameron’s feather look from last week knows that Mary got her muscles from a fucktonne of hand stitching..or HJs to pay for those outfits. No judgement, girl. Raise your cramped hand if you’ve ever paid for something with funds from the Wristpac Bank. Kameron’s Alaska look was a little so-so, but the construction of the bespoke body stocking showed that this is a queen whose all about the details. I wasn’t a huge fan of her GoT wintery look (the makeup around her mouth looked more crack than couture), but again, it was detailed.
Asia, Asia, Asia (palante). What happened, girl? Last week you won the challenge with your OTT Tweety Bird runway, but this week you sufferingly suckatashed. Asia teared up in front of the judges, blaming herself for helping the other queens instead of focusing on her own looks. I’m always a little suspicious when a queen goes straight for an excuse after a bad critique, but it was a very moving moment of solidarity when all the other queens vouched for Asia. Unrelated: is it weird that they (most likely) edited out Phi Phi’s name when Asia listed off the members of her drag family? That’ll teach her for not showing up to the AS2 reunion.
This week’s wildcard look has to go to Mama Ru himself. In ten seasons and three All Stars, Ru has never dragged up like this. Throwing his standard big hair and glamorous make up to one side, this week Ru went for something more club kid, with a nod to Leigh Bowery and a stopover at Pussy Riotville. I somewhat suspect this look may have been a workaround, as the poor thing still seemed a little under the weather (especially by the end of the ep). Weirdly, we still managed to get the same level of emotion from Ru in this getup as we do with his regular frozen face.
The Lip Sync And Elimination
It was a strictly New (Betta) York, Girl affair in this week’s lip sync with NYC sisters Monet X Change and Dusty Ray Bottoms duking it out to remain in the competition.
This was Monet’s moment, and for those of us in her corner, we needed to see that she has it in her to make it to the top. And we weren’t disappointed. Not only is Monet X Change an energetic and skilful lip sync-er, she also has exceptional comic timing. Her riff on the classic “sign of the cross before a death drop/jump split” is one for the ages, made even more hilarious by the fact that she later flawlessly performed said jump split.
Dusty is a punk queen, so this week’s Nicki Minaj track wasn’t quite in her lane but she kept up her energy and did all she could, despite wearing what we now all accept as canon to be a cursed wig.
Who’s Taking The Magnooooooolia Crown-Ford?
This week’s main challenge was the first real indication that an Aquaria VS Miz Cracker showdown for the top spot is a real possibility, but I also have my one good Kennedy Davenport eye on The Vixen.
This week we learned that The Vixen runs an empowering drag night in Chicago called Black Girl Magic, further proof that this political queen has turned up inflamed and informed. Her shouty Untucked run-in with Little Miss Loud South, Eureka, proved that The Vixen isn’t here to fuck around but amidst the (righteous) anger, The Vixen nailed Eureka. She is the queen of taking up space and giving zero fucks, and I am here for it.
Also, Blair St Clair is getting a LOT of storyline screen time, with shots of Ru laughing hysterically at her jokes. This either means we are working towards her being in the top, OR she is going home with a “shocking surprise twist” etc etc.
RuPaul’s Drag Race is fast-tracked from the US on Stan. Read more Drag Race recaps here.
Nic Holas has written for The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, Archer Magazine, and Hello Mr. You can find him on Twitter @nicheholas, or in his role as co-founder of HIV movement The Institute of Many.