Last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race was more confusing than Westworld! Which was fitting since the queens were tasked with pulling off a bawdy parody of the HBO series that’s long had Ru utterly obsessed. To get into the tea of this wild parody, we need to get into spoilers.
Were the queens short-circuiting in “Breastworld” or what? And I’m not just talking about the contestants. The judges made some calls that have me questioning. Like, can we talk about Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson’s outfits here? I love them. Love Broad City. Do not get either look.
Anyhow, kicking things off Aquaria tried to rewrite herstory, claiming she was not in the bottom three last week. Grrrl. You need to take that bejeweled veil from your eyes and see sense. Your Cher sucked and your ass nearly went home. All tea, all shade.
But Aquaria rallied in the manties-matching mini-challenge, which gave her the incredible power of playing casting director in the Breastworld maxi challenge. Despite just saying she’s here to win, not to make friends, this twenty-nothing queen favored sorority over strategy and let her competitors pick their parts. This left her with the fewest lines, and had Aquaria dramatically declaring herself, “the Joan of Arc this challenge, the martyr of Breastworld!”
Thanks to dumb luck, Aquaria accidentally gave herself a scene-stealing, gag-stuffed role. And once more this queen who’s often confused by the jokes in the workroom made it work in a comedy challenge. Meanwhile, Miz Cracker was determined to deliver on her self-proclaimed comedy chops. But she got in her head and delivered an unfunny performance that got in the bottom three, alongside Kameron Michaels, who turned in one-note hysterics, and Eureka, whose bingo-bot was too glitchy, not enough goofy.
Donning a bigger wig per Ru’s direction, Monét X Change thrived, delivering solid ad-libs and plenty of attitude as Kameron’s sassy bestie. But it was Asia O’Hara who scored redemption, coming back strong after last week’s lipsync. As Parah Salin, she brought verve to a sputtering scene. And the judges cheered her choice to make the character more Asia, less an outright Sarah Palin parody. Though they were a bit baffled by her silly spin on the Silver Fox runway challenge, Asia nonetheless earned tonight’s win.
Asia and Monet both misread the room when it came to the runway look. While I loved their comedic takes on the category, Ru and crew wanted to see granny glam. Which is definitely what saved Miz Cracker from the bottom two. Her Upper East Side aesthetic channeled The Devil Wears Prada, and swung her to safe.
As for Aquaria, her runway look snatched her shot at the top. Sure it was fashion-fierce. But no one was buying that this would be her look at 72. The wig read as platinum-blonde, not white. She brought little age to her face, and the earlobes stunt didn’t read amid so many flesh-toned accessories. (Yet next week’s teaser assures we’ll all get an earful about her being snubbed.)
And can we just take a moment to lament that not a single queen went with the right there for the choosing Golden Girls inspiration? I was expecting lots of big Bea Arthur silver wigs, flowing kimonos-she-better-don’ts and smirking expressions. But none. Nothing!
Anyhow. All this brings us to a bottom two that seemed surreal: Eureka versus Kameron. The former a comeback queen who’s been regularly slaying the judges with her big personality and a keen eye for detail. The other a quiet queen who’s been silently but solidly stepping it up in the competition. Frankly, I thought Kameron’s bold choice to go full-on prosthetic face would have kept her safe. She did a hell of a job! And she brought us the Heart of the Ocean and that funny bit with the pep pills!
Nonetheless, here we are. Though Kameron’s been a more reserved reality-TV star, she’s brought some sweet surprises to the show. And Eureka has brought spunk and drama. Losing either would be a major moment. And both delivered on Lipsync For Your Life.
Who knew we’d get to see a Lip Sync for Your Life for season 45 of #DragRace?!? 😂 @KameronMichaels @eurekaohara @rupaul @michellevisage @helloross @ilazer @abbijacobson @rupaulsdragrace @vh1 pic.twitter.com/NDzN6CU65w— World of Wonder (@WorldOfWonder) May 18, 2018
They strutted. They gave face. They LIVED that song and busted out duetting death drops. When it came time for Ru to announce who’d stay, I genuinely didn’t know who had the edge. When she said Kameron Michaels, I gave out a “whoop” of joy. There’s still more I want to see from this stealthy and surprising queen. But then—just as I was writing in my notes “somewhere the Vixen is smiling”—Ru gave us the gag of the season by declaring Eureka would also remain in the competition! (Somewhere the Vixen is not smiling.)
Considering this strong lipsync reminded me of the All Stars season 2 showdown between Alyssa Edwards and Tatianna, it makes sense that both queens got to shantay and stay. But expect that this will fester into some hard feelings among the other four queens as the competition for next week just got stiffer.
Revisit this, b/c it is one of the greatest Drag Race moments of all time:
Next week is makeover time on RuPaul’s Drag Race! It’s a fan favorite challenge where the queens must make drag daughters out of men new to the artform. But it seems like VH1 is stacking the deck in favor of the queens this season. There’s no beefy muscle men or chubby crew members this time. Instead, it’s twink youtube celebs like Tyler Oakley and Frankie Grande. So rather than dramatic transformations, expect drama over the increased volume in the workroom.