I think for the first time, RuPaul’s Drag Race has finally found some balance in their editing — except for the runway but we’ll get there later. This episode felt better than prior weeks, but not much better.
We enter the Werk Room after Amethyst’s elimination, and Salina is very shaken by being at the bottom. We get your cliche “this is a wakeup call/I have a fire in me” from the queen who just won a lip sync mixed with some tears. Luxx is congratulated for winning the challenge, but the queens pivot to Malaysia talking about being on the rise. I do agree Malaysia has been a bit of a dark horse in this competition, and I’m happy she’s catching her stride.
The next day, Ru announces the maxi-challenge: the queens will be split into three Golden Girl girl-groups inspired by women of a certain age. One group will perform a country song, one a metal and one a hip-hop song. The queens will organize themselves into their own groups and pick genres.
Group One is Mistress Isabelle Brooks, Luxx Noir London, Marcia Marcia Marcia and Salina EsTitties. Group Two is Jax, Robin Fierce, Loosey LaDuca and Anetra. And finally, Group Three is Sasha Colby, Malaysia Babydoll Foxx, Spice and Aura Mayari.
Before the queens choose their genres, we get a brief cameo from internet sensations The Old Gays, which I found super sweet. I wish we saw more of them in the main show.
The queens sit around and listen to the songs, and the groups discuss which one they want among themselves. Groups One and Two want metal, and Group Three claims hip-hop. Tensions quickly rise, and Luxx and Mistress begin to be a little shady and say, “We get metal.” But Malaysia and her group are having none of Luxx and Mistress’ antics and fight for the genre.
I love drama, so I loved this whole back and forth. They eventually put the words metal and country in a hat and pick that way. Malaysia’s team gets metal while Luxx and Mistress’ get country.
The queens then go to record their verses, and each group gets the same edit: Every member but one is doing well. The struggling queens are Salina, Aura and Robin in their respective groups.
This editing feels so tired. At least we got to see all the queens, but can you at least make each group’s experience feel a little more dynamic?
The groups then go to choreograph their songs, and this is when they played into the idea that Team Metal is struggling and Team Country is doing great. The hip-hop group is seen just not being able to get anything done with their choreo while this happens.
The next day while the queens are getting ready for their performances and the runway, we see a cute moment between Mistress and Malaysia showcasing their friendship. I’m really falling in love with Mistress each and every episode. She’s so fun to watch because you see her being shady and funny like a drag queen should be, but she can also be very loving and supportive of her sisters.
We also see Sasha have a really important conversation talking about queer history with trans women from her home state of Hawaii. I think the representation Sasha brings to the show is significant — not only through her representation as a trans woman but also as a drag legend who has been in the scene for many years and carries a lot of important wisdom.
We hit the runway, and it’s time for the performances. First up is Team Country, and I thought all four queens looked great together and had strong verses. They were able to keep elements of country moves while still keeping in the joke of them being older. I have to shout out Luxx for her great voice. Also, Salina really stood out in her group and had great energy the whole time.
Next was Team Metal, and they also knocked it out of the park. I have no words to say but … Sasha freaking Colby. Week after week, we see why she is the drag legend she is. Aura also killed the challenge, and we really saw her come out of her shell. But Spice was interesting to watch, to say the least.
Team Hip-Hop went last, and just oof. All around they kind of missed the mark, but I thought Jax was the best and actually gave a very good performance.
It’s hard to feel bad when a group who had the easiest prompt, in my opinion, does bad. There are so many opportunities for jokes being old women and doing hip-hop, and they missed them all. Their choreo was good but not what the assignment called for.
I also want to call out and say despite Loosey doing well each week, I feel like she keeps hiding behind a character. She did her Dolly in the acting challenge, she won the Snatch Game as Joan Rivers, and for this challenge, she did a voice. I feel like I don’t know who Loosey is.
We hit the runway and the category is Tie-Dye to Die For. Who did I like? Great question! I think each queen got two seconds on the runway, and I barely remember all the looks. The only people I remember are the tops and bottoms, and I’ll say the top three had great looks. Marcia also stuck out because that was just not a tie-dye outfit. She explained it on Twitter, and it made even less sense.
Sasha, Mistress and Aura are at the top and Jax, Robin and Anetra are at the bottom. I would’ve saved Jax and put Spice there instead. Aura wins the challenge and I agree, BUT I could’ve seen any of the top three winning. Jax and Robin are announced bottom two and lip sync to “In Your Room,” by The Bangles. Jax and Robin are strong performers, so it was a great lip sync. Jax is announced the winner and Robin is told to sashay away.
I feel so bad for Robin. She was given no airtime until the episode she was eliminated, and now she’s gone. I hope she is given another chance on the show as her kindness and elegance really shined through.