Spoilers ahead for this week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Last week, seven men came forward with accusations of sexual misconduct and predatory catfishing against Season 12 RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Joey Gugliemelli, who performs under the name Sherry Pie. In light of Sherry’s Facebook post that did not deny the accusations, VH1 announced that it would disqualify her from the competition but continue to air the episodes leading up to the finale as scheduled. These revelations and VH1’s decision sparked debate in the RuPaul’s Drag Race subreddit and on Twitter about what course of action should have been taken by the network and World of Wonder, with some users suggesting they edit the episodes to minimize Sherry Pie’s screen time, and others suggesting that the season be pulled and reworked entirely.
As with last week’s episode, tonight’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, “World’s Worst,” began with a disclaimer regarding Sherry Pie at the top of the episode, which is the same as the one released by VH1 and World of Wonder last week:
“In light of recent developments and Sherry Pie’s statement, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Out of respect for the hard work of the other queens, VH1 will air the season as planned. Sherry will not appear in the grand finale scheduled to be filmed later this spring.”
But even though Sherry Pie has been disqualified from winning the grand prize at the end of the season, “Worlds Worst” finds the judges praising her “commanding presence” and “campy but in this really fashionable way” runway look, and and ultimately awarding her the win and this week’s prize of $5,000. This was followed by another, new statement at the end of the episode, clarifying that “This episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race was filmed in 2019,” and adding, “In light of recent developments, VH1 and World of Wonder have donated $5,000 to The Trevor Project.” The Trevor Project is a confidential, free 24-hour suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.
Some viewers have interpreted the statement that Sherry Pie “will not appear in the grand finale” as an indication that Sherry could make it far into the season, possibly to the Top 4. Sherry’s win this week would seem to strengthen that possibility, which makes it notable that despite her win, she has relatively little screen time, with no “talking head” segments in the main episode and next to no presence in Untucked.