RuPaul’s Drag Race
Have you or a loved one sustained injury during a Drag Race challenge? You may be entitled to financial compensation.
Ru girls, it’s time for you to unionize. Or at the very least, to hire a personal injury attorney and sue that lady’s ass!! Almost every season, at least one girl experiences a debilitating joint injury, which often causes them to have to leave the competition. This season, the curse lays claim to one of our early front-runners: Kornbread. Last week, I asked for a “shake-up” among the front-runners of this season, and well … my monkey’s paw heard me loud and clear, folks! At the top of this episode, Kornbread appears via pre-recorded video to tell us that she rolled her ankle last week (presumably as a result of having her foot on Jasmine Kennedie’s neck all episode). She leaves some encouraging words of wisdom for Willow, Jasmine, and Kerri and officially drops out of the race. It’s a jarring loss. Not only did Kornbread feel like an early lock for the top four, but her ubiquitous presence in confessionals and the werkroom has made her an indispensable part of this season’s drama and overall narrative arc. Suffice it to say, Kornbread’s absence leaves a gaping hole in season 14, so the show (and the queens) will have to work overtime to fill that void.
Now, that’s not to say we don’t have any strong contenders. Willow and Angeria maintain their spotless track records, and we also witness the ascension of a new challenger: Bosco. As in last episode, the premise for this week’s challenge is a strong comedic idea. The queens must write and star in a parody commercial in which they solicit donations for “Save a Queen,” a charity that raises awareness for first-eliminated queens: namely, Tempest Dujour, Jaymes Mansfield, and Kahmora Hall. Think St. Judes or ASPCA meets season five’s “Can I Get an Amen.” Clear premise, good joke … I like it! Unfortunately, something gets lost in translation in the execution. When the queens break off into their respective teams to write their ads, seemingly the entire afternoon consists of writing one rhyming couplet each. A couple of issues with this: First off, in the time that these (quite talented) queens are normally expected to produce a gown made out of trash, a rap verse and accompanying choreography, or a full set of stand-up comedy, we’re now watching them struggle to … execute an AABB rhyme scheme? It’s not adding up. Second, where is this mandate for a poem coming from in the first place? Are there a slew of limerick-based 501(c)(3) organizations I’m unaware of? But to RuPaul, these poems and their delivery are an indispensable part of the advertisement, and so the queens dutifully complete them.
This is the point of the recap where I usually say something like “Let’s talk standouts,” but if I’m being honest, no one impressed me much. Had the queens been able to exert a little more creative freedom over the direction of the commercials, it might have been a different story. But the rigid structure puts them in a box. My biggest laugh of the evening comes when Angeria says, “What’s that bitch name again?” (For someone who claims not to be an actress or comedian, Angeria is doing pretty darn well at acting and comedy.) Lady Camden, Daya Betty, and Bosco all turn in solid performances as well, though I’m hard-pressed to come up with any true laugh-out-loud moments. It’s the runway, therefore, that acts as a tiebreak this week, nudging Bosco and Lady Camden to the front of the pack with their fun reveals. I love both of these queens, so no complaints here! RuPaul plugs their challenge scores, runway presentation, and overall vibes into whatever proprietary algorithm she uses to calculate challenge winners, and Bosco comes out on top. Good for her! I’m excited that the judges recognize Bosco as a queen to watch, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Lady Camden has points on the board.
The bottom three placements, however, feel quite a bit less arbitrary. Jorgeous can’t seem to muster one iota of self-confidence in these acting challenges, iambs and trochees absolutely kick Jasmine Kennedie’s ass, and Orion Story’s lack of screen presence is on full display. This lineup spells doom for Orion. Going up against Jorgeous or Jasmine Kennedie in an Ava Max lip sync? The Drag Race equivalent of fighting a land war in Asia.
By my count, this episode has three saving graces: Kahmora Hall in vintage Bob Mackie, RuPaul clearly having no idea who Ava Max is, and Jorgeous in this lip sync. The camera cuts to Jorgeous smirking as Kerri Colby narrates: “This is going to be one of those lip syncs to watch. Miss Jorgeous is gonna buck. Her. Ass. Down.” And buck she does. Jorgeous hits every beat, hypnotizes us with every twirl, and delivers the first great LSFYL of the season. Orion simply can’t compete. It’s a snuff film set to an Ava Max track. After Jorgeous completes her victory lap, with no gold chocolate bar to throw a wrench in things, Orion must hit the road.
In the blink of an eye, we’re down two more queens. Willow, Angeria, and Bosco have all made their mark on this competition, and the next few episodes will be crucial for the other queens waiting in the wings. Lady Camden, Maddy Morphosis, and Deja Skye all have the potential to claim that fourth front-runner spot, but they’re going to have to move fast. These eliminations are coming quicker and quicker.
See you next week!
A weekly segment where I discuss stray thoughts that won’t leave my head.
• “Orion … kicked off his shoes.” — Jasmine Kennedie: Nothing is funnier to me than when drag queens pointedly decide to use he/him pronouns.
• Guest star Sarah McLachlan: God bless Sarah for this cameo. Her cultural impact? Immeasurable! “In the Arms of an Angel” lip sync when?!
• “I’ve been doing a seasonal-affective-disorder number in Seattle …” — Bosco: I’m 80 percent confident I could’ve guessed this about Bosco without her telling me.