RuPaul’s Drag Race is back this week with a 50/50 Gagworthy Stars Interview challenge for the remaining queens. Following last week’s Crystal Ball and the elimination of Spice, the queens return to the werk room where Salina EsTitties jokes that ‘lip syncing against Spice lifted her spirits’ — not because Spice kept the energy fun, but because she knew she’d beat her.
It’s a funny bit, especially considering how poorly Salina has been doing in the competition (made even more comedic considering the Spice vs. Salina lip sync was underwhelming to the point that even a double elimination would’ve made sense.)
On a more positive note, the queens celebrate Sasha Colby’s second win in the competition — much to the dismay of Loosey LaDuca who is quick to point out she’s won three challenges. Loosey started off strong and sweet, but the show’s editing has been quick to turn on her, showcasing her as a negative-minded and bitter competitor. It’s a bit odd to see the Drag Race producers pull such a flip on a contestant’s narrative at this point in the competition — but with the last minute edits cutting the show from 90 minutes to 40, I doubt even the editors have that clear of an idea of what they’re doing, either.
While Loosey has been falling from graces, Mistress Isabelle Brooks has been ascending, thanks to her multiple avenues of talent and willingness to be dramatic as well as brutally honest and funny. From a production standpoint, Mistress brings it all; turning the looks on the runway, excelling in the challenges as well as giving them multiple good soundbites in both confessionals and werk room shenanigans with other queens. Whether she’s butting heads with Malaysia or stirring the pot with Loosey, Mistress knows how to make herself one of the stars of each episode, and the entire season (and with this being Drag Race‘s largest cast of competitors in one season, that’s saying something.)
After the elimination day is over, RuPaul greets the queens in the werk room, bypassing a mini challenge and taking them straight to the maxi challenge: ’50/50’ celebrity interviews (or rather, ‘friends of Drag Race’ interviews).
Without a mini challenge winner, RuPaul himself assigns the queens to the celebrities, pairing Marcia Marcia Marcia and Sasha Colby with Charo. Anetra, Loosey and Malaysia will be paired with Frankie Grande. Luxx, Salina and Mistress will interview Love Connie. The celebrity theme continues onto the runway, where it will be ‘Night of 1000 Beyoncés.’
The teams break into groups to strategize and gather information on their interviewees before donning their best newscaster drag and prepare to do live segments all in one take.
First up is Love Connie’s interview, where Salina EsTitties starts out with a sit down interview — where she even interrupts Love Connie at one point and struggles to find when to take a pause for her next question. Luxx’s portion of the segment involves a ride on a golf cart where the two discuss Love Connie’s ‘nemesis’ and go for a ride.
Luxx has good rapport with Connie and brings up fun highlights of Connie’s career — including her role in Legally Blonde. Lastly, Mistress and Connie came together to make some cupcakes for a cooking segment. Mistress honestly seems a bit in her head, not catching some of Connie’s witty remarks until a few moments later and failing to let the room breathe and adjust her questions accordinly. Mistress has a bulletpoint list in her head to hit, and Connie aims to derail that list at every question, often ignoring Mistress’s questions entirely to run the show.
After the segment Mistress remarks that she’s ready to go learn the lip sync, thinking she’s certainly in the bottom.
Next up is Sasha and Marcia interviewing Charo. Sasha starts things out by making a salad with Charo. The two bond over mutual time spent in Hawaii, though like Love Connie, Charo is very much leading the reigns here.
Sasha quickly grabs the reigns back though, guiding the conversation and sprinkling in questions among the chaos and having good back and forth with Charo. Marcia Marcia Marcia has a sit down interview with Charo, where she struggles to completely understand Charo’s thick accent, often nodding with apparent confusion. In the end, the interview doesn’t have much substance, and Marcia’s inability to react and think on her toes might endanger her here.
Lastly, Malaysia, Loosey and Anetra interview Frankie Grande. Loosey starts off with the sit down interview, having great back and forth with Frankie, where things actually feel conversational rather than flat. Loosey’s able to get great information from Frankie and nothing seems scripted or forced. Loosey is very much in her element (and it’ll be totally understandable if she has a meltdown over not winning this one!)
Anetra visits Frankie and the two go for a ‘power walk’ where they discuss Frankie’s recent marriage and do some exercises. It’s a quick segment, and Frankie does some hard work to make sure Anetra doesn’t lose track of things too easily, helping her out. Of the three groups, Frankie’s group by far had the easiest interviewee — while Love Connie and Charo (whether purposely or not) tried to spice things up and sew chaos to keep the queens on their toes, Frankie took a more loving and gentle approach to make sure his group would succeed.
Lastly, Malaysia did the cooking segment, and Malaysia shrinks into herself, and the marriage topic is brought up for the third time. In all honesty, Frankie is taking control and asking more questions than Malaysia is…everything from Malaysia’s volume-less wig to the fake Italian accent are a total mess. If Drag Race has any sense, it’s likely going to be a Malysia vs. Salina lip sync, taking into account that both Mistress and Marcia have been performing more strongly in past weeks.
Back in the werk room preparing for the runway, Sasha Colby discusses a story about how she believes she’s the inspiration behind Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce character — which Mistress calls a ‘lovely fairytale.’
Luxx starts the runways in Beyoncé’s 2006 Kennedy Center Honors performance look. The original outfit by Bob Mackie was made for Lynda Carter and even RuPaul had worn it before Beyoncé. Luxx typically delivers on the runway regardless of how she does in the challenges, and this week is no exception. The only flaw is that it felt more like a Tina Turner runway — which makes sense, considering that’s who was being honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. And with other celebrities like Ru, Lynda, Tina, etc. all being associated with the look, it doesn’t scream uniquely ‘Beyoncé.’
Mistress Isabelle Brooks brings camp and fashion to the runway, recreating Beyoncé’s 2001 Grammy’s look — complete with 2 Destiny’s Child inspired muppet dolls on her back that match Kelly and Michelle’s looks from the same event.
Salina EsTitties takes inspiration from Beyoncé’s 2004 Grammy’s appearance, complete with Beyoncé’s many award wins from the night. In a cute nod to RuPaul, the awards are actually golden RuPaul Chia Pets. The dress itself is actually beautiful, and perhaps Salina would benefit from taking more inspiration from Beyoncé in her future looks.
Sasha Colby brings Beyoncé’s 2006 B.E.T. Awards look to the runway. Sasha always brings glamor and sexiness to the runway, and this look is perfect for her to do that. The detailing on the outfit, from head to toe, are well crafted and elevate the otherwise simplistic look.
Marcia Marcia Marcia recreates the Title X Brooklyn 2017 Charity Event look — an obscure reference to pull and one that is more loosely inspired than a direct replica. Marcia always looks stunning, and this emerald green ensemble with matching makeup is no exception. But, as most of her runway critiques have mentioned in past weeks, there’s a lack of drama or theatrics — or just anything — to elevate Marcia’s drag to the next level.
Anetra struts the runway in an outfit from Beyoncé’s On The Run Tour. The details in the dress are nice, and the cape really allows Anetra to capture Beyoncé’s attitude. Many of the queens’ runways look like nice outfits but don’t scream Beyoncé…and certainly not as much as Anetra’s does.
Malaysia Babydoll Foxx brings the 2018 Global Citizens Festival Beyoncé outfit to the runway. The outfit is nice but could be more inspired — though Malaysia’s hair choice is certainly very Beyoncé and sells the package.
Loosey LaDuca brings lots of sequins in an eye-catching recreation of the outfit Beyoncé wore when she announced her pregnancy during a ‘Love on Top’ performance. It’s a clear standout for the night, but the only letdown is the lack of baby bump!
After the runway, RuPaul sends Marcia and Anetra back to Untucked and deems them safe — surely news to Marcia’s ear after a rocky interview with Charo.
For the judge’s critiques, Luxx is praised for handling Love Connie’s zaniness and ability to reign her in as well as the genuineness of her questions and, of course, the runway being right up RuPaul’s alley. As for Mistress, T.S. Madison and Ru critiqued Mistress’s lack of warmth in the interview. They praise her runway, though, and her ability to pair glamour and comedy.
Salina finally gets positive critiques on her runway, but the interview — specifically her talking over Love Connie — brings her performance down. Salina, as always, has many excuses for her middling performance that RuPaul even calls a ‘rookie mistake.’
Sasha gets praise for the runway and the challenge, with the judges happy with Sasha matching Charo’s energy without overshadowing her and Sasha’s moment where she tossed her question cards aside and just let loose. Ru even asked Sasha if she’d hosted on TV before, much to Sasha’s happiness.
Malaysia’s critiques praise the ‘Single Ladies’ inspired look which was on point, but mention how Frankie took the reigns in the interview as Malaysia folded into herself. “You gotta do better, girl,” T.S. Madison says as Malaysia confesses she’d rather be ‘safe than sorry.’ Some famous last words on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Loosey is praised for both her performance and runway, which elevated Beyoncé’s outfit to even higher levels of drag. With how strong Loosey’s performance was, it’s actually a huge surprise that she was not the winner of this week’s challenge. Sasha wins instead, with Luxx and Loosey being safe.
Malaysia finds herself in the bottom against Salina. It’s a shame, considering how wonderful Salina looks on the runway for the first time this season, as well as how her performance wasn’t entirely terrible, but this placement does make sense when looking at the competition for the long haul. Mistress had one low week compared to the many Salina has had.
Malaysia and Salina lip sync to ‘Single Ladies’ by none other than Beyoncé. Salina brings tons of high energy as usual, though both she and Malaysia do the ‘Single Ladies’ choreo that feels a bit predictable. Overall, though, a strong performance from both. It feels like Malaysia’s earlier words of rather being safe than sorry were the nail in her coffin, and she must sashay away.
Next week sees the queens performing a comedy routine. Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race on Fridays on MTV and streaming on Paramount+.