Throwing another acting challenge at the remaining contestants of Rupaul’s Drag Race at this point in the competition is especially cruel, but it’s a great test of their fortitude, both emotionally and physically. One imagines everyone competing really wants to be a winner, but if you’ve made it to the top six — close enough to really see yourself swagged out in the tiara and the scepter and the sash, crowned as America’s Next Drag Superstar—it must consume your every waking moment. With that in mind, the pressure. Oh, the pressure. Who caved this week?
It’s hard to do much in an acting challenge when the premise is thin. “Breastworld”—a gay vacation mecca (?) that is also run by Westworld hosts—is not my favorite concept, but it still gave my personal favorite contestants, Monet and Asia, a chance to shine. After a rousing bit of of Rounderbum sponcon—a game of “Pants Down, Bottoms Up!” featuring a super-sized Pit Crew—Aquaria won! Her prize was to assign the roles for the maxi challenge and while she was sure at the start that she inadvertently fucked herself by landing a role with no lines, it stands to reason that she could’ve done a lot worse.
The trouble is no one was really that good. Setting aside Monet and Asia, my two shining stars, Aquaria did great with what she had and everyone else flailed in comparison. Eureka is running on fumes; Kameron is realizing that personality matters but isn’t quite sure how to execute one. And Miz Cracker—sweet, small, scrappy—is consumed with an inner saboteur that manifests in how she chokes when she needs to sing out, Louise!!
Cateogry is: Silver Foxy. Old lady drag! A chance for humor!
Let us away.
Miz Cracker’s silver satin suit is very Miranda Priestly and her face and hair reads Dorinda of Real Housewives of New York—a strong look to be fair, but I wish she’d gone a little more...something? Older face? A small back hump, maybe. The face of a wizened crone, Botoxed to a smooth, immobile sheet, and taped up and away to the back of her skull. Something to offset the slickness of her body and the suit. Where is the humor I crave?
This week’s winner Asia O’Hara’s showgirl auntie in house slippers and ripped tights fantasy proves why she is so, so good—her sense of humor is underrated but sharp and, coupled with her eye for detail and her taste, makes her a force. Don’t sleep on Asia O’Hara, because she will snatch the crown. And I would put money on that.
Okay, all right, it is a BOLD choice to trot yourself out on the runway with three scraps of hair glued to your scalp especially after RuPaul clocked Monet for her pussycat wigs, but the commitment to the role makes it, bitch! What’s not to love about an IV stand as mobile liquor cabinet and a Ru-veal that exposes saggy bosoms knocking at the knees? Not much.
Even though Aquaria was literally born in 1996, you have got to hand it to her that her references run deep. “She looks like a beige Michele Lamy,” I scrawled in my notes; lo and behold, that was her inspiration! Her looks are everything—creative, occasionally elegant, and extremely expensive. Talent is a drag queen’s number one secret weapon, but money is a close second.
I’m not entirely sure what the story behind Eureka’s look was—a purple velvet catsuit with some sort of sweeping purple taffeta dressing gown/duster situation, and a face serving public access pastor’s wife who moonlights as a romance novelist. It is merely fine and a clear panic choice—reaching for a thing you wear because you don’t have anything else, and regretting it once you’re too far from home to circle back and change.
Finally, Kameron Michaels’s look includes a facially-immobilizing wrinkled prosthetic and a cute little narrative about a pill-popping granny. It is also merely fine, aesthetically, but has the energy of an old woman who ran out of the Peppermill Casino in Reno to smoke a Virginia Slim and call her son but got locked out. The judges loved it.
As I’m sure you predicted, lip synching for their lives are Eureka and Kameron, who truly take this Patti LaBelle song and lip synch as if they are both going to die after it’s over. Eureka takes the calculated route, singing with conviction and very intense eye contact, as if she were going to eat the judges alive. Kameron chose the spastic comedy route—a choice!—and did a solid job. There were many feats of physical strength, including many splits (work that new ACL, Eureka), and a surprising twist: NO ONE’S GOING HOME!
Next week—social media makeovers, a.k.a sending the queens to the seventh circle of hell. Hurray!