Try bloodthirsty, because “Ru-venge” is a dish best served juicy.
The queens started off this week’s episode in the workroom after Alyssa Edwards sent Ginger Minj home last week. This was considered an “upset” by many of the All-Stars considering Katya received harsher criticism, yet Alyssa kept her safe.
Alyssa told Katya in the workroom, “When I take it all into consideration, I think you’ve got so much more to give, so I didn’t send you home today. I think you deserve to be here.”
Detox, however, says she would have sent Katya home had she won last week’s lip sync, and Phi Phi O’Hara says she would have done the same. “I feel that if Ru was up there judging, she would have sent you home,” she said to Katya. Phi Phi then leaned in on Alyssa and accused her of “switching up” the rules they agreed to as a group, but Katya tells everyone to get over it. “She made the decision and I’m here. Boom.”
If they send her home, Alyssa says, it’s a rigged system. “Riga-Morris, girl!” she exclaims, while Detox not so quietly corrects her English. “It’s rigor mortis.”
The Shequel is Always BetterRu—excuse me, EMMY AWARD WINNER®, RUPAUL—entered the workroom and tasked the girls with finding a partner to act out unauthorized “sequels” of iconic films. This was the first group challenge this season (seems like World of Wonder is finally catching on that too many group challenges dilutes the show), so the pressure was on to get it right.
- Katya and Detox chose each other and were given the scripts for “Velma and Weezy,” the sequel to Thelma & Louise, though Detox can’t say that out loud due to copyright laws.
- Roxxxy Andrews and Phi Phi were assigned the scene from “Showsquirrels,” the Showgirls parody.
- That meant Alaska and Alyssa paired up for “Wha’ Ha’ Happened to Baby JJ,” a follow-up film to the classic diva-off What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
As Phi Phi and Roxxxy rehearsed the Showsquirrels script, Phi Phi’s original character is supposed to say “tired ass show girl,” which is exactly what Sharon Needles called Phi Phi in Season 4. Conveniently, Phi Phi suggests they switch characters to “shake things up,” and Roxxxy acquiesces. This left Roxxxy to play “Lil’ Versayce” while Phi Phi played her mother, “Mama Versayce.”
In Wha’ Ha’ Happened to Baby JJ, Alyssa rehearsed as Joan Crawford’s Blanche (renamed “Bland”) while Alaska practiced her best Bette Davis Baby Jane (or, “Baby JJ” for lawsuit-dodging Drag Race).
The queens prepared for their acting challenge and got in face at the vanity. It was there that Phi Phi admitted she worries about Ginger being sent home because it broke the pact that the most critiqued would be eliminated. She says she has a chance for “America to fall in love with her,” and she’s worried she’ll get sent home before that happens.
Show of hands, who’s falling in love with Phi Phi O’Hara?
In the studio, Todrick Hall and Michelle Visage served as acting coaches and directors while the queens delivered their cinematic best. Katya and Detox were first up for Velma & Weezy, playing the zombie versions of Thelma and Louise after the movie’s cliff-dive finale. At first, Katya forgot many of her lines and struggled to get started, but after warming up, she matched Detox’s great performance.
Wha’ Ha’ Happened to Baby JJ was up next, and immediately as Alaska took the stage in powdery Bette Davis makeup, we all realized it was the part she was meant to play. But while Alaska nailed the taping, Alyssa couldn’t even get her sing-and-respond line down. The lyric? “Doo-da, doo-da.”
Lastly was Showsquirrels, and Phi Phi came on the set in what seemed to be a cocaine-fueled hunger for validation. She overacted her way to the top in that scene, while Roxxxy struggled with her lines and faded to the background.
All Shall Be Ru-vealedIt was time for the runway, and Ru kicked off the night by greeting the judges in a zebra-topped scale print dress, with pinup model rockabilly hair and makeup. Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, and Todrick Hall graced the judges’ panel as usual, joined by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.
- Phi Phi: short black finger-wave hair with a crown, donning a baby blue babydoll dress she tore away to reveal the golden gown underneath. Not jaw-dropping, but a successful look.
- Roxxxy: a black gown with a sombrero, which became a bellbottom disco fantasy made of magenta silk and Donna Summer’s luscious flesh.
- Katya: serving a glittery silver cocktail dress which unraveled to expose a full-length red velvet gown, accessorized with flirty satanic accessories like a reversed pentagram and a bloody mouth.
- Detox: Asian-inspired makeup and hair under a hooded black shroud, which unfolded to become an emerald green velvet dress, which tore away to reveal a leotard and Detox’s bodacious gams.
- Alyssa: puffy-black-dress-turned-long-black-gown, adorned with flashing cameras and hair for a Pentecostal church meet.
- Alaska: a huge faceless black amorphous blob became a cute pink dress with terrible frowning makeup and ice-blue contacts. This of course was Li’l Poundcake, the puppet character she and Lineysha Sparx created in Season 5 of Drag Race.
Roll the TapeAfter the runway looks were debuted, Ru played back the finished videos for all to see.
Showsquirrels rolled first. Phi Phi played “Mama Versayce,” who, years after the ruinous Showgirls ending, had a daughter of her own who was “bitten by the showbiz bug.” Phi Phi hammed it up as a Toddlers and Tiaras mother and got laughs from the judges, while Roxxxy’s petulant child character was outshined. When Roxxxy agreed to switch roles with Phi Phi, she didn’t do herself any favors, leaving all the best lines and dramatic moments to the mother character.
Next was Velma & Weezy. Katya and Detox, the undead Thelma and Louise, were a tightly balanced performance duo. And while Detox gave us a great Susan Sarandon tribute, Katya channeled her best Anna Faris for the most laughs. The two battled it out over a hunky meal of a Pit Crew member, and ate each other’s severed corpse limbs with convincing passion.
That left Wha’ Ha’ Happened to Baby JJ. After the final scene of the original movie, we cut to 50 years later when the feuding sisters are trapped in an assisted living facility. Alaska’s Baby Jane homage wheeled onto set on a Hoveround while Alyssa’s Blanche character quivered in fear, but Baby JJ stood up and threatened to serve her “pork chops”: a chubby drag queen’s head. A nurse—BIG FREEDIA HERSELF—helped sister “Bland” up while she and “Baby JJ” sang a duet afterward. Unfortunately for Alyssa, Alaska’s performance was the best of the night, and our poor Joan Crawford impersonator fell by the wayside.
Tooted and BootedEach week, the judges’ critiques have been getting pickier and pickier as the queens’ looks have evolved to be fiercer and fiercer.
Though Nicole Scherzinger and Roxxxy shared a starstruck moment of flirtation and Nicole praised Roxxxy’s outfit, Michelle pointed out that Roxxxy was outshined, and Todrick agreed. Michelle and Todrick also agreed, however, that Katya’s performance was excellent and picked up steam after she got out of her head in the beginning of filming, but the judges weren’t huge fans of her outfit. Still, Carson loved the humor behind her hellish getup.
Carson expressed that Detox’s big reveal “wasn’t the most amazing transformation” on the runway, but he liked the final outfit, and Todrick tooted her scene performance as “100%.”
Alyssa got read for her lackluster performance but Carson praised her runway look, while Michelle said, “We shouldn’t give you passes. Little things should matter.” She felt the outfit wasn’t as put together and polished as it could (and should) have been.
The judges didn’t have anything but positives for Phi Phi and Alaska, though. Phi Phi was even moved to (crocodile?) tears based on Michelle’s praise of her performance and Carson’s compliments on her fashion. And Alaska’s acting and Lil’ Poundcake look were favorites of the night. Ru asked, “Alaska, is there anything you want to say?” In true Lil’ Poundcake fashion, Alaska replied, “You’re not my real mom and you never will be.”
And so the top two were named: Phi Phi and Alaska, each the winner of a $1000 shopping spree at Fabric Planet.
Detox was then deemed safe, while Roxxxy, Katya, and Alyssa were all in the bottom.
How to Decide?Ru dismissed Phi Phi and Alaska to prepare to lip sync for their legacies and decide who they would send home should they win. What would the judges do in the meantime? Make prank phone calls.
Backstage, the girls establish the T: Alyssa got the harshest critiques of the night, while Roxxxy and Katya have both been in the bottom twice now. Based on the “rules” that the girls established, Alyssa would then be the one sent home, but based on the elimination Alyssa herself made last week, there is now a precedent to reward consistency over one bad performance.
Alaska pulled all 3 queens aside to speak with them one-on-one. Katya recognized that her looks weren’t dramatically different from each other, but acknowledged that her acting performance was on point. This was in contrast to the struggles Roxxxy and Alyssa had in their scenes. Next, Alyssa expressed that she didn’t want to throw others under the bus and only wanted to make a case for herself, pointing out that this was her first time being in the bottom, and that she previously won a lip sync. Roxxxy admitted that acting was “not her thing,” and she recognized she’d been in the bottom twice—“so was Katya,” she added—but she felt she should stay. And then, Alaska asked Roxxxy for her pink tutu outfit so she could change into it for the lip sync performance. Roxxxy sycophantically obliged, of course.
Phi Phi also changed outfits for the lip sync, and as the girls pestered her about whom she would send home and why, she got snippy and buckled under the pressure of making a decision. There was no footage aired of her meeting with any of the bottom 3 queens.
You’ve Got To Be RealAfter choosing the lip stick tubes engraved with the name of their chosen queens to eliminate, Phi Phi and Alaska competed onstage to the song “Got To Be Real” by Cheryl Lynn. And girl, Li’l Poundcake was a fucking hit. That grumpy clown mug and frumpy pink dress were comedic gold—the route she chose to go the last time she won a lip sync challenge against Katya. In a sharp contrast, Phi Phi had changed into a sleek sharkskin catsuit, and while she looked like a 90’s spy bombshell, she took herself far too seriously in the performance. So the judges were presented with a hilarious human puppet vs. that drunk cousin at your brother’s wedding whose highlight of the week is saucing up the Macarena.
Rightly so, Ru named Alaska the winner of the lip sync and ten thousand big ones! This is Alaska’s second win of the season, and that Top 3 seat is just calling her name. Phi Phi was deemed safe, and it was time for Alaska to choose a queen to go home. “As it gets fewer and fewer, it gets more and more difficult,” she said on the runway, “and so I hope this queen I consider to be my sister will understand the decision I’ve made tonight. The queen I’ve selected is Alyssa Edwards.”
Alaska immediately broke down in (crocodile?) tears, while Alyssa misted up in shock. But the eliminated queen hugged Alaska with poise and announced to the judges, “I was a LOVELY… fifth alternate,” reliving her experience on Season 6 of Drag Race, being eliminated just shy of the Top 5.
Vengeance ComethBackstage, Alyssa says her final words to the camera and collects her honorary RuPaul trophy, but that telltale video recording plays for her, and Ru informs her, “It ain’t over.”
The queens retire to the workroom after Alyssa’s elimination and see Alyssa’s lipstick message on the mirror. That’s when Phi Phi reveals she also would have sent Alyssa home, sticking to her rule of sending the most harshly critiqued queen home. “I’m sick of them saying, ‘You can wear shit onstage but it’s okay, because you’re Alyssa.’ It’s like she was saying, ‘You shouldn’t send me home because I was only in the bottom once.’” And she tells Katya and Roxxxy, “She was more concerned about throwing you two under the bus to avoid getting eliminated,” which is the opposite of how Alyssa stated her case to Alaska.
Suddenly the mirror on which Alyssa’s lipstick message is written begins to glow, and four ghostly queens appear behind it. The one-way mirror exposes the previously eliminated queens, Coco Montrese, Tatianna, Ginger Minj, and the freshly burned Alyssa Edwards.
Girl, if looks could kill, Phi Phi would be Instagramming in hell right now.
Finally, the revenge component is in play this season! How will it come into effect? Find out in next week’s show, and come back to Jetspace Magazine to get your next fix of Ruminations!