Buckle that sequined seatbelt, girl, because this roller coaster is a doozy. Just 3 episodes in and we’ve already got some crazy ups and down!
This week’s episode started off as usual with the queens discussing last week’s elimination. After making it to the Top 2 in the premiere episode this season, Tatianna and Roxxxy both sank to the bottom last week, and Alaska sent Tati home. The queens expressed that Tatianna was a great competitor and they were happy she could be reintroduced to the world after her Drag Race debut in 2010.
Meanwhile, Ginger was upset about her stagnant carousel, deemed merely “safe” for the second week in a row. “My Snatch Game was strong and I’m giving glamortoad realness,” she said in her confessional. “What the hell else do I have to do to get recognition?”
And the ride got bumpy as Alyssa’s high-energy antics started to annoy Phi Phi in the work room. But Alyssa gave us the best new catch phrases of the season. “If you are that rotted,” she explains, “you can be a monster, a Gila Monster, or a BEAST.” For maximum effect, the last word is to be spit out like a curse, through saggy lips and a slack jaw as if you have a massive overbite.
Gender Theory: A Herstory Lesson
Ru greeted the remaining seven queens cheerily and told them they will do something Drag Race has never done: a lip sync homage to strong women in (western) history! The contestants clearly knew their assignments already so they could bring the appropriate outfits, but we heard it for the first time:
- Alaska: Eve (the biblical character, not the rapper, unfortunately)
- Phi Phi O’Hara: Trojan War catalyst Helen of Troy
- Ginger Minj: Russian tsarina and alleged horsefucker, Catherine the Great
- Detox: French Queen and a revolution’s guillotine whetstone, Marie Antoinette
- Alyssa Edwards: wild west sharpshooter Annie Oakley
- Roxxxy Andrews: mid-century Argentine First Lady Eva Peron
- Katya: Princess Diana of Wales, our Lady of Roses
“I’m a little jealous of Ginger,” said Katya, “because not only does she get the part that’s Russian, but who’s also fucked a horse.”
This was always going to be a ton of fun to see, but the queens had to memorize choreography and lyrics for this huge group lip sync number. Plus, they had to assemble their looks for the performance AND create looks for this week’s runway theme: The Future of Drag.
Tension was running high and alcohol was running out.
Di Becomes Her
In the workroom, Katya realized the enormous train of her Princess Di wedding gown would encumber her dance ability, so she cut it off. Alyssa got into character as Ms. Oakley by donning her largest blonde wig (looking nothing like Annie’s flat, dark hair), and slinging a bedazzled pistol in the splits.
“On Season 5, I hated playing anything other than Alyssa,” she said in her confessional. “But I want to prove I’m more than just a pageant queen that can kick and twirl. I can play a character.”
But Phi Phi was quick to speak her mind on the subject, too. “Alyssa’s too concerned with how many GIFs she can get made after this. How many t-shirts she can sell.”
Girl you better blow on it ‘cause you’re burning my mouth with that tea.
Aussie choreographer duo Ant & Ash were tasked with blocking the girls’ dance number this week. While Alyssa coasted through rehearsal with her own choreo background, Ginger acknowledged she had an uphill climb emoting and dancing in a huge Russian gown.
Season buzzard Phi Phi O’Hara noticed this concern and descended on it like carrion, whispering to Ginger several times that her dress is huge. In her confessional, Ginger told us she was over it: “I like Phi Phi a lot, but sometimes it feels like she goes out of her way to ruffle somebody’s feathers or plant the seed of self-doubt. It’s weird.”
It’s no surprise that Phi Phi was depicted as a villain on Season 4 of Drag Race—she earned that role with conniving comments and strategic teardowns. But this reputation as a saboteur has come back to haunt her. Back in the workroom while the girls get in face and prepare for their performance, Phi Phi described the challenges she’s had trying to book gigs in the real world. Apparently Detox was one of Phi Phi’s biggest naysayers, and Phi Phi still can’t perform in West Hollywood without facing threats of acid being thrown on her face.
Alaska, poised for the Top 3 this season, was given a “mother hen” moment in her confessional and spoke to this backlash that queens face after Drag Race airs each season. “People are people,” she tells the camera, “and if you’re attacking someone online who you think is a monster, maybe you’re a monster inside. Be nice. It’s just drag.”
The Baddest Bitches in Herstory
In a gorgeous floor-length sparkling blue lace work gown, Ru took the stage and greeted the judges: the usual Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, and Todrick Hall, with special guest judge Jeremy Scott, a designer of whimsical street fashion.
And thus the performance began! Michelle came onscreen as God, tasking the girls with sharing their stories.
Alaska kicked things off with the beginning of human existence (according to your abstinence-only sex education teacher who believes in deities but not dinosaurs). She served a snake-wielding Britney Spears inspired Eve à la “Slave 4 U”—topical since Eve was subordinated by her husband and blamed for literally all bad things in the world. Alaska’s look and performance both gave us what we expected: successful execution and whimsy.
In a surprisingly funny and magnetic lip sync, Phi Phi gave an acid metal Helen of Troy performance and actually nailed it. And Ginger’s Catherine the Great was hilariously emoted with the song “Horse Around,” with her face conveying all the comedic genius for which she’s famous.
Detox’s Marie Antoinette was slightly distracted but well-performed with her trademark TMJ lip sync style, and Alyssa’s Annie Oakley country track was a solid choreo success, but lacked the continuous audience connection we saw from Ginger and Phi Phi.
In the “meh” category were Roxxxy’s Eva Peron and Katya’s Princess Di. Both were good numbers but neither was memorable.
Runway: The Future of Drag
The queens then came out for this week’s runway debut: a fantasy of drag’s sci-fi future.
- Alaska: crazy long nails, an electric blue full-sleeved dress, and frizzy blue wig with red-eye makeup. Like her performance, it gave us the expected success but nothing jaw-dropping.
- Phi Phi: as disgusting as her Mean Girls head games are, she truly killed that runway with a bald blue body paint cosplay adorned in golden armor, complete with an LED-illuminated blaster gun.
- Ginger: in a bulbous silver corset, a black tulle train, and a WTF crimped copper wig, Ginger looked a lot less glamor and a little more toad this week.
- Detox: took off her skirt and wig to reveal her white bandage bikini circa The 5th Element, barely covering her silver-painted body. With a mirror facial appendage, she absolutely slayed.
- Alyssa: a black ballet skirt with huge platform mirror boots and fascinator, with makeup and black wig in the style of Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra.
- Roxxxy: a mirror armor corset with chained fascinator, teased wig.
- Katya: Princess Amidala realness in shimmering silver and black dress (plus size) with enormous black wig. The buxom silhouette didn’t complement her slight frame but the “Space Mom” concept was funny.
Disses and Decisions
With so much going right this week in the queens’ performances and outfits, the judges admitted they were getting nit-picky in their feedback. And girl did they ever.
Alaska’s performance was a hit with Carson but Michelle wanted more. But Ginger’s confusing outfit did not get high praise from Carson. But after giving us ducks and a bathing suit last week, Phi Phi did get that praise from Michelle, who said, “Tonight on the runway, this is really, really fantastic work. I am so proud of you.”
Jeremy Scott tooted Detox’s magenta Marie Antoinette look. “I loved Neontoinette. She could have been a whole collection.” The judges also loved Detox’s runway look, and as she starts to cry from all the compliments, Ru tells her not to because her metal face plate will rust.
While Jeremy and Todrick both loved Alyssa’s look, Michelle (and many viewers) didn’t get it. Michelle and Jeremy also agreed that Roxxxy’s runway ensemble was underwhelming in comparison.
And then Katya went under the knife. Jeremy praised her Princess Di routine, but Carson noted that her lip sync delivery was monotone. Michelle added to this and wished Katya’s Diana look was more over the top, with huge ruffled shoulders and a gaudy train (kind of like the one Katya cut off the damn dress in order to move). But Ru came in with some perspective, pointing out that all the judges and queens can remember what Princess Diana looked like, whereas all the other queens could make decisions that were open to hindsight interpretation, like Detox’s modern makeup for Marie and Phi Phi’s teased mohawk as Helen of Troy.
Now, here’s where the ride comes to a screeching halt. Detox was named one of the Top 2 this week—rightfully so—but alongside her was not this week’s lip-sync-rocking-runway-destroying Phi Phi, it was vacant-eyed-cowgirl-turned-confusing-Priscilla-Queen-of-Egypt-ballerina Alyssa.
Phi Phi, Roxxxy, and Alaska were all told they were safe, and this week we did not get 3 in the bottom but 2: Ginger and Katya. Though the Top 2 were a controversial choice, the Bottom 2 were appropriate.
Ru dismissed the girls to deliberate while she and the judges gave each other mani-pedis.
Behind the scenes, Detox took Katya aside to chat. “On my season, I was just crippled with fear,” says Katya. “And then this time, I feel like an enormous change. I actually feel like a star. But if you don’t bring your A++++ game…”
Alyssa pulled Katya aside too. “Do you feel if I win the lip sync that I should save you?” she asked. “I can’t make that decision for you,” Katya said, and Alyssa expressed in her confessional that Katya seemed defeated. Ginger, on the other hand, told Alyssa, “I’ve got this fire in me right now,” and pointed out that she was only critiqued on her runway look, whereas Katya was critiqued both on her runway and her lip sync. “That’s what I want to hear, bitch,” Alyssa said, leading us to believe that if she won, Ginger would be safe and Katya would be sent home.
Tell It To My Heart
Alyssa and Detox returned from deliberating, both pocketing (or bra-ing?) the engraved lip stick tubes that indicated their chosen queen to eliminate.
Performing “Tell It To My Heart” by Taylor Dayne, Detox served face and serious ass while Alyssa gave a great lip game and splits for days. While she may not have deserved to be in the Top 2, her acrobatics sealed the deal with the lip sync, and Alyssa Edwards was crowned the winner of ten thousand bucks!
“I often tell my students that winning isn’t everything, but wanting to is,” Alyssa told the judges. “Sometimes being in the bottom could be just a one night kind of gig.” This is where we all get ready for her to send defeated Katya home.
“So the queen I’m sending home is Ginger.”
Jaw: dropped. Audience: erupted. Katya: flabbergasted.
In a departure from what the other queens would have done based on the “fairness” rules they imposed upon each other, Alyssa made a bold choice. Whether it was to honor Katya’s superior overall talent demonstrated over this season (she was in the Top 2 with Alaska last week while Ginger has merely coasted as “safe”), to keep the deflated rival over the invigorated opponent, or to axe her perceived greatest competitor (Ginger made it to the Top 3 of her season while Katya only made it to Top 5), Alyssa’s motives remain to be seen.
But as we’ve seen with Coco Montrese and Tatianna’s eliminations, Ginger got a special video message from Ru herself. “Don’t you worry. All is not lost. You still have a chance to return for your revenge.”
This is the first time we’ve heard the word “return” in a video like this, increasing the likelihood that eliminated queens won’t just be making a decision about the winner, but could get back into the game for a second chance at the crown.
“Revenge?” Ginger said. “I’m ready to knock Alyssa out of this competition.”
Catch All-Stars next week to find out how Alyssa’s decision is explained, if Phi Phi gets put in her place, and what this “revenge” looks like. Then come back to Jetspace for next week’s Ru-minations!