Previously on Drag Race: Max fell impressively from grace while Ginger and Kennedy locked up their top spots with a shared Snatch Game win.
After The Elimination
The girls return to the room tired and seemingly bummed about Max, but neither emotion can top their ennui about the idea of a dismissed queen returning. Ginger wants Jasmine back (NO), which Fame quickly shoots down, proposing Kandy Ho. (Katya: “She can’t lip sync four times.”)
Katya interviews: “How can I say this delicately? I DON’T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO COME BACK. Nobody wants another bitch to come back! Nice to know you. You’re beautiful. Stay home.”
A New Day!
The girls enter the room expecting to be greeted by a returned queen or, preferably, a large gift box that they could set aflame. No one has positive feelings about the situation. Ginger suggests they all go on strike until the queen is removed and begins singing a protest song, which Violet finds hilarious.
RuPaul’s video message is a confusing mix of references to Wizard of Oz, bus-throwing, and hitchhiking – but it’s clear that the returned queen is meant to mess with everyone’s plans. Fame turns into a Katya-like cartoon character as she has an imaginary fist-fight with Ru.
Ru enters. “Are you decent? Because we’ve got company!” Everyone groans until Latrice MFigg Royale enters in her Tuckahoe County Prison uniform! The queens are more excited for Latrice than they’ve been for any actual star so far this season, because: LATRICE.
Katya interviews: “LATRIIIIIIIIICE. It’s like seeing Sharon Stone except… you know… fat and… black.”
It turns out that Latrice pairs with the mini-challenge, “Orange Is The New Drag.” The pit crew enters with prison wear for each girl, which they need to drag up to their version of behind-bars couture. While they work, Latrice paces the room stroking her nightstick spouting one-liners. Then, it’s time for The Tuckahoe Prison Fashion Show!
Ginger Minj AKA Wide Receiver. She’s fashioned a sort of house-dress out of prison orange with a duct tape stripe up the front and back and lace-up collar. Her hair is tied up in a scarf. It’s not bad for 20 minutes.
Kennedy Davenport AKA Ho ’n’ Good Stuff. She’s in a halter bikini top of prison gray and… underwear? She has a sort of shredded orange fringe. Seems like she spent a little too much time on hair and makeup to get ashy knees right.
Pearl AKA Lil’ Bitch. Whoa, has Pearl been our secret seamstress all this time? She’s in a v-neck orange blouse with tied shoulders and what looks a hell of a lot like an actual gray pleated skirt with an asymmetrical hem. If only her runways were this good.
Miss Fame AKA Sad Pink Eyes. She’s in an orange crop top that barely covers her enhanced bosom and a crinkle-cut short orange skirt. It’s cute, but pretty basic. However, she is serving fantastic body movements! It’s great to see her being creative and having fun with it.
Katya AKA Olga. Katya is basically in straight-up prison oranges with the edges intensely frayed. The thing that makes her stand out is wearing a pair of leopard-print underwear as a sort of S&M mask with dual ponytails sticking out, which doubles as a Pussy Riot callout. On closer examination, she’s adorned all that fringe with toothbrushes and painted her teeth a terrifying yellow. The other girls think she’s hilarious.
Violet Chachki AKA Princess. She’s in a longer cropped orange top top and smartly cuffed high orange shorts with a head scarf and a handcuff earring. I think she she should have mixed up the colors for more impact.
Jaidynn Diore Fierce AKA Slutisha. She’s in… what she basically wears every week? An orange front-tied bikini-top over a black bra with a mini-dress. I guess it drives home that she truly does make a lot of her clothes, but it’s the same damned pattern.
Looking at them all in a lineup, it’s crystal clear that Pearl mopped the floor with them. No one else comes close. Ru picks Kennedy for no reason other than she will potentially churn up lots of shit with whatever privileges her win affords her.
Ru announces that she is ready to reveal the “kitty girl” she brought back from the brink. In walks Trixie Mattel to cheers from most of the assembled queens! In walks Tempest Du Jour to a gaggle of incredulous queens. In walks Kandy Ho, and now the queens realize the depth of Ru’s insanity. She is followed by Jasmine Masters, Mrs. Kasha Davis, and finally Max carrying his twee umbrella.
Wait, did I forget Sasha Belle in there? I swear, I actually just skipped her by mistake. She is that forgettable.
BAM. Every queen, back in the mix. It’s week one all over again, bitches. And, Ru reveals the challenge is pairing with another queen to become her conjoined twin! Violet seems kinda excited? Except, most of these girls left while she was still being an awful brat, so she might not have a terrific experience with them.
It’s easy to guess that Kennedy is about to throw a molotov cocktail into this situation with a series of shady matchups. [Ed. Note: She later claims on Untucked – pretty credibly – that she tried to be as fair as possible without playing favorites.]
Kennedy goes with Jasmine, which is at once a good and a bad call. Good because why fight skin color for a twins project, plus Jasmine is easy to knock off afterward. Bad because we’ve seen their paired work ethic go awry before and they almost certainly won’t win. Better choice? Maybe Kasha or Max?
Ginger gets Sasha, which is a virtually unwinnable pairing when she could have had Kasha. Pearl gets Trixie, which is a match made in heaven (Fame is probably sad) but also the combo that sent Trixie home. Fame gets Kandy, which won’t win but probably won’t lose either. Katya gets Kasha, which is a shade bomb because they were a pair when Kasha was sent home. Violet gets Max which… WHAT THE HELL? Max is the MVP here and you put her with the girl she actually could be made to resemble? Does Kennedy have a sudden crush on Violet or what? (Max whispers, “We’re gonna kill this s**t.”) That leaves Jaidynn with Tempest, which plays up their physical mismatch but severely underestimates how good at fashion Tempest is – she’s the one queen who can make Jaidynn a threat other than Max.
May the best women win!
Ginger is going to cut a bitch, but she puts on a kind face for the hapless Sasha (who, at least, is looking handsome with some stubble). Ginger wants to conjoin them in a way that stands out – but she wants to look good. Ginger interviews, “Sasha Belle don’t sew. I don’t sew. So, I don’t know what the hell we’re going to do to make this sewing challenge work.”
Pearl wants to do “gorgeous but gross, just like my drag – or pretty but nasty” and you can tell this beautiful drag blimp could go down like the Hindenberg. No, Pearl! Why not just be elegant? They decide to be little kids in a beauty peagant. “We can give you acne,” Pearl enthuses, while behind the scenes she admits she is only excited for this because she gets to do it with Trixie.
Ru re-enters and beelines for the Violet+Max power couple. Violet wants to use Max’s look but Chachki it up. The danger is that as good as Violet always is in the runway, she does not have a consistent theme aside from corseting – and, they’re planning to be “hourglassed” together at the waist. It’ll be lovely, but will it stand out?
Ru feels Fame and Kandy are an unlikely pairing, but Fame wishes she had a little bit of Kandy’s fearlessness. Fame seems really into this challenge. Kandy: “Her answers are paragraphs.” Well, that too. Fame continues to speak, and it’s all smart good words but the editing mocks her. Ru FINALLY calls her out on missing the “How is your head?” joke repeatedly, and Fame just doesn’t get it.
Ru visits Ginger and Sasha and pretty much just baits Ginger to see if she’ll be nasty in front of Sasha. Ginger decides they’ll be joined at the (HUGE) breasts. Ginger is worried this could be her first week in the bottom two.
Ru visits Katya and Kasha, who plan to be aging hookers connected by the vagina. Kasha is the one to point out that she went home last time this couple was assembled – and, she doesn’t seem too confident about preventing that this time around.
Katya interviews: “If I go home and one of those eliminated whores gets to stay I am going to have a good time traveling to their house and burning it down.”
Ru visits Kennedy and Jasmine, shade united. Kennedy chose Jasmine because, “I can make her look like me,” and gives a charming speech about how Jasmine has so much to offer the competition which is a bald-faced lie and she knows it and she knows we know it but I don’t think Jasmine knows she and we all know it.
Ru visits Tempest and Jaidynn, and calls them “the oddest couple” and Kennedy chortles under her breath from across the room. Oh, the shade! Yet, their intended story – that they’re fraternal twins from a “Studio 54 Whore” sounds self-aware and reasonably amusing. The more they talk, the more I think they put the silliest pair of girls together. It could work.
Ru visits Pearl and Trixie, who cannot stop hugging long enough to get work done. Trixie refers to her exit as, “an unfortunate lip sync accident.” Trixie wants to push the funny to the max. They unleash their pretty twin vs. ugly twin plan, and Ru does not dismiss it.
Violet, to Kasha: “Is this you guys making it sexy? Or very slutty? That was a complement, not a read. I’m doing this thing now when I tell people when I complement them in case there’s confusion.”
That is at once the cutest and saddest thing ever. Kasha thinks Violet’s the girl who changed the most. In interview, Kasha seems genuinely delighted by the change in demeanor.
Sasha is wandering the room seemingly talking to every other queen while Ginger repeatedly stands waiting for her to snip and sew. Ginger is freaked out enough to request a sidebar conference with Katya, while Jasmine…
You know what, I’m not even recapping anything Jasmine says. She is a vile human being with no talent and a terrible wardrobe. The end.
To her credit, Kennedy seems genuinely concerned about Ginger’s nervousness in her interview.
Violet is feeling great about Max’s chances to stay around. Katya and Kasha are already looking identical. Jaidynn and Tempest are bantering over painting each other and bonding over being in the closet. And conversion therapy! “It nearly destroyed me,” Tempest says. Violet is engaged in the conversation to the point that she has abandoned her own makeup job. It’s charming and I’m going to be ultra-sad if Jaidynn goes home equally because that will mean Tempest failed twice.
And yet… she’s the one who is most ready to go home.
Fame gets to know Kandy, while Trixie confesses she was removed from her home by police due to the abuse of her step-dad. “if I was being to sensitive or too feminine he would call me Trixie.”
So Trixie took the nickname of her abuser and combined it with the surname of a plastic doll, and that’s her drag persona. That is at once uplifting and also way too heavy for me to comment on.
May the best twinsies winsies! (Really, that’s what Ru said.)
Miss Fame and Kandy Ho are connected at the hip. Oooo, it’s a wide miss. They’re in bandage dresses and plastic surgery looks, which has been done so many times and rarely well. The dresses are remedial mini-dresses in skin tone, though they do have an interesting motif of words on them. There is evidence that they’re either in the process of ripping themselves apart or sewing themselves back together, but they aren’t really pushing for the Hedwig of it all. Even with the creepy dresses, Fame had a perfect opportunity to take the beautiful Kandy and glam her to the max. Wasted chance.
Jaidynn Dior Fierce and Tempest Du Jour are connected front to back. They didn’t do too much on the resemblance front, but they got the physical humor of it just right – Tempest’s head pokes out just above Jaidynn’s low puff of hair. They’re wearing lime-green one-shoulder tops and clingy gold pants, and I think they managed to counter almost every critique they’ve collectively received so far. Jaidynn looks great in pants, as it turns out. Where’s her executive realness?
Kennedy Devenport and Jasmine Masters are connected at the leg. They’re made up beautifully to match (they’re even the exact same height!) and are wearing lovely pink dresses with hanging drapes from the arms. It’s extremely elegant and dull as a box of rocks.
Pearl and Trixie Mattel are connected at the center, either by hip or arm. They somehow pulled off their look? I’m as amazed as anyone. Pearl looks like Glinda the Good Witch on her wedding day with glamorous makeup and massive curly hair. Her dress is gorgeous. It might be her best runway ever. Trixie is identical but as a 13yr-old ugly duckling version of the same, complete with braces. Everything about her is Pearl but just not quite as pretty-looking. And, they both still look Pearlish? Pearlesque? It’s so lovely.
Violet Chachki and Max are attached at the waist. They are clearly drawing inspiration from ROLE in Chicago as a pair of flapper twins that look like mirror images of each other with identical makeup, hair, and red glittering hats. Their one weak spot is the attachment – they basically pasted a big red diamond over their center point. Also, they never fully ditch their boa to show off their double-hourglass shape. This is by no means a loser, but I expected more.
Ginger Minj and Sasha Belle are attached at the commedically oversized breasts. Credit where due, Sasha is unrecognizable – she looks like Ginger’s lovely sister. They’re in matching pink cheetah pantsuits and I call shenanigans on “I don’t know how to sew” because clingy pantsuits ain’t easy! They fulfilled every criteria of the challenge and they are selling their physical comedy hugely. The look is a bit plain compared to what all the other queens cooked up.
Katya and Miss Kasha Davis are attached at the vulva. They, too, went the route of being absolutely identical and also comedic. They are a pair of dried-out, over-dyed cougars in leopard-spotted mini-dresses, carrying their vices in the form of cigarettes and boxed wine. It nails the theme. Even with the outrageous makeup Katya looks like herself, and Kasha looks like Katya.
Predicted Winners and Lip-Synchers?
Challenge Bests – Theme: If being identical was the challenge, Ginger, Katya, and Violet got it right – in that order … but, Pearl got it right AND added schtick. Advantage, Pearl
Challenge Bests – Fashion: Kennedy and Violet showed up in their standard wear, while Ginger and Katya put fashion aside for the laugh. Again, Pearl nailed it here.
Challenge Worsts: Poor Fame completely missed the mark. No one else came close.
Should Win? Let’s be real – this is about the twin Ru wants back on the show the most. Luckily, Pearl going all the way also brings back Trixie! No other choice makes sense.
Should Lip-Sync? Fame versus Jaidynn, unfortunately, unless Ru wants to give Ginger an unfair scare after her clutch makeup and sewing job. Jaidynn might not survive her third trip, but Fame is scary of syncing and it seems like she’s worn out Ru’s patience.
Ru is in a mint green dress that dissolves to tassles at the thigh, Wonder Woman cuffs, and a sort of weird and over-blushed makeup job with an off-center wig. She looks big-shouldered and manly. Yet again, I would send Ru home. Our judges are Michelle, Ross Matthews, Nelsan Ellis, and LeAnn Rimes.
Michelle points out Fame and Kandy’s look has been done a few times, and Ross thinks it’s the least creative conjoining. Ru asked Fame “How’s your head?” and someone has finally taught her the punchline. Michelle thought Jaidynn & Tempest were a little basic. “It was a tough stage for you to be on tonight.” Ouch. Michelle calls out Kennedy and Jasmine as being predictably pageant, but Ross disagrees! Kennedy has a story about being classic blue singers that wasn’t portrayed at all compared to the queens that came after her – and LeAnn rightfully calls that out. Michelle calls Pearl and Trixie’s storyline “magical” and cannot even keep a straight face while she looks at them, but feels Trixie is stealing the show (Ross disagrees).
Michelle loves that Violet got Max to go full platinum glam, and even Max is digging it. Nelsan woke up long enough to enjoy it, but Ross feels like it lacked the comedy of other pairings. Michelle loved Ginger and Sasha’s concept but not their execution (Ginger misses a chance at jest when Michelle catches some congealed hot glue on her), and LeAnn wishes they had gone a little realer on the boobs. Michelle also died laughing at Katya and Kasha, who are serving actual Jersey Shore Casino Realness. The judges REALLY LOVED this – Ross says “sometimes you gotta get ugly to win” and Nelsan calls it “ugly beautiful.” Katya has come bearing tons of jokes and they even have a bit where they can’t manage to walk back up the runway.
Did Katya sneak in here with another win past Pearl and the very deserving Trixie?
In private, Michelle is with me in being so over the plastic surgery schtick Fame brought, and Ru says it’s “too easy” and “basic.” Ross felt that way about Jaidynn, and even LeAnn felt they didn’t stack up. Michelle wanted yet more from Kennedy, and Ross wishes they had risked being a little weirder – like connecting at the head. Pearl and Trixie stunned the panel, it’s all positive. LeAnn thinks if Violet went more over the top it would have detracted from the beauty and Michelle is still loving Max. Ross didn’t mind the shoddiness of the Ginger look, because it was John Waters, but no one else was buying it. Michelle was obsessed with Katya and Ru loved the conjoined vagina.
This is a hard choice! I still think Pearl’s amazing fashion edge’s Katya in full on comedy mode.
Decisions. Pearl wins! Trixie is back! Yes! Go Ru!
Trixie: “I thought I was Mimi Imfurst, and now I’m Mimi I’m Second Chance.”
For the first time, I think the resurrected queen has a real shot at knocking off at least one other competitor, if not more. And, Pearl wins a custom website and custom online store – that’s pretty cool and potentially worth more than a lot of the material good prizes.
Katya is safe, though Kasha is headed home again. Kennedy is safe, and goodbye Jasmine. Jaidynn is up for elimination with poor Tempest. Violet is safe – but no more Max! Ginger is up for elimination along with forgettable Sasha against an opponent she can safely dispatch in Jaidynn, keeping Fame safe another week and waving another goodbye to Kandy. Fame should be praising all her favorite chickens for that one.
The twins will be performing while conjoined!
Lip Sync: “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany. Classic. To Sasha’s credit, despite her lacking assist on executing the look, she has clearly committed to Ginger’s lip sync schtick plan. Jaidynn and Tempest are serving wavy-armed octopus realness, but it’s going to take more than that to unseat Ginger in her march to the crown. Ginger and Kasha topple into a pile of breasts on the ground for the chorus. Oo… except Ginger and Sasha cut off their costumes (literally, with scissors, Katya dies over it) and perform as topless men! Can that be forgiven, given the circumstances? Apparently yes, because the judges are laughing so hard they can’t even breathe. And Sasha is selling it just as hard as Ginger herself even though she has nothing on the line but pride.
Ginger is safe, and Jaidynn is finally retired from the lineup.