Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, all of the queens returned but only Trixie stuck around, while long-time fashion victim Jaidynn Dior Fierce said goodbye with Tempest Du Jour lashed to her back.
After The Elimination
The girls are disconnected from their departed twins and all wrung out. As Ginger approaches the mirror for the ceremonial wiping-away of the eliminee’s message, she owns up to how out-of-sorts she was for the twins challenge. “This was my wake-up call,” she interviews, “Ginger, you’re better than this, you need to make sure you pull it together.” She tears up a bit as a producer comforts her.
Trixie becomes the first queen in drag race herstory to be called back and then make it to the next episode! Trixie makes an attempt to laugh off the bad vibes from the other girls about someone coming back who skipped so many challenges, but the bad mojo is real from a few of them.
Katya interviews, “You can smell the resentment in the room as much as you can smell Violet’s BO.”
Fame is serving death stare. “I’m pissed off, to be honest with you.” She disclaims it not being a read on Trixie and is telling the truth, as she winds up reading Pearl for wearing off-the-rack dresses. You better watch out, Miss Fame – Pearl will serve you some lip sync assassination on a platter if you keep this up. Pearl responds, “All you can do is chill the fuck out and do you.”
Who knew I’d wind up loving Pearl?!
A New Day!
RuPaul’s voicemail begins, “Good morning, Baltimore!” (Wow, prescient much?) She’s hitting a lot of keywords like “crybaby,” “hairspray,” and “polyester,” and some of the girls (Trixie) are beginning to catch on (Ginger).
Ru enters looking sharp in a short, fitted black blazer with white details, a b&w striped crew neck shirt, and white pants (this was shot before Labor day), and black loafers. Love the look.
Reading is fundamental, so the library is open! (For those not up on their Drag vocabulary, “reading” is telling some harsh truth to someone.)
Ginger is first with a compound read on Trixie and reads Fame hard, but neither are very funny. Katya comes for the fashionable, and gets the claws out for Violet and Fame. Violet is pretty much back to week one Violet. Fame is having fun but is deeply, deeply not funny. I don’t think being mean comes naturally to her. Kennedy makes barnyard animal analogies that maybe build on jokes they tell each other off-camera? It feels like we’re missing a piece. Trixie is predictably riotous, but Pearl is the one who strikes the perfect balance of vicious and funny. She even attempts to read RuPaul, who quickly closes down the library.
Trixie wins for narrative reasons, but once again it was actually Pearl who slayed the mini-challenge. She’s really exploding! Ru announces the (now obvious) John Waters (and Divine!) theme, and you can see all the little off-color gears turning in Katya and Ginger’s heads. This week, they’ll be screen-testing for a new Rusical based on iconic John Waters scenes.
The girls have to break into three teams, and it’s the most awkward thing ever. I have examined it frame by frame like the Zapruder film Trixie and Ginger circle in opposite directions while Pearl and Kennedy stare each other down from opposite ends of the line. Katya makes a skeptical face while Trixie and Ginger lunge for each other. Violet looks at Katya like, “We’re doing this, right” while Katya goes right past her to snag Kennedy. They both begin to cackle. Fame cautiously circles behind Violet, maybe not doing the math that she’s already in the odd team out, but Violet turns her back and mirrors Pearl’s half-hearted body-language as the other pairs twirl in embraces of delight. Fame circles Violet AGAIN to insert herself between her and Pearl like the holy ghost at a 7th grade Catholic school dance.
That took six seconds in real time.
Katya and Kennedy draw a scene called “Cha Cha Heels” from the movie “Female Trouble.” Katya beelines for the role of Dawn Davenport – and… she knows that’s Kennedy’s last name, right? Kennedy rightfully points out that Dawn “is the most singing” and that Katya might not be the best fit. To be fair, Katya seems to be performing all of the vocals as a gay version of Brutus from Jesus Christ Superstar.
Trixie and Ginger are dancing and juggling while Violet, Pearl, and Fame are all trying to non-sing in the biggest, funniest way possible to get over the complete lack of melody emerging from the trio of them. They pulled a scene called “Poo” from “Pink Flamingoes.” They’re all playing different divines. Pearl is being her biggest and funniest self yet, but Fame wants to think some thoughtful thoughts about if she’s being angelic enough. Violet eases them over the speedbump to keep rehearsing, and Fame just backs right over it again.
Ru enters and beelines for team K! Kennedy is playing Divine, and Katya her mother. They have what seems like a genuine laugh (Ru joins in) about switching Katya onto the non-singing part. Kennedy is eager to use this challenge to dirty up her pageant self. Does no one realize that both times she has won it’s for being non-glossy in her challenge performances? This is totally up her alley.
Ru visits Ginger and Trixie, who have a scene called “Eggs.” They’re both obsessed with Divine. Says Ginger, “When I was younger, I convinced my grandmother that Pink Flamingoes was a children’s movie. And I wanted nothing more than to be Divine.” They both sing and they want to top each other’s expectation. Ginger: “Neither of us have ever topped anything before.”
No visit for the terrible trio. Pearl may the only girl in Drag Race herstory not to clap at the announcement of Lucian Piane’s name. And, Ru announces the runway – ugliest dress ever! Fame looks appalled, and Kennedy looks nervous, possibly because she has worn at least two of her ugliest dresses already.
In The Studio
Kennedy and Katya are up first, and Kennedy is serving up some Divine realness with a pretty little edge to it. Lucian has tightened up his silver fox look. Kennedy’s singing is… not exactly singing, which we’ve heard out of her before. It just floats in the area of being in tune. Katya is so ridiculous that the directors have no feedback at all, but Kennedy is having trouble with the lyrics – which leads us to get some Michelle Visage vocals! Yes! Kennedy is seemingly nervous to drop the Christmas tree on Katya’s prone body.
Ginger and Trixie are up next, and in this pair Trixie is the Divine realness, which is just another flavor of her messed up plastic doll look. Ginger looks – almost too pretty? She’s got some ratty aspects to her face, but mostly she looks like a chubby Amy Winehouse. Trixie delivers MUCH BETTER vocals than we heard from her in the last singing challenge. Lucian is happy for the ladies to be in tune, but isn’t seeing the characters. They turn it up, but Michelle wants Trixie to go even bigger. Ginger, “Take that criticism and apply it as much as you apply glitter to your eyelid, girl.
Violet, Fame, and Pearl actually… all look like Divine? Clearly Fame was in charge of makeup, because they match spectacularly and all have Divine’s insane eyelashes. Michelle says, “It’s so much more than just a look, this is probably THE most iconic John Waters scene of all.” Miss Fame gives the performance a solid try, singing and gesticulating, and she amps up the mania after Lucian provides direction. Violet’s fine, as usually, but Pearl is having lyric problems. It’s like she regressed four weeks in her first cross to stage left.
Trixie: “Ugliest dress, it’s finally my week!” I really hope she wears the dress with her giant face painted on it. It’s so perfect for this theme. She is dead set against the typical boomerang effect of the returned girl quickly re-departing. John Waters was an inspiration to hear early drag.
Kennedy reveals that Drag is her full-time career – it pays her bills, or else. “I stuck with drag because entertaining is my life – it is my passion.”
Miss Fame is trying to read Pearl’s make-up stylings, and Pearl is having none of it. As the face-off occurs we get to SEE FAME APPLY THE NEFARIOUS FACE TAPE! SHE STICKS IT RIGHT UP IN THAT BROW! It does nothing. Meanwhile, Violet’s face is drop dead gorgeous. Eat it up, Fame. Turns out, Violet is a massive John Waters fan!
Oh shit, Ru finally went ugly for a runway and it is TO DIE FOR. She is wearing a clingy full-length black velvet dress with a bright purple naked lady with a huge white afro puff airbrushed onto it, surrounded by a rainbow of neon highlights. She is wearing a wig to match.
The category is their ugliest dresses ever – “and may the filthiest woman win!”
Kennedy Davenport is dressed as Church Lady or Rose Nylund in a floral print dress with boxy shoulders and big glasses. Yes, it’s ugly, but it’s basically old-lady drag. It’s not spectacularly ugly. Her makeup is lovely.
Katya is playing for keeps with a seemingly crocheted bright yellow sundress and massive over-dyed curly hair that definitely consists of multiple wigs. It’s so ugly it’s beautiful. “If Mary Elizabeth MastrANTONIO barely survived a meth lab explosion and then she was cas tin a porno musical of raggedy anne, that’s what I’m giving you.”
Ginger Minj is serving up some Hairspray realness in a bright green dress with sequin polka-dots with ruffled fringe and bell sleeves that is completely unflattering to her shape. “One of the most atrocious frocks I think I have ever placed on my little body.”
Trixie Mattel is WEARING A DRESS I HAVE ACTUALLY WORN. I am not lying. I may need to provide you with photographic evidence. It’s 80s prom high fashion – a cute black little number ruined with massive, assymetrical purple sashes at every edge. Except… it’s not too ugly.
Pearl is in a schoolgirl dress at war with itself. It’s a blend of different polka-dot densities, ruffles, and… googly eyes? It’s definitely ugly. It hurts to look at.
Violet Chachki nails it to the wall with clown realness! It’s typical clown gear reimagined as a poncho flapper dress in a garish vertical rainbow topped with pink boa fringe and bright yellow hair. I mistook her for Miss Fame.
Miss Fame is in Max drag! She’s a painted silver lady in a baby-doll waisted dress that starts so high and blooms so widely that she looks like a bell that’s ready to be rung. It’s brocade that seems to be breaking the television cameras, and it billows and has an underskirt. It’s unfashionably fashionable.
Team Cha Cha Heels! Katya owns it from the first moment with her old-lady parody and growly chain smoker voice. She should be in a real Waters film, but Kennedy is too genuine. Her singing is passable, but she’s not playing it dirty the way she did for her previous musical win. You cannot tear your eyes away from Katya, as she scissor-kicks her legs on the couch and crashes into a pile of presents in the style of Mary Katherine Gallagher. Kennedy does come through with a crashing Christmas Tree, but it’s not big enough.
Team Eggs! Ginger is selling her performance hard, per usual, hitting all of her timing and notes. Yet, I cannot get over the cuteness of her baby. Despite the yellow teeth, it’s just a little too precious and not enough of a brat unless the final moments (where she breaks repeatedly into genuine smiles as eggs are cracked over her body). Trixie as an overdone, overworked mom is pretty delightful, and this is as big and bold as we’ve ever seen her.
Team Poo! Violet delivers a surprisingly big and ugly performance, but it’s a little off the mark on rhythm. It really kills the flow. Fame is surprisingly flashy as the groaning, sneering, devilish bad conscience, and never really drops a line, but Pearl is wilty as the angelic version.
Predicted Winners and Lip-Synchers?
Challenge Bests: Katya slayed this challenge, and though the judges love when Ginger hames it up, no one else came close to touching her. This should be her vindication for not being recognized in Snatch Game.
Challenge Worsts: After Trixie and Ginger it’s pretty much a wash, but Pearl was the most washed out of all.
Final Runaway? Winners: It’s a close race for ugliest between Violet’s clown realness, Katya’s crochet ensemble, and Fame’s triangle of brocade. Lip-Sync Candidates: Kennedy was boring, and Ginger and Trixie were both a little too cute.
Should Win? Violet’s performance wasn’t strong enough to carry her past a double-threat week from Katya, and this is definitely a challenge she should win.
Should Lip-Sync? Pearl versus someone, and Violet was just a little too good to be her foe. I found Kennedy to be really dull here, but I cannot see Ru pitting them against each other. That means Fame will probably get sacrificed – despite finally delivering as a performer and finding a way to be on-brand and ugly on the runway.
Michelle is wearing animal print matchy-matchness, which I swear we’ve seen on her before. Carson Kressley is in a very Waters-esqye bubblegum pink blazer. Demi Lovato is in some sort of fragmented glitter shard abomination. John Water is fucking John Waters and I would sacrifice a small animal to own his blazer of screen printed daisies intermingled with skulls. Yes, gawd.
Carson doesn’t think Kennedy was ugly or chic enough, but John Waters thinks she lived up to her potential namesake. He loved the rage. Waters on Katya: “You went beyond playing the straight mother and added a new layer of filth. You did a beautiful obscenity, so I wanted to congratulate you on that.” Yeah, that’s a winner. Demi Lovato and Michelle thinks her dress as ugly as possible, but Waters is worried that a hipster might actually wear it! Katya is shocked.
Michelle loves green for all the wrong reasons, and calls Ginger’s performance a masterpiece. Eh. Waters thinks there were moments where it looked ripped from the film. He says, “she had a loveliness about her, and you played that,” so maybe I’m just hating on the wrong thing this time around. Michelle doesn’t think Trixie went ugly enough, and Carson – too – thinks he has worn this dress before. Waters enjoyed “a moment of pathos” from Trixie, who wisely played it more frustrated than angry. Demi thinks Ginger outshined her a bit.
Demi feels the dress is “the least ugliest,” and Pearl agrees that it’s cute. Michelle wanted more from the performance now that we’re down to the wire, and Waters didn’t get “good Divine” from her. Carson thinks Violet nailed the ugly challenge. Michelle thought her look was most Divine, but the body could have been more grossly exaggerated. Carson found her a little flat, and Violet chokes back her need to respond. Seriously, you can just see her swallow it. Waters thinks Fame needs ugly lessons, because he thinks her dress is elegant! Michelle thinks Fames performance was… over the top? Wasn’t that the point?
RuPaul asks the killer question – “Who deserves to go home tonight and why?”
- Kennedy: Fame because “the struggle is real.”
- Katya: Fame because “she’s been in the bottom consistently.”
- Ginger: Has to agree and say Fame because “I don’t know how much more she has to offer.”
- Trixie: [hesitantly] Fame. “She dropped the ball on her ugly look and her performance.
- Pearl: Loves Fame, but has to agree “based on her not winning a challenge yet.”
- Violet: Trixie “should be looked at with a magnifying lens.” Ouch, but way to break ranks and not kick Fame while she was down. Violet really did get nicer.
- Fame: “Fuck all these bitches! Truth be told, there’s this part of Pearl that’s too cool for Season 7. That frustrates me, because I’m fighting to stay. And she knows what I’m talking about.”
Clearly we’re being set up for Pearl vs. Fame.
In private: Waters really liked Kennedy, and Carson thinks we got “her flavor,” but Michelle doesn’t look convinced. Michelle was obsessed with Katya and how “meaty” she made it, and Waters loved that she didn’t need to be glamorous. Michelle and Demi thought Ginger was perfect in the challenge. Michelle thinks Trixie “did a good job” and Carson things it was hard to compete with Ginger. Carson doesn’t think Pearl is giving us something memorable, and Waters thought her look was actually flattering. Ru thinks Violet definitely wore the ugliest dress, but Demi HATED her performance. Demi wants to root for Miss Fame, but Carson liked the dress too much and Michelle thought her performance was the ugly part.
Decisions! Kennedy Davenport is safe. Katya is SAFE after all that praise. I’m going to burn this motherfucker to the ground. Ginger Minj is the winner despite not getting a single comment on her non-ugly dress. Trixie is safe! Pearl was too pretty and not Divine enough. Violet was ugly in both areas. Fame had too much beauty in her ugly and also pooped in her performance. Violet is safe.
Pearl: “That bitch called me out, so I’m going to send her packing.”
Lip Sync: “Really Don’t Care” by Demi Lovato. Pearl’s strategy is to go from kittenish looks over the shoulder to big wavy arms, really owning the space around her. Fame seems to be having trouble with the words and isn’t using her massive dress to her advantage. There had better be a reveal under there! Pearl isn’t doing too much to beat the average lip sync, but again – it’s her eyes. She is hypnotic. You cannot stop looking at her face. Fame’s body movements are lost under the dress – she’s just a floating head. If she doesn’t have a reveal, she should be clutching it to her body, knotting it up, fluffing it inside out – anything to pull attention from Pearl.
This is a sad exit for Miss Fame – she wasn’t really the worst this week as she finally broke out of her head, but Pearl handily defeated her in the lip sync.
I can still see her brow tape, though.