By Joanna Cosgrove
As a reviewer, I need to not be biased but in my opinion, this episode ended terribly!
Now let’s get on with the rest of the review.
No time, no intro, and the whole internet knew the answer to last week’s question anyway: who is the 14th queen? I’ll give you a hint. I was “CuCu” to think she wasn’t the returning queen! But yep, she’s here and it’s as if she never went home. But thank goodness she did, because she had gone through one hellish year and she happily made it back on stage, healthy as ever!
But as there always is with a returning queen from a previous season, there are some unsure murmurs (remember how everyone was with Shangela’s return/s?), especially the idea that she knows the competition and she knows how to play the game better than these new queens. But that does not specifically mean she’ll last longer than the rest of them!
Let’s move on to coming to the work room, where in walks RuPaul – AND sitcom sweetie Lisa Kudrow. First Gaga, now Lisa Kudrow, but if I’m honest, Lisa’s appearance didn’t come as naturally as Gaga’s. I mean, it was appreciated and the queens loved seeing her, but her appearance felt forced. As if it was ‘to keep up’ with the introductory guest Lady Gaga.
But now onto the main challenge, which is – in true feminine fashion – a two-group challenge. This challenge is that the two teams compete in the draggiest of athletics: cheerleading! The captains are the new return, and Gaga challenge winner Nina Bo’nina Brown, leading teams representing RuPaul and representing guest judges The B-52s – and let’s go go go!
One team has struggles through practices, and their plans even involve switching the roles of two queens – but despite this change, it’s all for the best, as one member claims. I have all the hope in the world that this team wins, and cheer their little sweet hearts out!
And if learning the lines and chants are tough, the actual athletic side of things would be too troublesome – I feared a queen was gonna fall during the stunting and break a bone! Especially when one was seasoned queen Charlie Hides, whose commentary sounded fearful and stunned that she did it perfectly. I have faith in you, girl!
As always, work room conversations get deep and personal, and this was Peppermint’s turn to share a tough tale from her high school days. But this story had a happy ending, where she said she felt she had a “circle of love” from the other students. Peppermint, hands down, is one of the most inspirational queens in the history of Drag Race; not only for competing as a transgender woman, but for surviving and sharing stories like she did in this story.
The returning queen takes a moment to share the story of her cancer battle, which was only around a year before this season was filmed. She said it was hard, and she was breaking down, but she got over it and she’s in remission, and believe me, the warm reception from the other queens was more than astounding. RuPaul was right: everyone on Drag Race is a large ever-growing family.
Let’s move onto the runway!
The queens are ready, and they brought it on alright! The characters are unique, and most – not all – of the queens got their acts perfect for the descriptions given.
The competition starts and the athletics are amazing; these queens are fierce and confident – even if there was a tumble here and a fumble there. I gasped at some moments with these girls, because wow, can they move!
But there were a few of them lost in their groups. They could have done a little more to sparkle as bright as their studded uniforms. However, special mention to Trinity Taylor for keeping in youthful character when stunting and being launched into the air. I could re-watch those seconds for hours!
The runway looks are “White Party” – so white. All white, most white, but some even manage to get lost on ‘white’ as a tip for the runway (I’ll let you see who).
Special mention on these outfits to Jaymes Mansfield, who gave me “Marilyn Monroe on a winter morning” (it was beautiful); and Valentina, because she looked so elegant that she could make any man commit (whoa!). Sadly, though, this time around, everyone is NOT safe and someone has to go home – dang – and my heart broke when I saw who was on the bottom two (only one of them; the other one, I knew she would be there).
I’ll say this now: it was the first, and as I’ve seen, one of the most controversial in terms of who stayed and who left. When it’s camp queen versus showgirl queen, one gets an advantage based on the song – the lip-synch for this was B-52’s “Love Shack”, which is so a song for the camp queens to perform because when it comes to those classic hits, they have to be funny! They have to be played up! And this lovely camp queen played it up well, and that’s not the bias speaking. I have many who agree. But who ended up leaving the competition?
That’s one creative campy queen out first (my heart is still breaking!) and that leaves 13 – again. Good luck to them all, but still, I believe that was the wrong judgement.
I’m sorry, Ru. You sent the wrong queen home.