Drag Race Season 11 Recap: Diva Worship

ru cringe

Well, we’ve been asking them to give the Queens more creative license over challenges so you can’t say we didn’t bring this upon ourselves.

Kahanna Tata

Kahanna leaves a very nice lipstick message but the Queens are as unsurprised by her departure as you or I and most of the post elimination discussion centres around Scarlet hoping everyone realises she has come to play and is a threat which she does while looking like a waterlogged corpse:

scarlet fish face.png

Everyone is quaking… Ariel, knowing she only just escaped the bottom 2 by virtue of having an outfit that actually stayed intact, makes sure to mention she is an Instagram girl and thought she would nail acting challenges which….

silky look to camera.png

Same Silky, same.

Tag, You’re It

If you are having some trouble with the queens’ names in this bumper cast then don’t worry, some of them have you covered:

brooke tagnina tagshuga tag

I particularly love that Nina just looks like she came straight after her shift at the bowling alley and Brooke’s shirt’s complete lack of design. And just because I can, shout out to Yvie Oddly’s Boy Look

yvie oddly boy look.png

The Mini Challenge

The mini challenge was one of the weaker acting ones with the queens having to blag their way into a Seduction concert via the backdoor with Ru playing the role of doorman. It was essentially a rehash of the chocolate commercial audition from last season but, not as funny? Or at least I’m not sure many of the queens this year are particularly good at improv (as we shall see). The stand outs were, for at least, A’keria whose quick drag looked like a Real Housewife who has just buried her 3rd husband:

Akeria quick drag

I think she had the best comebacks to Ru. I Enjoyed Yvie’s pregnancy, more for the sheer absurdity of her proportions than anything else:

Yvie oddly mini challenge look.png

Where did her torso go? Also playing A Character™ was Nina West, who I personally just found a little… desperate. And I swear to God if another Queen uses that stupid notebook as a prop in a mini challenge I might scream. She needed up as one of the challenge winners but should have been exempt purely for the Emoji glasses alone. The other winner was Ra’Jah who won because of a rabbit fur coat, I think? I mean nobody was stand out funny (although I cackled at Plastique – more due to editing than anything else) I did like Ariel’s Jersey Widow look:

Ariel Versace quick drag

But her attempt at reviving the charming absurdity of Monet’s Irish accent with an English accent and talking about crumpets while twerking like the whitest of white chicks was… not great. Mercedes also did something but not entirely sure she was cognitively in control of her own thought process, I loved her little bowl cut wig though.

It’s Britney Bitch Network

The Maxi Challenge is to put on a Televangelism show for a pop diva of the queen’s own choosing, which is what we have been clamouring for – to really let the queens create their own material, and in some ways it really showed why maybe the show decides to keep more of a reign on things these days…

The teams are chosen  with Nina West taking on Silky, Ariel, Brooke, Yvie, Vanjie and Mercedes – they pretty quickly decide that their celebrated diva will be Britney Spears, Whitney was the other option which, will come up later… It’s the perfect choice with the challenge because there hasn’t really been a huge chunk of time where Brtieny hasn’t been a part of the pop culture zeitgeist so there is a vast wealth of material to mine. And the team is on it, Nina’s Tammy Fay Baker by way of Aardman Animations look is bang on the money:

nina west church

I’m not sure how she manages to always look like a Claymation character but she does. Brooke is fine, she looks more like a bordello owner than a church woman, which is a bit at odds with Nina and Vanjie but, hey she managed to crack well timed jokes. The true star of the team though is Vanjie and her hair whips

vanjie hair flip

her wig was basically a secret cast member. She’s in charge of the live conversions of Yvie, as a early 2000s one shot goth character from a teen movie:

yvie oddly britney

And Mercedes, doing a tribal look and refusing to sit like a lady:

mercedes sitting yvie flipping.png

Mercedes really struggles and by sheer virtue of being on the winning team avoids the bottom 2 because she fumbles one of the easiest joke set ups with being asked if she knows who Britney Spears is and being expected to respond with “Britney Spears? No, I only have spears” but instead we get:

mercedes spiritsariel versace response

Ariel and Silky then sing us out in a surprisingly funny Britney gospel number. Ariel did mildly impress me by her wanting to bury the hatchet with Silky and just get on with doing the challenge and the two seemed to work well together.

What Would MiMi Do?

Ra’Jah’s team is Honey, Shuga, Scarlet, A’keria and Plastique and they are some lost little (non-Mariah Approved) Lambs. They seemed to decide on doing Mariah by accident more than anything else because despite everyone saying “I don’t know that much about her” they just keep plowing on through, I don’t know if it was because VH1 has already payed for the photo license or what but really Ra’Jah should have made some sort of executive decision, but then again she did start singing WHITNEY HOUSTON’S “So Emotional” when someone mentioned Mariah’s “Emotions”… So it was no surprise when the whole thing crashed and burnt.

Was it the biggest car crash in Herstory? No, I think by and large Shakesqueer was a bigger mess but that was mostly a mess because it wasn’t funny and the queens couldn’t really make it funny – this was all on the queens and was just sad – from Scarlet seemingly operating on a different plane of existence and Shuga reading off her cards and still affecting everything with a “girl” or a “honey”.

mariah hosts.png

who as hosts pretty much killed the energy from the word go. And then you have Plastique, who personally I thought was the best part, Her Mariah Carey illusion is surprisingly great:

Plastique Tiara Mariah Carey

I cackled at her demonic voice every time she had to say “Ariana Grande” – I’m not sure what the rest of the accents and voices were doing and I think it’d have worked better had everyone been aware of the fact she was going to do it because then Scarlet and Shuga could have set up the whole Ariana Grande as the devil schtick from the go – which would have created a narrative for the whole segment. Then had to crown the cringe cake with Honey and Ra’jah doing a musical bit that was only 40 seconds long and yet felt like an eternity.

Ross Mathews’ Outfit

While we’re here we might as well talk about one of the biggest swings in the challenge, Ross’ Ming Dynasty athleticwear:

Ross Mathews Outfit

I want it.

Branjie

How do you ensure you are going to get as much screentime as possible in a room with Silky?

Vanjie and Brooke kiss

Oh the burning passion. I can’t wait for this to become a long drawn out thing, but hey at least there is more proof to a relationship than the awkwardly stitched together out of context Jinkx / Ivy story from Season 5. I also can’t wait for A’keria to eviscerate them.

Lip Six

six lips.png

This was the Michael Bay of lipsyncs, there is so much going on that it just assaults you from every angle, WIG REVEAL, LOST HEAD PIECE, SPLITS, HIGH KICK, HIGH KICK, HIGH KICK, PONY TAIL HELICOPTER, SPLAT!

The most surprising thing about the 6 way lipsync is the fact only one queen got eliminated and it wasn’t Ra’Jah. She completely bailed in the challenge and her runway only avoided being bottom of the pile because Mercedes came out dressed as a lampshade. Well that and the fact Honey decided launching herself off the stage in a skin tight black pleather gown onto the unlit black studio floor was a good idea:

honey davenport floor.png

And then flopping herself back onto the runway like an overboard passenger being hauled up onto a lifeboat. We could really have done with a double elimination – the disappointing runways and the painstakingly slow car crash of a challenge certainly warranted it.

Dr. Ganache’s Hot Button Issue

silky tear away.png

This Week: Religion. I don’t really even know what was going on here, she found the challenge uncomfortable because she didn’t like referring to Britney as akin to God and that she wanted to do Whitney, which really rubs Nina and Yvie up the wrong way. Basically, Silky went into Untucked, knowing she wanted to rip off her outfit to show her reveal and she was going to find anyway she could to do it, whether it was relevant or not.

yvie bitch

And it was not.

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