Drag Race 13, Episode 3 RECAP: Civil War Ghost Bride

This was the precise moment I realised that Tamisha must have kids of her own.

Well, time for Episode One The Third! I feel like I’m stuck in a queer reboot of Groundhog Day. It’s just never ending, SOMEONE HELP.

You would think that given that during the first round of votes at least 2 of the queens in The Porkchop Lounge voted for Utica that they would bring it up and address it, even for a moment of tepid drama. But no, they just completely sweep that under the rug and never address it again like a Victorian family just ignoring the very obvious affair that the father is having with the groundsman.
Instead it’s straight onto a discussion of how cute everyone in the group in, which is fair and understandable.

The Lady and The Vamp

The mini challenge is exactly the same as last week, a two look runway – one being for a day look (that they kept calling “ladykins” and I refuse to because I’m an adult) and the other being some sort of in-between niche, high concept vampire and The Woman Who Was Having an Affair With The Dead Guy and Went to the Funeral To Mock His Wife. Except this time it came with the added jeopardy of Kahmora being used to taking 5 or 6 hours to do her makeup and falling further and further behind, serioulsy she was basically doing a base layer and Tamisha is already looking like this

And then all the queens are waiting to walk and Kahmora is in the Werk Room with the floormanager screaming down his walkie-talkie for someone to get her to the stage IMMEDIATELY, and to be fair to Kahmora you wouldn’t have known she had rushed because damn she looks good

She looks like a royal dignitary whose having a lovely lunch with a European royal family and overtly flirting with the unmarried prince. It was quite the scandal.
Nobody else went quite as elegant as Kahmora did except for Tamisha who looked radiant in her pink harem pant jumpsuit

Going the most left field was Joey Jay who decided to rock up as some sort of Flintstones Hussey

The Stone Age did indeed have daylight hours I suppose? And it was a relief from the sort of obvious Spring-like colours that everyone else went for and Joey Jay just remains an enigma in general but I’m kind of obsessed with her? Her confessionals and runway narrations were some of the funniest parts of the entire episode.
Denali once again leant into her ice-skating roots and opted for this little number

I don’t love, and I think it’s because we all saw her ice skating entrance look which was obviously done bigger and better but the dress is cute enough but with the yellow sculpted wig it just lacks a clarity of concept and kind of looks like Lady Gaga from the Judas video with all the edges sanded down. Also opting for a violently yellow wig was Rosé

The outfit has instant impact and looks really cool but that wig is a whole no, it’s like a Troll Doll trying to be a secretary, but the outfit is a first class knock off of Moschino, which she did acknowledge.
And lastly we have Utica who just decided to recreate Crystal Methyd’s Ball Ball Look

It has all the whimsy you would expect from Utica and I do enjoy that it looks like a 60s popstar got dropped into a vat of a miscellaneous chemicals and gained superpower, specifically the power to telekinetically control fungi, fungalkinesis? You can have that one for free, Marvel.

I was most excited to see what Utica would bring for her Vampy look because it’s not an aesthetic I would have thought to associate her with and she certainly surprised me by showing up as the scary painting Phoebe makes in Friends

I love a queen that keeps you guessing and I’m warming more to Utica than I thought I would, but again, show me Mary Queen of Scot’s head on a Dilophosaurus and I’m probably going to love you.
While Utica may have redone the Season 12 Ball Ball, Tamisha took us all the way back to Season 3 and decided to redo the Hair Ball by making an Elvira cosplay out of every wig in Atlanta

She didn’t have to do it but it certainly adds a little extra something to what would have otherwise been just a beautiful slinky black dress. And speaking of just a lovely dress:

Does she look stunning? Yes. Is she a CW widow at the funeral of the rich husband she just killed? Also yes. I’m not mad at it at all and there is impact in simplicity, especially when you have Rosé strutting the runway looking like an IKEA space heater

It’s a fantastic look and once again, one that should have been on The Main Stage – it looks like it’s straight out of the Jennifer Lopez film The Cell which is worth a watch for the aesthetic alone.
Denali gave her a run for her money though with her Civil War Ghost Bride look

This to me was the look of the night – the way it moved and shone in the light had a perfect ghostly effect and the details right down the holes in the fan – it’s what I like in a queen!
And then we have Joey Jay who just came in her Day Look but in black

When she was given the briefing list for the outfits and looks she had to prepare she must have known that both of these looks would go together, right? So why make them so similar!

An Arbitrary Lady Look Ranking:

  1. Kahmora Hall’s High Tea
  2. Tamisha’s Harem Pants
  3. Rosé’s Muskino
  4. The DashCon Ball Pit
  5. Denali’s Short Program
  6. BamBam’s Ex

An Arbitrary Vamp Look Runway:

  1. The Civil War Ghost Bride
  2. The IKEA Space Heater
  3. Moira Rose’s Wig Wall
  4. Mary Queen of Dilophosaurs
  5. The Merry Widow
  6. BamBam’s Ex: Player 2


The main challenge is, of course, the same as last week except this time they have to write a verse and create their own choreography for a performance of the song Phenomenon – which is part of the RuPaul’s Drag Race Live in Vegas SOUNDTRACK – because they can’t advertise a live show anymore despite some queens apparently being willing to do them… #TeamVeraMoan

We once again don’t get to see the recording of the vocals and instead have to wait on pins and needles to see what the rapping styles of farmgirl Utica are… Spoiler alert, it’s exactly what you would expect a sunday school teacher trying to do a rap would sound like.

The true drama is in the choreography because while the other group had no dancers except Elliott who decided to play the weirdest card and pretend not to be a dancer, this group has 4: Denali, Rosé, Joey Jay and Tamisha. While Utica and Kahmora both stand on the sidelines just hoping this game of ever increasing choreography Top Trumps doesn’t jeopardise their plans to just do a simple 1, 2 step. Although even that’s a stretch for Kahmora who has absolutely no ear for music. Meanwhile Utica has been roped into doing this stunning move with Joey Jay

It’s absolutely because she has the longest arms and can reach down that far. Meanwhile Rosé and Denali are clashing over the tempo over the strut and which beat to pause on while Tamisha stands at the back of the stage developing Hell of a headache before swooping in to save the day and pull everyone together. Never have I so instantaneously been able to tell that someone has children of their own. AND MORE THAN THAT, Tamisha is the drag mother of THE Tandi Iman Dupree, famous for dropping into a split from the ceiling dressed as Superwoman

She’s the mother of brilliance, just give her the crown right now. Why did they not lead with this? WHY HAS SHE ONLY BEEN CAST IN SEASON 13? And after the support and love she showed Kahmora after she told everyone about the quite frankly awful sounding relationship with her boyfriend, she’s surely Miss Congeniality, right? How could they not?
Also, Kahmora, DUMP HIM. How can you have all of these Mackie gowns and only wear them twice a month?

The actual performance is I would so much better than the previous group’s effort – they did benefit from having more choreographers than you could throw a stick at but also 2 queens that can carry quite the note in Denali and Rosé. Although the whole group was once again a delightful lack of cohesion with Utica dressed as all four of The Wiggles and dancing like a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man

And Joey Jay in the same outfit but blue this time

this is going to be Vanjie’s Bodysuits 2: Joey’s Boogaloo isn’t it?
Nobody’s lyrics really stand out except Denali who rhymed “Lutz” with “Sluts” and I greatly appreciated it.
But while everyone was managing to serve up the choreography in at least some degree of competence, Kahmora is at the back looking around like she’s in a crowd of people looking for her friends

there is nothing but rising panic in those eyes.
I did enjoy that she also obviously got bored of writing lyrics and just decided to add a lot of “oh”s into the middle of her verse – but there were moments where she did manage to deliver flashes of personality that I hope she manages to latch on to in future challenges.

Sheer-ly You Jest

The theme of the runway was Shear Fabric and I’m not sure how much sheerness there was. The only people that well and truly brought it was Kahmora in her 50 foot wig

Looking for Valley of the Dolls, and then Tamisha Iman looking like the fanciest napkin I’ve ever seen

To be clear, this is gorgeous but whenever I see a ruffle detail like this I just think of the napkins at fancy hotel restaurants. AND she made it herself – she’s like a one woman production of early Drag Race and we love to see it.
Rosé had an interesting take on the theme with her choice of pleated and bent plastic ruffles

Quite why she’s fisting two jellyfish remains a mystery but it adds some drama. Ross called this crafty, and then said it wasn’t crafty because he got called the fuck out for it being a racial micro-aggression during All Stars 5. Then proceeded to say it wasn’t crafty BUT THEN said it looked like a toddler had made it. I’m completely over the whole “crafty” thing and this expectation for the queens to spends tens of thousands of dollars on high end runway looks from the same designers every season. It’s at the point where either production needs to provide a budget or give the judges a list of words they can’t use – starting with “crafty” and “cheap”.
This however does not excuse the fact Joey Jay bought a roll of fabric, stuck her head through it and called it a poncho

Ma’am, this is not a look, this is me aged 6 playing The Good, The Bad and The Ugly with my soft toys and my mother’s hairdryer.
While we’re talking about strips of fabric, here’s Utica bedecked in scarves

I think it’s an incredibly effective look and I love the colours and textures, I just wish the scarves had been sheer as well, they’re a little heavy and solid, but the makeup is divine and so interesting

It’s like Monet tried to paint a cat.
While everyone kind of tiptoed around the sheerness or lightly dipped their toes in, Denali ignored it entirely and blagged her way through this looking like an Iris van Herpen design

It’s a perfectly fine dress, I think the fabric is to stiff to achieve that diaphanous effect that Iris van Herpen is famous for, this looks a little more like the coffee filters dresses from that one episode of Project Runway.

An Arbitrary Sheer Runway Ranking:

  1. The Royal Napkin
  2. The Uncanny Valley of the Dolls
  3. Scarf Witch
  4. Jellyfisting
  5. Iris can Huh?
  6. The Good, The Bad and The Joey

Free Britney!

Had this been an ordinary episode of Drag Race I think the bottom 2 would have probably been Kahmora and Joey Jay but it’s not because we’re still not eliminating anyone 3 episodes in and instead it’s another lipsync for a $5000 tip between our two winners, Rosé and Denali which I think is a fair choice, Tamisha just didn’t shine during the performance but she was a good 3rd!

The lipsync is to that briefly controversial Britney Spears song If You Seek Amy – remember that whole furor? I think the obvious problem with leading the queens to believe it’s about to be an elimination is that the two obvious winners of the episode then don’t bother learning the song so what we ended up with his two queens doing a lot of WATERMELON WATERMELON WATERMELON and desperately trying to think of choreography on the fly. It certainly wasn’t the worst lipsync, far from it, but you could tell that both Denali and Rosé weren’t operating on full steam. But both had a few good moments, Denali’s duck walking was fun, we don’t get to see it often, or done this well

Rosé went the more comedic route by which I mean she mostly pulled a few funny faces and wildly gestured around the stage

And we got the rare and illusive Double Dip during the drop

That’s always fun!

Denali wins the lipsync and the $5000 which should pay for at least half of her entrance look!

And so, 13 Queens still remain…

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