I would honestly have been ok with them announcing that Wintergreen was in the top 2 for this challenge.
Apologies for the late recap, my brain stopped functioning at about 31 degrees.
The Secret’s Out
So Raja finally found out that The Great Plunger Secret was that there was no secret at all, and I think she took it pretty well
I’m really curious to know what she even thought the supposed twist would entail – a secret batch of under the table Legendary Legend Stars? 3 inches torn off the WOWPresents legal contract? Free access to the hotel mini fridge for 24 hours?
The bigger talking point however is the fact there’s only 2 challenges left before the finale and with only 1 star on her chest, Shea was having to desperately try to keep a migraine at bay
it must be pretty rough to establish yourself in the first episode and then rapidly lose momentum, but it does feel a little like Shea hasn’t really pushed herself in challenges like the other queens have, she is very much always playing it safe.
This Week’s Maxi Challenge was the much anticipated Roast, so really they might as well have just saved some time by handing Jinkx a star then and there and make everyone else play for runner up.
In order to help the queens streamline their jokes they were having a masterclass with actor and author of one (1) Spongebob Episode, Solomon Georgio
who was not famous enough to be kept on for a spot at the judging table, even despite Shea’s admirable overreacting when they revealed they’d be working with the *checks notes* Sharks Vs Pods author
and instead, the judging spot would be filled by
Nikita Kuzmin of Strictly Come Dancing Fame Peeta Mellark Ronan Farrow
who was probably the most natural guest judge in terms of giving fairly truthful sounding pure positive critiques and I would be up for him replacing Ross Mathews anytime. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD REPLACE ROSS MATHEWS ANYTIME.
And with any roast or stand up challenge, the order had to be decided and rather than letting Raja have her revenge for the long con that was The Secret Plunger Circle, the queens would be popping balloons against the asses of the Pit Crew in a revisiting of Maddy Morphosis’s own personal hell
but this time it was significantly less sexy because in order to shoehorn the Snag Tights sponsorship into the episode, Bryce and Bruno had been put in a pair of distinctly grossly coloured tights
I’m sure it’s working for someone somewhere.
Most of it passed fairly ordinarily, with Jinkx being the unfortunate Designated Jorgeous as she really struggled to get any power into her thrust
the delicate lifting of her cardigan is everything I need to know.
She did eventually manage to pop the balloon and got 4th place and you could see the exact moment Trinity died inside as she had scored 5th place only moments beforehand
of course first and last place were conveniently the last two balloons to be popped – with it being a pop-off between Raja and The Vivienne – the former going first and desperately not wanting to go first and then *of course* ended up going first – my favourite part of which was Raja “storming off” and Bryce doing a very cute little wave as she went
and that of course meant The Vivienne went last, which means the final line-up was:
- The Vivienne
While Raja might not have wanted to go first, I think it really benefitted her in the end because the “meanness” of her jokes might have come across a little more awkwardly if she wasn’t the pacemaker to everyone else’s much more tongue in cheek roasts. I say “mean” – they were only mean jokes in the Drag Race sense and I’m going to assume the editors did her a solid and left anything too hard-hitting on the cutting room floor lest she face the wrath of the stans, although saying that, her joke about The Vivienne doing so much ketamine that people were placing bets on her at the Kentucky Derby was probably one of my favourite proper roast-like jokes of the evening.
Following Raja was Yvie, which was quite interesting because we haven’t really seen Yvie doing stand-up comedy except for the Draguation challenge earlier this season, but I’m not even sure we can really call that stand-up, I’m not really sure what that challenge was other than a lesson in anecdotary. But Yvie was good, she had some fun delivery, but really her role in this challenge was to be everyone else’s dick joke soundboard – and she played the part superbly.
Shea had to go third and The Fear was quite clearly setting in with her as she was rapidly realising that save for a twist that somehow grants her two stars for one challenge, she probably wasn’t making the finale and it really didn’t bode well for her when the critique of her set was mostly Michelle and Ru gushing over her outfit
but to be fair, Shea did (and always does) look immaculate
but I just don’t know if Shea really has a cadence for stand-up comedy, she always sounds a bit like she’s about to announce how much money they made at the silent auction for The Donkey Trust, and I’m not sure Ross gave her the best advice given that he really encouraged her to “act as sweet as pie and then really hit them with zingers” because WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THIS ADVICE HAS BEEN GIVEN BEFORE
granted Shea had jokes, and they were quite funny – she did do the repeating line joke with “Jaida is such a skinny little bitch…” which was very Sasha Velour of her, but what I think made Sasha’s ones about Michelle being so Jersey was the fact her third one bombed, which gave her an easy out, whereas Shea’s just kind of petered out into insignificance – and I had the same issue with Jinkx using the same set-up for dick jokes about Yvie, and if this was a regular season Jinkx probably would have been called up on recycling the joke about snorting a line of coke off Yvie’s dick from her Judy Garland Snatch Game.
Unsurprisingly though, Jinkx’s set was incredibly strong and she very much had a freshly coffee enema’d RuPaul eating out of the palm of her hands which is doubly impressive because she had basically written two whole sets because you could really see her fingerprints all over Trinity’s set – she had promised to help her seeing as Trinity’s track record in Drag Race Roasts is akin to Jinkx’s in Design Challenges. I did find it really funny that Trinity told the joke about Jinkx’s birth certificate coming with an apology letter from a condom factor because it was basically a redemption of whatever this garbled mess of a joke was meant to be in All Stars 4
it has lived rent free in my head ever since All Stars 4 and I still can’t quite work out her thought process behind it was, but this time she had a much more streamlined set with punchlines that actually worked! There were still moments of Trinity’s odd delivery, for instance the way she really over-enunciated the word “Pinata” as though it was meant to be the funny part of the joke about Jinkx’s boyfriend liking to be blindfolded before he hit it – there were a lot of jokes about Jinkx, which is what mainly makes me think that Jinkx wrote a good deal of them.
I also liked Trinity’s look – I’m always fond of a queen that goes for a B&Q lamp as earrings
and they were certainly rivalling the chandelier that occasionally swooped along the shot like Liberace’s UFO
I always enjoy the set dressing during stand up challenges.
Monet was next and I can’t say I found her jokes particularly funny – I didn’t think the ambling sheet cake joke was nearly as funny as the judges made out, I thought the stand out moment of the whole thing was the moment she said Jaida Essence Hall had the teeth of a baby purely for how utterly absurd it was – it seemed to blindside EVERYONE
and it was at this precise moment that you could see Shea’s hopes of another star very much dying on the spot
speaking of Shea, I did love Monet’s joke about her being in “so many…. movie.” – it’s a joke set-up that I always enjoy, and her introducing Jaida as “The Messence of Beauty” proved all too accurate
this was a glorious act of flopping, and yet even as bad as it was, the judges spent more time praising Jaida shredding jokes like someone trying to escape tax fraud than they did anything Shea Coulee actually said – but to be fair she did cope really well
and I’m sure The Vivienne was quite relieved that it put her in a really good position to close the show, and of course she did very well, much like Jinkx, she’s a very good joke teller, her delivery is always good and she’s particularly good with roast-like barbs – there’s something very Joan Rivers about her comedy, as much as she wants to insist that her jokes are all very British. She has complained on Twitter that all of her best jokes were cut, so clearly the fact she wasn’t in the top rubbed her the wrong way, and to be fair she probably should have been given that it did feel like Jinkx maybe perhaps very likely so dragged Trinity into the top 2.
It’s been a long time coming but the show finally caved to the fan demand at having a glow in the dark runway – I do think it’s a runway theme that could only really be done on a season like this – both because you need everyone to have a decent budget behind them lest we end up with several queens having to make do with a couple of glowsticks around their wrists and they needed the extra luggage allowance to allow them bring the Blackpool illuminations with them.
Raja kicked off the runway and I was immediately very worried about how the rest of the runway was going to go because you really could barely tell what she was wearing other than the fact it was vaguely insectoid
and that for some reason she was walking on a pair of miniature oil rigs
but it was a really cool laser show – I would have liked more of a wide shot so that you could take more of the outfit in – especially because the judges kept waxing lyrical about how good it was – and I did love Michelle saying “we’ve never seen anything like this on Drag Race before!” because it’s almost exactly what Scarlet Envy was going to wear for the Goth Runway on All Stars 6 had she not been eliminated the episode prior
I think she’s allowed to be moderately salty.
Yvie was next and dressed like a piece of environmental art from Avatar 1: Look What Technology Can Do!
I was a little surprised that Yvie went so elegant with this runway given that it could lend itself to some really cool chaos, but I appreciate the change of pace – this could quite easily be an outfit from underrated cinematic masterpiece Jupiter Ascending. And the way it lit up her face was really cool
the way it all worked really reminded me of Zendaya’s Cinderella dress from the camp Met Gala.
Unsurprisingly Shea had commissioned a piece from Joshuan Aponté for this runway, who also did Mo Heart’s Vegas look for her Luck Be A Lady look from Drag Race UK vs The World and you could certainly see the similarities in the shapes and the way the lights worked
this is really pretty, I could have maybe done with a little more around the skirt because it’s looking a little sparse – even if there were just a few extra petals that didn’t light up. But out of everyone, I thought Shea’s makeup worked the best in the lighting
the little white freckles she used really shone.
In quite a dramatic change of pace, Jinkx was next and doing a nod to the witch burnings, although at first I did think she was doing a Death Becomes Her reference
the white doesn’t really immediately scream “witch!” to me, obviously she had to go with it to achieve the really impressive flickering flame effect – made all the more dramatic by the fact Jinkx has the ability to look utterly insane
I do kind of wish the rope tying had been a little more intricate or decorative, just to further drag it all up a little – but I am kind of obsessed with the fact this gown strikes me as more Vivienne Westwood than anything The Vivienne has worn thus far.
I would say Trinity certainly brought the most lights and her outfit was so overstimulating that she looked like one of those toys that you only ever see being sold at bonfire night
I can’t really say I loved it – I did like the hem of the dress, the curled shapes are really interesting and have a sort vintage kitsch to them – I think I’m mostly averse to the colour choices, they’re a little bit too radioactive Starburst for my liking.
Monet went for a much more subdued look, which was a bit of a relief after the sensory overload that was Trinity’s HypnoToad BUT FASHION! However, I do think Monet’s look worked better with the lights on
because it did rather disappear into nothingness when they turned them off, although she was having to live up to high expectations given that the James Webb Space Telescope had given us the most incredible photos of space only a few day prior
which does kind of defeat the purpose of the runway, but maybe it read better in the room. Monet has said that her original plan had been to have a look inspired by the neon cowgirl that sits on the questionably named Glittery Gulch sign in Vegas
she backed out because she thought someone else would do it – which is a pity because it would have been a GREAT outfit. However, we did get something of a Vegas neon sign, as Jaida’s had a very similar vibe
on a technical level it’s really quite impressive, and I think the tail is quite beautiful, I’m not entirely sure if I’m sold on the outfit as a whole, I think it gets a little crapped up on the top – especially with the wave and the hair being very similar colours, and I would have like just a little more definition around the bust – give me neon scallops shells or give me death!
I was hoping that The Vivienne would bring the entirity of the Blackpool illuminations with her, really lean into the hopes of being the first drag queen on Strictly and BECOME the Tower Ballroom, however she was going all too tasteful with her Indirectly Joan of Arc look
and it was really pretty when it was all lit up
I’m curious to know how many settings the wings have because you could see the little control panel she was clutching and there’s A LOT of buttons
I hope they flash to the tune of The Twelve of Christmas.
An All Glowed Up Runway Ranking
- Burn The Jinkx!
- Avatar 3: Even 3Dier
- I Can’t Believe I’ts Not Shea Butter!
- Raja’s Cat Toy Behemoth
- The Joan of Arc Christmas Lights
- The Little Neon Mermaid
- A 240p Jpeg of Space
- Trinity The Sensory Toy
It was pretty blatantly obvious that Jinkx was going to be in the top for this episode, a meteorite would have had to come hurtling through that ceiling to stop her from winning. The Vivienne was the expected choice along with Jinkx but I think the judges were more impressed by how surprisingly good Trinity, so I can see why they went with her in the top two.
For their lipsync, Jinkx and Trinity were having to perform to Ava Max’s “Kings and Queens” although for the purpose of this competition it had been reduced to one solitary king
I did think we had had this song done before, but it was just that Orion and Jorgeous had done an Ava Max song only a few months ago because Drag Race is a never-ending conveyor belt. And in true Jinkx Monsoon Struggling To Put Together A Performance Outfit fashion, she had come to the lipsync dressed as a buccaneering Baby Button Eyes (in Snag Tights™)
and then rather appropriately spent most of the lipsync dancing like a jack-in-the-box that had escaped its box and was desperately trying to find its purpose in the world or as much as she could when Trinity wasn’t treating drag as a contact sport again
once is a mistake, twice is Mimi Imfurst roleplay, and then Jinkx did have to spend the rest of the lipsync with a smear of Trinity’s makeup across one of her tits
it wasn’t a particularly great lipsync, I think Jinkx did more with it, Trinity was kind of just Trinity By Numbers: point at my crotch a lot, shake the ass, awkwardly try to do something sexual with my opponent and pull a funny face at the end
whereas Jinkx, I don’t know? Did a better cartwheel than Mo heart could dream of?
still curious as to what Monet was reacting to in this moment because they’ve all categorically said it wasn’t Jinkx’s cartwheel
but apparently The Event was not shown and they’re all playing coy about what happened.
Jinkx won the lipsync, raking in another £10,000 and because of the change to the rules, didn’t get to block anyone
and the whole episode ends with RuPaul saying “no queen is out of the running, where there’s a will, there’s a way” before lingering for incredibly long on Shea Coulee
so I’m guessing Shea is about to somehow win 2 stars in a twist that only benefits her and her place in the final is going to feel a little unearned.
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