RuPaul’s Drag Race turned back the clock on Friday, serving ’90s high school realness with some help from a pair of small-screen icons.
Beverly Hills, 90210 stars Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling dropped by to direct the remaining nine queens in a special production of 9021-Ho, and while the finished product was actually really enjoyable, the behind-the-scenes process was painful to sit through. (Like, I’m sure Garth would have rather recreated Kelly Taylor’s drive-by shooting than endure another minute of that mess.)
The trouble began, as it so often does, in the casting process. This time around, it was Aja who threw a ridiculous fit over having to play “Grandrea Zuckerwoman,” a riff on the fact that Gabrielle Carteris’ character always seemed… a little long in the tooth, we’ll say. (For what it’s worth, Aja later apologized for her shenanigans.)
And as we watched the queens rehearse, their individual performances spoke volumes about their approach to the competition. For example, Nina Bo’nina Brown sashayed onto the scene with all the confidence in the world, but as soon as the directors addressed her shortcomings — specifically that she was speaking too quickly, in addition to emphasizing the wrong words — she became intensely defensive, accusing the 90210 alumni of picking on her for no reason. The irony, of course, is that Nina gave a big speech earlier in the episode about how she was going to start letting her defenses down. (So much for that.)
On a more positive note, Shea Couleé slayed the role of “Grandrea,” while Trinity Taylor — with her boundless energy and spot-on comedic timing as Farrah Moan’s pill-popping mother — earned a well-deserved win. (Speaking of Farrah, watching her struggle to form words reminded me of that time Kimora Blac revealed she doesn’t know what an adjective is. … Also, remember Kimora?! That feels like a damn lifetime ago.)
This week’s hair-raising runway show was kind of a snoozefest — personally, I think they’ve been a low point all season — though a few queens did manage to stand apart from the rest, especially Sasha Velour. (Dem spikes!)
Then came the lip sync battle, a showdown between the worst actress (Nina) and the worst sport (Aja). I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t super invested in this one. While I began the season as a champion for Nina, her ‘tude has proven a real turn-off. And Aja has failed to inspire any emotions in me, positive or negative.
Both ladies put in a solid effort, but Ru’s word is law, so it was curtains for Aja.
My fellow Drag Race enthusiasts, did the right queen sashay away? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.