In the most gender-bending episode of the season, Thursday’s Drag Race found the six remaining queens butching themselves up before giving a gaggle of social media stars the makeover of their lives.
MINI CHALLENGE: BUTCH IT UP
This week’s mini challenge tasked the Top 6 with creating butch characters to advertise Trade, a new fragrance made from “essential oils found exclusively in truck stop restrooms.”
I don’t often disagree with Mama Ru, but I thought it was pretty obvious from the start that Kameron “Smell All This Wood” Michaels had this challenge in the bag. Sure, Eureka’s goofy backwoods character was entertaining, but if we’re talking about which queen served up the most butch look, it wasn’t the self-proclaimed “Elephant Queen.”
Hey, at least we can all agree that Miz Cracker just looked like a cartoon homeless person, right?
MAXI CHALLENGE/RUNWAY CATEGORY: DRAG FAMILY VALUES
Still dressed in their manliest plaids and fakest-looking beards, the queens were greeted by six social media superstars — Tyler Oakley, Raymond Braun, Frankie Grande, Anthony Padilla, Chester See and Kingsley — eager for the drag makeover of a lifetime. As the winner of this week’s mini challenge, Eureka got to pair the queens with the, putting Tyler with Monet X Change, Chester with Cracker, Kingsley with Aquaria, Anthony with Kameron and Raymond with Asia O’Hara. (Shocker: She kept Grande for herself.)
Much to Ru’s delight, Eureka admitted that she paired her competitors with the social media stars she thought would prove the biggest challenge. Eureka’s fellow queens, on the other hand, were considerably less delighted by this savage display of strategy. Watching some of the social stars’ first experiences with high heels was like watching Bambi struggle — like, really struggle — to master the art of walking on four legs. But the real surprise was discovering that some of this week’s special guests are (gasp!) straight. I won’t name names, but they know exactly who they are.
Then came time for the runway, where the social stars debuted their new drag personas alongside their “mothers.” Before we get to the results, how’s about a quick breakdown of the pairs:
* Asia O’Hara and America O’Hara: First of all, I love that Asia tailored the two looks based on a coat that Raymond felt comfortable wearing. I feel like, more than some of the other pairings, these two have a decent shot at staying friends down the line. Did their ensembles give me unwanted flashbacks to Donny Osmond in Joseph and Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat? Sure. But I’m also a sucker for near-synchronized hair flipping.
* Eureka and Eufreaka: I didn’t think Eureka deserved to win this week’s mini challenge, but her and Frankie’s runway look was my absolute favorite. Not only was Frankie a carbon copy of Eureka — albeit with slightly smaller dimensions — but I loved the way Frankie began by popping out from behind her drag mother. Surprises are fun! (I lost it when the judges described Frankie as “the twin that never developed.”)
* Aquaria and Capricia Corn: This was easily my least favorite of tonight’s runway pairs. Aquaria referred to the aesthetic as “red regal couture,” but only one of those words apply to these lackluster looks.
* Miz Cracker and Miz Cookie: These two, on the other hand, had me screaming. The “proud mother” and “dirty daughter” (pictured above) were the spitting image of Courtney Stodden and… I don’t know, a flower, I guess?
* Monet X Change and Short Change: Here’s the thing… I wanted these two to knock it out of the park, and I even think that Tyler had a more natural grasp of drag than most of the other influencers. (He was serving Designing Women realness, if that makes any sense.) But Monet’s concept just wasn’t up to snuff, and the resemblance simply wasn’t there.
* Kameron Michaels and Kelly Michaels: No doubt about it, these two had the thinnest resemblance of any other mother-daughter team on the runway. OK, they both had short hair and wore metallic prints, but that was hardly enough to save Kameron from lip syncing for her life. As Michelle Visage said, it was “too simple for this far in the game.”
Winner: Miz Cracker
I can’t say I was surprised to see Aquaria, Monet and Kameron in this week’s Bottom 3, but I’m not sure Aquaria is the one I would have sent to safety. That said, Monet and Kameron both gave their all to this week’s lip sync battle — set to guest judge Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” — and I would have been OK with either one of them remaining in the competition. (Seriously, Monet got so into it that she accidentally broke one of the stage bulbs with her damn shoe!)
Unfortunately, Ru can’t be merciful every week. so we had to say goodbye to Monet.
Your thoughts on this week’s elimination? Drop ’em in a comment below.