Despite the coronavirus’ best efforts to wipe out all televised sporting events, it would appear that one managed slipped through the cracks — RuPaul’s Drag Race! And Friday’s episode tested the queens’ handling of balls like never before.
But first, the mini challenge: Ru’s dirty dozen was tasked with raising awareness about the world’s declining bee population via the time-honored art of twerking, with none other than Gigi Goode emerging as the self-proclaimed “Queen Bee” of Season 12. (I know, I didn’t see it coming either.)
With that win under her belt, Gigi strutted confidently into this week’s maxi challenge, a sports-themed fashion ball. Each queen was required to bring three looks to the runway: a “Lady Baller” look that serves “sexy Title IX realness”; a “Basketball Wife Realness” look that screams, “He owns everything, henny!”; and, of course, a “Balls-to-the-Walls Eleganza” look to guarantee a big finish.
Unfortunately, not every queen was up to the challenge. Brita was a bundle of nerves in the workroom as she struggled to assemble something vaguely reminiscent of a pineapple, while Aiden Zhane spent so little time slapping together her own “simple” looks that she was able to squeeze in a nap. (And just for the record, Aiden owes Jan a huge favor. If Jan hadn’t pointed out that Aiden’s black-and-white corset resembled a referee, she would have been completely directionless.)
As always, the workroom drama foreshadowed this week’s runway results, which unfolded pretty much exactly as expected. For starters, Gigi won the maxi challenge with a trio of killer looks, ranging from a Heathers-inspired suit to a final look reminiscent of a high-fashion bowl of cereal — specifically Drag Berries, according to Ross Mathews.
But let’s be honest, this week’s real winner was guest judge Leslie Jones. Not only was the former Saturday Night Live star clearly having the time of her damn life sitting mere feet from the Drag Race runway, but she provided some of the night’s best commentary. (My personal favorite was her reaction to Widow Von’Du’s polo player look: “She done already had horses!”)
The writing was also on the wall for this week’s bottom three: Aiden, Brita and Rock M. Sakura. The judges loved Aiden’s vintage female baseball player ensemble, but they weren’t impressed by either of her follow-up looks, including a Peg Bundy-esque basketball wife; they ripped apart Brita’s “pedestrian” looks, while further emphasizing that her pineapple outfit looked like corn; and they enjoyed Rock’s surprise tetherball wig, but as Michelle Visage put it, “Sometimes ‘more, more, more!’ is not right.”
Still, I was a little surprised to see Aiden sent to safety, leaving Brita and Rock to duke it out to Rihanna’s “S&M.” (Don’t get me wrong, Brita was doomed from the start, but I really expected Aiden to join her.) Rock struggled to tear off her puff-ball skirt, but once she did, it was nothing but splits and tricks galore. Brita, meanwhile, chose to put a comedic spin on the song, which RuPaul appeared to eat up.
In the end, Ru decided to send Rock M. Sakura sashaying away, allowing Brita to slay another day. “I want to stay here so bad, and to leave now is very disappointing,” Rock said through tears. “I’m feeling completely crushed. I may not have gone very far, but I have so many things to be grateful for.”
Your thoughts on Rock’s elimination? Vote for the queen you would have sent packing below, then drop a comment with your review of the episode.