Like Gumby strapped to one of those Midieval torture racks, it seems there is no limit to how long RuPaul’s Drag Race is capable of stretching out the first elimination of Season 13.
For the third consecutive week, Friday’s episode ended without a single queen going home, as the “losers” from the premiere returned to the werkroom for another chance to prove their worth before the almighty judges’ panel.
Let’s start by focusing on the good: the reveal of this week’s top two queens — Rosé and Denali — came as no surprise to anyone. Rosé made a big impression on the judges with her Moschino- and McQueen-inspired looks in the “Lady and the Vamp” mini challenge, while Denali also turned heads in an ensemble reminiscent of a slinky mistress emerging from the flames of an unruly candelabra that was knocked over by someone’s drunk uncle. (Yes, extremely specific narrative!) And when it came time for the group number, both queens owned their respective moment in the spotlight; Rosé took a page from her bandmate Jan, ending her “Phenomenon” verse on a big-ass note, while Denali served up some of my favorite lyrics of the night. (“Triple lutz on these sluts.” Are you kidding me?!)
For their lip sync battle, set to the tune of Britney Spears’ timeless bop “If U Seek Amy,” Rosé took a slightly more comedic approach, while Denali chose to fully live the pop star fantasy. (Bonus points for their synchronized split!) Either one of these girls would have been an acceptable winner in my eyes, but the $5,000 tip ultimately went to ice queen Denali.
My other favorite lyrics of the night came courtesy of Joey Jay, who introduced herself in the number with a simple “I’m a gay-ass bitch! I’m Joey Jay!” (Look, sometimes the best message is also the simplest, OK?) And can we talk about how Tamisha Iman is 49, with biological children older than some of her competitors this season? She must bathe in the literal Fountain of Youth™ on a daily basis. There’s simply no other explanation.
Props must also be awarded to Utica Queen, someone I completely underestimated. From her McDonald’s ball pit-inspired look in the mini challenge to her “Sleeve-y Nicks” getup on the main stage, Utica is definitely a weird one to watch. (The judges were right to compare her to Thorgy Thor, though the Yvie Oddly comparison felt like a bit of a stretch.) Adding to her mystique, the Minnesota-based queen also revealed herself to be… a Seventh-day Adventist? (“No pressure, but Jesus is great!”)
One queen who did herself absolutely no favors this week was Kahmora Hall. Her looks may have been polished — she credited Kate Middleton, Cher and Spears for influencing several of her ensembles — but she spent so much time getting ready that the producers almost began the mini challenge without her. And if time was an issue with only five other queens in the werkroom, just imagine how she’ll fare when the two groups merge next week!
OK, time to discuss: Which of the “losers” impressed you the most this week? How amazing was returning guest judge Nicole Byer? And which queen do you predict will become Season 13’s official Pork Chop? Drop a comment with all of your thoughts below.