Friday’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race finally brought all of Season 14’s remaining queens face to face in the werkroom, though we’re using the word “remaining” pretty loosely.
Because RuPaul loves to remind us that it’s her show and she can do whatever she damn well pleases, she also brought back Orion Story and Daya Betty for a second shot at the crown. I wasn’t especially thrilled to see the past two weeks’ eliminations reversed, but it was totally worth it to witness the look on Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté’s face when Daya accepted her thousand-dollar bet to eat a dead dragonfly. Never mind the fact that Daya shrugged the whole thing off by saying, “I eat ass, you guys. I can eat a bug.” Queen.
Then came another surprise for the queens, albeit a much sweeter one. Each of the 12 (oops, make that 14 again!) competitors was instructed to choose a chocolate bar off the shelf and to give it the ol’ Jane Hancock. This season, even if a queen loses a lip sync, she could remain in the competition if the bar she chose happens to have golden chocolate inside.
For this week’s maxi challenge, the seven Week 1 queens competed in the Hide and Chic Ball, while the other seven from Week 2 faced off at the Red, White and Blue Ball. Despite the two wildly different themes, both balls featured resort looks, evening gowns and from-scratch wedding dresses.
My jaw remained firmly planted on the floor for all three of Angeria Paris VanMicheals’ looks, including an all-white evening ensemble that Carson Kressley called “one of my favorite looks I’ve ever seen on Drag Race.” I don’t know if I’d go that far, but everything she served was stunning, to the point where I actually expected her to win for the second week in a row — and I wouldn’t have disagreed in the slightest. I also once again bought everything that Jorgeous was selling, with extra leg on the side.
But it was none other than Willow Pill who twuly gwabbed the judges’ attention tonight. (Sorry, Ru’s ridiculous baby voice is starting to rub off on me.) She received high praise for her fabulous zebra-print resort ensemble, which also gave me a hankering for Fruit Stripe gum; the judges lived for her black-on-black leopard evening wear look; and her jungle-ready wedding look was hailed as a “showstopper.”
Willow’s well-deserved victory was even sweeter considering how much she had to overcome just to pull those three winning looks together. As she explained in a confessional, she has a difficult time using her fine motor skills. “If you’ve ever been out when it’s like negative 40 degrees, and then you go inside and try to lace up your shoes but your fingers won’t do it, that’s how I feel all the time,” she said. It also warmed my cold, Grinch-like heart to see how attentive Kornbread was to Willow, offering to get a cup of hot water to help with her hands. Friendship!
But not everyone can be the belle of the ball, a lesson several queens learned the hard way. Let’s start with Maddy Morphosis, who was read to absolute filth for her “pedestrian” resort look, her lackluster evening gown and her borderline treasonous American flag wedding dress. (You know it’s bad when Michelle Visage tells you that her favorite part about your look is the character you’re playing.) June Jambalaya was similarly dressed down, criticized for rocking a wig straight from the bag, for drowning in fabric to the point of stumbling and for blatantly using a prop to cover her disappointing wedding look. Orion also found herself back in the bottom this week but narrowly escaped having to lip sync for her life. Extremely narrowly.
Was I excited to see how the show’s first-ever straight queen would fare in a lip sync? Absolutely. But was I ultimately impressed with what Maddy brought to her performance of Kylie Minogue’s “I Love It”? Not quite. Still, pretty much anything would have looked good next to… whatever June was doing. “I almost slipped on what I think used to be her skirt,” Maddy recalled as various pieces of June’s ensemble hit the stage floor. “June’s outfit put her in the bottom and I’m afraid it’s going to take me out, too.”
Given the lip sync’s overall lack of [whatever weird horny noise Ru made earlier in the episode], I would have sent both queens sashaying away. But Ru deemed Maddy worth keeping, so only June Jambalaya was given the boot. And unfortunately for her, she didn’t have a golden chocolate parachute. (That sad trombone! Werk.)
Your thoughts on this week’s Drag Race? Do you agree that Willow deserved the win? And which queen would you have sent packing? Weigh in via our poll below, then drop a comment with your full review.