With the two most formidable queens freshly ejected from the competition, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs. the World is now basically a crapshoot, with all five of the remaining contestants sharing an equal shot at the crown. (Yes, even Jujubee, assuming she decides to start putting in a little effort.)
Episode 5 begins with a still-shaking Blu Hydrangea explaining why she decided to give Pangina Heals the chop. And unlike Pangina, Blu is actually honest about her choice: “She took the same decision that I took with Jimbo. She sent home her strongest competition.” (See how easy that was?) Baga Chipz, who previously vowed to get revenge for Jimbo, then reveals that she also chose Pangina’s lipstick.
For this week’s maxi challenge, the queens are tasked with writing and performing their own original verses for RuPaul’s “Living My Life in London.” Honestly, the whole thing is pretty forgettable, unless you happen to be a huge fan of fist pumping. The song itself is no bop. In fact, it’s the kind of song that your brain actively forgets while hearing it, and the verses range from fine to… slightly-above-fine.
That said, the producer of this song deserves all the RuPeter Badges that money can buy, because he worked magic on Janey’s track. Was that even her voice? I dare say, he took a bag of angry cats and turned it into music!
It’s this week’s runway challenge, “Work of Art,” that — as Pangina would say — separates the girls from the ladies, even if I don’t entirely agree with some of the judges’ critiques.
Baga channels Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic Sunflowers in a literal vase dress, which turns out more cheeky than artistic; Blu’s Picasso-inspired garment is only Pica-so-so; Janey gives us a full Andy Warhol/Marilyn Monroe pop art fantasy, complete with pink skin, a look so good that even Michelle Visage applauds the green(!) jacket; Jujubee goes in a slightly different direction, rocking a beautiful flowy gown that she likens to buildings in Miami for some reason; and Monique Heart leaves everyone slack-jawed with a Salvador Dali look that includes a mask of flowers which opens to reveal her face.
Then come the shenanigans. The judges announce that this week’s top two queens are Mo, which I fully understand, and Jujubee, which I… don’t totally get. Sure, this is the best she’s looked on the runway thus far, but even Graham Norton acknowledges that it doesn’t really fit this week’s theme. And was her performance that much better than any of the other queens? I don’t think so.
The two remaining U.S. queens battle it out to Netta’s “Toy,” the winner of 2018’s Eurovision Song Contest. It’s an absolute banger, and it feels like the perfect track to match this high-energy showdown. And energy is, indeed, what the queens bring, though they take very different approaches to the battle. Jujubee, as expected, takes things in a more comedic direction, while Monique is all moves and attitude.
More shenanigans: Jujubee is announced as this week’s winner (…OK?) and chooses to send home Janey Jacké. You know, the queen to whom she owes a debt of gratitude for saving her earlier this season. Instead, Jujubee sticks a knife right in Janey’s back, sending her packing right before the finale. But hey, that’s how we’re playing this, right?
And just like that, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs. the World has its first-ever top four in Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, Jujubee and Mo Heart. Is it the top four I imagined? Absolutely not. But am I OK with how everything turned out? Eh, that’s also a no.
But how do you feel about these four queens in advance of next week’s finale? Who are you rooting for? Weigh in below, then drop a comment with all of your thoughts.