We’re in the thick of it! With Mayhem and Dusty both having written their goodbyes on the mirror in lipstick, let’s recap the jam-packed last two weeks of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (2009–).
Lewks for the end of the world: Two weeks ago, Ru brought us into the not-so-distant future with “The Last Ball on Earth,” a tripart runway challenge based on humanity’s flight to Mars after the catastrophic effects of climate change. Categories were: Alaskan Winter Realness, Miami Summer Realness and Martian Eleganza Extravaganza. The clear frontrunner was Aquafina (thank you, Monique), the self-proclaimed look queen who finally snatched a max-challenge after weeks of hovering in the safe zone. She delivered a lucha libre, wrestling-style swimwear look for Alaskan Winter Realness and a Miami Summer Realness that was like if the Trix Bunny broke into Michael’s and stole all the pastel paint. Yes, it’s icy in Miami and beach weather in Alaska because of climate change — it took this reviewer a few minutes to figure that one out. And Aquaria finished with a villainous martian look of black geometric shapes covering her body; cardboard glued to a bra never looked so good!
There are some other queens worth mentioning, though. We saw several iterations of the “Ice Queen” look — perhaps most vividly described by Eureka as “Eskimo-style, Yeti, Ski-fish Realness” — but the frosty crown goes to Kameron Michaels, who looked as if Elsa from “Frozen” (2013) got lost on the other side of the Wall and became the queen of the White Walkers. Another favorite was Miz Cracker, who reported for duty in the “gayest army ever” in a Bond Girl meets Hello Kitty assassin get-up for the Miami Summer runway. The disappointment of the night was Asia O’Hara, who flopped on the runway because the “black Martha Stewart” was busy helping every other queen sew their Martian Eleganza looks together. At least the other queens gave her credit when Asia was confronted by Ru — yes, we’re looking at you, Bebe.
Pound the Alarm: What other track can you end the “Last Ball on Earth” with besides Nicki Minaj’s frantic but exuberant “Pound the Alarm” (2012)? After Aquaria was crowned the official lewk-queen of the season and the safe queens fled Earth, Monét X Change and Dusty Ray Bottoms stuck around for a lip-sync battle epic enough to take place on Mustafar. As Ru watched on behind her completely opaque visor, Monét gave a performance that brought us to the edge of the apocalypse and back. “Drag Race” viewers have seen jump splits before — think Alyssa Edwards vs. Tatianna, Kennedy Davenport vs. Katya — and frankly, we’ve grown tired of them, but Monét stunned. She faked us out right before the first chorus, doing a sign of the cross before jumping in place and catching her breath, and at the final drop she launched herself into a split, essentially crushing Dusty’s chance of salvation as well.
The Bossy Rossy Show: Monét made it out of the global-warming-induced apocalypse alive, schooling the other queens about the origin of the modern British accent in the meantime, and the queens regrouped for a military-themed mini-challenge. We’re skipping over some Eureka vs. The Vixen “Untucked” drama, but it seems more and more clear that the Chicago queen has gotten ahold of Bianca del Rio’s “Rolodex of Hate.” Anyway, “Private Vixen” glided through the mini-challenge, promising to serve her sisters and protect both “resting” and “wide-awake” “b—- faces.” She got to pair all the queens up for the maxi-challenge, where perennial judge Ross Matthews put on Maury Povich’s wig and hosted his very own “The Bossy Rossy Show.” It was a snooze compared to last week’s gargantuan maxi-maxi-challenge on the runway, but there were some moments that sparkled. Monique Heart and Blair St. Clair discovered that they were involved with the same man, who is of course a cactus, and they snatched each other’s wigs until Blair yelled the safe word, “Vanjie!” And to round things off, Aquaria, our favorite brand of bottled water, and Eureka had a temper-tantrum-throwing contest to determine who is the sexiest baby of them all. Eureka served body-ody-ody and let out all of her “Untucked” angst by having the biggest meltdown on “Drag Race” since Laganja Estranja on season six.
Denim for Days: Eureka came out of the maxi-challenge as the clear frontrunner for this week’s winner, and after a moment of reconciliation with The Vixen — kind of, it’s complicated — she continued to deliver in a gorgeous “grown-a— Honey Boo Boo” bodysuit for the “Denim & Diamonds” runway challenge in front of who else but guest judge Shania Twain. Miz Cracker served “model and moron” in a Wendy’s-inspired look, with a pink denim jumpsuit, buck teeth and horizontal pigtails. Another favorite was The Vixen’s sparkling denim gown, which was like if Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” (1989) headed to Nashville with a few rhinestones, a wig and a dream. The episode ended with a mild lip sync between Monét X Change and Mayhem Miller — to “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” (1997), of course — which sent the latter queen home. We’ll miss you Mayhem! Let’s hope Monét gets it together this week, because after her “Pound the Alarm” performance, we know she has so much left in her.
Robbie Turner vs. Uber: Let’s finish off with some strange news. Last week the season eight queen Robbie Turner tweeted that she had been in a car crash that killed her Uber driver, but then the Seattle-based newspaper The Stranger found no record of the accident ever occurring? It’s wild, but now we’re all sitting here wondering why Robbie may have lied.
Anyway, this is the last review of the school year, and since this reviewer is graduating, you’ll have to make it through the end of the season on your own. Also, a huge shoutout to all of the students who performed in the Critical Drag show last Friday — consider every wig in the Tisch hemicycle obliterated. Thanks for reading, and until we meet again, Vaaaaaanjie!