Now y’all… what would Drag Race be without a good reading challenge! Thank the lords, Mama Ru has decided to push back the main challenge and bring forth the good ol’ reading glasses, because why? The library is open! Apart from Ms. Nina Bo’Nina I’ll-Read-You-To-Filth-Betch Brown and Trinity Taylor, this season hasn’t been open to shady shade reads, so it’s good to see a cluster of surprising reads and cutty-cut moments that showcases the quick-wit and intelligence of these queens. Lukicly this season, all the queens served each other a platter of filth and shade, but for some, they just couldn’t take it.
I’ve found it a struggle to connect with Ms. Alexis, who feels completely obliterated by the reads about her weight. Yes, such comments can be a hit in the stomach, but gurl… it’s a reading challenge, what do you expect. Alexis Michelle has been a bit of a sneaky villian in recent episodes, throwing some queens under the bus (Nina Bo’Nina I-Should-Have-Been-Blac-Chyna Brown’s little meltdown, or her persistent superiority in the small interview talks come to mind…) and getting a lil’ dirty, but this week, she feels a bit upset of a couple of reads (WHICH ONE WAS SAID BY FARRAH FOR GOODNESS SAKES, OUT OF ALL QUEENS YOUR UPSET BY HER?) But apart from her (no tea no shade…), the girls also take on an emotional moment regarding the homophobic and trans-phobic culture in Russia, a second home-town to Ms. Sasha Velour’s, who embrace the impact as an upsetting revelation and culture.
This week, the 8 remaining queens are writing up their jokes, their shade, and their lace front weaves for an iconic night… The RuPaul Roast! But… not all is what it seems. Instead of roasting mama Ru, they are roasting Drace Race alumni Michelle Visage. Gurl… This is gon’ be a F-ing epic night to watch! Alongside this, there was no immediate or primary runway challenge other than dressing to the occasion of the roast. So, let’s see my critiques below:
Gurl… where to begin. First of all, the look. In the words of Trinity Taylor that night, “You look like She-Hulk”. Whilst the make-up and hair are always on fleek, the overall execution was quite amateur and very choppy to me. Now the performance… for her to be a theatrical and powerful queen she is, I expected A LOT more roasting in this episode, considering that she’s a savage biarch in the small interview clips between the work room. But nothing came… it was flatline. So gurl, that was pure poop. P.O.O.P. (Performance: BOOT / Look: BOOT)
I tell y’all, after I found out online that the RuPaul Roast was coming up, Farrah was in the slot for being eliminated… like, two weeks prior. I mean come on, who would have hoenstly thought she would have passed this point? (No shade gurl, but I’mma give her props for the mini-challenge because her reads were F-ing savage). It was completely flat, and her look did nothing; it was just a simple sub-par sparkly dress with a feathered boa and pink hair. Predictable and weak. Next… (Performance: BOOT / Look: BOOT)
Nina Bo’Nina Brown
This is probably the first episode in weeks that I’ve seen Ms. Nina Bo’Nina Brown quite focused and outside of her head (she must have traded spots with Alexis… no tea). Of course, making up a character in front of a live audience would take, as what RuPaul would say, titanium BALLS to serve. But for me, I thought Nina did a really good job; the characteristics as Ms. Nina Bo’Nina Banana Fofana Osama Bin Laden Brown’s aunt did justice, and the ol’ granny get-up, complete with a story line that she just rushed over from the old baptist church was EVERYTHANG! Though, I noticed the jokes weren’t cutthroat as what I expected it to be. Her performance was playful and fun, but I understand why she was just “safe”. (Performance: TOOT / Look: TOOT)
Ohhhhh queen… this was the moment I was waiting for! Ms. Thang has been struggling to stand out this entire competition, considering that her wardrobe for the runway has been quite… meh. And her performance always lands her in the safe zone. But for the RuPaul Roast, Peppermint was more like Sourmint because gurl… her performance gave us burns. She was probably the only one that actually took pointer aim towards Mcihelle Visage and served it… and that Beyonce line? Lord that snatched my edges, my car keys and my wallet! Her look was probably the best of the night too; stylish but very expensive and glamorous! This Peppermint is flavoursome. (Performance: TOOT / Look: TOOT)
Sasha got away with the reading challenges and performances like the Snatch Game with her brave and authentic intellectual deliveries, though she was in full-panic mode when she found out about the RuPaul Roast. But rest assure, Sasha was in for the kill again! What I enjoy about Sasha is that, as unpredictable she can be in the competition, she stays true to herself, especially when she make’s fun of a variety of people in the audience apart from Michelle (though her reads towards her were top notch). And to top it off, when she F-ed up… she made a killer joke out of it. And THAT’s how you get back up Ms. Thang! (Performance: TOOT / Look: TOOT)
Opening a show can either be a “good hard or go home” moment, so when Shea Coulee stood up against the crowed, shaded the girls and Michelle Visage with pure grace and fire, and looked extremely stylish and sleek at the same time? Pure genius. She really allowed herself to take centre-stage and let her jokes do the talkin’ but still made it funny and original. And that “If you liked me, It’s Shea Coulee; if you hated me, It’s Nina Bo’Nina Brown”… gurl… edges will be snatched! (Performance: TOOT / Look: TOOT)
For starters, I give it up for Trinity still managed to push her own buttons to evolve and create new atmospheres with humour and characters to showcase her versatility in the competition. The performance was pretty funny, especially with the characteristics, but the jokes SEVERELY lacked. Only once did she managed to get a crackle by the audience, whereas everything else was complete crap. Unlike Nina’s character, Trinity just didn’t have a good consistency the whole way threw, which is very unfortunate because her country-realness was BANG ON POINT! (Performance: BOOT / Look: TOOT)
Y’all probably gon’ look at me in all different directions, but truth be told… I felt this was a weak performance. I just felt the characterisation of a New Jersey Ghetto Fabulous-realness was just not on with Valentina. The jokes landed well, some… a bit off, but most was well. But it was just the overall execution of the performance that left me with a small question mark on my head. As for looks, this was something completely different, and I liked it enough to give her a thumbs up! (Performance: BOOT / Look: TOOT)
Verdict? Peppermint won this for me because all boxes were ticked to perfection! But, having said that, the competition is becoming a lot more tighter, so the thrills of Sasha Velour, Shea Coulee, and even the march of Aunt Nina Bo’Nina Earnest Beaula-may Brown have been coming quite fast!
So, this weeks bottom queens are Farrah Moan and Alexis Michelle. No surprise really, because they both completely SUCKED (no shade but yeah…). They performed a lip-sync of Dolly Parton’s “Baby I’m Burning”, which is… a country number. Yep, I know. We went from glamourous house number from the 90s, to a outtback Country swag! I’ve never really gotten into the lip-sync with country because… well, it’s inevitable why.
But I gotta say, the cohesion of the dances and moves from both queens were actually quite good, probably by far one of the better lip-syncs this seasons (of course behind Nina vs Aja, which I LIVED for). I literally thought that I wouldn’t know who would survive, but with Alexis’ campy fun and connection to the song, it was pretty easy by the end. But having said that, Farrah did a pretty outstanding lip-sync too, but it was really—and I mean really—was her time to go home.
Do you agree? Comment below!