We’re one week away from crowning the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race so it’s time for the reunion show and I’m really excited to see some of the eliminated queens (hey Valentina, Eureka and Farrah!). Since the reunion was filmed recently, they’ve all had a chance to watch most of the episodes. Let’s see who complains about their edit and who proves to be gracious in defeat…
RuPaul starts things off by calling out Alexis Michelle for dishing out the shade but not being able to take it. If you recall, Alexis got mad about the fat jokes she got during the reading challenge. And by the look on her face, she’s still upset. As a fat girl (who used to be a skinny girl), I get body image issues. Trust me. But when the library is open, and those shades go on, only petty queens take offense. RuPaul likens it to a roast. Alexis tries to explain why her case is different and Farrah Moan executes a truly glorious eyeroll. RuPaul tells a story he knows won’t make it to air (wink wink): every time he and Lady Bunny dropped acid, she would tell him, “Ru, devil’s gonna get you.” At the time he thought it was cruel but now he realizes that she was stripping away the power his religious fears had over him. And that’s what reading does. Poking at our sorest spot, and laughing about it, takes away it’s power.
Alexis can tell she’s not going to get any sympathy so she changes course and claims she doesn’t let things bother her anymore. Ru pulls out a pair of reading glasses and puts her to the test. Trinity Taylor starts things off with a joke about her weight. Everyone groans but Alexis acts like it’s fine (it’s not). Charlie Hides calls Aja the Joan of Arc of drag. Her ideas are great but badly executed. Ba dum dum. Jaymes Mansfield had a really good read for Valentina but she can’t remember the words. Eureka says Trinity thinks she’s so fish but she’s more Fisher Price. Trinity tries to come for her weight but Eureka wears it loud and proud. They go back and forth until Eureka shuts it down with, “I thought I was the big girl until your nose walked in the room.” Mic drop.
They move on to the messiest eliminations. Charlie now claims her lack of lip-sync was due to broken ribs. No one’s buying it. Not only is it a lame excuse, it’s the second excuse she’s given for the same poor performance. They know she gave up. And just to fully sink her ship, Ru plays unseen footage of Nina Bo’nina Brown telling the girls that Charlie told her (to her face) that she wasn’t going to bother to learn the song. Charlie avoids confirming or denying she said it but she apologizes to RuPaul if it seems like she gave up.
Then we review Eureka’s medical elimination. It’s always hard when someone goes home for an injury. Eureka cries, not over her loss but because of all the love she got from the other queens. Farrah had the hardest time with the elimination. Not only was she losing her bff but a true contender was leaving instead of a bottom queen who actually deserved it. Then she recreates her famous gif-worthy ugly cry amid howls of laughter. RuPaul asks if anyone was happy Eureka had to leave. Shea admits that it was a relief to lose such a strong competitor. Trinity tells her she hopes she loses season 10 too. Eureka and Trinity share a good laugh.
Finally, we get to the moment that broke Tamara Tattle’s heart, Valentina’s unexpected lip-sync meltdown. Valentina tries to keep her composure. She was the de-facto winner and she lost it all in the blink of an eye. Trinity gives her props for not making excuses (cough, Charlie, cough) but that’s where the kindness ends. No one understands why she couldn’t bluff her way through the song. Shea repeats over and over, “It’s a seven word chorus.” When Alexis speaks to Valentina’s fans directly, Shea calls her out for trying to take advantage of Valentina’s popularity. It’s a shady comment but completely on the money.
RuPaul asks Valentina why her fans attacked the other queens on her behalf. Although she doesn’t support it, she gets why they’re so supportive of her. She compares herself to Tejano star Selena. The other queens ask why she never told her fans to stop the harassment. Alexis recounts facetiming Valentina in tears after getting death threats. Valentina vacillates until they push her to tell her fans to stop. She wraps things up by saying her lip-sync wasn’t the way she wanted to leave but at least she got her telenovela ending.
RuPaul brings the conversation around to Nina’s paranoia that everyone is out to get her. He assumes that after viewing the season she’d realize that no one was trying to sabotage her but Nina is still in full persecution mode. I mean, they don’t show everything that’s filmed. Sigh. The queens are so frustrated they’re practically yelling at her that they like her. It makes no difference. RuPaul asks if it’s possible she imagined it. “No.” She leaves no room for doubt. And the drama isn’t contained to the show. Nina has been active on social media, complaining about how everyone treated her and how talentless they all are. When she claims she was only joking, Ru asks if maybe the other girls were only joking when they said things about her. “No.” She is secure in her delusion. Damn. Watching her self-sabotage is painful.
Alexis Michelle gets to put her Broadway acting talents to work when RuPaul plays footage of Kris Jenner complimenting her impersonation. Calm down, girl. It’s not like they got Liza Minnelli to send you a message.
To amp up the drama, we revisit the shade the top five threw about each other’s Gayest Ball looks. RuPaul asks Shea and Sasha Velour (hey girl!) if it was standard practice to give each other feedback on their runway looks as Alexis alleged. Not only was it not their job to police her fashion, Alexis totally blew off the advice Trinity offered so why would they waste their time? RuPaul asks Sasha about the nasty comments Alexis made about her looks. Sasha reminds Alexis that she praised those looks to her face yet expected her to be honest about Alexis’ looks. Double standard, anyone? Peppermint seems honestly hurt by Trinity’s assessment of her fashion sense. Oh, Peppermint. You’re just too sweet for the cattiness.
Then we get some unseen footage starring the guest judges. Lisa Kudrow getting a RUber driver to the airport: a pit crew member in his chonies. Cheyenne Jackson joking about wearing chaps. Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth reminiscing about maggot filled candy jars on the set of 90210. Fortune Feimster checking out Michelle Visage’s non-lesbian-friendly nails (ow). RuPaul threatening to key Noah Galvin’s car for daring to be born in 1994. Kesha’s request to let everyone win being met with RuPaul’s idea to cut everyone and let the judges split the winner’s purse.
Based on Raja and Raven’s Fashion Photo Ruview, RuPaul asks the queens to Boot or Toot each other’s look. Cynthia Lee Fontaine and Aja boot Alexis’ Fur look. Kimora Blac, Valentina and Trinity toot Peppermint’s Club Kid look. Shea thinks the way Peppermint sold it elevates it to a “shoot.” Charlie Hide and Trinity boot Shea’s Rainbow Flag look but queens are torn on Sasha’s Cowboy look. Eureka gives it a toot while Sasha’s bff Shea gives it a boot. Sasha seems genuinely surprised. Nina and farrah toot Eureka’s amazing wigs. Finally, RuPaul asks the girls about the chairs they’re sitting on (because Mama needs to get paid). Farrah thinks they’re perfect, they’re beautiful, they look like Linda Evangelista, they’re models…
RuPaul brings out last season’s Miss Congeniality, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, to crown this year’s fan favorite. Gee, I wonder who’s going to win? Gasp! It’s Valentina! The only one who looks surprised is Aja. Valentina makes a lovely speech dedicating the award to her mother that Aja rudely interrupts. No, she’s not pulling a Kanye. It’s worse than that. Aja implies that Valentina isn’t nice enough for the title. The other queens are eating the drama with knives and forks. RuPaul asks Valentina if she has a response to Aja. Valentina claims she’s been kind to everyone and she’s going to continue to be kind to everyone.
This time her speech is interrupted by Farrah. Farrah points out how close they were on the show and it breaks her heart that Valentina hasn’t spoken to her once since filming wrapped. Valentina tells her that she loves her but Farrah snaps back that it’s not true. Aja gasps out loud. Aja seems offended that Farrah is stealing her scene-stealing with true feelings. Everyone else (including myself) just feels uncomfortable. Farrah’s emotions are raw and honest. Valentina tries to ease the situation without breaking down her perfect facade. Aja jumps in again for more camera time, asking if the category is fan favorite or congeniality. The queens admit it’s fan favorite and Farrah realizes it’s time to put this crazy moment to bed. She applauds Valentina for winning fan favorite and gets the other girls to join in. Valentina finally gets her moment and we get to end this painful segment.
RuPaul caps things off with news about next week’s finale. For the first time in Drag Race herstory, the top four will have to compete in a sudden death, lip-sync smackdown for the crown. Oh my! Peppermint starts grinning. Now she really has a shot at winning.
Next week: It’s the finale! Don’t worry. I’ll save you a seat…