RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 is a masterclass in Drama. We have a villain (The Vixen). Mayhem Miller, our ingenue. And Eureka O’Hara (not of the pageant O’Hara’s) fills the role of pot stirrer. A tough elimination leads to recriminations. Did Mayhem throw Monique Heart under the bus? Monique thinks so but the truth is murkier than that. In exasperation, Mayhem throws down the gauntlet. Monique picks it up, dusts it off and slaps Mayhem across the face with it. This. Isn’t. Over.
The quick drag mini-challenge is photobombing a green screen. Upstage Kate Middleton. Fondle Nick Jonas. Flash Beyonce. Aquaria wins
free Taco Bell for a year $1,000 in Postmates bucks. And the pride of accomplishment.
With the sounds of, “Vanjie…” echoing down the hall, RuPaul ask the queens for 3 lerks for the Global Warming-inspired Last Ball on Earth. Let me whisper the categories in your ear: Alaskan Winter Realness, Miami Summer Realness, and Martian Eleganza Extravaganza. The workroom turns into a flutter of crafting and couture. This season, all of the queens know how to sew. Some of them do it professionally. Asia O’Hara is full time fashion designer for queens, cheerleaders, and Dolly Parton alike. She considers herself the black Martha Stewart (not to be confused with the black Bill Gates) and doles out help like she’s buying Miss Congeniality votes. Asia thinks she’s benevolent but really, she gets off on being Mother.
We dig a little deeper into the Season 10 cast. Miz Cracker worries that her look is too conventional. She was raised by a mother that sent her into the streets to create art before dinnertime and a father who greeted her successes with, “Now you have to win again to prove it’s not a fluke.” Blair St Clair goes on a tear in her talking heads but yadda yadda yaddas the actual shade. The queens clock Monét X Change on her lazy pussycat wigs. In New York, when she performs in a romper, no tuck and no wig, the crowds go wild. But this is Drag Race. By the time RuPaul calls it out, she feels the pressure.
Michelle Visage and Ross Matthews are joined by guest judges Tisha Campbell-Martin (of Little Shop of Horrors) and Logan Browning. With a quick shout out to Global Warming, Cyborg RuPaul introduces a dystopian future: Alaskan Winter Realness bikinis, Miami Summer Realness furs, and Martian Eleganza Extravaganza (location, location, location). The pageant queens (Asia, Monique) are pageant. The art queens (Aquaria, Miz Cracker) are arty. The Martian lewk is the only one made from scratch and it shows. A thimbleful of queens bring the goods. Aquaria’s David Bowie-inspired pasties exceed expectations. Miz Cracker’s eye for detail propels a simple bodysuit and boots to the next dimension. But when Asia walks the runway in Shangela and Alexis Mateo’s Twinbots costume, the party’s over.
Top three: Kameron Michaels, Aquaria, and Miz Cracker
Bottom three: Monet X Change, Dusty Ray Bottoms, and Asia O’Hara
Monét X Change and Dusty Ray Bottoms perform Pound the Alarm by Nicki Minaj. Dang. This isn’t a face-off I was expecting so soon. No filler queens. Dusty is ready to fight for her spot but she’s in her head. Monét lets the performance flow through her. She has the judges laughing, cheering, pounding the table. The beat drops and Monét kicks it up a gear. This is her night, her stage. Monét X Change, shantay you stay. Dusty Ray Bottoms, sashay away.
Next week: The queens’ improv skills are tested on the Bossy Rossy Show. And they do a lot more than shift each other’s wigs a little bit.