RuPaul’s Drag Race finally has a top 5. As the queens muster strength for the final ascent, feelings are raw. Kameron Michaels talks about Survivor’s Guilt. The pressure of sending Monét X Change home is simply too much to bear. Kameron’s “it’s harder to be me than Monét right now” works Asia O’Hara’s last nerve. She suggests Kameron cry about it. At home. While watching Asia’s coronation. At the other end of the crazy spectrum, Miz Cracker’s Untucked video isn’t any old mom shoutout. It’s a sign. Remember son, nothing less than perfection is acceptable. Cracker forgets weeks of RuPaul advice (for the love of god, please relax) and starts planning. She thinks so hard, sparks shoot out of her ears. No one notices because there are mirrors in the room.
RuPaul throws Cheyenne Jackson at us (hi, Zaddy) so we’ll sit through another paid promo. Voss Events did a good job on the Season 7 coronation so I’m giving them a pass but Resting Brunch Face (using foodstuff to drag up pancakes) is too stupid for words. Thimble-size servings and nut jokes do not a challenge make. Pancake’s Labyrinth (inspired by the Guillermo Del Toro classic of nearly the same name) should win but Aquaria is tonight’s Heel. I can’t be the only one who finds her gagging at the sight of food obnoxious. She’s not opposed to anything in particular, mind you. Just food in general. But hey, ED’s are fun. Asia’s Panquisha is the eventual winner. Asia explains her pancake’s allure. “She’s missing a tooth because she’s been through a couple things…” Lil’ Poundcake has a new step-mommy.
The maxi-challenge asks the already fragile queens to reach deep inside themselves, find their most hidden vulnerabilities, and wear them on the runway. Literally. Evil Queens: If you can’t beat ‘em, put ‘em in drag (or, How I Got Drunk Using Inner Saboteur As My Drinking Word) is a duet between a queen’s best-self and the personal recriminations that keep her up at night. Aquaria sums it up nicely. “We are literally personifying the things we hate most about ourselves. What could go wrong?”
In a totally natural, not-at-all scripted moment, the queens decide to tell each other their best and worst traits. Now really, what could go wrong? Asia praises Eureka’s high whore drag but complains she talks too much. Eureka pooh poohs her chatterbox reputation. She wants something new. Something fun. Aquaria points out she’s overly polished. It’s a common problem among pageant girls. It even has a name: Suzy Creamcheese. Eureka loves it. Cracker gets the same note from all the queens. R. E. L. A. X. She beats herself up, she over-explains. She’s even called a robot. Cracker is speechless. Her waters run deep. Too bad she never shows it. Her art would be so much better for it.
With only a handful of queens to cover, we get extended Workroom Ru. He asks Asia about her darkside. She seems happy because she finds comfort in misery. “It feels like home, sometimes.” But seeing herself reflected in The Vixen’s crazy led to growth. Going home with less demons means more luggage space for a crown. I’m just saying. Eureka is very familiar with her Inner Saboteurs. They held her back in the first half of the season. While RuPaul quiets his voices by pretending he’s in his mother’s living room (a place of eternal love and acceptance), Eureka wants to pummel hers into submission. She’s ready to do the work. Dive deep. Show her underbelly. Get messy.
Miz Cracker thinks she’s ready to shake her Inner Saboteurs. “Push harder, push harder” might have been helpful as a kid but it no longer serves. RuPaul offers a “what other people think of me is none of my damned business” but it’s gibberish to Cracker. She cares very much what the public thinks of her. She spends hours carefully crafting the perfect image to present to the world. All RuPaul can do is suggest balance. Look at your demons, don’t stare. Miz Cracker takes a deep breath. She decides to be vulnerable, if that’s what it takes to win. As the day wears on, her sewing struggles wake the sleeping dragon of doubt. Eureka gets it. Her Inner Saboteur tried to guilt her into creating a new garment for the challenge too. But why, really? The challenge calls for the best look. If that’s something from home, sobeit. Miz Cracker appreciates Eureka’s advice. “Right now it’s RuPaul’s Conquer Your Inner Saboteur Race.”
Aquaria and Kameron are the toughest nuts to crack. RuPaul has to find Aquaria’s voice for her. “You fraud. You don’t belong here.” RuPaul knows of what he speaks. He hears that voice too. Aquaria doesn’t know what to do. She originally planned to win on look alone… RuPaul heaves a big sigh and spells it out: I want to see you understand who your Inner Saboteur is. Capische? Light dawns in Aquaria’s eyes. I think she gets it. By the time RuPaul makes it to Kameron, she’s closed for business. Kameron has made a lot of breakthroughs on the show (fear of speaking, fear of straight men) but tonight she draws the line. It’s all too much. She can’t. She just can’t. Inner Sabatois, one. Kameron Michaels, zero
Drag Race fun fact: RudePaul, Mama Ru’s Inner Saboteur, wears a tracksuit, house slippers, and Detox’s neon wig
The queens for bare it all (to varying degrees) on the runway. Kameron is witty but never commits to the exercise. Katrina Michaels’ biggest dig: “If Kameron Michaels expects to become America’s next Drag Superstar, she better wake up and smell the poppers. Because, face it, when people hear Kameron Michaels, they think dude in a dress.” Eureka takes the opposite approach. Eufilthior, looking like Divine in neon gingham, is the Queen of overshare. Eureka is a disgusting fat whale. She talks over everyone. She desperately needs acceptance. And for the coup de grâce, “Hey, Eureka! You come from nothing and you ain’t never gonna be nothing. Apply for disability and Food Stamps and give up already already.” I think I need therapy after that one.
Miz Crumb’s presence looms over Miz Cracker’s Good Twin presentation before she ever shows her face. It’s sly, self-deprecating, trés Cracker. When Crumb finally gets her solo, the not-so-caged bird sings like a canary. Miz Cracker isn’t cute. Or funny. She’s just some copycat who faked her way to the middle. “As Miz Cracker’s Inner Saboteur, I have one thing to say: She. Better. Work… on blending that jaw line. I mean, come on!” Aquaria uses her Good Twin to offer a positivity sermon that joins Lala’s gratitude ritual in the history books under Reality TV Does Good (it’s a short chapter). But that doesn’t mean she ignores Sabatina. “Aquaria thinks she’s perfect, she’s beautiful, she looks like Linda… oh, gross.” Aquaria is just a lonely, awkward, isolated diva. And Sabatina is only moments away from seizing control. North Korea spills serious tea on Asia O’Hara. This bitch, She gets some money to fix her teef and suddenly she’s the Queen of drag. Cheap rhinestones can’t hide a middle aged man living in a 21 year old’s fantasy. Enough already. “This is clearly Miz Cracker’s season.”
Top three: Eureka, Asia O’Hara, and Aquaria
Bottom three: Kameron Michaels and Miz Cracker
RuPaul asks for a moment alone with the Evil Twins to ask, excluding your Good Twin, who should go home and why? Kameron
Katrina refuses to play. She thinks everyone is awesome! But her biggest competitor is Aquaria so if Ru wants to help a sister out… Eureka Eufilthior bases her choice (Miz Cracker) on critiques. Both Miz Cracker and Miz Crumb take offense. Miz Crumb predicts a Miz Cracker/Kameron lip-sync so she names Kameron as her choice. Aquaria Sabatina doesn’t give an F about Ru’s critiques but Kameron’s looks made her sad. After blasting Kameron for poor sportsmanship, Asia O’Hara North Korea announces that Cracker isn’t a star.
Kameron Michaels and Miz Cracker lip-sync (FOR THEIR LIFE) to Nasty Girl by Vanity 6 (courtesy of the Prince estate). Miz Cracker’s Inner Saboteur made her practice this performance all week. Will she be able to get out of her own way and shine, shine, shine? Or has this week of unsupervised pseudotherapy turned Cracker to crumbs? Kameron Michaels has been in this spot three times before. Can she break records by surviving again? Will her refusal to explore her Inner Saboteur be held against her? The judges seem to enjoy the presentation (Yasss! Slay, kween!) but I’m not moved. I love Cracker and I fear I’m watching her swan song. Two beige forms go through the motions onstage. Kameron Michaels, Ashanti you stay. Miz Cracker, Lena Dunham away.
Next week: Aquaria can’t sing. Eureka can’t dance. Drama!