Previously on Drag Race: The judges finally started to get over Cynthia Lee Fontaine‘s triumphant return and realized she actually hadn’t improved at all. Farrah Moan continued to flounder, while Shea Couleé continued to murder the competition. And Eureka tragically
passed sashayed away after her cheerleading injury worsened.
The girls cry a bit over Eureka, and Nina Bo’nina Brown makes a joke about her ankle – when out of nowhere, sweet Farrah Moan brings the drama: “Nina, do you really wanna be here?”
It’s surprising to see Farrah being shady, but I’m loving this new side of her until she says the saddest thing ever to be said: “I wish that RuPaul had looked at me in my eyes the way that she had looked at you in yours, you know?”
With that spat out of the way, Alexis Michelle gets real in her confessional, declaring it’s time for Nina, Cynthia, and Farrah to all go home. I’m not sure if it’s the appearance or the attitude, but I’m suddenly getting some Roxxxy Andrews-circa-season-5 vibes here.
The queens come in the next mornting ready for a new challenge, and Aja has decided she’s going to get herself some more screentime by coming for Kimora Blac‘s illiterate gig: “I just said ‘expecially.‘”
Mama Ru comes in stating it’s time to “separate the basic bitches from the fierce-ass queens.” It’s worth noting the camera points out Aja when Ru says “basic bitches” and Valentina for “fierce-ass queens.” THAT EDITOR SHADE I LIVE.
This week is the Snatch Game! The queens all clap and rejoice, but Cynthia Lee Fontaine is on a whole other level of ecstasy. Or amphetamines. Or cocaine.
Without further ado, the queens start preparing their impersonations. Ru comes back in to talk to them and I’m getting ready for my annual round of “but can you make it funny?”, starting with this gem for Sasha Velour: “The Germans aren’t really known for being funny.”
Alexis Michelle announces she’ll be doing Liza Minnelli and Ru immediately orgasms.
Ru asks the queens to gather ’round and oh my god Aja’s tiny hat is the cutest thing.
RuPaul announces this week’s runway: “Night of 1,000 Madonnas, Part Deux!” It kinda makes sense because last year’s was so, so bad. And yet Acid Betty, who had one of the most creative outfits, was the one to be sent home that week.
Logo’s website has provided us with a whole little bonus segment that takes place while the queens are getting ready, featuring Nina Bo’nina Brown’s inner saboteur, or as Ru’s naming it this season, her dark nemesis (why it gotta be dark?!), accusing Aja of stealing her makeup. When Shea Couleé tries to give Aja the benefit of the doubt, Nina “jokes” about Shea loving Aja more, before finally ending the drama and apologizing to Aja. Eek.
Welcome to Snatch Game, ladies! This week’s guest judges, Candis Cayne and Denis O’Hare, came to play, and after having seen Denis embody the fabulous Liz Taylor on American Horror Story last year, I’m actually caught off guard by how manly he is out of character.
Trinity Taylor as Amanda Lepore looks perfect and brings the funny too. Sasha Velour is playing Marlene Dietrich with a complexity that constantly feels like it’s about to crash and burn but always ends up nailing the comedic timing.
Aja is playing Alyssa Edwards and the impression isn’t that bad, but it feels a little bit déjà-vu after Violet Chachki‘s great take on her in season 7. Nina Bo’nina Brown, on the other hand, is doing Jasmine Masters and it’s genius.
Farrah Moan is, as per usual, pretty unsuccessful in this week’s challenge with her Gigi Gorgeous. Sorry ’bout it. Alexis kills as Liza Minnelli, while on the opposite end of the spectrum, Peppermint‘s speech-impaired NeNe Leakes is one the worst Snatch Game performances I’ve ever had to watch, and that includes Kenya Michaels‘ drug-addled Beyoncé in season 4.
One of my favorites this week is Valentina, whose crazy, PTSD’d “Miss
Universe Colombia” is simple but hilarious.
Shea Couleé is great as Naomi Campbell, but Cynthia Lee Fontaine’s Sofia Vergara is awful-awful-awful. As Trinity Taylor puts it, “where are the jokes?!”
It’s elimination day and the girls are discussing gender identity as they put on makeup. Peppermint takes this opportunity to talk to the girls about her trans identity. I was wondering when this was finally going to come up – better late than never. The queens embrace Peppermint and it’s wonderful.
The judges do their usual shtick on the runway and I do have to say, Denis O’Hare really does look good.
It’s time for the Madonna runway, Part Deux. Aja and Alexis Michelle just look okay. Peppermint and Shea Couleé both did the same look, as did Trinity Taylor and Nina Bo’nina Brown with each other.
Sasha Velour looks amazing in a dominatrix look, and Farrah Moan totally makes up for her Snatch Game fail with her runway. Cynthia Lee Fontaine slips on her cape coming in, a cute homage to Madonna. Valentina shows up stark naked, with just bits of cardboard censorship covering her ladybits.
Trinity, Aja, Shea, and Valentina are declared safe and go kiki about snatched edges in the Untucked lounge. Alexis, Sasha, and Nina are praised for their performances, while Peppermint, Farrah, and Cynthia are read to filth for theirs.
Once they’re all gathered in the lounge, the queens talk about Eureka and honor her memory. It’s a sweet moment, but they’re all talking about her in the past tense so it kinda sounds like she died.
Shea Couleé gives Nina Bo’nina Brown another motivational speech, but the camera cuts away halfway through just to make sure the audience sees Aja casually calling Farrah a slut.
Back on the main stage, the challenge’s winner is very nearly a tie – but Alexis narrowly wins over Sasha.
Cynthia and Peppermint fall into the bottom. Peppermint throws out a bunch of incredible dance moves and slays the lip-sync. Meanwhile, Cynthia pulls the exact same split she did last week and RuPaul literally doesn’t even bat an eyelash.
With Cynthia Lee Fontaine murdered, I mean, eliminated, thus ends the season 8 queen’s controversial presence on season 9. Now it’s just the new girls, and I’m kind of relieved about it. That said, Cynthia brought some fun to the competition and it’s still real nice that she was given a second chance. Adios, miss Cucu!
Let’s run through these queens!
Aja – Aja hasn’t stood out since she fell into the bottom three weeks ago, and that’s definitely not a good thing. She needs to do something to get herself some attention soon, or she’s a goner.
Alexis Michelle – Alexis finally got her win this week, and I’ll admit it was absolutely well-deserved. That said, she never really shines on the runway and doesn’t seem very well-liked by some of the other queens.
Peppermint – Her lip-sync performance was great, but she’s pretty mediocre in challenges that require her to speak, which is kind of a big deal. Her runway looks haven’t been all that smashing, either.
Shea Couleé – Shea was great as always this week, and I thought her Material Girl look was way superior to Peppermint’s. Still an absolute contender for top 3, and dare I say it, the crown?
Trinity Taylor – I still think Trinity could totally make top 3, but even if she doesn’t, I doubt she’ll be going home anytime soon. Her Met Gala look was definitely better, and the other queens’ praise of her in Untucked solidifies her as a valuable presence in the competition.
Nina Bo’nina Brown – It’s going to take a lot of work for Nina to overcome those voices in her head, and I’m just not sure she’ll be able to, which is a darn shame. I still look forward to seeing more of her, though.
Sasha Velour – Sasha continues to be my favorite, and the way she tied her Snatch Game character to her runway look this week was absolute genius. If nothing else, she really knows her brand – she reminds me of Alaska Thunderfuck in that sense.
Farrah Moan – Farrah’s runway look was a stunner, but she hasn’t done well in a challenge in, like, forever. That said, it was nice to see the claws come out a bit with this one – a nice change of pace from all the crying.
Valentina – I really love the way Valentina isn’t afraid to think outside the box. She continually surprises everyone on the runway. She’s been safe a lot of weeks in a row, though, and a high placement is starting to become urgent if she doesn’t want to be left behind.
That’s all she wrote, y’all! Join me next week for another fabulous episode of RuPaul’s Best Group Therapy Race!