Finally, the competition begins! After three episodes of lip syncs, runways, and performances, our thirteen queens are now one big dysfunctional family.
With Elliott in hiding, the winners try their best to look intimidating as they await the other queens. Kandy is wearing a black cowboy hat and a tight black top with plaid pants and looks really hot?? (Full disclosure: I’ve been adjusting my spiro and have been wildly hormonal so take this week’s crush additions with a grain of salt.) The initial reunion goes somewhat smoothly, mostly because Elliott isn’t interesting enough to make any of her drama stick.
A new week! Kandy notes that they have a very diverse cast and a very cute cast. If she isn’t going to win the crown she’s going to get a boyfriend and I love that for her. Ru arrives and informs the queens their challenge this week is cheesy holiday movies! It’s time to make some ads for the RuPaulmark Channel which doesn’t actually exist, but might when Ru runs out of Drag Race countries.
Love of my life Denali is on a team with Olivia, Kahmora, and Elliott in a Valentine’s Day movie called Misery Loves Company. Denali isn’t an actor but she takes on the lead role because she wants to prove she’s a top threat. Once again I love her Aries confidence and competitiveness, but my sweet baby immediately gets overwhelmed when she realizes lead roles have a lot of lines.
Love of my life Symone (I’m poly — I can have multiple loves of life) is on a team with LaLa Ri, Utica, and Rosé in a Flag Day movie called God Loves Flags. LaLa is surprised to learn Flag Day is a thing — honestly, I also had to google it. And Rosé notes that she and Tina are the actors, so she really has to prove herself. Meanwhile, Tina, Kandy, Tamisha, Gottmik, and Joey are in an April Fool’s Day movie called April Fools Rush In — Kandy immediately calls dibs on a character named Whoopie Cushion.
Ru walks into the work room and calls them all lipstick thespians — a joke I very much appreciated. He’s in a chipper mood as he goes from group to group flirting and starting drama. He teases Rosé for identifying as an actor first drag queen second, questions Utica why she was picked over Elliott, giggles wildly when Utica doesn’t respond to whether or not she’s smoked weed, asks Kandy how short her shorts are, and teases Tamisha over her Cher knowledge. Season 23 Ru will still be finding any excuse to say, “Snap out of it!”
The hilarious Ross Mathews returns to his role as director for the three segments where he shares that April Fool’s Day is his favorite holiday which… frightens me. It’s very clear which of these queens are actors and which are not. I’ll save most of my thoughts for the finished movies, but it’s worth noting that Tamisha initially struggles but eventually kills it once again proving all she lacks is confidence. Also worth noting that Kahmora struggles the whole time BUT wears hip pads and a breast plate under her green screen suit gaining me as a fan forever.
Back in the work room, the queens prepare for the runway. Gottmik and Tina help Kandy fix her outfit and establish themselves as a trio of self-identified “shade monsters.” As much as I don’t love Tina, I do love Drag Race cliques — shoutout to the Heathers — and this group is cute together.
As the queens talk we learn that Symone’s first time in drag was when she went to prom!!! They show a picture and she looks so pretty!!! Referring to her birthname, Symone says all the fear that Reggie had, Symone did not. It was one of the first times she felt strong and seen and not afraid to be herself. Where is THAT movie Netflix?? I want THAT movie!!! Build! A! Prom!
Joey, forever earning my gratitude, asks the queens if any of them have ever dated women. The producers, forever losing my gratitude, do not show everyone’s answers. But we learn that Rosé has and then Tamisha talks about her kids sharing that her daughter is also named Tamisha. (Insert puppy dog eyes emoji.) Symone says she’s gold star, which is a dated biphobic term in lesbian community, but she’ll have plenty of time to learn that from us in the future. Every gay man is just a few years away from being a trans lesbian and I’ll be waiting for her when she’s ready.
Comedian — and Celebrity Drag Race contestant — Loni Love is the guest judge and the category is Trains for Days! Okay I need to stop for a minute and talk about how this episode has a sketch about Flag Day and a train-related runway category. You all know what I’m talking about, right? After spouting a bunch of ahistorical, transphobic bullshit RuPaul tweeted “In the 10 years we’ve been casting Drag Race, the only thing we’ve ever screened for is charisma uniqueness nerve and talent. And that will never change.” Underneath this quasi-apology was a picture of the trains flag. THE TRAINS FLAG. RuPaul Andre Charles accidentally googled “trains flag” instead of “trans flag” and then posted it without realizing. It’s maybe my favorite thing Ru has ever done. Shoutout to Gaby Dunn for buying me a “trains flag” shirt.
But, of course, this runway isn’t about that kind of train — though Tina tries to do a whole conductor thing. Rosé is wearing a blue tux with a tule train. Denali stuns in a quetzal bird-inspired look. Olivia has a Beethoven thing going on which is extra cute because she’s a pianist. Gottmik is wearing trans flag color chiffon which she blows with a stoned leaf blower. And Kandy again looks hotter than she ever has in a dress made out of red velvet and leather. But it’s Symone who clearly wins this runway with her jumpsuit and durag train.
The first movie — Misery Loves Company — is… rough. You can’t just Aries your way into acting abilities and while I have faith that my girlfriend will dedicate the next three years of her life to studying Stanislavski and eventually excel, Denali just could not get there in an afternoon. HOWEVER, she is playing a mean successful businesswoman who hates Valentine’s Day and ends up being in love with a tree and I did appreciate all that from a lesbian perspective. Elliott is fine, Kahmora is even worse than Denali, and only Olivia shines from this group.
Movie two — God Loves Flags — is way better mostly because Symone is incredible. She is also playing a mean businesswoman (I am truly so spoiled!) and she’s just so funny and watchable. LaLa is a little flat but hot in a pride flag dress, Utica is pretty good, and Rosé as Gnomey the gnome is great. Each segment ends with actor/Canada’s Drag Race judge Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman appearing as a deus ex love interest, but in this one Symone says, “You’re cute and all but I’m a lesbian.” Well, that was quick Symone!
The last movie — April Fools Rush In — is also pretty good. Gottmik fills the role of mean business woman, this time an ambitious lawyer who hates pranks. Tina and Joey are pretty good, Tamisha pulls off Cher, and Kandy is soooo good and still hot? Not sure what’s happening with me and Kandy this episode, but the fact that it continued while she was fully dressed as a clown is… interesting.
Elliott, Olivia, Utica, Gottmik, Joey, Tina, and Tamisha are safe. Denali, LaLa, and Kahmora are the bottom. Symone, Kandy, and Rosé are the top. The judges praise all three bottom queens for their looks before critiquing their acting. Then they gently critique Kandy and Rosé’s looks before praising theirs. Symone is all 10s as she deserves. They go back for Untucked and when they return Symone has, of course, won. She is now two for two. I am so proud of my Capricorn girlfriend.
The bottom two is Denali and Kahmora. In the confessional, Denali says she needs to prove herself to the queens that didn’t see her win and oh my she does. The song is “100% Pure Love” by Crystal Waters and she kills it. She even finds a moment amidst her dancing to run her hands up Kahmora’s body. I hope Denali gets back to winning next week, but if we have to keep watching her lip sync, I’m happy to keep watching her lip sync. And she seems happy to keep winning them.
And so we say goodbye to Kahmora Hall. She’s who I predicted would go home first, but I’m so glad we got to spend the time with her that we did. I grew really fond of her, and I hope this experience helped her settle in herself and her identity. Break up with your boyfriend, take an acting class, and then come back for All Stars.
Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:
+ Because this week’s theme was holiday movies, I have fan casted Happiest Season with Season 13 queens (this is assuming they all learned how to act):
- Abby — Gottmik
- Harper — Kahmora
- Harper’s mom — Tamisha
- Harper’s dad — Tina
- Sloane — Denali
- Jane — Utica
- John — Kandy/Joey (don’t make me choose)
- Riley — Symone (OBVIOUSLY)
+ Tamisha says instead of Cher her personal divas are Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and Natalie Cole. When Ru and the other judges critique queens for not having certain “universal gay pop culture knowledge,” it’s worth asking… universal to who?
+ Loni Love speculates that Rihanna will someday be wearing Symone’s durag train which reminded me that Symone is probably going to follow in the footsteps of Jaida, Shea, and her bestie Gigi and perform in the Fenty Show and I am so excited thinking about that!!
+ Kandy solidified her episode MVP status by telling Elliott she should’ve been in the bottom. Once again Elliott was too boring to really turn this drama into anything exciting, but it was still a fun little Untucked moment.
+ Speaking of Elliott, this is how she responded after being racist and praising a queen for being “Black girl magic but not too aggressive.” And here’s her eventual notes app apology. Hopefully she won’t be around much longer, for several reasons.
+ When everyone is praising Symone, she says how proud she is of herself and then says, “I did a really good job” with the cutest smile! This felt extremely Capricorn to me and I really appreciated it.
+ Instead of taking a smoke break some of the queens just go outside in face shields. Pandemic!
+ Queen I’m rooting for: Symone and Denali
+ Queen I have the biggest crush on: Symone, Denali, Gottmik, Joey, Kandy, Olivia, LaLa, Rosé (truly if anyone knows why bringing my spiro dose back up made me hornier send me a DM)
+Queen I have weird sexual feelings for that I need to unpack: Kandy dressed as a clown