“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1307 Recap: Symone Symone Symone

I have so much Capricorn pride. Week after week after week Symone has excelled. She is the best and continues to be the best and no matter who wins each week and who wins the whole season Symone is and will remain the best. And I love her.

We begin this week in the aftermath of Tamisha’s elimination. While Kandy gives herself a pep talk, Elliott wonders why all the queens who work with her keep going home. In a confessional, Elliott says she’s coming off as awkward and has no friends. This episode is framed as a sort of redemption for Elliott, so I think it’s important to note up top that a video came out this week where Kandy explained that some of the drama between her and Elliott was spurned by Elliott’s microaggressions calling her ghetto and someone else ratchet. Elliott was also supposedly transphobic but Kandy said it wasn’t her place to share specifics.

Look, we’re on Season 13 of this show. I’m not saying Kandy is perfect, but after all these years I’ve learned when a white queen feels targeted by a queen of color for no reason… there’s usually a very good reason!

The new week begins and the library is open! Everyone except Elliott does very well. Denali imitates Gottmik’s voice and says even her farts have vocal fry. Gottmik tells Kandy it’s nice they can all represent their communities: gay, trans, and pug. Kandy tells Utica she’s weird and creepy and that’s why she wants Utica to choke her with her fat dick. And everyone is extremely dismissive of Denali which is hilarious because nothing could annoy her more. Gottmik wins!

The main challenge is the return of The Bossy Rossy Show aka Ross Mathews’ fake Maury-esque talkshow. It’s an improv challenge! Rosé, LaLa, and Denali are on a team and Denali is eager to prove herself after the last acting challenge. LaLa also bombed the last acting challenge but she’s been studying Martin and feels ready to go. Gottmik, Olivia, and Utica are on a team and Olivia and Utica leave behind their budding romance to squabble over the part of a mime. Utica says improv is her thing and she wants the part that shows off her physical comedy — Olivia says if improv is Utica’s thing then she could handle any part. Utica relents. Kandy and Symone are together and Symone is concerned that this isn’t the challenge for Kandy to listen to the judges’ critiques — meaning this isn’t the challenge for Kandy to be less Kandy. And finally Tina and Elliott are together much to Tina’s dismay.

In the first scene, Rosé is pregnant with her imaginary boyfriend’s baby. Then her mom, Denali, shows up also pregnant with that same imaginary man’s baby. LaLa plays a psychologist who, you guessed it, also turns out to be pregnant with the imaginary man’s baby. Rosé kills it which we expected, but Denali manages to keep up with her. LaLa, unfortunately, falls a bit behind. Overall, it’s a good improv scene and I think Rosé’s talents are being a bit underappreciated by the audience and the judges.

Next up, Gottmik is a psychologist who has written a book about people escaping from the cult of mimes and Olivia is the latest escapee. Then Utica shows up as the ex-mime’s mom. Olivia really kills it. She’s funny and specific and it’s just a really stellar performance. Utica, however, seems shaken by her supporting role and ends up making all the basic improv mistakes. She she isn’t listening to her scene partners, she doesn’t “yes and,” and she’s too attached to the plans she made going in. Yes, I did do improv in high school.

After the chaos of the first two scenes, Kandy’s surprisingly mellow energy is a welcome change. She’s sharp and funny, but controlled. She’s playing a former reality TV star and Symone is her ex-best friend/ex-costar. Symone does improv the way people should do improv. She matches Kandy’s energy and makes specific choices. This whole scene felt like smart improv when so often improv — especially on Drag Race — is just trying to out-yell your scene partner. I’ve been on Team Symone and a Kandy apologist since the beginning and this scene was extremely validating as someone who enjoys being right.

Unfortunately, they’re followed by my least favorite kind of improv. To be fair, Tina and Elliott were given a scene about a giant ass and surprise giant tits, but I was still annoyed by their cheap humor. Tina definitely does a better job with it though. I should probably note that they make out, but I’ve sadly learned that the most lesbian moments on Drag Race are not the make outs, because those are always played for unsexy laughs — no different here.

The next day, Symone is inexplicably worried that the very different energy of their scene is a sign that they failed. She admits to being a people pleaser and says: “I just want to be good. I just want to be perfect.” She explains that after her brother was incarcerated, she felt a pressure to never make a mistake, because she didn’t want to upset her mom. This is why Symone is so important to her. As Symone, she felt like she was finally able to fail. This entire moment hit me very hard!! I just want to hug Symone and tell her how good she is doing!! And also that it’s okay if she doesn’t always do this good!!

Elliott then opens up to Tina and says it’s hard that all the other queens are praising Tina in their scene instead of her. Tina says that Elliott feels closed off and that’s maybe why she’s a bit of an outsider. Elliott shares that she struggles with depression and this makes Tina emotional because her mom struggled with depression. I appreciated this moment of vulnerability from Elliott and as someone who struggles with depression I’m certainly sympathetic. But it also feels a bit like using mental illness to excuse a whole lot of things that have nothing to do with mental illness.

Then the queens run around the work room acting out a Maury episode and it’s adorable. They’re all so rambunctious and I kept remembering that they too have been in quarantine and have a lot of social energy to burn — on top of the usual heightened chaos of Drag Race.

Multi-hyphenate TV and internet personality Ts Madison is the guest judge alongside Ross, Michelle (still with her grey streak), and Ru. I was excited Madison was a judge for a few reasons including that Silky Nutmeg Ganache did her for Snatch Game in Season 11 and she’s one of the few trans judges the show has ever had.

The runway theme this week is Bead It! I know you’re all probably tired of me gushing about Denali, but her Thierry Mugler-inspired chandelier look really was such a stand out. Kandy was another stand out, looking the best she ever has, with a big hat that had dangly beads, a fur coat, and her tits out. The always cheeky Gottmik was dressed like anal beads, Rosé was wearing a cute outfit made out of Perler beads (which I previously knew as the melty beads we made art with as kids), and Olivia also paid tribute to childhood with a cute, colorful look and bobbles in her hair.  And finally Symone. SYMONE. Her Glamazonian Zulu Warrior look was entirely beads with beaded hair that said Symone. Every week. Every single week. She’s incredible.

Tina, Denali, Rosé, and Gottmik are safe. Kandy, Symone, and Olivia are the top. And Elliott, LaLa, and Utica are the bottom. The top three queens deserved their spots, but if there could be five top queens Rosé and Denali would’ve deserved it too. The judges tell LaLa that she disappeared in the scene and that her runway look is cute but sloppy. They gush over Kandy and Kandy cries. Ru tells Symone that her look is one of the best the show has ever had. And they say Elliott looks beautiful but that her performance was bland. Ts Madison tells Elliott to “put some water on that coochie because it’s dry.”

Olivia wins again! I really felt like Symone deserved this — or even Kandy. Not because Olivia wasn’t great, but because the other two were just so great. Utica is safe. And LaLa and Elliott lip sync. We know who I was rooting for but unfortunately they both do well and LaLa has just received more chances. Elliott gets another week and LaLa sashays away.

But watching the lip sync it’s clear which of them has the quality. If LaLa can just polish up her runways and get a bit more acting experience, she has all the potential to be America’s next drag superstar. I’m pretty sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of the LaLa Ri Experience.

Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:

+ Rosé asks if anyone else has been having weird dreams while there and I would just like to come out as a gay who loves to share, talk about, and analyze dreams.

+ And speaking of Rosé, I went down a late night stoned rabbit hole the other day watching Stephanie’s Child videos and here is them singing “Landslide.”

+ I was waiting for Untucked drama between Utica and Olivia because Olivia took the mime part and won while Utica bombed. But it just never happened! I think this speaks highly of Utica and her ability to take responsibility for her own mistakes. I also think it’s possible that Utica is like me and her crush doing way better than her just made her hornier and motivated rather than upset.

+ Symone released a video with her runway look to Beyoncé’s “Find Your Way Back.” And I want to share part of her Instagram caption:

“Now let me tell you something about us, @thehouseofavalon… we have always strived to make the best art possible. Even without a lot of money we really try and push ourselves to create with what we have. ALL of my photos, video and content are created with an @apple iPhone and a 200 dolla drone. If anyone of y’all feel overwhelmed and think you don’t have the resources to create the art you want, just remember you can create ALOT with just a little heart and soul. I’m so PROUD of this shoot y’all!”

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Symone

+ Queen I have the biggest crush on: Symone

+ Queen I have weird sexual feelings for that I need to unpack: My crush on Symone increasing when she talked about her mommy issues


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Drew is an LA-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. Her writing can be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Thrillist, I Heart Female Directors, and, of course, Autostraddle. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about trans lesbians. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @draw_gregory.

Drew has written 153 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. How was Denali not in the top 3? I love her so much. I knew Olivia was a little TOO sweet to be genuine, but she did a great job. I just thought Symone’s look was flawless.

    I was wondering why Eliott’s dead eye stare was so familiar… Did the producers edit out Elliott saying racist shit? Or did she only say that when the cameras were off???

    If she said it off screen, then she knows it’s not appropriate and is SHADY on TOP of being racist/transohobic. If the producers edited it out, they were probably trying to make Kandy look like this season’s villain and I am NOT here for that. When Kandy was telling Eliott to read the room, she was probably telling her to knock it off with that bullshit.

    Still didn’t LOVE Kandy’s reaction to Tamisha, but she seemed to realize she had some more growing to do with that part of herself so I’m back to pro-Kandy. Especially if she was trying to keep the workroom a positive place.

  2. Granted, Olivia did well with a part that would have been easy to bomb, but Symone was such a standout for me, she is just peerless. I feel bad for Rosé and Denali because they are both really great but it’s like being the kid who scores 90% when someone else scores 100%. Maybe they would have both done better on a Symone-less season.

    I just can’t muster any interest in Elliott the dull bigot and it sucks to see her holding on after losing Tamisha and now Lala.

  3. I thought Kandy and Olivia did good but I would have placed Rosé and Gottmik in the top with Symone (with Symone winning).
    I thought Gottmik was trying something different this week, which looked good on her and I really think that Olivia was made funnier by Mik’s comments. Without them, it wouldn’t be as good, and it made Mik improv much harder !

    Also, I do agree Lala wasn’t at her best but I will never forget her first few seconds on the scene when the light got on ahah
    (But they were all so good this episode ! Like, in other seasons, almost none of them would have been in the bottom !)

  4. Lala Ri has been my fav since the beginning, she has an awesome personality and is an incredible performer. I was really sad to see her go home this week, especially against Elliott. I feel for Elliott having mental health issues but I am not here for the microagressions, not cool.

    I wish they didn’t use my 600 pound life as a joke, it was really insensitive. They could have come up with a different title for a plastic surgery bit.

    I looooved Symone’s runway. Just incredible!

  5. In the video, Kandy said that Elliot called Symone’s train look “ratchet.” And Gottmik is the one who calls Kandy a pug in the reading challenge (not Denali) which is probably why she won because that was definitely the funniest read.

  6. May be an unpopular opinion, but I’m really identifying w/ Elliot(t). “Why does no one like me?” I see you girl.

    And Elliott killed it in the LFYL.

    Look, I know Elliott will probably be gone in a week or two. But I still have empathy.

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