The library has reopened! It’s time for the most painful challenge of the season: the roast. Who will make us laugh? Who will make us cringe? Who will make us laugh and cringe? You truly never know!
But first we begin with Tina’s elimination. Utica says she’s heartbroken, because Tina was such a great sister. She starts to cry and says she thinks Tina deserved to stay. Never! Say! This! Once a queen says something like this it’s proof that they’re ready to go. This competition is too hard to be in it unless you want it with every part of you. But in the confessional Utica is bragging up about sending home a legend?? Utica isn’t just kooky — she’s baffling.
It’s a new day in the work room and Symone is excited to have her fourth win — while Kandy is desperate for her first. The mini challenge is a live make up tutorial selling the new palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills. (Product placement!) They split into pairs — one of them is the face and one is the hands. This leads to more comedy than the actual roast as the queens poke and prod at each other’s faces. Kandy makes a mess of Rosé. Symone sells Olivia’s paint job. And Gottmik is a usual make up tutorial pro but with Utica’s wildly long arms. Rosé and Kandy win!
The roast this season is the Nice Girls Roast. Three Miss Congeniality winners from past seasons — Heidi N Closet, Nina West, and Valentina — are the main subjects. And since Rosé and Kandy won the mini challenge they get to pick the order. For some reason they both want to open?? My only roasting experience is a roast my friends and I foolishly put on in high school that led to A LOT OF DRAMA, but I have watched about 20 seasons of Drag Race and never have the queens been fighting over first and last. Kandy ends up with first and Rosé ends up with last and cheers to their confidence I guess!
The energy in the work room is a delight as the queens get into the roasting spirit. Roasting is my personal love language and it’s such a joy to see these weeks of sisterhood manifest in a barrage of funny insults.
Michelle and Loni Love help the queens in rehearsal. They advise Kandy to think of jokes that won’t require bleeping. (RIP A’whora.) They encourage Gottmik to tell her very funny jokes with confidence. They call out Symone for being an overthinker. And they tell Utica to just… stop? Everything she is doing? She’s being so mean!! Olivia isn’t very good and Rosé is great. Often the rehearsal isn’t indicative of the show… but this time it was!
The Miss Congeniality queens are introduced first. Nina West walks out in a pride flag because she thinks a collar saying “love is love” is activism — the “political queen” bar is on the fucking floor when you’re white. She’s joined by fan favorite Valentina who looks perfect, beautiful, and like Linda Evangelista and Heidi N Closet who is GORGEOUS! It’s so fun seeing queens who had fewer resources fucking shine after their season and Heidi is shining.
Also looking hot? Kandy Muse who opens the show as a blonde. She jokes about Valentina’s appearance in Rent: Live saying her Angel needed an angel. Overall, she absolutely kills. Unfortunately she’s followed by Symone who bombs and Utica who bombs even harder. Neither Symone nor Utica took any of Loni and Michelle’s notes! Jokes about appearance are expected in a Drag Race roast, but they have to be funny and Utica’s are not funny — they’re just fatphobic.
Utica’s performance reminded me of Farrah Moan’s in All Stars 3. Some queens who don’t skew naturally towards mean just cannot figure out the difference between a joke and an attack. And Utica has been struggling with this all season — like when she pulled out a notebook full of reads to share while the queens were on a meal break. Utica’s trying so hard to fit into catty drag queen culture so she can make friends and do well in the competition, but it just does not work for her.
Thankfully, Gottmik follows with a stellar set. She makes a joke about UTIs which just goes to show the variety of material trans queens can bring to the show! The best joke in her set is probably one directed at Ru: “I’m such a big fan of you and your work and all of your hit song.” Ru loves a joke that starts with praise.
Olivia follows and tries to play on her sweet energy as a bit but it just falls flat. And Rosé closes the show — without cards — and kills it. She was better in rehearsal, but at least it wasn’t a case of crushing it in rehearsal and bombing on stage. She gives the impression that even her worst comedy show would be better than most because she is A Pro. She jokes about Heidi trying to fuck her in New York saying, “The only thing thirstier than Heidi N Closet are her make up brushes.”
But even Rosé jokes about Nina West’s size and while again jokes about appearance are to be expected — and can work when they’re actually clever — it still felt lazy to me. Why make fun of Nina’s shoulders when she looks like the spawn of a DNC drag brunch and Old Navy’s Pride Collection? I can think of few queens more deserving of some proper digs than Nina and she got none. This is why I’m disappointed Symone didn’t do better. Instead of tripping her up with overthinking, Symone’s intelligence could’ve led to deeper jokes than the other queens.
The judges mostly say what’s expected but frankly are nicer to the queens who bombed than they deserve. They point out that Symone still looks incredible even if her comedy sucked which is correct and true. Loni praises Rosé while acknowledging that she did better in rehearsal. Michelle agrees but still compares her to Bianca del Rio.
Rosé is safe. Gottmik is safe. And Kandy finally gets that win!! I love Kandy and I love being right. I’ve loved her from the beginning and it’s been a joy to watch her grow as a person and a queen. Based on Twitter discourse, people still seem to really hate her, but who cares because those are random people on Twitter and she is a top five RPDR queen! Never doubt someone with lesbian moms!
Olivia is safe. Symone and Utica lip sync to “No Tears Left to Cry.” Thank God Symone kills it because I really do have no tears left to cry — I have a follow up eye doctor appointment about it next week. Utica is sent away and we have our top five.
While I’d swap Denali in for Olivia — yeah I’m still not over it! — I think this is possibly the best top five since season three. We’re coming to the end and I feel air welling up in my empty tear ducts.
Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:
+ Who was the top five of season three? Carmen Carrera, Yara Sofia, Alexis Mateo, Manila Luzon, and Raja. Throw in Shangela at six and you get why it is and will probably always be my favorite season of the show.
+ Have you seen Heidi N Closet’s WAP parody, GAP, featuring Widow Von Du??
+ Speaking of Heidi, I love that Ru spent her whole season saying that her name sucked and she should change it and she… just… didn’t. Obsessed.
+ If you think I’m being harsh on Nina, I’d like to remind you of the time she appeared on The View to call Meghan McCain an honorary Ru girl. This would bother me from any queen, but I find it especially unconscionable given Nina markets herself as an activist. It’s really disappointing that Monet X Change did the segment as well but I think it angers me less with her because she never made “LGBT Rights” her whole thing. Or maybe I’m just making excuses because I like Monet? The fact is it was really disappointing from both of them and Nina continues to annoy me. She has the political intelligence of a Prop 8-era GSA president.
+ If you want a queen who is actually political look to Bob, look to Peppermint, look to The Vixen who deserved so much better from this show and its fans.
+ Kandy’s bleeped joke was calling Valentina Miss Cuntgeniality.
+ After being told to shantay, Symone said, “Not again. Not again.” And I believe her.
+ During Untucked, Utica continues to baffle, but admits that there are things she should’ve worked out for herself personally before coming on the show. I’m not sure what she’s talking about and I’ll respect her by not speculating, but I truly wish her the best as she navigates her newfound fame. Valentina tells the queens that the hardest part of the experience isn’t filming, but figuring out your career in its aftermath. I feel like Utica could really struggle or really come into herself and I hope it’s the latter!
+ Before leaving, Utica admits that she asked Olivia out on a date and Olivia said yes! I would like more details about whether this date has happened! Did they meet in the park with masks on and have a picnic six feet apart??? Did they get tested and fuck in a hotel room??? The options are endless.
+ Queen I’m rooting for: 1st: Symone, 2nd: Gottmik, 3rd: Kandy, 4th: Rosé
+ Queen I have the biggest crush on: All of the ones who are left??
+ Queen I have weird sexual feelings for that I need to unpack: I don’t know RuPaul looked really fucking good this episode