“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1608 Recap: Feel the Heat

This recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race episode 1608 contains spoilers.

I wanna dance with somebody! Actually I want to dance, specifically, with Morphine Love Dion. While having a fave be in the bottom is unfortunate, it also means getting to see them lip sync. And this week the lip sync sure did deliver.

But first! Megami is gone and Mhi’ya is feeling good. She even tries starting a bit of drama as she continues to lean into showing more personality. I like this Mhi’ya!

The next week, Morphine brings up a time Xunami swooped in on a guy she was interested in thus setting the episode up as a rivalry between the two friends. Plasma says, “No man is safe around Xunami, but Xunami is always safe.” A good read and a perfect transition into… the reading challenge!

The library is open and this catty group of queens do a great job. Personally, I would’ve given the win to Dawn or Sapphira, but Xunami wins for telling Plane she wants to fuck her. Fair enough!

The main challenge this week is Snatch Game and the queens are filled with an understandable anxiety. Nymphia is going to be Jane Goodall, Dawn is going to be Meghan McCain, Plasma is going to be Patti LuPone, Q is going to be Amelia Earhart, Morphine is going to be Anna Delvy, Sapphira is going to be James Brown, Mhi’ya is going to be Tiffany Pollard, Xunami is going to be a made-up character named The Gold Tooth Fairy, and Plane is going to be Serbian pop star Jelena Karleuša. Overall, I think these are inspired choices!

All Stars 1 winner Chad Michaels shows up as Cher to give advice and, to my surprise, she and Ru think Jane Goodall is a bad choice for Nymphia! I think that choice has so much potential!

My disagreement continues during Snatch Game itself, because Nymphia bombs, but I think she’s funny! Sometimes understated is funny too?? Her soft-spoken Jane Goodall voice and old age makeup and stuffed monkeys really did it for me!

But not even I can defend Morphine’s performance. The problem is she goes into the challenge with the primary character trait of calling the people around her poor. This doesn’t work when she’s on a panel with other celebrities and talking to RuPaul! Like not only is it one-note — it doesn’t make sense.

The other flop of the night is Xunami with a confused character she doesn’t do much with. Dawn, Q, and Plasma all do a fine job, but nothing special. And the real surprise is Mhi’ya does pretty well after changing her character to a made up cousin of rapper Trina named $haquita. Though I will say… I think Ru is grading her a bit on a curve. Like it’s great she didn’t bomb! But I’m not sure she did that well.

The standouts are Plane and Sapphira and, as far as I’m concerned, Sapphira is the easy winner. Not to be defensive of Morphine, but at one point Morphine says her Anna and Plane’s Jelena dated and Plane shuts her down. I guess in a competition it works to get a joke off by shutting down another queen, but this is an improv challenge and “yes and” is the most basic rule in the book!

The next day Xunami is surprisingly chipper for someone who is almost guaranteed to be in the bottom. Sapphira tells her as much and says she admires her optimism. Less delusional is Morphine who saddles up next to Plane to beg her for the potion. Plane tells Morphine she has nothing to worry about — which she admits in the confessional is just to get Morphine to leave her alone. She’s such a bitch!

Nymphia talks about how Taiwan was the first country in Asia to legalize gay marriage and then Plane says it’s too dangerous to be gay in Russia for her to ever visit. Sapphira then has a very emotional moment talking about her MMA trainer dad who took issue with Sapphira being gay before eventually coming around soon before dying from Covid. Sometimes I find the trauma storytelling time annoying, but this one really got me!

Kyra Sedgwick is the guest judge and the runway theme is Dancing Queen. Nymphia and Morphine may have bombed Snatch Game but they fought back with these runways. Nymphia is Butoh and Morphine is Salsa and they both look incredible. This is one of Nymphia’s best looks in a season full of stellar runways. And Morphine has never looked more beautiful which is really saying something.

It’s not enough to get out of the bottom and Q, Plasma, and Dawn are officially declared safe with Xunami the third bottom queen.

Ru says she thinks Sapphira could’ve gone further and Plane wins?? I am baffled by this! Ru really loves Plane Jane and I’m just not sure why! She’s very competent and very bitchy, qualities I admire. This still should’ve been Sapphira’s win.

Nymphia is declared safe which means besties Xunami and Morphine are lip syncing. “If they get a good song, this could be great,” I said to my girlfriend right before those iconic first notes began. It’s Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and these are two queens worthy of the song.

Ultimately, Xunami and Morphine both seem most concerned for Morphine. This results in an incredible lip sync with Xunami prompting moments for the queens to dance together and even to kiss on the lips. But it also means Morphine takes additional moments to standout with Xunami fading in the background.

It ends up being the best lip sync of the season so far and a lovely farewell to a queen I like a lot. If anyone else had sent Xunami home, I would’ve been sad. But, like Morphine herself, I’m choosing Morphine and I’m so glad she’s not going anywhere. Now she just needs to get a win.

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

+ I’m obsessed with Dawn calling Meghan McCain an idiot who is only successful because of her dad. I’m surprised the producers aired that! Especially considering Meghan is besties with Nina West and Monét

+ Ru announces that Plane only has three more chances to use her potion. I do think the best conclusion for Plane would be to never need to use it and to choose not to gift it to a friend. Really lean into the villain role!

+ Carson says Nymphia’s look has a Miss Havisham vibe and I’m sorry it’s wild to reference a Dickens character in describing a look that evokes Japanese Butoh. If you don’t have the cultural reference point for something and are being televised, maybe just say less.

+ Kyra Sedgwick says her Snatch Game character would be Madeline Kahn and then she breaks into a lengthy impression.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Morphine and Sapphira

+ Queen I’m horniest for: Morphine

+ Queen I want to sashay: Mhi’ya

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Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is a Senior Editor at Autostraddle with a focus in film and television, sex and dating, and politics. Her writing can also be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Refinery29, Into, them, and Knock LA. She was a 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab Notable Writer and a 2023 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about queer trans women. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Drew Burnett has written 567 articles for us.


  1. “she and Ru think Jane Goodall is a bad choice for Nymphia! I think that choice has so much potential!”

    I agree, it could have been great. She should have made Jane HORNY. I mean, anyone who watches chimps fuck as much as she does…

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