This is a recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race episode 1503. Spoilers below.
From supersized to bite-sized! Last week’s gargantuan two-episode premiere is in the past and the new hour-long (plus Untucked) format is here to stay. I know it’s to promote MTV’s Rich Fags of WeHo or whatever but can I be honest?? In this case, I am not a size queen. I love the new length.
We begin in the aftermath of Irene’s departure, a queen we’ll barely remember in two months when the show ends. (Sorry Irene.) Robin and Amethyst carry over talk of their past fling from Untucked and say that it ended mutually. In the confessional, Amethyst said she ended it. I’ll give it to her — she needs a win.
The maxi challenge this week is afterlife infomercials. It’s the kind of themed challenge that makes you go, wow we really are on season fifteen, huh? As the winner of last week, Anetra gets to pick her team first. She goes with Luxx, Sasha, EsTitties, and Marcia. As the winner of the lip sync, Amethyst gets to pick next. She goes with Loosey, Aura, Spice, and Poppy. The leftovers are Jax, Mistress, Sugar, Malaysia, and Robin.
There is immediate tension on the leftovers team, because Sugar won’t shut the fuck up pitching a concept that makes no sense. I don’t need to justify my annoyance with political righteousness, but if I were to do that I’d bring up Sugar saying “cracked out Beyoncé.” I know her whole thing is dressing like an ignorant white girl from the early 2000s — doesn’t mean she has to talk like one.
My fave Jax shares my annoyance and tells Sugar to switch spots with her. After that, Sugar is very displeased. Mistress is also annoyed that Jax is taking charge, but somebody has to! Sorry, sorry, childhood group project trauma is coming out.
If you were wondering how the editors were going to fit all these queens into an hour, the answer revealed itself in the next segment. Michelle is directing the three teams and we get a brief look at Sugar riffing and Jax feeling like the concept isn’t working, Sasha freezing up a bit, and Team Amethyst kind of bombing, but we don’t spend a long time on any of them. I loved this! Usually with acting challenges we see the jokes played over and over so the finished products fall kind of flat. I loved getting just a taste.
What isn’t cut for time is the queens sharing their queer trauma in the work room. Malaysia talks about growing up Baptist and feeling like being gay is a sin. But now her mom is her biggest supporter. Mistress says she also grew up religious but her family wasn’t as accepting. She was kicked out at 17 and had to support herself through drag. Amid the challenges and competition, Drag Race has always been a snapshot of queer lives. I’m glad that hasn’t been lost.
The judges are Michelle, Ts Madison, and country singer Maren Morris. I didn’t know this person previously and she wasn’t the best judge, but everything she said in Untucked was really sweet so she won me over. But the most exciting part is definitely that Ts Madison is a regular judge.
The runway theme is metallic and there are a wide variety of looks including Anetra paying tribute to Chromatica, Marcia paying tribute to the Tin Man, and Jax paying tribute to Mortal Kombat which is apparently her namesake. And my absolute favorite look was Mistress. She wasn’t the only queen who went with gold but I think she did it best.
We watch the final videos and wow is Team Anetra’s good. All the previews were trying to make it seem like Sasha flops, when she’s actually the hands down winner. Everyone in the video does a good job and it’s just astronomically better than the other two.
Team Amethyst’s is the worst. The jokes feel basic and all the performances are meh.
Given the chaos, I thought Team Jax — let’s call it what it is — turned out decent. I liked the concept of heaven for drag hags and felt Sugar was used perfectly. But Jax barely says any of the words she wrote and I knew that would be a problem.
The tops are Sasha, Luxx, and Loosey. The bottoms are Amethyst, Poppy, and Jax. Michelle praises Sasha for taking direction well and it just goes to show sometimes showing up perfect isn’t necessary! The judges tell Amethyst to stop contouring her nose so much, they critique Poppy’s basic outfit, and question Jax’s shoddy video looks in comparison to her excellent runway.
Loosey is safe. Luxx is safe. Sasha wins. No question.
Jax is safe which was deserved even if part of me wanted to see her kill a lip sync. I know she would’ve done a better job with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” than Amethyst or Poppy that’s for sure. It’s not that either is bad — just underwhelming.
Amethyst plays it straight, Poppy goes for jokes, and, in the end, Amethyst shantays. When it comes to Diana Ross, RuPaul wants a respectful rendition and Poppy popped her pussy all the way home.
Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:
+ Poppy is very casual about the possibility of going home during Untucked and it made me very happy she lost the lip sync. It pissed Mistress off and it pissed me off too! Not to be such an earth sign, but why are you there if you don’t want to win?
+ I don’t love Amethyst but now that she’s been in the bottom twice, I’m hoping she has at least one episode of redemption before going home.
+ Sasha looked so hot in the workroom in those high-waisted pants.
+ Loosey getting in the top for doing a three star Dolly Parton impression? I don’t even know if that’s out of four or five stars and either way it wasn’t enough for me.
+ Queen I’m rooting for: Jax and Anetra
+ Queen I’m horniest for: Sasha
+ Queen I want to sashay: Sugar