“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1315 Recap: It’s Time to Lip Sync for Your Brand

This is a recap of Rupaul’s Drag Race episode 1315: RPDR Reunited

Ru really used the whole two hours, huh?! We’re one week away from the grand finale and that means it’s reunion time. But since apparently we’re still in a pandemic (STILL????) this was more of a season 13 variety show than our usual catty chaos.

Last season, the unexpected pandemic led to a group zoom call, but this year Ru’s ambitions were set higher. While the episode begins with all the eliminated queens popping on screen, it then becomes a check-in with each queen where they reminisce separately and then screen a pre-prepared music video. The whole point of the reunion is to have the queens all together to hash out old drama!! This was more like the recap episodes that used to screen pre-finale in the early seasons. And like those recap episodes… it’s pretty boring.

But if Ru can film multiple seasons of Drag Race in a pandemic, I guess I can recap a meeting that could’ve been an email. So let’s dive in!

This year’s only true Porkchop, Kahmora Hall reminds us of her iconic “wearing padding in a greenscreen suit” moment before sharing the exciting news that she can now do her makeup in three hours instead of four. She then performs “Give Him Something He Can Feel” by En Vogue in a self-produced music video. She’s preparing for a gentleman and manages to go from bath to ready in just a couple minutes. All she needed was the magic of editing.

Joey Jay is here to remind us that she’s still gay AND drop the most exciting gossip of the episode that she and Kandy have maybe already fucked?? It’s not a confirmation but it wasn’t not a confirmation. She then performs “I Want You Back” by *NSYNC in a video where she seduces herself as all five members of *NSYNC. And it ends with a cameo from Lance Bass who, fun fact, is gay just like Joey Jay.

Too much of a legend to be anything but honest, Tamisha Iman says that while she’s over it now, if the cameras hadn’t been there she would’ve hit Kandy. And then her music video is for an original song called “Arrogant” largely made up of audio from that infamous Untucked episode! We all know I am a big Kandy fan, but I’m neutral in this feud. I’m on Team Thank God Some Of The Queens Will Still Be Bitchy On Camera.

LaLa wins my heart and the unofficial contest for best zoom look. She’s in all leather and it’s very! good! She then further stands out with a music video for an original song titled “Bad Bitch Trip.” LaLa is ready for All Stars — and to do a whole lot more before that.

Next up is Elliott with 2 Ts.

Denali reminds me why I love her with the trifecta of gossip about Rosé (“A few shots of some Scottish whiskey. Anything can happen”), defending Olivia against the terrible fanbase, and then releasing yet another incredible ice skate lip sync video this one to “How You Like That” by BLACKPINK. Watching someone be very good at something is so hot! Plus she’s also just hot! And there’s an outfit change mid-spin!! She blows a kiss at the end and I have decided that kiss was specifically for me. Thank you.

Tina Burner’s makeup looks good and she’s not wearing red, orange, and yellow, and hey let’s celebrate that. I actually don’t hate Tina. She’s self-deprecating in a way I appreciate and she gets points for being friends with Kandy and Gottmik. I just don’t get the appeal of her drag! But she’s successful so it must work for someone!! Alas my disinterest continued with the video for her original song “Turn It and Burn It.” Turn it off and burn every copy :)

Utica Queen shares that she’s been STRUCK BY LIGHTNING and says that’s where she gets all the energy from. Okay babe!! Watching the highlights from her season I feel more confident than ever that she’ll thrive when she accepts that she’s a fashion queen. She also says that lip syncing is one of her favorite things about being a “drag human” which is interesting language that I absolutely noted. Her video is a lip sync to Halsey’s “You Should Be Sad” where she slowly cuts herself out of a web of strings. I liked it a lot! But maybe I just like Halsey!

And, finally, Olivia Lux who says she’s reclaiming the word diva and using it for good. She performs a lip sync video to “I’m Goin’ Down” by Mary J. Blige and OH MY GOD. This episode absolutely dragged on (ha) but it was all worth it to witness this. Olivia is so gorgeous in the whole video and at one point she’s wearing a white button down with an open collar and a loose tie?? I died. Olivia really said, yes I AM the first runner up.

These segments were split up with a behind-the-scenes look at our top four preparing for next week’s finale at the Ace Hotel. They do a fun 69 Questions bit reminiscent of the Vogue videos with highlights such as Gottmik campaigning to replace Raven as Ru’s makeup artist, Rosé naming Denali the love interest of the season, Kandy being generally cute, and Symone sharing that she’s a Gemini moon and Scorpio rising!

There is then a special lip sync rematch for charity between LaLa Ri and Denali. My friend Daniel pointed out that given the economic realities of being on Drag Race maybe Ru could’ve sprung for a donation and an actual cash reward. Nevertheless I was thrilled about this pairing and they did not disappoint in their renditions of La Bouche’s “Be My Lover.” Denali wins and I would like to say once again that yes I would be her lover. Bonus points to Denali for choosing the National Center for Transgender Equality. Minus points to Denali for saying the phrase “trans brothers and sisters.” The thing about being in love with cis people is sometimes their intentions are good but they say the wrong things! Denali and I can have a chat about language when she takes me ice skating.

The episode ends with bonus footage from last week where the top four say why they should win. Gottmik and Symone give good answers, but if it was just based on this moment I’d give it to Kandy. She’s genuine and funny and all the reasons I love her. Meanwhile, Rosé regresses to robot mode.

I love this top four — robot and all — and I’m so excited for next week!!

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

+ In her 69 Questions, Symone is asked which designer she most wants to work with and she says Rihanna. I am so excited to see Symone in the next Fenty show!!

+ They do a toot and boot segment and LaLa wins The Golden Boot for her bag look. Real stars don’t just fail, they fail iconically, and LaLa is a star.

+ They also take fan questions and one fan asks Denali if she’s going to do a drag ice show and Denali says yes. I AM SO EXCITED.

+ Olivia and Utica remain coy about whether or not they went on a date. It seems like yes? But maybe it didn’t go well? Or maybe they’re just private? Unclear.

+ Ocean Kelly who is featured on LaLa’s song released her own “Lucky” verse and it is very good!!

+ Grassroots organizations and crowdfund campaigns will always be more helpful than bigger charities. If you’re looking for a charity to donate to due to the ongoing assault on trans rights in this country, might I suggest the Trans Justice Funding Project, a funding initiative that gives money to grassroots trans-led groups.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Symone… with a final lip sync against Gottmik

+ Queen I have the biggest crush on: Denali on ice, Olivia on piano

+ Queen I have weird sexual feelings for that I need to unpack: We’re 15 episodes in — I think I’ve unpacked all I need to unpack (okay fine it’s still Joey Jay what is her deal and why is it working on Kandy and me!!)

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 168 articles for us.

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