“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1406 Recap: Pay It Some Mind

This is a recap of Rupaul’s Drag Race episode 1406. Spoilers below.

Drama! Trauma! Branding! With conglomerate product placement and more conflict than my DMs after a Maddy insult, this episode was really everything we’ve come to know about Drag Race.

We begin after Orion’s departure. Everyone is impressed with Jorgeous’ incredible lip sync. For the first time in an episode that’s filled with Daya’s bitterness about not being in the top, Daya complains about not being in the top.

It’s a new day in the workroom and we’re getting right to shilling for Amazon dot com. Ru does a bit about how Michelle has been on Glambien and sleep online shopping. The Pit Crew comes in wearing little underwear and Amazon delivery worker shirts. They have a bunch of random packages and the idea is the queens will open the boxes and take these random items to make their runway.

Amazon aside, I love the random material runway challenge. As the show has grown, it’s become more and more challenging for queens with less money to compete in the runway. But this challenge always levels the playing field. We get to observe the queens at their most creative and, for better or worse, I love to see what they come up with.

One queen who does not sew and is not pleased with these materials is my love Kerri Colby. Kerri goes on an incredibly specific rant about how it’s like going to Christmas at a stepparent’s house and being disappointed by their gifts. Kerri is always hilarious and this episode she’s even funnier than usual. I don’t listen to any of the Drag Race podcasts, but if Kerri hosted one I would.

Willow is having a hard time opening the boxes because of her disability and instead of the crew or other cast members helping her, she’s left getting the scraps from the boxes other people have opened. Daya says that she’s been a team player but she wants to be in the top so now she’s only going to look out for herself. She proves that quickly by rushing over to Willow and shutting down the baby doll look Willow is considering — Daya has already decided that’s what she’s doing and she’s calling dibs like the petulant child she’s dressing up as.

The queens start to reflect on the last sewing challenge. Angeria makes fun of Jasmine for crying in safe and they bring up Maddy being in the bottom. The reminder that Maddy doesn’t even sew made me think of Bianca Del Rio’s iconic: What do you do successfully?

Ru and Carson make their way around talking to all the queens. They tell Jorgeous to focus on fit, tell Lady Camden to have a bigger lip, and talk to Kerri about how she used fashion as a defense when bullied as a child. Then Ru asks Maddy if her pussy is on fire and Maddy gets super awkward. I think the appeal of Maddy for Ru is that she can poke at her like this. I just can’t believe Maddy can still get thrown by this stuff after hanging out in drag spaces.

Willow says that her concept is being a child’s nightmare and she talks about getting stress dreams. I love that Daya told her not to be a child and so she pivoted to a child’s nightmare. Speaking of Daya, she’s not even really doing a baby doll look! She’s modeling herself after a hand puppet — and Crystal Methyd. She asks Carson for feedback and then doesn’t like it when he tells her that she needs to move away from Crystal’s looks. She starts ranting in her confessional and in the workroom about how she’s tired of being compared to Crystal and how they aren’t even similar. Her attempts to explain their differences are not convincing. Kerri aptly notes that Daya’s anger is coming from desperation.

Meanwhile, Jorgeous is struggling. The piece of fabric she was initially going to use is not working for her and she needs to entirely start over. Angeria, proving Daya’s selfish approach is unnecessary, helps Jorgeous out by giving her some leftover materials.

Bosco says that DeJa’s look is whelming and considering her sewing chops, she expected more. She’s right and, more importantly, this seems like a great time to talk about how Bosco posted this week that she’s beginning her medical transition. I’m so happy for her!! And happy for us all because when trans people transition they get hotter and she’s already so hot!

Kerri has talked before about her rough adolescence and she gets into it a bit more. She says that she was kicked out when she was 15, and before that her dad wouldn’t let her be in the same room as him. Jasmine then talks about how she was outed to her dad at 15 and he said that she can be gay but she can’t do drag. It was her dad’s girlfriend who helped him come around. She’s 22, so I’m not going to be too hard on her, but it is very revealing how she talks about this. Say what you need to work things out with your family, but Jasmine’s emphasis on drag as an art form and not an identity provides an out Kerri clearly didn’t have. I’m not sure the responsibility cis queer people have to defend trans people to their families — I do know that Kerri and I never had a choice in that matter.

Taraji P. Henson is introduced as the guest judge. Ru asks her what the P. stands for and she replies with a line that was almost certainly given to her by the show’s cis white gay middle-aged writers: “Pay those bitches no mind — unless they’re paying my bills.” This is a riff on Marsha P. Johnson saying her P. stood for “pay it no mind” and this “homage” with the added capitalist flair may be the single most accurate distillation of RuPaul’s Drag Race ever.

Anyway, the runway is so good!! Lady Camden starts off very strong as a beautiful fairy — who does in fact have bigger lips. Jasmine has a big titty homage to Samantha from Sex and the City — but explicitly Samantha from Sex and the City 2, which is not what anyone should think of when they think Sex and the City. To be fair Jasmine wasn’t born when the show began. Daya looks like her puppet but even more like Crystal Methyd. Maddy is like a Halloween costume of a country girl with a blow up doll on her arm. Willow has weird long arms and horns but also a short dress — a child’s nightmare but make it sexy?? Bosco is Billy Idol but an anime villain and looks hot as always. DeJa is a Greek goddess, or, at least, trying to be. Angeria is in a little black dress with fans made out of window blinds above her chest and she looks truly incredible. Jorgeous is doing a Shakira thing. And Kerri is wearing a weird short dress, but I’m sorry Kerri can wear anything and I’ll make excuses for it.

The judges feel the same. Kerri, Bosco, Willow, and Daya are safe. Daya is MAD. Lady Camden, Angeria, and Jorgeous are the top. Jasmine, Maddy, and DeJa are the bottom. Jasmine is criticized for being messy and doing too much. Maddy is criticized for the look itself and a muddled narrative. And DeJa is mostly praised but just criticized for the cheapness of her fan and headpiece.

Okay usually I save Untucked thoughts for the end, but, finally, this week we have some drama good enough that we’re shown a little preview in the main episode. We’ll get to Daya’s whining later, but we must address Maddy and Jasmine’s fight! So basically Maddy is going on about how she’s going to be lip syncing but she’s going to win the lip sync just like she did last time. I don’t know if you remember episode three, but Maddy did not win the lip sync — June lost it. So Jasmine is like well I’m not worried about you. And this gets Maddy upset. She’s like you’re in the bottom too so why are you acting better than me. And Jasmine is like because I know what I can do on a stage so… I am. When Maddy starts to walk back the conflict, Jasmine yells, “This is your moment! Have it!” and I’m sure we’ll be hearing that every single week during next year’s Untucked intro.

Back on the mainstage, Angeria is safe. Lady Camden is safe too. And that means Jorgeous wins?? This was a surprise to everyone including me. I didn’t have a problem with her being in the top but this really should’ve gone to Lady Camden. Not only did she have the best look but she also very clearly took Ru’s note! And she came in a strong second the week before!

Jasmine and Maddy’s instincts were right — DeJa is safe and the two of them are lip syncing to Beyoncé’s “Sugar Mama.” They both come to that stage heated from their fight. Jasmine is especially READY. She takes off her hat, she tears off the skirt part of her outfit, and she dances her ass off — and her titties literally off and to the side and up and down. It’s painfully not close. Jasmine wins and Maddy and her chocolatey chocolate bar sashay.

As Maddy says goodbye, she once again identifies herself as the first straight queen on Drag Race. Either she still doesn’t know the word cis or she’s confirming that Kerri Colby is bisexual. Or, like RuPaul herself, Maddy knows that her brand is contingent on a simplistic worldview that out trans people disrupt. Let’s go with Kerri Colby bisexual. My DMs are open.


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

+ It sucks with Kornbread gone that no one is helping Willow.

+ More on I Love Kerri: the moment where she’s talking about step-and-repeats with Angeria was so good.

+ Maddy makes me cringe as a viewer and a trans person, but Daya is absolutely this season’s villain. What a wonderful nightmare.

+ I feel like we are not seeing DeJa at her best. Some of the queens come in with a lot of talent and just don’t work well with the format and the stress. It wouldn’t surprise me if she came back for an All Stars season and was on a whole new level.

+ Kerri calls Jasmine: Miss Mouth Almighty. Incredible.

+ In Untucked, Daya says that from now on she needs to focus on herself. She already made that declaration at the start of this episode! She was still just safe! The only way she needs to focus more on herself is finding a drag identity separate from Crystal.

+ Daya complains about having been safe every week as if we’re just going to forget that not only was she in the bottom her first week but she fully went home.

+ The best part of the Maddy/Jasmine fight is that at different points Daya, Bosco, and Kerri all put on Daya’s puppet eyes.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Willow (Angeria, Kerri, and Bosco rounding out the top four)

+ Queen I have the biggest crush on: Kerri and Bosco (my Kinsey 5 keeps crushing on people who end up transitioning)

+ Queen I want to sashay: Crystal Methyd


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Drew Burnett Gregory

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 Burnett has written 308 articles for us.

23 Comments

  1. Why didn’t they give Willow scissors??? Why do we have to watch her struggle like this?? I hate how it seems like their using Willow’s disability as entertainment instead of accommodating it. I know Kornbread was livid watching it.

    Whenever a queen complains about being safe or not winning a specific challenge they always come across as bitter, entitled and whiny. Daya came across as all those things but i was surprisingly agreeing with her on some points. I do feel like some queens who have naturally thin frames are able to put fabric on their body and get rewarded (Jorgeous) yet others who embrace the unconventional materials and have bigger concepts tend to get overlooked sometimes (Lady Camden). Don’t get me wrong I love Jorgeous but what was that win?

    And Maddy leaves just as she was starting to grow on me. Her drag just wasn’t as polished and elevated as the other girls, it was her time. Maybe in a few years she’ll have a stronger sense of self and get there idk. Also why did she think she was a lipsync assassin all of a sudden?

    Ok I’m done talking

    • Maddy wen into the lipsync with the confidence of a mediocre straight white man!

      She started to grow on me too. There’s something very endearing about Maddy. She seemed inexperienced so it was her time to go but I like her point of view. Maddy for All Stars!

    • I was prepared to not like Maddy if she had “straight privileged” behavior. But looking at her Whatcha Packin, she describes how she was struggling with her gender identity, and that her girlfriend is also doing drag. She IDs as gender non-conforming.
      She certainly doesn’t have the polish of many gay and trans drag queens, but on the other hand, her style reminds me a lot of the more improvised lesbian drag (kings and queens) There I said it :P

      @Drew
      It’s interesting that even Michelle feels the need to stress that straight drag queens, including Maddie can be “pure” and not fetishists.
      There is the whole autogynephilia discussion looming, that is usually targeted at lesbian trans women (yikes).

  2. God, Daya is so annoying. Cannot wait for her to unwrap that chocolate-chocolate bar and sashay away.

    I didn’t feel like DeJa deserved to be in the bottom. They criticized her accessories, but the base look was simple and elegant. Drew, I know you love Kerri, but her look was a mess and I could not believe she was safe.

    And I would have put Willow in the top over Jorgeous. As far as I’m concerned, she has the most creative ideas and can execute them well. And I just love her as a person! Bosco also did well this week, and I could have seen her in the top as well. Jorgeous looked cute, but I was shocked she won.

  3. Kornbread would have helped Willow. I really miss her. Between this and Kornbread packing up her own stuff last week I’m mad at the producers- this just isn’t cool!

    Also I LOVED Boscos outfit!! Great silhouette, she looked stunning, and it was such a creative use of materials. I was upset she wasn’t in the top! I also really enjoy these found object challenges.

    My first thought when they zoomed in on Maddy’s ugly skirt was “she’s going home and Drew is going to be so happy!” I am happy too. I like the reframing of Daya as a villain- she really is annoying.

  4. It’s 100% accurate that Drag Race is often a capitalist-washing of queer history but in this case the “pay them bitches no mind -unless they’re paying your bills” isn’t a co-opted Marsha quote directly it’s a Ru lyric from Sissy That Walk.

    • I imagine what Drew is getting at is that, yes, it’s a RuPaul lyric, which means that Marsha’s name is being used in the name of promoting Ru’s financial interests in music- what’s supposed to be a defiant celebration of self becomes a capitalist slogan.

  5. I’m tired of the catiness. I’m tired of the bitchy behaviour that’s encouraged and even warped by the editors, producers, everyone. Watching the UK edition has made me want heart and love and TOGETHERNESS to prevail. They’ve shown that the chemistry and arguing can still happen but it’s never nasty. The incident with Willow would NEVER have happened in the UK edition.

    We need to actively move away from this toxic TV and embrace TV with empathy and support. What baffles me is that this one show demonstrates BOTH at the same time! I have no doubt that this isn’t a reflection on the Queens – I’m not saying that the UK queens are nicer or anything like that, but just the way this whole show is constructed. Yes drama sells but the UK edition demonstrates that empathy sells **better**

  6. The Maddy bias is really childish and unnecessary. Quoting “What do you do successfully?” is mean – she has had good runways, has done well in challenges, had good talking heads. Yes she can’t sew and is not a great lipsyncer, but certainly not worse than some of the others we’ve seen this season. You don’t have to like a queen, but if you are writing a review you should be more responsible considering the amount of hate they already get

      • In her Watcha Packin, she describes how she struggled with her gender identity, that her girl friend is also doing drag, and that she now IDs as gender non conforming. She certainly had a risk coming out to her family in that little town in Arkansas where she lives (though they turned out supportive).

        • In the Whatcha Packin video, the same sentence before Maddy talks about “dressing gender non-conforming”, he also says he is a heterosexual, cis man.
          I just watched the video and that part over and over so not sure where you got that she now identifies as GNC…

  7. Bosco’s coming out post was a double hit of “she’s a woman, of course that’s why i have such a crush on her!!” followed by “she’s a straight woman </3". Bosco if u ever come out as bi in the future my dms are open

  8. I’m convinced they gave Jorgeous the win to provoke a Daya Betty meltdown after what she said in Untucked about certain people just putting fabric on their body. Too bad Lady Camden was the collateral damage, she deserved to win for sure.

    Either Daya wants to be the villain to stay around longer or she is profoundly clueless about the way her bitterness will be spun in the edit.

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