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