“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1412 Recap: Smells Like Queen Spirit

If you heard me saying there shouldn’t be another episode without an elimination, no you didn’t. Look, principles are one thing. Having favorite queens you’re horny for is another. That’s why I can rewrite my own rules week to week like RuPaul rewrites his rules season to season. And if you have a problem with that, well, the comments are open.

The Lip Sync Lollaparuza is over and Jasmine has danced away. She confirms her title as chatterbox of the season with a very long mirror message that specifically shouts out Angeria, DeJa, and Jorgeous — to Daya’s predictable annoyance. Bosco says Jasmine may hold the record for most lip syncs but no one will top her record as biggest ho. She also says almost being eliminated has lit a fire under her. Hope she doesn’t get burned.

Everyone makes such a big deal about Snatch Game, but for me The Rusical is the far more exciting challenge. Probably because I’m an obnoxious musical theatre kid who saw Assassins last week and has been playing the soundtrack non-stop ever since — except when I’ve detoured to other Sondheim. ANYWAY, I love musicals, I love Rusicals, and, as a major Nicole Kidman fan — according to Letterboxd I have seen 70 Nicole Kidman movies — I love Moulin Rouge!

Ru tells the queens they can pick their parts which leads to more drama than Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Daya says compromise is for losers and several of the queens seem to feel the same. DeJa gives a whole speech about how she won Snatch Game and she should get to pick her role and no matter what anyone says she is going to be Nerve — only to find out no one else wants it. Willow gets the Green Fairy with little fanfare. As does Daya with Uniqueness. Angeria and Jorgeous fight over Talent, but Angeria gives it up and takes Charisma.

The two parts left are Saltine, the lead, and Mama Z, the bearded emcee. Bosco and Camden both want Saltine. Camden says Bosco brings the sexiness, but she brings the romance. She says she’ll have no problem learning the lines, and Bosco says no she won’t because she won’t get the part. Bosco is not budging. Camden suggests they flip a coin and Bosco says, no, actually, let’s let the other queens decide. Bosco!!

Angeria says Bosco. Jorgeous says Camden. DeJa says Camden. Willow isn’t sure so Daya jumps in and says Bosco, tying it up, and leaving the final decision to Willow. Finally, after a very tense commercial break, Willow goes with Bosco. The excuse the people who choose Bosco all use is that they think Camden could do either part, but Bosco could only do Saltine.

It’s feeling a bit like this season has its own version of the Heathers and the Boogers. Bosco, Daya, Willow, and Angeria are either the frontrunners or — in the case of Daya — think they’re the frontrunners. Then Camden, DeJa, and Jorgeous are the underdogs who aren’t as confrontational or obviously skilled. Never mind that Camden could hardly be called an underdog at this point or that Jorgeous is incredibly talented and Ru’s personal favorite. It’s just a vibe thing. I don’t know if it’s a product of Bosco and Daya’s mean girl energy or a projection of mean girl energy/intimidation from the other three but it’s definitely a vibe. Amidst all this chaos, I just keep thinking about Willow saying, “I don’t bark. I don’t hiss. I just do.” She and Angeria may get grouped with the intimidating queens, but they hardly engage with any of the drama. They don’t need to.

After Camden and Bosco both get a chance to cool down, it’s time to rehearse. Leslie Jordan is there as a guest director along with Leland, the composer, and Miguel Zarate, the choreographer. Everyone is doing well in the rehearsal. Leslie says the only queen she’s worried about is RuPaul because she’ll have to pick one of this cast to go home. Or will she?

As they get ready, Daya says that as a teenager musical theatre was where she felt most comfortable. Jorgeous says musical theatre is annoying. What’s special about musical theatre is… they’re both right! Jorgeous goes on to talk about how she’s never been trained in dance and taught herself movement after watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. DeJa says she’s also never taken a dance class and Jorgeous says she can tell. Jorgeous is the secret bitch of the group and I kind of love it.

Ru comes out in a tight multicolored alligator skin dress and introduces Michelle, Ross, and The United States vs. Billie Holiday’s Andra Day. And now it’s time for Moulin Ru!

I thought this was a strong Rusical. It riffs on RuPaul songs the way the real movie and show riff on other famous songs, and it’s just a really talented group of queens doing a really fun concept. Unfortunately, Bosco is just okay. She holds her own as the lead, but the minute she walked out in her signature eyebrows I was worried. She just didn’t give into the character enough and while her dancing was great, her acting did not do Nicole justice. She wasn’t bad — just a little flat. Camden, on the other hand, is phenomenal.

Now, this episode very much makes the storyline that Bosco was stubborn and Camden gave in and then Bosco didn’t do great and Camden did. But that’s not entirely true. First of all, Camden didn’t give in. The queens voted and she lost that vote. She wasn’t the bigger person — nor should she have to be — and it’s weird to frame it that way. I also think it’s ignoring the transexual elephant in the room. Bosco wanted to play the ingenue instead of the bearded emcee? Hmm I wonder why! Obviously trans women can fuck with gender but this is a trans woman who was very much still figuring her shit out at this point. I think the intensity she brought to this conflict had as much to do with gender as it did almost getting eliminated last week and being a Gemini.

The runway is Mirror Mirror. Camden is wearing a jaunty look inspired by The Little Prince. Bosco is doing a naked robot Tin Man situation and while, officially, I think this look is too similar to past looks, unofficially I welcome this slutty get up every single week. Willow is doing an Elton John/Joan Jett/Evil Knievel fireworks thing. Angeria is stunning as a blue mirrored galactic mermaid queen. Daya is in a KISS-inspired outfit because of course she is. DeJa is in a very costume-y, not very mirror-y, snow queen look. And Jorgeous has latex boots, latex gloves, short wet hair. This is maybe the hottest — and definitely the dykiest — she’s every looked.

The judges critiques are all fair. They gush about Camden and criticize Bosco. Michelle wants more variety from Bosco’s looks, Ross says keep showing us your ass. Andra gives my favorite compliment of the night, telling Willow that it’s challenging to play a character losing energy while maintaining energy as a performer and Willow managed to do just that. My main point of confusion is they critique DeJa’s runway while praising her performance, and they say Jorgeous drifted into the background. I don’t agree with that at all?? I thought Jorgeous was really good in the Rusical and DeJa was easily the weakest.

Scorpio RuPaul then asks the queens who they think should go home. They all say Bosco, except Bosco who says Jorgeous. Jorgeous then says Bosco should go home because she was in the bottom three times last week which feels… unfair. I also cannot believe Daya said Bosco and not DeJa. It felt like once a couple queens said Bosco, they all decided saying Bosco created the least conflict. But Daya usually loves conflict! I was really rooting for DeJa early on in the season, but at this point she feels like the obvious choice to go home.

Daya, Willow, and Angeria are safe. Camden wins. Bosco, Jorgeous, and DeJa are in the bottom. DeJa is saved out of those three. I don’t understand this at all. The only explanation I can fathom is Bosco and Jorgeous both fought for their parts only to not be great and this was their punishment. But I really don’t think Jorgeous can be compared to Bosco here! I love Bosco, but she absolutely should’ve been in the bottom — with DeJa.

Bosco says that she’s not thrilled to be lip syncing against Jorgeous because she’s pretty sure RuPaul has put herself down as an organ donor for Jorgeous. She’s probably also not thrilled because Jorgeous is an incredible performer. They lip sync to a bad remix of Whitney Houston’s “Heartbreak Hotel” and Bosco manages to hold her own. She performs without her hat, revealing a short dykey blonde wig, which is just a lot with Jorgeou’s own dykey hair. If they didn’t seem to dislike each other so much, I’d be rooting for a make out.

Jorgeous wins. Which means Bosco and her ass have to go home — unless? Right, the chocolate bar. For the first time since Kerri, I was on board with this goofy concept. And what do you know? Bosco has the gold!

I’m still not convinced this was random rather than the producers holding out for the right moment. But I don’t care because Bosco remains! This also means that we’re looking at either a top five or a sixteen episode season. But I don’t care because Bosco remains!!!

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

+ This title was for the true fans. I almost went with “The Elephant in the Room Love Medley” but it didn’t have the same ring to it.

+ I love Leslie Jordan’s old timey director cone.

+ Bosco’s grandma was in The Rockettes!

+ Did anyone else notice that Willow’s voice track sounded like BenDeLa’s Julie Andrew’s track? It must’ve been the same singer.

+ DeJa fans, I’m willing to admit I’m wrong. Explain to me why she’s still here.

+ I’ve come around on Daya… slightly. But the way she turned on Bosco and then in Untucked clarified to Camden that she voted Bosco because she thinks Camden just has more range… I don’t know, there’s honest bitch and then there’s fair weather friend bitch and the latter is not endearing.

+ Lady Camden’s mom gives her a message where she talks about Camden always being in love: first with a little blonde girl, then with her, then with Baby Spice, and finally with ballet. I’m sorry that is a very trans list to me. Someone call Kerri Colby.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Willow

+ Queen I have the biggest crush on: Bosco

+ Queen I want to sashay: DeJa

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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 539 articles for us.


  1. Honestly the biggest villain in this ep for me was the outfit Bosco wore for Moulin Ru

    I spent an inordinate amount of time wondering about the costuming – did they have a range of sizes? Ask the queens for bodysuits that they then added stuff to? Bosco’s was so bad I could consider it sabotage, nobody could feel sexy in that.

  2. I think Deja has moments of brilliance that have carried her this far but I agree that it’s time for her to go. Almost every single runway look is costumey or ill-fitting. It’s cynical but part of me thinks they’re keeping her so the cast isn’t so blindingly white.

    Also, I think Daya’s vote was strategic. She isn’t threatened by Jorgeous at all, so Bosco going home would have been better for her game. I wish she’d go home though because she has a horrible attitude and I’m sick of her little asides.

  3. This episode’s judging was, as a certain Jasmine Kennedie fan might say, Rigor Morris. They wanted Bosco in the bottom because of the drama with Camden. Deja and Jorgeous should have been bottom. And I think Bosco arguably won that lip sync, so they could have sent Jorgeous home.

    Sorry Skye dancers, but it’s time for Deja to sashay. Followed by Jorgeous and Daya.

  4. “I think the intensity she brought to this conflict had as much to do with gender as it did almost getting eliminated last week and being a Gemini.”
    Y’all no offence but…what?? Fail to see what the zodiac has to do with this, or indeed, anything

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