This is a recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race episode 1414. Spoilers below.
Gaby Dunn knows Drag Race better than RuPaul herself. One comment from Angeria saying she wanted to go to the finale with Willow and Gaby said, “The producers are going to find a way to have Angeria and Willow in the bottom and will then save both of them.” Well…
But first! We begin after last week’s double elimination. Willow says she’s shaken up and shares the piece of Drag Race herstory that this is only the third time there’s been a double elimination. I already knew this because I was watching with a literal Drag Race scholar. Daya says she isn’t surprised because seven people couldn’t go to the finale — a good point.
It’s a new day in the workroom and Camden is SO HAPPY. She’s skipping around like she’s already won the crown. It’s very cute.
The maxi challenge is a video for “Catwalk” where all the queens write their own verses. They are also getting to design their video looks on paper which will then be made for them. Bosco says she’s going to channel Linda Evangelista for her hot irreverent bitch character.
We then go to the Tic Tac lunch, the one remnant of 2009 RuPaul that just won’t die. They begin with Bosco, who starts by doing a Basic Instinct and then says that it was freeing to fail — a line that Ru eats up.
The only thing Ru likes more than platitudes about overcoming adversity is fetishizing trauma and illness. They talk about Daya’s diabetes and Willow’s cystinosis. The way Ru and Michelle talk about both, but especially Willow, is predictable and exhausting and sucks. Ru says that most people succumb to their illness and see themselves as a victim, but Willow hasn’t. Willow talking about how drag comes from conquering death, even more than her queerness, is interesting. The RuPaul/Michelle Visage inspiration hour is not.
During Angeria’s talk, we learn that she has eight (8!) drag kids. She also talks about her parents being supportive and her mom being a Drag Race fan. I don’t know how to pivot from Angeria’s cute parents to Camden’s trauma, but harsh tonal shifts are sort of Drag Race’s whole thing. Camden talks about leaving home to get away from the pain of her brother’s suicide. As an adolescent, she felt like it was her responsibility to keep everyone happy. I would like to give her a hug now, please!
From sweet to sad to horny. It’s video day and Camden and Bosco are BOTH wearing crop tops. Some of these casual day looks are honestly better than the final outcomes of the video looks. It sucks because, sure, they designed them but they didn’t make them! Willow comments on Bosco’s disappointment, saying Bosco didn’t realize she’d be a soccer mom in space. Only Daya and Camden look really good.
During the rehearsal, Angeria is struggling with the choreo. And then — because the producers are trying to sabotage Angie for their narrative — all of a sudden the rehearsal turns into the actual shoot. No time to practice, no time to process. This plan works and Angie’s nerves get the best of her. At one point, Michelle hints for her to crawl on the runway and she doesn’t do it. Up next, Daya sees an opportunity and gets on her knees quicker than me at a 2019 Gay Asstrology.
As they get ready for their final runway, the queens discuss their first impressions of one another. Bosco makes a joke about Daya climbing her way to the top with nothing but sheer hatred of Jasmine. And Willow adds more fuel to the episode 14 narrative fire by saying that her love for Angeria is more important to her than the competition.
The runway theme is winning looks and the queens interpret this in their own special ways. Bosco looks like if Madonna as Marilyn Monroe was recreating Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Angeria is in a beautiful black gown and a feather hair piece. Daya is wearing a dress that looks burned and has a weird side bustle — but it really, really works. Camden is an ice queen in a stunning white and silver jeweled dress. And Willow is a rat! A beautiful rat in a gold dress!
The video is… not one of RuPaul’s or the show’s best. Maybe because the song sucks and the shoot was rushed. RuPaul is playing a sleazy cameraman of sorts and looks like he’s cosplaying Terry Richardson. Meanwhile, the queens are solid, but not as special as they should be given everything else we’ve seen this season. As far as I’m concerned, Willow was the best even if that doesn’t fit the narrative of the episode. Daya and Camden are also really solid. Angeria does better than expected. And really only Bosco disappointed me — sorry to my wife. I blame some of it on her outfit!
Carson starts off the critiques by making a “hates vaginas” joke to Bosco. This would be annoying even if Bosco wasn’t trans, but it’s doubly annoying directed at her. Every year our core judges feel more and more out of touch. But the hilarious Ross Matthews redeems them a bit by gushing over Bosco even more than me.
Angeria gets pretty harsh critiques on the video. They rave about Daya and they rave about Camden. And then they say Willow wasn’t selling the performance in her face, which feels like a really empty critique. Once again, Drag Race scholar Gaby Dunn was here to remind me that they gave a similar critique to Vanjie when they were trying to manufacture a Vanjie vs. Brooke Lynn lip sync.
The queens come back from Untucked to talk to their child selves. I know this is one of RuPaul’s more emotionally manipulative traditions, but I have to admit that I love it. It always gets me! Even Daya got me when she said: You don’t have to worry if Mom is proud of you or if Dad is proud of you, because you’re proud of you. Daya!! And then Willow ends it by saying, the queerness of the universe shines through you. Lord.
Daya is safe. Camden wins! Bosco, Angeria, and Willow are in the bottom. The prophesy is foretold and Bosco is safe, which means Willow and Angeria are lip syncing to the work of another iconic duo: Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. That’s right. It’s the song Bosco describes as holy in gay culture: “Telephone.”
If this song didn’t have so many fast lyrics, I think we might have finally gotten our first lip sync make out. It’s not just that Angeria and Willow are good — they’re also in sync with one another. I hate to admit when the producers are right — and if the conclusion had been different I would not — but damn this was a good performance.
They’re both saved. They’re both going to the finale. And what do these two do? Yeah, they kiss.
For the first time in Drag Race herstory, we have a five queen finale. Maybe that’s why next week is just a reunion giving us more time for these five. Who knows what tricks the final episode has in store!
Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:
+ When they were comparing wins at the top of the episode, I realized that Willow only has one?? She’s been in the top so much that really feels wrong.
+ Angeria jokes that this is the first top five with two eliminated queens. What a chaotic season.
+ Willow’s video look wasn’t my favorite, but I loved that she designed her profile on it.
+ Once again, Daya was SO HORNY for Camden.
+ I don’t share Daya’s — or Gaby’s — horniness for Camden but I do love this video of her doing ballet.
+ The childhood photos seemed like they were CGIed onto blank cards. Did they look weird to anyone else?
+ This was a really heavy episode. In Untucked, Bosco talks about her mom dying a month before lockdown.
+ In Untucked, Bosco also mentions that if Kornbread hadn’t been injured she’d be in the top with them. I agree!! Bring back Kornbread!!
+ The queens were LOOPY in Untucked. I don’t know if they got a little too drunk, if they were overwhelmed with emotion, or if it was just last day of school energy — but they were a real hoot.
+ Queen I’m rooting for: #TeamWillow
+ Queen I have the biggest crush on: #TeamBosco
+ Queens I want to smashay: #TeamWillowAndAngeria #TeamBoscoAndMe
I also hate the tic-tac lunch, and deeply miss Kornbread. I’ve just been loving Angeria this whole season- she is so open loving and genuine toward everyone else on the show and I wish that some one had been there for her when she was in her head for the video shoot. I think she and Willow are so cute!! Their lipsync was so cute!!!! And even though Daya’s annoying I do appreciate how horny she is for the other queens. This has been a v lovely lesbian season. We got a lipsync make out!!!!!
I have to figure out how to use this knowledge for good
Go to Drag Race trivia nights!
I can’t stand the way Ru frames disability and victimhood even though I know she definitely got it from some fucked up Ayn Rand reading therapist. This is just a terrible message for the audience, especially young disabled and sick people, especially in the era of covid.
Bosco was my favourite narrator this season – the lines about Ru donating an organ to Jorgeous and Daya being motivated by hatred for Jasmine were perfection.
I want Lindsay Lohan to break the crown into pieces and give everyone but Daya a piece.
agree – i’m torn between loving the disability rep of having Willow on the show and haaating how Rupaul talks about disability!! urgh
YES the queens were real loopy in untucked!! glad i’m not the only one who saw it
Great recap! I agree with so much of what you said. I told myself I wasn’t gunna watch the finale if willow wasn’t in it. I cried during the lip sync, and when she and ange got saved.