“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1506 Recap: Old School Drama

This is a recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race episode 1506. Spoilers below.

I have thoughts!! Some weeks it’s like okay I need to recap Drag Race because it’s my job to do so, but this week I simply must share my opinions with the world and by the world I mean anyone reading this recap!

We begin with all the queens being shady about Malaysia ranking among the tops. Sure, it was impressive that she pulled it off with only one sewing class, but was it top impressive? They say no. Well, specifically, Mistress says no.

It’s a new day in the workroom and the challenge this week is Golden Gal Girl Groups. To celebrate the occasion The Old Gays™ come out instead of the Pit Crew and offer very brief words of wisdom because they’ve gotta make that hour timeslot.

The queens are split into teams but then they have to figure out which group gets country, metal, and hip-hop. I feel like it’s more common for this kind of drama-starting to occur with individual casting and it’s fun to see the fights break out amid group dynamics.

The groups are Jax, Anetra, Loosey, and Robin; Sasha, Aura, Malaysia, and Spice; and Mistress, Lux, Marcia, and EsTitties. Mistress’ group says they want metal and Sasha’s group says they want metal too. All the groups seemed to agree on anything but country and Jax very wisely sees an opportunity, whispers to her group, and they go, “okay fine you two fight we’ll take hip-hop.”

And fight they do! Since Mistress was already poking at Malaysia, she feels more determined not to give in. Finally, Marcia says they need to settle it. They end up picking from a hat. Malaysia picks metal. I love the shadiness of this episode. Mistress really is everything Irene Dubois wanted to be. (Remember her!)

During the recording montages, the first two groups are strong with only Robin and EsTitties struggling — or Robin and EsTitties being edited to be the ones struggling for narrative. With the metal group, my main takeaway from the recording was Sasha Colby marry me.

The shadiness continues as the groups do their choreo. Everyone is rooting for everyone to fail, but in a way I found fun and true to the way Drag Race used to be before all the queens seemed media trained.

While they’re getting ready, Sasha says that being old is a badge of honor especially as a trans woman. She gives the younger girls a little history lesson about how the drag clubs in Hawaii during the 60s and 70s were raided every week and how everyone had to wear pins that said, “I’m a boy” because it was illegal to “trick” cis men. (Trust me, they knew.) I loved the detail about the trans women wearing their hair over the pins and then flipping it back when the cops came.

Obviously Sasha is not that old that she experienced this, but she did come up around queens who did. She gets emotional thinking about how big of a platform she now has on Drag Race. I do wish the producers would allow conversation about the current backlash toward trans people and drag, rather than only showing linear progress narratives. But maybe it just wasn’t as present last summer when they filmed.

It’s time for the shows! Ru comes out in the tiniest little silver dress and I was reminded that she’s actually only four years younger than one of The Old Gays.™ Good for her! Also the guest judge this week is Meg Stalter which is fun because I literally started watching Hacks today. (I know, I know.)

All three of the performances are really strong. With the country group I’d say Mistress was the best followed by Luxx. I expected more from Marcia given how much she talked about being on Broadway.

The metal group is really split with my main thought once again being marry me Sasha. Aura is also good! Malaysia is just okay and Spice gives the weakest performance of the night.

And finally the hip-hop group, which I also thought was solid even if it definitely felt the messiest. I do think Anetra was good, even if she admittedly did drop some words, and I thought Loosey had the best old lady makeup, even if she was still bland to me personally. Robin was also just okay. But I thought Jax was great?? I know I’m number one Jax fan — but I really, really loved her in this.

The runway is tie dye and it’s edited so quickly I barely had a chance to notice any of the looks. Anetra walked out looking very hot and by the time I looked up from writing “Anetra omg,” she was no longer on-screen. They do take time to let Meg Stalter be funny which I appreciated, but God give us another few beats on these looks. One thing I did clock is Marcia had a fun bloody nose look, but it was not tie dye.

The top is Mistress, Aura, and Sasha. All good picks. But the bottom is Anetra, Jax, and Robin?? Okay fine Anetra wasn’t word perfect on a lip sync challenge during a strong week, I guess she can be bottom. And Robin was bland so she definitely earned her spot. But Jax?? They critique her for standing out too much?? That’s a wild critique. Like yes, working with the group is important but if your group is weaker, still being great is not a bad thing.

Aura wins. She wouldn’t have been my pick of the three, but I get it. And I do think her runway was great.

To be fair, Ru says it was a strong week and they’re splitting gray hairs with the bottom. Anetra is safe. Jax and Robin lip sync to “In Your Room” by The Bangles.

Here’s the thing about putting one of the strongest queens in the bottom two when she doesn’t deserve it — you get an incredible lip sync. Robin’s strength is also dancing so this was just an all-time great regular season lip-sync.

And, thank God, Jax shantays. I still think Spice should’ve gone before Robin, but at least Jax gets another week to be judged unfairly by the judges. I hope the redemption arc the producers have for her doesn’t have to wait until All Stars.

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

+ Ru seemed genuinely delighted by Meg Stalter and that brought me a lot of joy.

+ I did watch Untucked because I knew there would be drama. But mostly I just got more time to hang out with The Old Gays.™

+ Just kidding there was some drama, too. Malaysia gets upset with Marcia because Marcia wants to stop talking about the group fight. But the big Malaysia/Mistress blow-up is being kept for later.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Jax (and Sasha, but she doesn’t need my support)

+ Queen I’m horniest for: Anetra

+ Queen I want to sashay: Spice (I don’t even dislike her anymore! She just hasn’t done anything since Sugar left and it’s time for her to go.)

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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 535 articles for us.

10 Comments

  1. Definitely agree on the need for current trans backlash, and I was really grateful for Sasha’s history lesson and the way she talked about mahu, aunties, and elders.

    I want Mistress to win a challenge! I wish they picked which girl group was best, then picked a winner from there. Country were unexpectedly my favs (with Sasha of course).

    I agree that spice needs to go home. And yes! Rew loved Meg!

  2. Sasha definitely should have won! I love her so much. Her runway look was definitely my favorite too. Does it feel like the runways haven’t been that good this season? Or has it just been too fast?!?

  3. Totally agree that Drag Race would allow more discussion about the present issues facing trans folks! But I agree with what I think you’ve said in the past that I’m glad they keep the aspect of talking about drag history even with the edited time slot. (I love that it’s only an hour, by the way. Keeps things moving)

    Side note: I think Hacks is extremely not as good as everyone says it is, But Meg Stalter is incredible. She’s a star, and only gets more hilarious as each episode goes on. Can’t wait for you to get to the s2 finale, where she had me crying of laughter

  4. Fam, I think I’m done with drag race. They’re related, but between the compaction of every part of the show and the editing, I’m honestly not finding this entertaining. The presentation of the runway had my jaw on the floor. Someone pointed out they were as long as a vine and that in itself is a disgrace.

    Love the cast, disappointed at what Mistress has had to go through at the hands of the fans (which I think fans of the show need to be having a serious conversation about, this vitriolic bullying is happening every season now) and just…so done with MTV.

  5. They’re doing that thing where they give the win to the wrong person because the plot would be boring if Sasha won too many challenges, but I’m surprised they didn’t give the win to Mistress over Aura. Mistress was genuinely great and will likely go farther than Aura.

    I have no idea who the guest judge was but her silly line readings were pretty novel, which is high praise for a show in its 15th season.

  6. I used to long for shorter episodes when I felt like they were spending too much time showing shitty rehearsals as fake-outs for a team actually doing great or when a couple of queens were arguing and just repeating themselves over and over in the werkroom, but this move to MTV feels like an actual punishment for fans. The runways look like clips they compiled for a quick commercial for the episode, not the ACTUAL runway. It’s so frustrating!

    Also Anetra is so hot both in and out of drag that it’s distracting.

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