“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1508: Participation Trophies

This is a recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race episode 1508. Spoilers below.

Life’s not fair. This is a thing adults often say to children. When I was a child, I’d always respond, “Well, it should be.” The adults would laugh at my naïveté, waiting for me to grow up and understand. It never happened. I’ve never understood. Life should be fair. And so should Drag Race.

We begin in the wake of Aura’s sudden departure and Jax’s remarkable performance that caused it. Instead of talking about that or even celebrating Mistress’ challenge win, we continue with Loosey’s absurd stance in Untucked that she should’ve been in the top. Yes, the top of my list: Queens I Want to Go Home.

The next week all the queens are making fun of Loosey’s delusion and she won’t even own it! She’s forgetting that the post elimination workroom and next week workroom are edited back to back.

The maxi challenge this week is a Lip Sync LaLaPaRuza. I appreciate that they’re just doing it instead of pretending like all the queens equally bomb a challenge like last season. There are no guest judges and the way it works is Bruno picks bingo balls with the queens names and whoever’s name is chosen picks their opponent and then their opponent picks the song. One of the villains in this episode is those damn bingo balls — or the producers who manipulated them.

Malaysia is chosen first. She makes the mistake of picking someone she thinks is weak rather than someone she knows is weak or someone she knows will pick the song she wants. That person is Marcia and the song she chooses is “Boys Don’t Cry” by Anitta. Turns out Marcia is not weak and wins easily.

The balls once again fail us by choosing Loosey who then makes the obvious choice of Spice. Spice chooses “Do You Wanna Touch” by Joan Jett. Loosey has the sex appeal of an old sock you find under your bed covered in dust and hair. But she still beats Spice, who feels like an annoying twelve-year-old who won some sort of “appear on Drag Race” contest.

Loosey walks backstage acting like she’s the Queen of All Queens and not the truth: she chose the easiest queen to beat and then barely beat her.

The next ball chosen is Luxx who chooses EsTitties who chooses Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” They both do a good job, but EsTitties wins. She performs the emotion and is just funny. As Luxx walks back, Mistress says, “You still look good bitch.” Luxx flips her hair and says, “Always.”

Mistress is picked next and has to choose between Jax, Sasha, and Anetra. She goes with Jax because she thinks that she’ll pick the song she wants: “Tell It to My Heart” by Taylor Dayne. It works. A few things can be true: 1) Mistress and Jax both do a great job, 2) Acrobats don’t always mean the better lip sync, but 3) Jax still should have won this lip sync. However, Mistress wins because RuPaul is committed to this weird thing of eliminating lip sync assassins during LaLaPaRuzas.

Everyone backstage agrees with me and expresses their surprise at Mistress who responds in her wonderfully Mistress way.

The last lip sync of round one is between Sasha and Anetra. Anetra picks “I’m In Love With a Monster” by Fifth Harmony. While this episode has a lot about it that’s frustrating, it’s hard to be too mad when we get this incredible matchup. This is finale quality lip syncing. Better because they aren’t relying on so many tricks. They’re both just so good. Sasha wins. In a fair world, Ru would’ve done a double win because the numbers are odd anyway.

Next round, Malaysia goes first again and this time makes the smart choice and picks Spice. Spice chooses “Don’t Go Yet” by Camilla Cabello because she knows Malaysia doesn’t know the words. The only problem? Spice also doesn’t know the words. This is an embarrassing lip sync and it’s obvious that Malaysia knows it. Spice seems totally oblivious. I’m grateful that Ru saves Malaysia even though there were only losers with this one.

Then we get a threeway lip sync between Luxx, Anetra, and Jax to “The Right Stuff” by Vanessa Williams. It’s an absurd amount of talent on the stage which makes it even crazier that Ru picks one winner (Luxx) instead of two.

So there’s a bottom three: Spice and two of the three strongest lip syncers of the season. I get that having either Jax or Anetra go against Spice would be a waste of time. But then, they shouldn’t have let it get down to these three! The solution is not to let one of the queens save someone.

Anetra’s name is chosen and she chooses to save Spice. As she says in her confessional, going against Spice wouldn’t have been fair. But should there be a queen this far into the season that requires a participation trophy? Anetra earned my respect and love forever for taking this risk and going against a stronger competitor. And I’m happy to watch her and Jax perform “Finally” by CeCe Peniston. But it still sucks that this is how it ends.

Jax goes home on an episode geared toward her strengths. Spice, Malaysia, and Loosey get to sneak by with some truly horrendous performances. Life’s not fair. But it should be.

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

+ I have once again not watched Untucked live. The Real Friends of WeHo has really ruined it for me.

+ I love that EsTitties is rooting against Loosey because she wants to see her snap.

+ Sasha Colby, marry me.

+ Jax is going to KILL on All Stars.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Anetra

+ Queen I’m horniest for: Anetra and Sasha fighting to the death (my death)

+ Queen I want to sashay: Spice and Loosey

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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 564 articles for us.

10 Comments

  1. You are right! This truly isn’t fair! Love Jax! I don’t have a deep memory of Drag Race but I do feel like any queen who is doing self described “tomboy drag” Ru always just dismisses. But Jax will kill on All Stars.

  2. I knew as soon as there wasn’t a double save for Anetra and Sasha for their phenomenal lip sync that shenanigans would ensue… And I totally agree, Jax should have won that first lip sync against Mistress.

  3. What keeps getting me about how childish they are is Sugar and Spice aren’t even the youngest competitors. Luxx is 22 while the two of them are 23. Hell, Mistress isn’t that much older than them at 24.

    What you really didn’t miss on Untucked:

    – Dramatic black and white footage of the contestants being driven to the stage in golf carts before the ep started (when will the producers realize that slow motion footage of carts driving around a lot is neither entertaining nor dramatic?). We cut immediately from the two voiceovers accompanying the golf carts to… the Queens walking back into the work room after the episode? I thought that was where they were during the ep, but sure, I suppose they all left for the purposes of walking back in after? IDK I am very confused by the choices being made by the production rn tbh

    – We start with Spice gushing about how much she loves Anetra both in the confessional and in the workroom. This is then contrasted with Anetra in the confessional explaining that she picked Spice because she wants actual competition when she does things. Or as she puts it: “to be honest I want to beat the best, and I want to win against the best, and me just picking somebody as an easy opponent is not what I want to do. Sorry Jax.”

    – The Queens start going over the lipsyncs.

    – Loosey says the reason she picked Spice is because she knew she would pick the song she wanted (The Celine Dion song, which obs Spice did not pick and 100% is not a song she would pick?), and not because, well, you know, ease of winning. Mistress in the Confessional starts mocking that answer asking why Loosey can’t just be real and own that Spice was an easy kill. Luxx takes a more passive aggressive nicer route of responding to Loosey by saying she knew Spice was going to pick the song she picked. Loosey responds she should have known she’d pick “Do You Want to Touch Me” because it goes with Spice’s outfit, and Spice loves that and does that baby voice of hers talking about how her outfit matches the song.

    – Everyone gushes about Jax as a performer as they go over the matchups

    – Everyone also takes time to talk about how incredible and inspirational it is to share the stage with Sasha Colby. Anetra talks about how she sees her as an icon and idolizes her and how amazing it was to lip sync with her.

    – Spice says she wrote Sasha Colby off after the first week !?!?!?!?!?!?!??!

    – SPICE wrote SASHA COLBY off?????????????????????????? Anyway this is just the first half of her saying that after the lip sync she gets it and sees that Sasha is just humble and does it rather than gas herself up without delivering. Spice then says that she now sees that Sasha Colby is the biggest competition there.

    – Spice follows up by saying (in her baby voice) that no one should count Miss Spice out, and everyone starts laughing.

    – While everyone is going around saying who is their biggest competition there, Malaysia says Mistress, and talks about being big queens

    – Mistress then talks about how a big girl has never won Drag Race, and that is why she feels she has to be so strategic and cutthroat to win.

    – Sasha Colby talks about how her show and Salina EsTitties’ show were once both nominated for the same award and EsTitties’ show won, and she deserved that win. Sasha tells EsTitties that she is a very hard worker and that is seen.

  4. I saw Jax perform at the Three Dollar Bill in Bushwick last year and thought, “Now that is someone who will go on Drag Race”! She deserved better than this exit, and I know she’ll kill it on All Stars if/when she decides to come back.

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