“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1512 Recap: A Rusical with a Cause

This is a recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race episode 1512. Spoilers below.

The last few weeks have been hard. Every day there is a new anti-trans law passed, proposed, or discussed. Every day the Internet is abuzz with discourse about the value of trans existence. The wave of anti-drag campaigning and legislation was never just about drag — not when it began before this season of Drag Race filmed last summer, not now that the vitriol has only increased. It’s always been about controlling gender nonconformity and transness, it’s just the latest attempt at using fear of queer people to win broken elections.

It’s been a long time since Drag Race has felt radical — maybe it never did. The wild notion of “drag queens on TV” became more and more palatable the bigger the platform. The queens have managed to inject the show with a political edge, but the show itself has always prioritized RuPaul’s dollar sign liberalism.

It scares me that Drag Race is starting to feel radical. It scares me that a fucking Rusical called Wigloose could make me emotional. But that’s just where we are right now. And that’s why it’s so important these queens are still being bitches.

We begin this week in the aftermath of Marcia’s elimination. I still can’t believe she was ousted the week before the Rusical, but at least it allowed Loosey to win something this week: excellence in reminding me of the worst gays in the NYU drama department.

It’s a new week and yes the Rusical is called Wigloose and is set in the 1980s and it’s about a small town that has banned drag. Ru tells the queens they can decide their parts for themselves because if there are two things RuPaul will do it’s watch a man drown and make good television.

Mistress wants to be the villain, Preacher Teacher. Sasha wants to be Carl, her nerdy husband. And Anetra wants Mama Bacon, the loving drag mentor. These three go unopposed. Drama starts when Luxx and Salina both say they want either Heaven Bacon (the lead) or Christian (his friend). Loosey says she also wants Heaven Bacon. Nobody wants Tuck (Heaven’s other friend). Salina tries to be smart and say that she’ll take Christian and they can battle it out over Heaven. But the battle does not end quickly!

Luxx is rightfully saying that the character description for Heaven is a young gay kid from the big city and that fits better with her. Tuck is a country jock who just wants to do drag and that fits better with Loosey. Loosey starts waxing poetic about why she connects to Heaven and Mistress is like bitch come on you just want the lead stop being fake. Then Loosey flips out about being called fake. There’s a lot of back and forth with both Loosey and Luxx ultimately giving in. The final result is Salina gets Tuck, Luxx gets Christian, and Loosey gets the chance to drag down the entire drag musical.

Ru comes to the workroom to do a little trauma check in while the queens prepare. He starts by talking to Sasha about her mom who told Sasha she wouldn’t get into heaven. They don’t speak anymore. Then she talks to Anetra who says that drag saved her life and she tells an anecdote about going to DragCon as a baby queen. And, finally, Ru tries to get Salina to realize that being in the top six means she can let go of her feelings that she doesn’t belong — it would help if the judges got her drag more, but no matter.

While all these emotions are spewing, Loosey is CARRYING ON. She’s crying to Salina about how she was bullied for being gay and that’s why she can’t handle being bullied by Mistress and Luxx. Excuse me?? Babe, we’re ALL gay here! You can’t pull that card. In fact, you have no oppression cards to play in this setting. Sorry. She then says that she led Luxx to a win last week, which is just absurd.

I have not been a fan of Loosey from the beginning, but this week I loved her. It feels deeply important to me that the political landscape never gets so bad that I can’t despise an annoying faggot. When drag becomes loving sisterhood tied into a sweet little package, we are in trouble. Let these egos at each other. Remind us all that even though we’re all part of the same fight, our humanity has not been robbed and part of being human is getting to hate your sisters.

The queens go to the choreography session with Miguel Zarate. There are various insecurities and struggles that pop up but the only thing I want to talk about here is Luxx’s outfit. She’s in this see through white top and tight light wash jeans and I’m obsessed.

As the queens get ready, Loosey asks Mistress who she’s pulling from to play the villain and Mistress says this person she competed against named Doosey DaDuca. Loosey can act innocent, but she was obviously pushing buttons with that question, and I’m delighted by Mistress’ response. The queens then talk directly about the anti-drag laws being proposed. Sasha wisely notes that while it’s important to be loudly yourself, sometimes you do have to consider safety about where and when.

With this context in mind, the Rusical really worked for me. If Luxx had been in the lead role, I might have even cried. Unfortunately, Loosey is so stale at the center. She reminded me of certain Broadway understudies or touring cast members who have the vocals for the part but have no charisma or acting chops. Well, except the Rusicals are lip synced, so it wasn’t even Loosey’s vocals. Like she’s fine. She’s totally competent. That’s what she’s been all season. Simply competent. There are worse things to be in life — nothing worse in a reality competition show.

The real standouts for me were Sasha and Anetra. Sasha is having so much fun in boy drag and it makes the character’s girl drag reveal really shine. Anetra gives her part a lot of emotion and really sells the sentiment and genuine meaning. Mistress definitely has a showier role than Luxx and Salina, but I felt like all three did well, if not quite shining like the top two.

The judges this week are Michelle, Ross, and Orville Peck, a person I must admit I don’t know much about except that apparently he never shows his face. The runway theme is Everybody Say Glove. I’ve been tough on Loosey this week, but I have to admit she definitely had one of the six best runway looks of the episode. Drag Creature from the Black Lagoon that’s just a bodysuit with little gloves has the same energy as that picture of the woman with the bag of chips on her head.

Anetra has a really cool rave look with spinning lasers on her hands, Mistress looks gorgeous in a yellow gown with jewels dangling from her gloves, Luxx is an emo kid with two arm casts signed by her real friends from home, and Salina has giant red gloves and a pink skin tight suit. While Salina’s look isn’t my favorite, I do love how clearly her it is. I’d rather something feel uniquely someone’s style than appeal to me personally.

The runway winner for me was hands down (no pun intended) Sasha’s skirt and top made of baseball gloves. First of all, I love baseball. Second of all, it’s the one look that really deconstructed the theme. Third of all, Sasha Colby marry me.

Overall, the judges praise all the queens with the softest praise going to Loosey and the largest praise going to how horny they all are for Sasha as Carl. Then, because television is a beautiful medium, Ru asks the queens who should go home tonight.

Loosey starts by saying Salina, based on track record. Anetra echoes this sentiment. Mistress says, “I’m tired of being at the Sasha Colby meet and greet.” And just when I was worried all the queens were going to go the two most boring routes — base it on track record or base it on toughest competition — Luxx is here to save the day. She goes down the line one by one complimenting the queens until she gets to Loosey who she calls generic. It’s an iconic Drag Race moment in the making. Salina then also says Loosey — likely because Loosey said her after having cried on her shoulder. And then Sasha goes the safe route, saying Loosey and Luxx because they each have two wins so they’re competition.

I don’t usually recap Untucked but if you’re wondering if this moment leads to backstage drama, the answer is obviously yes. Mistress abandons her safe route, saying flatout that she doesn’t fuck with Loosey. And Salina calls out Loosey for saying her name when she knows there are people Loosey dislikes. Oh and Loosey and Luxx bicker a bit more about who gave up the part to whom.

Back onstage, Mistress is safe, Luxx is safe, Sasha is safe, and Anetra wins!! So deserved! That means the lip sync is between Loosey and Salina and the song is “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush.

The fact is there’s a reason Ru always says this is their last chance to impress him. The winner of the lip sync isn’t necessarily who wins — track record is also considered. And so, I think it’s safe to say Salina won this lip sync. I get why Ru sent her home. But this was Salina’s best lip sync by a mile. She was feeling the song deeply and she managed to use her giant red gloves for pathos as well as humor.

Loosey LaDuca was, once again, simply competent.

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

+ All the talk of eras was killing me this week. I especially loved when Mistress said, “I’m not in my emotional era anymore,” and when Luxx said, “Not me in my political era.”

+ At one point, Salina says she’s waiting for Mistress to enter her skinny era, which frankly just felt sad considering Salina talking about her own insecurities with fatness later in the episode. Like i’m always going to think a fatphobic joke has fallen flat, but this one especially just felt like internalized shit coming out and I wish the editors hadn’t included it.

+ I loved Luxx’s runway look in general but special mention to those pants.

+ Sasha choosing to play Carl brings me so much joy,

+ Anetra gets nice messages from her best friend (who is single) and her dad during Untucked.

+ Queen I’m rooting for: Sasha

+ Queen I’m horniest for: Luxx

+ Queen I would roast even if drag was illegal in all 50 states: 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 562 articles for us.

8 Comments

  1. “I’ve been tough on Loosey this week, but I have to admit she definitely had one of the six best runway looks of the episode.” SCREAMING.

    Drew, I initially thought you were too quick to judge Loosey as delusional. But this season has made me think about what makes someone a “drag superstar.” Loosey is a competent drag queen: she can structure a joke, and I’m sure she’s good at hosting shows at her home bar. Most of her runways are put-together, and occasionally creative. Still, I fully agree with Michelle’s critique that Loosey never seems to have fun. It’s dragging the whole show down (no pun intended). At this point, I’m bored of her.

  2. Justice for Salina. I think her outfit was well executed camp and she won the lipsync. I get her being in the bottom, tho, because everyone was excelent and just being good got the queens in the bottom.

    I understand Loosey is a solid performer but her runways are nothing to write home about and she’s just not that compelling. Take Luxx, she’s also very delusional but I love to see it, she’s hilarious.

  3. This was the first episode this season that felt like actual drag race? Even tho Sasha has consistently been amazing, this felt like the first time I was watching the show for real. Idk I can’t explain it.

  4. What an epic episode. Luxx going down the line about the other queens like that was truly a moment. And also, who tf is Orville Peck and why were his quips so good during the runway?

    I’m very much Team JusticeforEstitties. She is such a great queen. I think the fact that her drag sometimes looks cheaper/ill-fitting made her an easy queen to critique week after week. I loved that final look, it was fun.

    Loosey, for me, is Hillary Clinton. She goes on and on about her qualifications, what she has and hasn’t done, why she’s the best, but at the end of the day I don’t think she’s particularly charismatic (and she may be married to a war criminal, who knows). I find her tiresome and, as Luxx noted, that’s nothing particularly innovative about her drag.

  5. DREW I thought I couldn’t feel more glee at the bitchiness towards Loosey after Luxx’s read soliloquy, and then you transcended even that!! I love it. She is so goddamn annoying, and it’s so nice to read you putting voice to all my thoughts about her. So many great lines but I just have to shout out “excellence in reminding me of the worst gays in the NYU drama department.” YES

    Salina was of course robbed, but part of me is okay with going home only because I can’t wait for the stand-off between Loosey and Luxx next week!! I’ll be honest, as a conflict averse individual most of the interpersonal drama on this show stresses me out, but this season I’m really all about it. Something so cathartic about seeing a privileged ass person who takes themselves wayyy too seriously get brought down to earth a bit

  6. I don’t fuck with Loosey/Doosey either, but Luxx calling her unoriginal or not unique is RICH considering so many of Luxx’s looks have been clear rip offs… this week specifically she copied Yvie Oddly

  7. It should have been a double elimination for that lip sync! Such a great song with so much potential and they both played it so small. At least Salina tried something with the gloves off thing, but it was too late. There was no energy there. I miss Salina though!!!

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